Here's a recipe for a comforting kitchari, balancing vata with ginger and cinnamon, pitta with coconut and cilantro and kapha with black peppercorns and cloves
1 cup yellow mung dal (split or whole)
1 cup basmati rice
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
2 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons ghee (Learn How to Make Ghee)
1 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon bark
5 whole cloves
4-5 crushed cardamom pods
10 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups water
Wash the mung dal and rice until water is clear. Soaking the dal for a few hours or overnight helps with digestibility. In a blender, put the ginger, coconut, cilantro and 1/2 cup water and blend until liquefied. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and add the ghee, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir for a moment until fragrant. Add the blended items to the spices, then the turmeric. Stir until lightly browned.
Stir in the mung dal and rice and mix very well. Pour in the 6 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and cook, lightly covered, until the dal and rice are soft, about 25-30 minutes if mung beans are split, and 1 hour if whole. Add water if needed. Salt to taste before serving, stirring well to ensure the salt is evenly distributed.
Source: Adapted from Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha and Vasant Lad.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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