Eating Kitchari is my solution to resting the digestive system. Kitchari is the chicken soup of Indian cuisine; a wholesome and nourishing dish that you crave when you’re sick, or turn to for an easy meal. It’s made from a blend of soaked basmati rice and mung dal that resembles a chunky porridge when cooked. The word Kitchari literally translates to “a mess of” and this dish is exactly a delicious mess of lentils, rice and spices.
The simplicity of Kitchari is what makes it so easy on the digestive system. Pre-soaked lentils and rice increase the digestability of the nutrients in these foods, making them readily absorbable. By pre-soaking, you’re maximising the goodness available.
Lentils are especially good for the digestive system because they’re loaded with prebiotic fibre. No doubt you’ve heard of probiotics; healthy, friendly bacteria, optimal for gut health, well prebiotics are the preferred food/fuel that encourage the survival of probiotics (think lentils, beans, garlic and onion). Prebiotics help our good gut bacteria grow and thrive, add bulk to the stool and help keep things moving nicely.
I’ve included a recipe for a cashew-coconut-lime cream to serve a-top the Kitchari which adds creaminess, depth and zing– you’ll love it.
This recipe is Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegan, Wholefood, Fiber rich and naturally supports detoxification and digestive health
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric
1/2 cup red lentils, soaked overnight
1/2 cup mung dal, soaked overnight
1/2 cup red rice– or brown or basmati, soaked overnight
4 cups water
juice of half a lime
handful chopped coriander (including stems)
Lime Cashew Cream
1/4 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
heavy pinch salt
1/4 cup water
M E T H O D
- Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan to a medium heat, then add the coriander and cumin seeds to the pan, and listen for when you hear the coriander seeds pop.
- When the coriander seeds have popped, add in the other spices and salt, along with the ginger and turmeric and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, mung dal and rice to the pan, stir, then pour in all the water. Bring saucepan to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes. At this stage, all the water should be absorbed, and the lentils and rice will have softened to a chunky porridge-like consistency.
- Blend or process ingredients for Lime Cashew Cream until combined.
- Squeeze the lime juice into the saucepan and stir-through the coriander. Serve with cashew-lime cream, or yoghurt.
Recipe By Kate Levins | Clinical Nutritionist