Kitcheree: Spring Cleaning for Your Body
From The Yoga Cookbook: Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind
People love kitcheree! This hearty, one-pot dish is widely eaten in India, especially by sadhus, who leave it to cook while they are meditating. Kitcheree gives strength and vitality, and is often used as a part of a body detox program (think spring cleaning), after kriyas (cleansing exercises) and upon breaking of a fast. In Ayurveda, kitcheree often plays a key role in nutritional healing. If you are doing a lot of pranayama or live in a cold climate, be sure to add the ghee. Serves 4 to 6.
1-1/4 cups mung beans
1-1/4 cups basmati rice
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons ghee (optional)
Place the mung beans in a pan with three to four times their volume of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender. Meanwhile, cook the rice separately. Set both aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook over high heat until they “pop.”
Add the celery and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground coriander cooked rice, and mung beans. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring. Season to taste with salt. Add the ghee, if using, and serve at once.
Brown rice or barley may be substituted for the basmati rice. They both make the dish even heartier. Another popular variation is to use presoaked hijiki (seaweed) instead of the celery.