Kitchari: Basic, Savory and Sweet
This recipe makes enough for 5 meals. It feeds me for a day plus one more breakfast. I like to make this basic recipe, cool it and store it in the fridge. From that, I take what I need for a meal and add different spices and vegetables to it.
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (brown or white) or try millet
- 3/4 cups mung beans
- 8 cups water (more for millet)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch asafoetida (a spice also called hing- available at Indian and Chinese grocers)
- Soak rice and beans separately overnight in plenty of water.
- The next day rinse the rice and beans and put into a heavy bottomed pot.
- Add water, turmeric and asafoetida.
- Cook over medium heat (or in a rice cooker) until the water is mostly absorbed (about 45 minutes)
In a pot, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil with 2 cracked cardamom pods, ¼ cup unsweetened coconut and a pinch of cumin seeds.
Cook over medium heat until fragrant.
Add 1 ½ cups cooked kitchari mixture, a little water (more of you like it soup-y), a dash of cinnamon and some ground cloves. Season with salt.
Cover and heat gently for a few minutes, until water is absorbed.
- 1 ½ tsp. Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp. Ground Fennel
- 1 inch ginger, grated or minced
- Optional: onion, garlic, vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, squash, green vegetables of your choice.
- Sauté seeds until the pop in a bit of coconut or olive oil. Add onions, ginger, garlic, or hard vegetables such as carrots or squash to the spices and cook for a few minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Then add 1 1/2 –2 cups of cooked kitchari mixture, a little water and any soft vegetables like greens, zucchini, or broccoli. Put a lid on it and cook gently until the water is absorbed and the vegetables are cooked. Season with salt.
The Herb Purslane Is A Nutritional Powerhouse
The lovely, moist succulent known as purslane, is 93% water, features dark magenta stems, and rich green, rounded leaves. Also known as Portulaca oleracea, this nutritious, edible weed has collected some colorful nicknames over the years, including: little hogweed, pigweed, and fatweed.
A first-century historian named “Pliny the Elder” suggested that Romans used purslane as the primary vegetable during dinners and as a crunchy addition to salads. Some 18th-century French farmers were known to hate the plant, saying “it’s a mischievous weed meant for pigs.” The herb can be found in Africa, North America, Asia, and Australia.
Some say that Europe is purslane’s native home, but given its succulence, it most likely originated nearer to deserts. The plant has been native to India, Greece, and Persia for centuries, but may have first appeared in North Africa some 4,000 years ago. Some archeologists suggest the plant is prehistoric. Slightly sour and infused with nuanced flavors akin to watercress and spinach, the fleshy purslane is loved by millions throughout the world.
This jade-like plant can be sautéed, juiced, boiled, pickled, drenched in butter, or featured in a delicious salad with oil, salt, and vinegar. It’s a versatile weed that can be grabbed from the Earth and immediately consumed. As it’s often found in plentiful heaps strewn across the countryside, the plant is easy to grow and has provided helpful sustenance throughout the ages, especially during times of famine.
“I have made a satisfactory dinner on several accounts, simply off a dish of purslane, which I gathered in my cornfield, boiled, and salted.” — Henry Thoreau