Kitchari is one of the most popular Ayurvedic dishes. It is a highly nutritious meal, often used in Ayurvedic detox treatments. In India, some locals there told me it is considered the food to eat when you feel unwell because it is so nourishing, easy to prepare and to digest.
Kitchari can be made in different ways, although the key ingredients are always the herbs used and of course the dahl or otherwise known as mung beans. You can add whatever other vegetables you like, although try to keep it quite light so that it does not change the quality of the dish. It can be eaten with a side of Basmati rice, quinoa or on its own.
I love Kitchari because it is so filling without feeling heavy and too full afterwards. Dahl is also quite easy to digest and it is suitable for all the 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).
This is one way I make Kitchari, a very quick and easy recipe (quantities below are for 2 portions).
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
2 cups of dahl (here I used the orange one)
Olive oil (traditionally it is made with ghee but if you are vegan you can use any other oil)
1 big handful of spinach
Herbs & spices:
1 tbsp corriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp size freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
1. First soak the dahl in a bowl of water for about 1 hour. The orange and yellow ones fluff quite quickly so it does not need to be soaked for too long.
2. In a medium to larger sized hot pan, add the oil and the cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric, garlic and ginger. Let them cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the red onion and the carrot. Basically whatever other vegetables you choose to use. Then let these cook together and blend in all the herbs and spices. It will smell delicious.
4. Add the dahl with 2-3 cups of water and let everything cook together on low-med heat. This usually will take about 15-20mins (if you soak the dahl before).
5. About 5minutes after adding the dahl, add the spinach all let all cook together.