As we move into fall and winter, our bodies start to demand warm, well-cooked food. In Ayurveda, fall and winter is vata time of the year so this diet change makes good sense. Easily digested, warm and well-spiced foods help counteract the dryness and coolness of vata season.

One healthy and delicious Ayurvedic meal that’s great for vata dosha is kitchari. Kitchari is a combination of rice and beans cooked with vegetables, spices and ghee or clarified butter. It’s a nourishing, complete meal that’s great for the digestive system.

Kitchari usually takes up to 40 minutes or more to fully cook. What I hear time and again from my clients though, is that they don’t have the time to cook meals like kitchari. So I created this 20 minute kitchari recipe so everyone, no matter how busy, has time for a nurturing, vata-pacifying meal this fall.

This kitchari recipe is delicious with homemade flatbread or a gluten-free wrap, both of which are easy to make. You’ll need a pressure cooker to cook the rice and beans.

Please note, this version of kitchari is hearty. It’s not designed to support a serious cleanse like panchakarma. But it is a great go-to, one pot meal that tastes delicious. It will make the whole family happy and more grounded. For a kitchari recipe suitable for an at-home cleanse, try this version from The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont.

Photo: UrbanAyurveda.org

20 Minute Kitchari Recipe

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]20 Minute Kitchari Recipe – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

  • Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup whole mung beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida or hing
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated or diced
  • 1 cup carrots (or squash, pumpkin, beet, etc.)
  • 1 cup greens (or cauliflower, celery, green beans, etc.)
  • cilantro leaves (optional topping)
  • flax seed meal (optional topping)

Instructions

  1. Wash beans and rice thoroughly. Combine rice, beans and water in a pressure cooker. Bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Grind spices in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. In a small pot, combine ghee and spices. Warm on medium low until spices are fragrant. Add the carrots and salt and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, then turn to low.
  3. Once the rice and beans have finished cooking, strain them and save the cooking water. Add the rice and beans to the spices and carrots. Slowly stir in the reserved water until reaching the consistency of a stew. If desired, add more water to make it soupier. Finally, stir in the greens, top with cilantro or flax seed meal and serve.