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.
- Yellow Onions 3 medium
- Carrots 2 medium
- Tomato 1 large
- Mung Beans or Brown Lentils ½ cup, soaked if possible
- Coconut Oil or Ghee 1 Tbs
- Cumin Seeds 1½ tsp
- Mustard Seeds 1½ tsp
- Coriander Seeds 1½ tsp
- Ground Turmeric ½ tsp
- Cinnamon Stick 1
- Fine Sea Salt 1 tsp
- Fresh Ginger peeled, minced 2 Tbs
- Green Beans 150 g, fresh or frozen
- Brown Rice 200 g, soaked if possible
- Green Peas 150 g, fresh or frozen
- Fresh Cilantro handfuls, finely chopped, 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 stew-like consistency.
- Season with salt and serve with the cilantro.
- ROLL OVER: Turn any leftovers of this stew into a savory breakfast the next day with a poached egg and some stir-fried greens.
Excerpted from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton. Copyright © 2017 Sarah Britton. Reprinted by permission of Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited