A nourishing dish made with mung beans and basmati rice, seasoned beautifully with digestive spices, kitchari is a perfect simple meal. It can be enjoyed hot off the pot, or packed up to be lunch. Mung beans provide protein and carbohydrates for energy, basmati rice is easy for the body to digest, ghee or oil lubricates the system, and the spices boost digestive fire. Add seasonal, cooked vegetables for extra vitamins of you wish!
5-6 cups water
1 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cup split mung beans
2 tablespoons ghee or organic sunflower oil
1 tbsp simple savory spice mix (see below)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Rinse the mung dal beans and strain them until the water runs clear. Let them soak for 3-4 hours.
In a large sauce pan, place 4 cups of water or vegetable broth on high heat to boil. Rinse the rice and add it to the pot, along with mung beans, spice mix, mustard seeds and bay leaves. Once boiling, partially cover the pot and turn heat down to simmer for about 15 minutes, then check the water level. If the kitchari is not submerged, stir in more water. Add water as needed until you reach a desired consistency, not more than 6 cups. Stir in ghee or oil and let stand a few minutes. Top with cilantro if you like. Kitchari should have a soft, soupy, thick consistency.
I like to add steamed or roasted seasonal vegetables on top to make it a balanced meal.