Yoga Recipes-Kitcheree

Fri, 16 Mar 2012

One of the classic recipes in the Kundalini Yoga tradition is mung beans and rice, also called kitcheree. If you train as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, you will probably have to do a 40-day kitcheree cleansing diet, where for every meal of the day you eat only mung beans and rice - with various vegetables added. If you ever go to the Solstice Festival in the US or the Yoga Festival in France, you will get your daily portion of kitcheree as part of the Solstice detox diet.

Kitcheree is a well-known dish in the North-Indian kitchen. There are quite some variations to it, depending on which vegetables you want to use. This nutritious dish full of protein is easily digested, and therein lies the key to its effects on the human body and mind. As less energy needs to go to digestion, more energy is freed up for other activities, mental clarity and focus enhance and it becomes easier to develop a meditative mind. Kitcheree is also good for the kidneys, the colon, and the digestive organs. When you are having problems with your digestion, a kitcheree diet will help solve the problems.

You will need: 1 cup of mung beans, rinsed; 1 cup of basmati rice, rinsed; 1 large onion, diced; 9 garlic cloves, crushed; 2 thumb-length nubs of fresh ginger root, grated; 1/4 cup of ghee or olive oil; turmeric (1 1/2 tsp); cumin powder (1 1/2 tsp); ground coriander seeds (3/4 tsp); black pepper (1 tsp); sea salt (1 - 1 1/2 tbsp); seeds of about 5 green cardamom pods; and some crushed red chilies to add extra spice if you want to. Lastly, you can use any vegetables you want to add (6 to 7 cups of chopped vegetables would be a good amount).

First chop your vegetables so they are ready for when you need them. Wash the mung beans carefully and make sure you remove any tiny stones that might be in there. Rinse the basmati rice (rinsing it 3 times will remove any starch). Fill a saucepan with 9 cups of water, add the mung beans and basmati rice, cover and bring the water to a boil. Cook the mung beans and rice for 15 minutes over a low heat.

As the mung beans and rice are cooking, you can make the masala mixture. Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan. Add the crushed garlic, the onions and ginger. When these are translucent, add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper and crushed chilies. Stir well, and add a few drops of water if needed to avoid burning. After 4 to 5 minutes add the cooked mung beans and rice to the turka (the masala mixture), including the liquid, and add some sea salt.

Let the ingredients simmer for another 31 minutes until the mixture has become thick and soupy - the kitcheree is ready when the rice has almost dissolved and the mung beans are tender. You might have to add some more water while the mixture simmers.

You can serve this dish with iceberg lettuce leaves, with which you can scoop up the kitcheree. Enjoy! Sat Nam.

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