Kitcheree is a delicious dish from India made with mung beans, rice, mixed vegetables and aromatic spices. A hodgepodge of flavors and textures, rich with garlic, onions and ginger and a great way to use left-overs and last bits of veggies in the fridge. In Ayurveda, Kitcheree is used in cleansing fasts as it is easily digested and balances the system or doshas as well a being delightfully nourishing.
I love kitcheree, it is my favorite comfort food. A lovely bowl of hot spicy kitcheree topped with a bit of feta cheese and a dash of tamari sets things right. I make a big pot about once a month to share with family and friends served with fresh naan. My version below is lightened up a bit and has a greater ratio of vegetables to starches, with half the rice, twice the veggies and less fat. The flavor and texture is not compromised and is always pleasing. Yum!
1 c. mung beans, sorted and washed
½ c. basmati rice, washed until water comes clean
6 c. vegetable stock
4 c. water
1 Tbsp. sea salt
Place above ingredients into 5 qt. or large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until liquid is reduced, beans begin to split and rice starts to bloom. At this point add to the pot:
5 c. water
10 – 12 c. assorted veggies, washed, sliced and diced as needed (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, small potato, carrot, eggplant, mushrooms, celery, zucchini, leafy greens, etc. Whatever you have on hand.)
2 bay leaves
Bring pot back to a boil, reduce and simmer until veggies are cooked soft and all the ingredients are beginning to look indistinguishable. Turn heat down low and watch carefully, stirring often as it will scorch easily.
In a skillet, place:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. ghee
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ – 1/3 c. fresh ginger, peeled and very finely diced
1 c. onion, diced
Saute until onions begins to become transparent. Add:
1 tsp. brown mustard seed
1/8 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (you can add more if greater heat is desired)
1 heaping tsp. turmeric powder
Gently brown spices in the hot oil toasting as you stir around the skillet. Add the contents of the skillet to the stock pot of mung beans and veggies. Add:
1 tsp. dried basil
Seeds from 5 crushed green cardamom pods
Add more water if mixture is too thick and adjust salt, pepper and seasonings per taste. Serve with warm naan and a sprinkle of feta cheese and tamari.