Khitchuri

Simple khitchuri

Khitchuri is comfort food in India. Happily, it is also a soothing and cleansing meal that is excellent after one has over-eaten during the holidays! Some like it soupy, some like it dry — either way, it is a nourishing one-pot meal.

Mung beans, one of the main ingredients in this recipe, are considered “tridoshic” or appropriate for all constitutions and body-types in Ayurvedic tradition. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of holistic medicine.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice
1 cup split mung beans (yellow, without skin)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
5 whole green cardamom
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil (canola, sunflower, etc.; not olive oil)
6 cups water

Method

Wash and soak rice and mung beans for an hour or so.

Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom and cloves) and stir until aromatic.  Add ginger and turmeric and stir for a few seconds. Careful not to burn it.

Drain the soaking rice and mung beans, and add it to the saucepan. Stir well until coated with the spice mixture.

Add water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until soft (about 30 minutes). This will make a nice soupy khitchuri, the way I like it. If you prefer a dry khitchuri, start with 4 cups of water, and add more as it cooks to get the desired consistency.

Serve hot. Add more salt to taste, if necessary. Garnish with a touch of ghee or chopped cilantro, if you prefer.

Traditionally, Bengalis serve it with “something fried” on the side (a couple of alu chops would work well). Growing up, we had khitchuri on rainy days with a small piece of fried fish, egg or potatoes on the side. Nowadays, I prefer to eat it just by itself.

However you decide to serve it, enjoy!

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