What is Kitchari? A Complete Protein and Cleansing Story

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During a little sabbatical slash work trip to Toronto a few years ago, I found myself living in a house with hardcore dedicated vegans and yogis for a few months. I was beyond thrilled to come home every day to the mouthwatering aroma of them cooking kitchari. Kitchari! A complete protein, cleansing, detoxing, so easy to make, so easy to digest, nourishing, a cauldron of the stuff lasts for days, soft, savoury...I could go on. Why didn't I know this existed til now?

Kitchari originated in India, and being a healing food for both the young and old, and it was nourishing enough to be served regularly in hospitals. It provides great doses of nutrients while cleansing your insides. (I like to make this once a week as a boost of energy and detox after a long, stressful week of rushing around and eating bites of fast food between work.) The combination of mung dal beans and rice in the meal creates a complete protein, whereas these foods eaten individually would be lacking in one or more of the amino acids that our bodies cannot create by ourselves. Mung beans, while known for its detoxing properties, are also chock full of protein.

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

1.5 cups mung dal beans

1.5 cups red lentils

1 cup rice

4 tbps coconut oil

1 tbps cumin seed powder

1 tbps coriander powder

1 tbps fennel seed

2 tbps turmeric powder

1 inch ginger, grated

Seasonal vegetables of your choice

Water

 

Preparation:

Pre-soak the mung beans, lentils, and rice in a bowl full of water for at least 6-8 hours. (I like to do this overnight.)

 

Directions:

1. Melt coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the spices, cook for 2 minutes until aromatic.

2. Add the mung beans, lentils, and rice into the pot. Stir til spices are distributed throughout the concoction.

3. Add water til the pot is 3/4 full, and add ginger and vegetables.

4. Cover pot and let it simmer on medium heat.

5. Check on the pot and stir every once in a while, if the kitchari looks to have absorbed all the water, simply add more. The kitchari should simmer for about an hour.

6. And done! Add salt to taste.

 

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