Kitchari is a favorite Indian vegetarian breakfast porridge, although also often eaten after a fast, or to eat on a day with extremely simple foods to rest the digestive tract with plenty of water to cleanse out the accumulated toxins and rejuvenate tissues. Recipes for it are included in every Indian cookbook it is so basic. In Ayurvedic cuisine, it is known for restoring a systemic balance in all three dosa body types, the vata, pitta, and kapha, as it can be grounding, calming, and warming all at once. Call it the Indian version of mom’s chicken soup. It is comfort food, eastern style, tasting like a cross between lentil soup and rice cereal. It is delicious and simple to make, especially nice in winter.
Cooker: Medium Round or Oval
Machine Setting and Cook Time: Low Heat: 5 to 6 1/2 hours
1 1/4 cups yellow split moong dal
6 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each ground cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and tumeric
1 bay leaf
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh peeled ginger
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 bunch chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup raw white basmati rice, rinsed
Salt, to taste
Rinse the dal and remove any stones or debris. Place the dal and 6 cups of the water in the cooker.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the ground spices; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to just heat and gently toast the spices. Stir into the dal. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours. Mixture will be soupy. In a blender or small food processor, purée the ginger with the coconut and cilantro and the remaining 1/2 cup water. Add to the cooker with the raw rice, recover, and cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, until rice is tender. Remove the bay leaf and taste for salt. Serve hot in bowls with some nice warm whole wheat tortillas or chapatis.