[ Recipe: Kitchari ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Co

Kitchari means “mixture,” in this case a blend of mung dal and basmati rice. This one-pot meal is a staple in the Ayurvedic tradition and considered restorative and tridoshic, meaning that it balances the Vata, Pitta and Kapha constitutions.

½ cup basmati rice
1 cup split yellow mung dal
6 cups water
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoons whole coriander seeds
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground asafetida
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
*optional: 1-2 cups assorted chopped steamed vegetables, such as sweet potato, bok choy or cauliflower

Rinse rice and dal in cool water; drain well. Add the water to a large pot or Dutch oven and add the cleaned rice and dal. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes, or until rice and dal are soft. Add vegetables, if using, and cook a moment or two longer until heated through. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Heat ghee in a skillet. Stir in spices and cook just until fragrant and seeds start to pop. Stir spice mixture into cooked rice and dal. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired, and serve with warm pitta bread with herbed oil for dipping.

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