Makes 7 Cups / 4 Servings
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 cup long grain brown rice
½ cup yellow split peas
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
6 cups water
1 2×4-inch strip kombu
1 Tbsp Om CHAGA mushroom powder
1 cup finely chopped carrots
2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
4 medium Swiss chard leaves, finely chopped, stems and leaves chopped separately (about 2 cups total yield)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Kitchari, a famous mixture used in Ayurvedic medicine, usually includes a starch, in the form of grains, and a protein, in the form of legumes. The recipe is used to balance the body in myriad ways—to detoxify, ease digestion, balance weight, and support recovery from illness or physical hardship. Some people even make huge batches of kitchari at a time to use as a base for cleanses. Regardless of how you enjoy it, kitchari is considered the ultimate in feel-good porridges.
Warm the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and black mustard seeds. Cook, stirring, until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the spices are fragrant, about 2–3 minutes. Stir in the brown rice, yellow peas, coriander, turmeric, and ginger and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly so as not to burn the spices. Pour in 6 cups of water and add the kombu strip, Om CHAGA powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 30 minutes.
Stir in the carrots, cauliflower, and chopped Swiss chard stems, adding more water as needed. Cover the pot again, and cook for 30 minutes longer, or until the vegetables, rice, and peas are very soft. Stir in the chard leaves and adjust the seasonings if needed, adding more water if a more soupy consistency is desired. Remove the soup from the heat and let rest until the chard is tender. Serve the soup warm with a little chopped cilantro.
Variation: Kitchari is immensely flexible in its ingredients and structure. You can use anywhere from 2 to 6 cups of any vegetable you enjoy in this recipe, such as zucchini and green beans. You can even swap out the rice for another starch and the peas for another legume.