I’m going to let you in on one of my little ‘cleanse’ secrets- it’s called Kitchari. I use it when my digestion really needs a break and it’s one of my go-to comfort meals when I want something warm and hearty.
I have a number of different variations of kitchari; just by changing up the seasoning you can create endless versions. Today’s starts with caramelizing onions for a deeper, savory edge. Don’t be put off by the long list of spices, this dish is really simple and mostly hands off.
Don’t skip adding a big spoon of ghee to your bowl along with a squeeze of fresh lemon. It’s what really livens the dish with fatty goodness (the good kind of fat that doesn’t make us fat.)
Spicy Caramelized Onion Kitchari
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls ghee* (+ more for serving)
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida (optional)
4 whole cloves
1.5 tsp ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 tsp chat masala
2 tsp sea salt
1/8 ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup split mung beans or red lentils
1/2 cup white basmati rice
5 cups water
Topping: big spoon of ghee (or coconut oil), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, & a handful of fresh herbs
Heat the oil and ghee in a large pot over low heat. Add in the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and the onions, simmer, stir often, until the onions are caramelized (about 30-40 minutes.)
Add in the remaining seasoning and the minced garlic, simmer for a minute. Stir in the mung beans and rice, simmer for another minute.
Add the water, increase heat to boil. Lower hear, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Serve each bowl with a big dollop of ghee, fresh lemon and herbs.
Note: If you like a soupier kitchari, add a little more water. Add slightly less for a more dense texture.
*For a vegan version, substitute coconut oil for ghee.