Witchy Kitchari


Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish typically made with split mung beans and white basmati rice, delicately flavored with digestive herbs and spices, and cooked with your choice of vegetables. In India, it's considered the ultimate comfort food, very much like the American equivalent of chicken noodle soup. Kitchari is healing, grounding and suitable for all constitutions.


For this week's recipe, I've combined the alchemy of traditional Ayurvedic cooking of locally grown, seasonal veggies, digestive herbs, with mushroom and adaptogen powders & a little witchy magic!

Witchy Kitchari 1 -2 tbsp coconut oil 2 tsp cumin seeds 2 tsp brown mustard seeds 2 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp cracked cardamom pods 1 cup brown basmati rice 1/2 cup split yellow peas 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp fresh grated ginger 6 cups water, add more if desired 2 - 4 bay leaves 1 tbsp mushroom powder (chaga, reishi, or lion's mane are good choices) 1 tsp ashwagandha root powder (optional) 1 tsp Himalayan salt 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper 1 1/2 cup finely chopped winter squash 1 1/2 cup finely chopped cauliflower 1 cup fresh kale, chiffonade freshly chopped cilantro, to serve


Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cumin, mustard, fennel seeds and cardamom pods to the hot oil, stirring until the spices become aromatic and begin to pop, approximately 2 - 3 minutes. Stir consistently, so the delicate spices don't burn. Add the rice, peas, coriander, turmeric, ginger and cook, stirring, for another minute and until well combined and coated in oil. Pour in 6 cups of water, adding the bay leaves, mushroom and adaptogen powders, salt and pepper. Bring to a full boil, stirring over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and simmer for 40 - 50 minutes.


Stir in the squash and cauliflower. Add more water, if needed. Cover the pot again and cook for another 30 minutes. Check to make sure the vegetables, rice and peas are soft. Add salt if needed. Add the shredded kale and stir until well combined. Remove from heat, cover and allow the kale to become tender. Serve warm, topped with fresh cilantro.


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Penni Shelton