KITCHARI - l0c a bowl, keeps on stove or in fridge. Family can serve themselves a bowl when they wish. Throw a glob of sour cream on it, it's rich and very exotic. The food of the super poor in many oriental countries. Highly nutritious and stick to the ribs. What's not to like?
National Public Radio just did a show on the 2008 famine in Egypt. Seems that meat and fresh vegetables tripled in price and the entire lower class had to go back to KITCHARI, their typical 'poverty dish'. Hey, some people prefer it to steak and just love kitchari for its comfort-food simple self. Yogi Bhajan used to have his secretaries make this dish as he loved it so and it was a national favorite in India.. While Trump savages the economy, master this recipe.
KITCHARI BASIC INGREDIENTS:
1 cup whole mung beans
2 cups brown rice
4 1/4 cups cold water
Put these three ingredients into a pot, put the lid on until it boils, then lower the temperature to Low and cook for 45 minutes.
When the rice/mung beans are about ten minutes away from being ready put the following ingredients into a frying pan with the heat on low for ten minutes or so...just to fuse all the spices...
1-2 tbsp clarified butter called GHEE. Must be clear yellow oil as dairy part would burn.
3/4 tsp sea salt or rock salt
1 tbsp ground cumin (freshly ground makes a huge difference)
1 tbsp ground coriander (freshly ground makes a huge difference)
1 tbsp turmeric
Variations: you can add carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, kale to the rice/mung bean pot. Add onion, Garlic, cilantro, spinach go in at the end when you blend the two. The rice/mung beans are ready, spoon the rice/mung bean mix into the frying pan with the spices and thoroughly mix. You're done. That's it! It's super yum!
To the finished product you can top with some peeled, chopped up fresh ginger (good for circulation), a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt...and squeezes of lime. mmmmmmmm good! (I never eat it without these three extras, they really make it taste yummy)
To complete this meal I always have a small bowl of miso soup. ‘Genmai’ Dark Brown Miso Soup. Add boiling water to the bowl with about 1 tbsp of miso mixed into a paste first. One should never actually boil the miso...always just add water.
Kitchari is great with some yogurt and banana in the morning or reheated with almond milk, cinnamon and raisins and maple syrup)
MAKE GHEE REGULARLY. It doesn't burn like whole butter or turn toxic like olive oil at high heat. (If you like frying at high heat, use peanut oil.) You keep ghee in fridge in sealed mayo or peanut butter jar as it can absorb other food odors. How to clarify butter: Try a half pound first time out. Later, you'll do a pound at a time. My Hindu market has a single pound block of sweet butter for $2.80 an lb in Oct 2008. Just melt the two cubes of butter on low in a small container, then let it sit and seperate. Skim the top white blobs off...then pour the golden (good) butter off, and spoon/skim the rest off...you just don't want to get the white milky stuff that sits on the bottom. You can do a whole bunch of this butter (ghee) because it keeps (like olive oil)...now that the part of the butter is gone that causes rancidity! MAKE sugar COOKIES with the white milky stuff, using it as butter, adding some oil or butter to it. Its still delicious and useful!
HINDU KITCHARI (With DAL or lentils)
1 cup yellow mung dal (split or whole)
1 cup basmati rice (cooks quicker than brown 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 (purified butter)
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 and salt. 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.
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