Butternut squash kitchari (spiced dal with rice)
Hi! Today, in my somewhat out-of-it post-vacation state (hah), I’m sharing probably my most frequently made meal-prep food: kitchari. What on earth is this, you may ask? Kitchari is a delicious dish from ancient Ayurvedic food known for its warming, cleansing + healing properties. Aka HELL YES for me because my digestion is wack and all over the place and I need all the help I can get.
Kitchari is not only super easy to digest, it’s actually VERY delicious as well and the perfect winter/early spring food that you can make a big batch of and eat all week. When I was in India, we ate a lot of this and similar stews, and I must say my digestion was on fleek 😉 It contains a ton of warming spices (without the use of onion or garlic) and is surprisingly rich and filling. The ghee added at the end is the most luxurious touch.
I adapted this dish from the Ayurvedic institute recipe, which I frequently turn to and add my own spin on. Below is my version with tons of butternut squash and other veggies (and bit less rice). I hope you give it a try and love it! I never get sick of this simple, beautiful dish.
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 c. split yellow mung beans (or if you can't find, just use split yellow peas)
- ¼ c. basmati rice
- ½ large butternut squash, peeled + chopped into small cubes
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, finely diced
- 5 c. filtered water
- 1 large zucchini, chopped + cubed
- 2-3 large carrots, chopped + cubed
- 1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)
- greens like spinach or kale if desired
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- ½ tsp. coriander powder
- ½ tsp. cumin powder
- ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- cilantro for topping
- Wash your rice and beans (separately) in cold water to remove excess dirt + starch.
- In a large pot, heat your coconut oil over medium-low heat and add the ginger, cooking for a few minutes until soft and browning. Add your cubed butternut squash and let it sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the rice, dal and 5 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
- After 10 mins, add your carrot and cook for another 10 mins. Once this mixture is all soft (you can use a fork to test the softness of the carrot/squash), add your zucchini + pepper and cook 5-10 minutes longer.
- In a small saucepan/skillet (I use my mini cast iron), heat your ghee and sauté your spices in it until the seeds pop a bit. Stir this ghee mixture into the cooked kitchari mixture, then add your ½ tsp. of salt. You can also add any soft greens at this time and let them wilt for a couple of minutes.
- Serve topped with cilantro, sprouts, nuts, chilli flakes and whatever else you like!