Kitchari... Energy to Burn for a Hungry Teenager

Author: Shelley Bennetts  

Kitchari

Ingredients

1 cup (200g) lentils  (channa dal, split peas or whole mung beans)
1½ cups (250g) organic Basmati rice
½ Cauliflower, separated into small flowerets
4 medium sized tomatoes, washed and quartered
4 medium sized potatoes, washed peeled and cut into small cubes
3 tbspns lemon juice
Fresh coriander to serve
3 tbsps ghee or good veg oil
2 tsp whole Cumin Seeds or cumin powder
2 fresh chillis, deseeded and chopped, or ½ teaspoon chilli powder
2 tsps grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 whole cardamom pods
2 tsps turmeric powder or 2 heaped teaspoons Turmeric Paste
½ teaspoon asafoetida
Black pepper, to taste
2 tsps salt
7 cups (1.6 litres) water 
2 tbspns butter

Method
Wash the rice and lentils together until the water runs clear. Drain
Prepare all of your vegetables….Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Lemon juice and fresh Chillis and Ginger if you’re using fresh.
Gather all of your spices….Cumin, Turmeric, Asafoetida, Salt, Cardamom Pods (and Chilli and Ginger if you’re using powdered rather than fresh). Black Pepper is for serving.

Right, let’s cook…..
In a large, heavy-based pot, heat the ghee or vegetable oil. 
If you’re using whole cumin seeds, fresh chillis, fresh ginger or Turmeric Paste, add them to the hot oil. If you’re using powdered spices, toss in the Cumin, Chilli and Ginger, and Asafoetida powders. Fresh ingredients require just a few more seconds of cooking before adding the powdered spices.
Either way, after a few seconds, add the diced potato and flowerets of cauliflower. Keep turning the veggies gently with a spoon until little brown specks appear (about 5 minutes). 
Add the drained rice and lentils and stir for a minute or two. 
Now measure in the hot water. 
Add the salt, Turmeric powder, Cardamom pods and tomatoes. Bring to a full boil. 

Right, let’s cook…..
In a large, heavy-based pot, heat the ghee or vegetable oil. 
If you’re using whole cumin seeds, fresh chillis, fresh ginger or Turmeric Paste, add them to the hot oil. If you’re using powdered spices, toss in the Cumin, Chilli and Ginger, and Asafoetida powders. Fresh ingredients require just a few more seconds of cooking before adding the powdered spices.
Either way, after a few seconds, add the diced potato and flowerets of cauliflower. Keep turning the veggies gently with a spoon until little brown specks appear (about 5 minutes). 
Add the drained rice and lentils and stir for a minute or two. 
Now measure in the hot water. 
Add the salt, Turmeric powder, Cardamom pods and tomatoes. Bring to a full boil. 
Reduce heat to low, and cook with the pot partly covered for 30-40 minutes. Stir a couple of times to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
The Kitchari is cooked when the rice, lentils, potato and cauliflower are all tender, and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If it’s too wet, remove the lid to evaporate.
When the consistency is like porridge, pour the lemon juice over, add blobs of butter, and gently stir with a fork.

To serve, add some yoghurt, chopped coriander and Black Pepper.

An inexpensive, filling and wholesome dish. Great as a family meal, or separated into portions and frozen for after-school snacks. A pot of Kitchari will fill hungry teenage bellies, give them energy to burn, and stop them from eating else everything in sight!

The original recipe comes from ‘The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking’.
‘A bowl of Kitchari and a small portion of yoghurt is a poor man’s feast fit for a king’