Sarah Britton, author of the healthy food blog My New Roots, streamlines vegetarian cooking with 100 new recipes in her new book, Naturally Nourished. These recipes are made with supermarket ingredients and simplify whole foods cooking for any budget and any day of the week with callouts to vegan and gluten-free options and ideas for substitutions.
Kichadi, sometimes called and spelled khichdi, kitchari, kitcheree, or khichri, is the famous one-pot Indian dish that combines rice and lentils or quick-cooking pulses such as mung beans. It's best known in Ayurvedic tradition as a complete protein meal; it's also very easy to digest and a cinch to make!
Because of its simplicity and ease, many people find that doing a detox on kichadi is very pleasant and far less of an undertaking than a juice fast, for example. Eating this dish exclusively for three to five days is said to purify the digestive organs while cleansing the body of toxins. I like to do this in the winter months when the weather is cold and I need some grounding, warm food, and juicing seems out of the question.
Soaking the rice and lentils together overnight is rather important for improving the digestive qualities of kichadi, but if you are pressed for time, you can skip this step.
One-Pot Cleansing Kichadi From Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton
- 3 medium yellow onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 large tomato
- ½ cup / 110g mung beans or brown lentils, soaked if possible
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
- 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
- 5 ounces / 150g green beans, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup / 200g brown rice, soaked if possible
- 1 cup / 150g green peas, fresh or frozen
- 2 handfuls of finely chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
- Prepare the vegetables: Dice the onions, and chop the carrots and tomato. Set aside in separate bowls. Drain and rinse the mung beans.
- In a large stockpot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry just until the mustard seeds start to pop. Stir in the coriander, turmeric, cinnamon stick, and salt, then add the ginger and tomato. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onions, carrots, green beans, rice, mung beans, peas, and 4 cups / 1 liter of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the rice and beans are soft, about 45 minutes. Add more water if the pot becomes dry while cooking or to achieve a more stewlike consistency.
- Season with salt and serve with the cilantro.