Ingredients

  • 1 C brown basmati or long grain brown rice
  • 1 C yellow lentils or split mung beans
  • 2 T ghee, buy or cook your own
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds (if you cannot find black, use brown)
  • ½ tsp each cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek seeds, and coriander seeds
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 dried green or black cardamom pods, cracked
  • 2 small red chilies or ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves or neem leaves
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon bark chips
  • pinch saffron
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (Ayurvedic herb found in most health food stores)
  • vegetables khombu, burdock root, leeks, cauliflower, carrots and peas. Add vegetables in this order, from longest to shortest cooking times.

Instructions:

Bring a large kettle of pure water to boil while doing the first few steps. Melt ghee in a large pot. Add the mustard seeds, cover the pot, and allow to sauté until the seeds pop. You will hear the popping sound, a much quieter version of popcorn popping. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a minute before adding the rice and lentils. Cover the entire mixture with the hot boiling water, using twice the amount of water as rice and lentils, approximately 6 cups. Bring mixture to a boil; then reduce heat. Add the turmeric and cayenne, coriander, cinnamon, bay or neem leaves, saffron, cloves, and cardamom. After ten minutes, add the long-cooking vegetables, starting with the burdock root. Allow to cook for half an hour, then add the cauliflower. Let cook for 20 more minutes, then add the leeks. Allow to cook for 10 more minutes and add the carrots, letting this cook for 10 more minutes, finally adding the peas and asafoetida. When the lentils are tender and the veggies cooked, add the sea salt. If the mixture tastes bland, add an organic bouillon cube. We like Rapunzel cubes for their incredible flavor. Use organic, non-irradiated spices whenever possible.

Kicharee can be eaten every day as a healing food, for fasting, establishing pH balance, for a mono-food cleansing diet or for those recovering from a serious illness or surgery. Try to make it fresh each day, rather than in large batches. Make no more than two days’ worth at a time for optimal results. Ideally, make only the amount that will be consumed in one day. Perhaps find a friend or family member who would also like to make and eat kicharee and share the task, switching off days, making half the work and twice the kicharee!

In the ancient science of life called Ayurveda, kicharee, which is known as the food of the gods, is highly therapeutic. It is just what you need when you’re fighting off or recovering from an illness, as it is easy to digest and very nourishing. It helps to restore harmony in the body and enables the body to heal properly. The cleansing herbs and foods in kicharee make it a wonderful tonifying diet, without being low on calories and causing your body to go into starvation. Try eating it regularly as a healthy, healing food.