A hearty 1-pot meal of kitchari - a traditional Ayurvedic dish for when comfort food is on the brain. Easy to digest and incredibly soothing, our inspired take on this flavorful dish can be served atop greens, grains, or roasted vegetables.
Add moong dal (or chana dal) to a large pot or skillet and cover with cool water. Soak overnight (or for 6 hours). Once soaked, rinse and drain. Set aside in strainer.
Heat the same large pot or rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), cumin seed, mustard seed, ginger, serrano peppers, asafoetida*, and tomatoes. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally (see photo).
Next, add moong dal and sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add water, clove (optional), and cardamom (optional). Increase heat and bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until moong dal is tender - about 15-20 minutes.
Add cauliflower rice, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coconut aminos, and sea salt and stir to combine (see photo). Cover and cook until cauliflower rice is tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes too dry, add more water (you’re going for the texture in the photo).
Add coconut milk at this time for creamier texture (optional). Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, coconut aminos for depth of flavor, cumin for smokiness, or garam masala for curry flavor.
Serve as is or over rice, greens, or roasted vegetables. We love this kitchari with roasted beets, sweet potatoes, cilantro, and this Tahini-Curry Paste Dressing.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add more water or coconut milk if dry.
*Asafoetida is a seasoning commonly used in place of onion and garlic, both of which can be aggravating and stimulating to our digestive system, according to Ayurvedic principles. Because it is not a common spice, you can sub 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 minced shallot per 1/4 tsp asafoetida. Add to the recipe when cooking the spices and pepper. Just know that using asafoetida is the more traditional way to prepare kitchari. *For a more traditional approach, you can sub 1/2 cup dry (92 g) basmati rice per 2 cups cauliflower rice. If going this route, add to the pan at the same time as the moong dal. You'll likely need to add more water - start with 1/2 cup (120 ml) and work up from there. *Recipe adapted loosely from Ascension Kitchen. *Prep time reflects soaking beans and prepping ingredients. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.