Kitchari is a term derived from Sanskrit meaning “mixture,” and usually refers to a combination of legumes and rice, cooked together. In Ayurvedic practice, this is a traditional healing food. The warming spices and ginger help give your digestive system a much-needed break. You can serve this soothing bowl topped with diced avocado and heaps of fresh cilantro, or try folding in some baby spinach right at the end.
1 cup dried yellow split peas
1/2 cup chopped sweet white onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 fresh Thai red or serrano chile, halved lengthwise, plus more for garnish, if desired
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
Soak the split peas in water to cover overnight. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and dry sauté, stirring now and then, until the vegetables begin to stick to the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the broth and stir to deglaze the pan. Stir in the split peas, rice, ginger, salt, and remaining 53/4 cups broth. Add the chile and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently until the peas begin to fall apart but aren’t melting, 30 to 35 minutes.
In a small sauté pan, toast the cumin and mustard seeds over medium-high heat until the seeds are fragrant and begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes, shaking the pan now and then. Add the coriander and turmeric and toast until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds, shaking the pan continuously.
Stir the toasted spice mixture into the kitchari. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
Serve with the avocado and additional sliced fresh chile (if you like it hot).
Per serving: 379 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 698 mg sodium, 65 g total carbohydrate (17 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar, 0 g added sugars), 15 g protein, 4 mg iron
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