Kitchari is a traditional mung bean and rice porridge with a nourishing, detoxifying effect on the body. Kitchari is traditionally eaten for the duration of a cleanse, allowing the digestive system to rest while still nourishing the body and keeping blood sugar levels stable. Eating the recipe below is the most cleansing option, but you can add cooked seasonal vegetables to the mung beans and rice.
The recipe below makes enough to last for 3 or 4 meals. You can play with the mix of spices — traditionally, kitchari is eaten more like a soup than a pilaf, which is why this recipe includes more water than you would normally add for cooking rice. Eat this simple soup three meals per day for anywhere from one to four days to help your digestive system rest and stabilize, as suggested in traditional Ayurveda.
1 cup uncooked split yellow mung beans (It’s important to get SPLIT mung beans, not whole, because they are easier to digest and more detoxifying. These are usually available at Asian and Indian grocers, and are sometimes labeled as Split Moong Dahl. It is also possible to order organic split mung beans online)
1/4 – 1/2 cup uncooked white basmati rice
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger root
2 bay leaves
1 tsp each black mustard seeds and cumin
1/2 tsp each coriander powder, fennel, and fenugreek seeds
1 pinch hing (also called asafoetida or asafetida) – Optional
Rinse mung beans until the water runs clear
Par boil mung beans by bringing them to a boil in 4 cups of water and remove from heat. Allow to rest for 1-4 hrs in the boiled water, then drain and rinse
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear
Heat a large pot on medium heat and add all the spices (except the bay leaves and Turmeric). Dry roast for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Dry roasting will enhance the flavor. Keep a close eye on the spices to make sure they do not burn.
Add mung beans and rice and stir again
Add water, bay leaves, and Turmeric and bring to a boil
Boil for 10 minutes
Turn heat to low, cover pot and cook until mung beans and rice become soft (about 30-40 min)