I felt pretty horrible two weeks ago, and it just so happened, my boyfriend was going out of town. Usually, a bit sad. But now! I felt like I was the master of my own recovery. So as soon as he left, I set out to buy myself all the ingredients I knew I would need to make
*sparkle* KITCHARI *sparkle*
I don’t consider myself to be a student of Ayurvedic Wisdom. In fact, I am unable to spell it without assistance. But I really like the idea of a nourishing cleanse. I did a 72 hour fast recently and it didn’t go well for me. I’m much more attracted to the idea of a slow moving, easy to digest, fiber and nutrient rich food constantly going through my body.
So I made an enormous pot of this Split Mung Bean and Basmati Rice based vegan stew.
The Split Mung Beans are used because it’s believed that will not cause any gastric upset or disturbances like other beans and legumes, split or not can.
Spoiler alert, that certainly didn’t hold up.
The Basmati Rice is used because it has enough protein to sustain. And that is all I was interested in doing. Sustaining. Not necessary eating. There is a big difference.
I added a lot more vegetables than any other recipe I’ve seen because I knew that I needed some texture once the rice and lentils dissolved.
First I heated up the oil and added the turmeric and black pepper. Then the celery and mushrooms went in.
The Mung Beans had been rinsed and were soaking in a second round of water for about a half an hour before I added them with their water, along with the carrots, the garlic, the Rice, the thyme, the ginger and the rest of the dry spices. Finally I added enough additional water to cover. everything by about 3 inches.
I wasn’t doing any type of elimination diet and I don’t have any known sensitivities to spices, so I was pretty liberal and did a lot of seasoning and tasting as I went. If you are doing AIP or Whole 30 or a Reintroduction diet, just slow down on the dry spices.
Here’s a weird pro tip, I actually knew that I wanted to add a little cardamom but didn’t have any in the house, so I added a single serving packet of Further Foods Turmeric Tonic which had cardamom and turmeric and black pepper and only good things. So, a win.
The cinnamon, which I have never considered to be sweet before, made the stew very sweet. I only added a little and found myself over compensating with more spice afterwards.
All in all, it was delicious. It was very filling and it was mindless. I really enjoyed the opportunity to eat for a week without worrying. To clear out any trash that had been chilling in my guts and, if you don’t mind the visual, the crap that lives in my sinus cavity and feeds on my bad choices.
I will definitely be doing this again, but I might not stick to the Mung Beans, I might use Red Lentils and do a garlic/parsley flavor combo. I think that would be nice. And honestly the most important part about the dish itself is that it is soft, cooked, nutritionally dense and easy to digest. Kitchari is a specific recipe and carries a lot of tradition and energy with it. But veggies in broth might do the same for you.
It’s all about what you like and what you’re willing to eat for 5 days straight.