During the winter, I constantly eat warm meals. My go-to’s include soups, curries, stir-fries, and stews. Most of the time, I recycle my winter recipes. This can lead to a phenomenon I call “Meal Boredom”. This happens when your meal creativity starts lacking and you either A) start making the same thing over and over again or B) eat toast each meal. It happens to the best of us. So, whenever I hear of a new easy, nutritious, warm winter meal idea, I get stoked! Here’s where kitchari comes in.

What’s kitchari?

I recently heard about kitchari from one of my favourite food bloggers, Lee From America. It was clearly warming, seemed nutritious, and appeared easy to make – all necessary factors for my ideal winter meal – so I was immediately intrigued. After some research, I learned that kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic meal made from a mixture of rice and mung beans, specifically yellow split mung beans, and various spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander. It’s cleansing, healing, balancing, warming, and comforting (all descriptive words you want in a winter dish), and is simple, easy to digest (it actually soothes the intestinal wall, many consume it when they’re on a cleanse), and is a complete source of protein. Seriously, what more could you want? Read on for our homemade kitchari recipe.

Homemade Kitchari Recipe

A tasty take on traditional kitchari. Kale and bok choy add some nutrients and freshness to this recipe, too.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup split yellow mung dal beans
  • ¼ – ½ cup long grain white or white basmati rice (white rice is easier to digest)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoon each: black mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon each: coriander powder, fennel, fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sheet kombu (seaweed)
  • 6 cups water
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • 1 small handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ tsp salt

To make:

  1. Wash split yellow mung dal beans with the rice until water runs clear.
  2. In a preheated large pot, melt coconut oil and add ginger and mustard seeds. Heat until the seeds start to pop.
  3. Add all of the spices (except the bay leaves) on medium heat and stir for 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure not to burn them!  This will get the most flavour.
  4. Add dal and rice and stir. Coat the rice and beans with the spices.
  5. Add water, lime juice, bay leaves and kombu and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Add kale and bok choy
  7. Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dal and rice become soft (about 30-40 minutes).
  8. The cilantro leaves can be added just before serving.
  9. Add the salt at the end of cooking! This won’t affect the softening of the dal.
  10. Enjoy!

Have you ever had kitchari? Share with us your recipe!

Outside of her role as a Social Media and Content Coordinator, Carli enjoys exploring the local trails, testing various health food trends, spending time with loved ones, and fawning over any dog she lays eyes on.

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