In Ayurveda we focus a lot on the strength of the agni (digestive capacity) as it determines so much of our health and well-being.
Your digestive fire will be either strong, low, or variable.
Do you tend to have an ‘iron stomach’ and can eat anything, anywhere, anytime without ill affect?
Or do you have to micro-manage everything you ingest otherwise you’ll get gas/ bloated/ heart burn?
Or is your digestion good some days and crummy on others for no apparent reason?
No matter what the state of your digestive fire, the Ayurvedic superfood of kitchari will give your digestive system a break while still fully nourishing you with the complete protein of the mung bean and rice combo + yummy veggies + spices (great for kindling your digestive fire 🙂 ).
It’s bliss for your taste buds and your tummy!
Try this recipe from “Your Irresistible Life: 4 Seasons of Self-Care through Ayurveda & Yoga Practices that Work” by moi and Glynnis Osher…
The following is a recipe for a lovely Spring kichari which can be enlivened even more if you sprout the whole mung beans ahead of time.
Try it both ways and decide for yourself!
4 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
Half a medium onion finely diced
1 inch fresh peeled ginger, finely diced
1/4 tsp asafoetida (optional—a good addition though as this reduces the gaseous nature of beans)
1 cup split mung dal (sprouted whole mung beans as an option for a lighter kichari)*
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1/2 bunch spinach (alternatively, 1-2 cups of other greens or veggies such as asparagus, zucchini, daikon or a combination)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt/rock salt
6 cups water (may add more water for a more watery kichari, or less for a drier stew)
1. Soak split mung beans and rice together in cold water overnight.
2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the ghee on medium and add the onions and ginger to sauté until tender.
3. Add the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds and sauté for 2 more minutes.
4. Add the asafoetida and stir in.
5. Drain the split mung beans and rice until the rinse water is clear, and add to the mixture.
6. Sauté for a few more minutes and add the water, cover, and bring to a boil.
7. Once boiling, stir, lower heat, and simmer with the lid on until tender (about 20 minutes).
8. While the kichari is cooking, wash and chop the spinach/greens.
9. Add the greens to the top of the mixture and replace the cover. Allow to steam on top for
1-2 minutes if using spinach, and 3-5 minutes for other veggies.
10. Stir in, add salt, and mix in.
11. Garnish with a squeeze of lime, fresh cilantro or parsley, a small dollop more of ghee, and toasted sesame seeds. You can also sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top.
*If sprouting mung beans: use whole mung beans and rinse in cold water until water is clear. Cover beans with cold water until all beans are well immersed. Soak overnight for at least 8-12 hours. Discard soaking water and rinse well with cold water. Place in colander out of direct sunlight and leave to drain for 8 more hours. You will notice tiny sprouts popping up.
You can use them to cook into kichari at this stage or rinse and drain for another 8 hours for longer sprouts.