Red Lentil Kitchari
As usual – I don’t measure when I cook! So it’s the usual about a tsp or tablespoon of this and that.
The last few days have been windy, wet and cold. It increased the Vata and Kapha in the environment which caused imbalance in me.
Vata is light, dry and mobile and cold teamed with Kapha which is dense, cold, oily and stagnant. I was feeling sluggish but jittery (anxiety signs starting to show) and cold, cold, cold!
I needed to stoke the internal fires with something easily digestible, warm and of course nourishing. To boost the Pitta in me. This is a recipe for those who are feeling the Vata Kapha imbalances definitely not for those with Pitta imbalances. If you’re not sure what they are, there are loads of Dosha tests online – I recommend the Banyan Botanicals one or you can make an appointment to see an Ayurvedic Practitioner, even better.
So here’s my Pitta Kitchari.
A light cooking oil – I used Sunflower oil. I wouldn’t suggest coconut – it’s too heavy and cooling. Ghee, maybe. Olive oil – save it for your mediteranian dishes. Canola – okay.
And just enough to cover the bottom of the pan about a couple of Tablespoons I would say.
1 teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon of Black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of fenugreek
½ teaspoon of black pepper (could use up to 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon of Tumeric ( I used a high potency one from Bassendean Wasteless pantry)
1 green chilli split down the middle (adjust the amount of chilli according to your taste)
1 cup of red lentils rinsed and picked over
1 cup of basmati rice rinsed until the water runs clear.
Salt to taste (try to minimise due to it’s drying qualities)
Heat the oil in a pan add in the yellow and black mustard seeds, heat gently until they start to pop (watch out for the oil splatter). Add in all the other spices, cumin, fennel, turmeric and fenugreek and fry slightly until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them, I took the pan off the heat to do this.
Add in the lentils and rice and stir through the oil spice mix to coat.
Replace back on to the heat and add salt and water to cook the lentils and rice thoroughly.
The great thing is that red lentils don’t take very long to cook and should be broken down almost completely when the rice is cooked. You want the kitchari to be the consistency of a stew or risotto. You can add more water and have it more like a soup if you prefer or if your digestion is particularly sluggish.
Serves at least 4 moderately.