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Company Kitchari

Submitted by on Tuesday, 10 August 2010One Comment

Adapted from The Homesteader’s Kitchen, by Robin Burnside (Gibbs Smith, 2010).

Kitchari is a classic Indian comfort food consisting of lentils, rice, and vegetables cooked together in one pot along with a fragrant combination of spices.

Nourishing kitchari is prescribed as a medicine in the Ayurvedic tradition for cooling, cleansing, and balancing the digestive system, and is usually made without onions or garlic. This version of Kitchari is embellished with caramelized onions, a touch of garlic, and portobello mushrooms for added flavor, slanting it towards the western palate.

This is a unique and easy to prepare one-dish meal that can be made with simple ingredients from the larger, garden, and spice shelf.

Makes 4-6 Servings

Spice Mixture
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
Pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Ghee or coconut oil

1 tablespoon Ghee or coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped yam
1 cup (1/2-inch pieces) Portobello mushroom (about 1 extra largemushroom)
2 teaspoons minced gingerroot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
5 cups water

In a dry skilled, toast the frennel, cumin, and coriander seeds until fragrant. Cool and grind the spices and combine with the turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pour the toasted spices back into the skilled, add the Ghee, and lightly saute for 1-2 minutes to develop the flavor.

In a large heavy-bottom soup pot with a tight-fitting lid, saute the Ghee and onions over medium-high heat until they just begin ot brown. ADd the celery and yam and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mushroom, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and bay leaves and continue to stir while it cooks for another 3-4 minutes. Add the spice mixture to the pot and blend evenly into the vegetables. Stir in the rice and lentils, add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated adn the rice and lentils are tender. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges on the side, if desired.

Adapted from The Homesteader’s Kitchen, by Robin Burnside (Gibbs Smith, 2010).


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One Comment »

  • Kitchari is an acquired taste. It’s full of spices and herbs, but it’s very green and healthy. The fragrance of some ingredients are also difficult to take in at first, but the mix gives out a generally pleasant smell.

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