Kitchari is a nourishing miracle of everyday wellness from Ayurvedic cooking. This recipe is especially rich in minerals, amino acids and GABA. What is GABA? When we activate the Gamma-aminobutyric acid in unprocessed beans and rice by presoaking overnight, it stimulates the life force so these foods are higher in nutrients, more digestible, and won’t give you gas. Soaking or sprouting the beans and rice is easy. It removes any bitter seed coatings, adding a superfood level of cleansing and calming nutrition. If you don’t have time to sprout, just soak overnight. These days most people use processed basmati rice, which is stripped of its mineral-rich outer covering. However millions of Indians suffer the health consequences of mineral deficiency and empty calories. See my researched article: Chronic Disease is Just Nutrients Lost in Processed Food
A delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, Kitchari is a staple in cleansing protocols such as Panchakarma, because it helps to burn fat and release toxins. It contains invigorating spices and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. A staple of Indian cuisine, many variations of kitchari have been enjoyed for thousands of years to cleanse and calm digestion. I find it satisfying and uplifting, especially when I’m tired. It uses a combination of rice (or quinoa) with beans, often split yellow or red dahl, vegetables, and spices.
Four-time Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Linus Pauling once said: “Every sickness, every ailment, and every disease can be traced back to an organic trace mineral deficiency.” And it’s still true. What is ONE SINGLE thing that could end chronic disease? All of them: Diabetes, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, malnutrition, etc? It is THIS: Eat whole foods, unrefined. Instead of processed grains, eat dark rice and whole wheat flour. Forget white rice. Soak overnight and enjoy GABA Kicharee.
Dry grains are seeds, dormant potential plants awaiting their opportunity to come alive and grow up! Sprouting is so easy. Sprouting activates and opens the seed so that the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phyto-nutrients are more available. Sprouting transforms carbs into proteins even before you eat them. Hooray!
Tip: When you cook the beans and rice, don’t add salt at that time, so the beans will cook quicker. Just add the salt later with the veggies and spices.
This recipe contains no nightshades (red pepper, paprika, curry powder, cayenne) since many Caucasians (like me) do not tolerate them well. However, the recipe is extremely flexible, so you can make your choices. This recipe makes a full pot of 4 servings of kitchari. You can save leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
- 3/4 cup unprocessed brown rice, red, or black rice, or quinoa.
- 3/4 cup your favorite bean. I like red lentils, Dahl beans, white, red, kidney, chick peas, black beans, Adzuki - they're all wonderful
- filtered water to rinse and cover
- Your favorite Veggies (make your own variations):
- 1 leek
- 2 carrots, sliced small,
- 1 branch broccoli or 1 sliced zucchini
- 2-inches fresh ginger root
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric or 1-inch fresh turmeric root, or your favorite Indian spice mix.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds ground in a mortar & pestle (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and more to taste if needed
- a little black pepper to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, ghee, or pure olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
- parsley to garnish
- Rinse the quinoa and lentils 3 times or until water runs clear. Add filtered water to cover and soak 8-12 hours or overnight. Then discard soaking water and rinse well with cold water.
- In a heavy-bottomed medium soup pot, (not aluminum) add the quinoa and lentils. Do not add salt, so the beans will cook faster. You can salt later. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes or until soft.
- When they are soft, add whatever vegetables: leek, carrot, vegetables, spices, ginger root, turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper, and grass-fed butter or ghee. Cook until vegetables are soft. That's it!
- Garnish with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and a sprig of parsley.
(There are so many spellings for this dish: kitcheree, kicharee, kitcharee, kichari, kicheri, kitcheri, kitchari, kichary – Hope that covers it – ha ha!)