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.
Tualang Honey; A Gift From the Jungle
What is Tualang Honey?
A honey from the Malaysian jungles is attracting attention from researchers who are finding it has unexpected health properties beyond those of the famous Manuka honey of Australia and New Zealand.
While it has been used as medicine and food for thousands of years, researchers are confirming the therapeutic value of honey — accelerated wound healing, infection fighting, anti-tumor, and anti-diabetic properties, to name a few.
When a pollen-producing plant species has health or curative properties, those characteristics transfer to honey via the pollen harvested by bees. Until recently, Manuka honey from New Zealand has been the gold standard, with higher levels of methylglyoxal, a natural antibacterial, than other types of raw honey. By placing hives into Manuka groves, beekeepers produce and harvest this “monofloral” honey, meaning the hive worker bees have harvested pollen only from the Manuka tree blossoms, which gives the honey it’s unusual therapeutic properties.
Tualang honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), a type of honeybee, that builds its colonies in one of the tallest trees in the world, the Tualang tree of Southeast Asia, and in particular, the Malaysian peninsula. Specimens as high as 260 ft. (80m) have been recorded. The species is found in lowland forests — indigenous people believe the giant trees are inhabited by spirits. This belief has spared the trees from the logging industry. Tualang honey is only found in these jungle giants — the tree’s smooth bark makes climbing difficult for honey loving predators like the sun bear.
Honey can be monofloral or polyfloral. Manuka is monofloral, with the Manuka tree species as the pollen source. Polyfloral Tualang honey differs in that the rock bees pollinate diverse Malaysian jungle plants and flowers, and those plant properties find their way in to the honey. The therapeutic potential of multiple rainforest plant species are captured in Tualang honey.