Do you like dhal? Yeah, me too. It was one of the first lentil dished I ever ate that didn’t immediately make me cry. Sure, I ate it on bread like a sandwich, but whatever. It tasted good!
My mum was vegetarian for a long time, and as she made her way into vegetarian cooking when I was in my late teens and early 20s, this dhal she made quickly became something I asked for every time I visited. It started my love of pulses, Krishna food, Ayurvedic food, and anything that required spices and simple ingredients. Living in Murwillumbah will also do that to you. Gosh, that really was the birthplace of my tie-dye years.
As I’ve made my way through vegetarian cooking for the last 10 years, I’m the first person to forget that these amazing food combinations exist. But when I look at my pantry full of very type of bean, split pea, and lentil there is, it’s ayurvedic and Krishna recipes I turn to. They are warming, nourishing, and are far more creative than I can come up with on my own!
A little while ago I was looking for some good slow-cooker meals similar to this smoky split pea soup I made a while ago, and I remembered kitchari, the “chicken soup” of the ayurvedic world. It’s what you eat for everything – you’re sick, you’ve been travelling, you’ve been gorging yourself on everything else, or you just need comfort food, that sort of thing. I wanted to make a huge batch of something healthy, spicy and delicious that I could freeze in portions for lunches and this kitchari hit the spot. It’s kind of like dhal, but made with mung beans instead of lentils. As a fun extra, you can sprout the mung beans you don’t use and make the mung bean sprouts we all know and love! Then you know you’ve really hit hippie territory. Remember that time I sprouted lentils? They were fucking delicious.
I’ve adapted from this recipe, and I ate it with a hell of a lot of sriracha. Just perfect for gloomy winter days like this! Eight degrees they say. The middle of the day they say. I’m wondering if I’ll ever thaw out.
Now I did make this in the crock pot, but you can definitely make it in a large pot on the stove as per usual. I’ve done it both ways and it’s just as good either way! I do like how the crock pot mushes it up into more a soup rather than a kedgeree style, but if you like it less combined, the stovetop is best.Print
The Ayurvedic “chicken soup” cure-all, now in Crock-Pot form!
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup dry green mung beans
- 3 Cm ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 1 handful coriander leaves and stems, chopped
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 3 Large bay leaves
- 1 Large stick cinnamon (about 5cm long)
- 5 cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 cloves garlic (or pinch of asafoetida if you’re doing it legit!)
- 6 cups vegetable stock (you can make with water but I like a bit more oomph to the taste)
- 1 cup diced seasonal vegetables (I used carrot, celery and potato)
- fresh lime or lemon juice
You can do this two ways: the first takes advantage of the slow-cooking bit of the crock pot and adds everything together, simmering on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
The other way, if you’d like a bit more colour and flavour but is extra work, is to saute the seasonal vegetables and garlic over a medium heat in some ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil until soft and browned. Add a little more ghee or oil and stir fry the spices until they release their scent, about a minute. Add to the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients, and simmer on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
This also works well in a dutch oven in the oven, or on the stove top in the biggest pot you have!
I like to serve this soupier, rather than a thick dhal, so I add extra water/stock at the end, and also to each serve when reheating. Excellent with extra coriander on top. Yum!
Keywords: kitchari, kedgeree, vegetarian kedgeree, kitchri, khichdi,