Ahhhh, kitchari! Since starting seasonal cleanses with VedaWise, kitchari, a.k.a. “Comfort in a Bowl,” has become a staple in my diet, as evidenced by the many different variations I’ve shared over the months. Why do I love it so much?
Well, it is one of the primary healing foods in Ayurveda. Easily digestible, packed with protein, fiber, & balancing spices, kitchari is the preferred food when one is not feeling their best, out of balance, or recovering from illness. Kitchari can be adapted to the seasons, situations, or personal imbalances by using a variety of different oils, spices, & accoutrements. Endless variations are possible, but traditional kitcharis begin with split mung dal & basmati rice.
With such a busy schedule these days, I’ve been under quite a bit of stress & starting to feel that the scales are tipping out of balance. Kitchari called & the universe answered with a “Light Quinoa Kitchari Recipe” on Mind Body Green, which I used as a point of inspiration. This recipe substituted quinoa instead of rice, giving the meal a lighter texture & additional boost of protein. I added detoxifying lacinato kale & cooling zucchini, both from my CSA, & flavored with summer spice blend from Laura Plumb’s “Summer Kitchari Recipe.” To keep the kitchari cooling in nature, I substituted coconut oil in place of ghee – which also makes this recipe vegan friendly. I had some chives to use up, so I added them as a garnish. Chives are a bit more pungent & warming, so if you are feeling a bit too fiery, perhaps leave them out!
- 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
- ½ cup split mung dal
- 4-6 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp. each of dried dill, mint, basil, & turmeric
- 2 cups lacinato kale, chopped
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Avocado, coconut aminos, &/or gomashio for garnish
- Wash & drain the dal & quinoa
- Chop all veggies.
- Heat the oil & add the spices, sauté for a minute or until fragrant.
- Stir in the mung dal & quinoa.
- Desired amount of broth, bring to low boil & then cover & simmer for 30-40 minutes or until soft & soupy.
- In the final 10-15 minutes of cooking, add the kale & zucchini.
- Just before serving, stir in the cilantro
- Optional garnishes
Oh kitchari, thank goodness for your nourishment! This light version has become a summer staple. I’ve been spending less time in the kitchen, as I have been so busy, but making a large pot of this to last me through a few nights of dinners when I don’t have the energy to cook has been a life saver!
If you are interested in Ayurveda & doing a seasonal cleanse, VedaWise’s Summer Cleanse is coming up August 9-15. This cleanse is designed to calm Pitta, reduce chronic inflammation, support our liver, cool our mind, ease us through August & the transition into Autumn, releasing new vitality, & restoring our vibrance. We’ll be enjoying fresh smoothies, raw recipes & a delicious Summer Kitchari. Yes please to all! Hope you can join us, these cleanses are wonderful!