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Kitchari

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Kitchari

This Indian-inspired mung bean soup includes cauliflower, carrots, and both fresh and dried turmeric

Kitchari means “mixture” in Hindi, and it’s a thousand-year-old staple in India. The traditional recipe is simple, made with basmati rice, mung beans, and ghee. This interpretation kicks things up a bit with onion, ginger, cauliflower, coriander, turmeric, and cumin.

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes plus eight hours to soak the beans and rice
Cook time: About one hour

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. ghee, extra-virgin olive oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbs. minced fresh gingerroot
  • 2 tbs. minced fresh turmeric
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground dried turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1⁄4 tsp. sea salt, plus more if needed
  • 1⁄2 cup split mung beans, rinsed and soaked*
  • 1⁄2 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed and soaked*
  • 5 cups Magic Mineral Broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbs. minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions

  • Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about four minutes, or just until golden. Stir in the gingerroot, fresh and dried turmeric, cumin, coriander, and salt, and sauté for about one minute. Add the soaked beans and rice, and stir to coat.
  • Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the rice begins to soften.
  • Stir in the cauliflower and carrots, and continue to cook until tender and soft, another 20 minutes. Add more broth if soup becomes too thick.
  • Stir in the lemon juice. Taste; the kitchari may need another spritz of lemon juice or another pinch of salt. Serve garnished with the cilantro. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.

* To soak the beans and rice, put each in a large bowl and add water to cover by 3 inches. Cover with a towel and soak for eight hours or overnight. Drain well just before cooking.

Tip: Kitchari tastes even better the next day! Add some broth or water to thin it out before reheating over medium-low heat.

Reprinted with permission from Clean Soups, copyright by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs © 2016 Eva Kolenko.

Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

MS, is an accomplished chef, culinary translator, and popular speaker. She is the author of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, The Longevity Kitchen, and The Healthy Mind Cookbook. These recipes are from her most recent cookbook, Clean Soups. She is also the founder of Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, which trains healthcare professionals and interested cooks in translating nutritional science to flavorful, health-supporting dishes. She lives in San Rafael, Calif.

Photography by Eva Kolenko

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