Kitchari is Ayurveda’s trademark cleansing and rejuvenating dish. It’s easy on the digestion, a sattvic food that creates peace in the body. I love inhaling the aromatic spices and adding handfuls of vegetables.
Enjoy it on days you seek quiet; it’s a wonderfully yin food.
3 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon whole brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
½ teaspoon ground turmeric, or 1 small knob, fresh, grated
Sea salt and black pepper
1 (1-inch/2.5 cm) knob fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
½ cup (100 g) split red lentils
1/2 cup (100 g) organic brown rice, soaked in cold filtered water overnight
8 cups (2 L) vegetable broth
½ cup (65 g) sweet potato (peeled, cut into ½-inch/12 mm) cubes
½ cup (65 g) seasonal squash (cut into ¼-inch/6 mm cubes)
2 cups (60 g) baby spinach
1 cup (30 g) roughly chopped watercress
2 tablespoons raw almonds, soaked in cold filtered water overnight, peeled, chopped
Heat the ghee in a medium pot over medium heat, and when melted, add the fennel, cumin, and mustard seeds. Toast the seeds until you smell a nice aroma and the mustard seeds start to snap open. Add the fenugreek, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste, ginger, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Next add the lentils, brown rice (strain and rinsed a few times), and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer, cover, and cook, stirring periodically, for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add the sweet potato and squash, stirring, and cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the veggies and lentils are tender. You may need to add more broth if the kitchari gets too thick. You are aiming for the consistency of a stew (not too thick, not too thin).
In the last 5 minutes, stir in the spinach and watercress. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then top with the chopped almonds.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 2 hours