Kitchari is the Ayurvedic detox food and has been used for thousands of years as nourishment during times of cleansing and spiritual practice. In both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, mung beans are used to purify the blood and pull environmental toxins out of the tissues of the body, which is especially beneficial for the reproductive organs, liver, and thyroid gland. In addition to its medicinal and spiritual uses, Kitchari is a staple on the Indian dinner table and is often referred to as “the Indian comfort food.”
¾ cup basmati rice
¾ cup organic whole or split mung beans (soaked at least three hours) in 5 cups water
2 Tbsp ghee
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 pinches hing (asafetida)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 stick kombu (seaweed)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp turmeric
1-2 cups chopped vegetables (optional)
Directions: Wash rice and mung beans and soak for 3-8 hours, then drain. Warm ghee in a medium pot. Add ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and hing. Sauté the spices for 1-2 minutes until mustard seeds start to pop and aroma is released. Add rice and mung beans and sauté for 2-4 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Stir in seaweed, salt, and turmeric, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender (approximately 30-45 minutes).
If you are adding vegetables, add the longer-cooking vegetables (such as carrot, beets, broccoli) halfway through the cooking, add shorter-cooking ones (like leafy greens) near the end. Your finished kitchari should be the consistency of a stew as opposed to a broth. Add more water for a soupier consistency and salt to taste. Serve hot with fresh cilantro and a dollop of ghee.