All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018
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My friend, Katie, turned me on to kitchari. Apparently, you can eat it – JUST IT – for 1-7 days straight & it calms your digestive tract & detoxes you system but with the added benefit of feeling like decadent comfort food. Also – mung beans are dirt cheap. (Articles on the subject are linked at the bottom of this post). This recipe makes about 7 quarts which is a fuckton so – unless you are feeding a lot of people or want to freeze some – consider reducing the recipe.
I used an Instant Pot to make mine but this can be done in a slow cooker or stove top. I really recommend Instant Pots, though, because they steam, pressure cook, slow cook, cook rice, cook cakes, saute, cook eggs & clean windows. I got my huge one HERE for just over $100 & I am VERY happy with it. I can now get rid of several other appliances.
***NOTE – I soaked my beans on the counter overnight & in the fridge a second night but this is not necessary. If you want to move more quickly – boil some water, add your beans & let them soak for an hour.
Ayurveda Kitchari – Vegan Mung Bean Stew
Caters a party so be ready for a lot
3 cups mung beans (I used half whole green & half split green – as seen above) – soaked (see ***NOTE above)
1-2 TBS coconut oil or olive oil
1 onion – chopped
6 garlic cloves – chopped
1 TBS turmeric
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS (or more – to taste) salt (I used pink Himalayan)
1 TBS ground mustard
1 TBS ground coriander
1 TBS ground pepper
1 TBS ground fenugreek (optional)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk (I used lite)
6 TBS minced ginger
1 cup cilantro
Vegetables are optional. Use any you prefer but I added:
5 small turnips – diced
5 small golden beets – diced
1 large sweet potato – diced
5 oz baby kale
1 tomato – diced
6 cups water
2 cups basmati (or other long grain white rice)
(If you are making your rice separate from the stew, as I did, it is nice to add a tsp cumin SEEDS & 6 green cardamom pods to it as it cooks but that is not necessary.)
GARNISH – coconut butter, cilantro, crushed red pepper
Quick soak your beans (see note above) if you did not soak them overnight or for 2 days, as I did.)
Traditionally, the rice is cooked in the same pot with everything else. My Instant Pot was not large enough so I cooked it separately. This is your call – or maybe your pot size will determine your choice but it does not matter much either way.
Rinse the rice. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a very large pot (or your Instant Pot – my pot is 8 Quarts) and soften. Add the garlic & spices & stir to combine.
If you are using a slow cooker, transfer the onions & spices to it. Everything else is the same no matter whether you are slow cooking, Instant Pot cooking or going stove top. Only the cooking time will vary.
Now, add everything else to the pot. If your pot is easily deep enough to hold the rice, too, add that. If you are cooking the rice in the same pot – add 4 additional cups of water to the 6 cups used if you are cooking the rice separately (assuming your rice directions ask for 2 cups water per 1 cup rice. Adjust accordingly if your rice has different directions). Or – just cook the rice separately as the package directs. If you are making your rice separate from the stew, as I did, it is nice to add 1 tsp cumin SEEDS & 6 green cardamom pods to it as it cooks but that is not necessary.
Slow cooker – cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Stove top – bring to a boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Reduced heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or more or until everything is tender.
Instant Pot – seal & cook manually for 10 minutes.
If it is to thick, thin it with extra water. If it is too thin, let is simmer, uncovered, for a while longer.
Serve with rice (if you cooked it separately) and garnish with coconut butter (burns fat & lowers cholesterol) and lots of cilantro & maybe some crushed red pepper.
Here are some articles for more info on kitchari & using it to detox:
What is kitchari? – https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/blog-the-banyan-insight/details/what-is-kitchari-why-we-eat-it-for-cleansing
3-Day Cleanse – https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/cleansing/a-very-simple-three-day-cleanse/
How to do a kitchari cleanse – http://www.krissyruddy.com/how-to-do-a-kitchari-cleanse/