Thursday, October 27, 2011

I woke up this morning thinking about Kitchari (or kitcherie, kedgeree, kedgaree, or kitchiri). That wonderful meal in a pot. I think traditionally Kitchari has fish, eggs, butter and cream in it as well as rice, vegetables and legumes - but because I first met the Kitchari through the Hare Krishnas I have always thought of it as a vegetarian dish.

There is something really magical about beans and grains. My understanding is that when a legume and a wholegrain are eaten together they make a pretty good protein. There are a lot of ways to combine grains and legumes: baked beans on toast, red beans and rice, edamame and soba noodles, chickpeas and rice or breads or couscous, those old school pearl barley and split pea soups. And then there's Kitchari. I usually adapt a recipe from a Hare Krishna cook book I have but I found this great recipe on Frenzied Vegan blog. I love the way she's teamed it with a spinach salad. I did notice that she says add the beans and rice and I think at that point you also add the water (the lots and lots of water, as she puts it). I also found this one on the Ayurvedic Institute website. It used ghee but I replace ghee with olive oil. I also like the idea of soaking the beans and brown rice over night. Quite a few of the Kitchari recipes I looked at use a slow cooker. I love my slow cooker. I quite liked this recipe from Planet Green but again it uses butter which I reckon you could replace with oil. I found a couple of recipes that use different grains as well. I like this quinoa and red lentil recipe from Albion Cooks.

One other thing I found out about Kitchari while I was looking around: the word means 'mixture' and one website translated it as 'mess' - I quite like that. Also, again, I thought, What a great lunch idea!

Anyway, happy Kitchari-ing.

Image: This is from my old, old, old Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking. It's a bit of a bible for me. It has some great recipes and two of them -Sambar and Swadisht dal - I use every week.

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