One of the most famous, and well loved Ayurvedic dishes in the world, Kichadi (pronounced – “kich-a-ree if you’re and Australian, or “Kich-a-dee” if you’re saying it true to it’s Indian origin) is a well cooked, warm, wet mixture of lentils, spices and rice.
It has been a standard healing dish in India throughout the ages, and has become more popular in the West as Ayurveda and yoga bare more roots in our Western lifestyles. A great food for detoxing, kichadi offers an easy to digest, filling meal that provides a full spectrum of amino acids. It also assists in maintaining blood sugar levels, preventing that awful crash that can occur when enduring fasting or other kinds of austere cleanses.
Kichadi can be eaten as a casual dish with a side of salad or vegetables, or it can be eaten alone, three times a day as a means to cleanse the digestive tract. The soft, nourishing mixture helps to soothe and heal the gut while nourishing the body. And the extra benefit of this kind of cleanse is that it brings us more in to the mode of goodness or sattva, where we are more inclined towards tranquillity and spiritual enquiry.
Here is a recipe you can try, and feel free to play around with the flavour – the recipe is quite mild, so you can double the quantity of the spices if you prefer a stronger taste.
- 3/4 cup basmati rice
- 1/2 cup split moong dal
- 1/2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp blk mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin or cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp hing/Asafoetida
- 1/2 inch finely chopped ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional variation)
- 4 to 6 cups of water; less for a drier consistency, more for a wetter consistency
Wash the mung dal and the rice together, until the water runs clear.
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, add the spices and ginger and sauté until aromatic.
Add the rice and dal to the spice mixture and continue to sauté until the rice is covered. You can continue to sauté` the mixture for several minutes to lighten the meal if you desire.
Add the water and stir through. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low for a further 30 – 40 minutes (so that the rice looks swollen and soft).
Serve hot and garnish with fresh cilantro.