This recipe was given to me by an Indian friend who said it’s what she makes for herself, her children, and her husband whenever any of them have a stomach virus. I had posted online about how kitchari was the first real food I was able to eat after treatment. And I had shared that I had returned to the lessons I’d learned from Ayurveda at a yoga retreat, since so much of Ayurveda is about digestion and aligns well with modern research into gut health (even though it’s a 5,000 year old traditional holistic medicine practice).
Some modification notes: I do not use tomatoes because they’re hard to digest, especially for Pitta, which is me! Also, early in my recovery I couldn’t use onions at all. Now, I can use them (yay prebiotics!), but I use far less than called for in any recipe. So when I made this yesterday, I took a small onion, and made one slice. I chopped that tiny bit up. I also did not use the chili (again, hard to digest, especially for Pitta).
Some ingredient notes: Moong or mung beans are incredibly beneficial. Read about 10 major health benefits here. Most notably for c-diff recovery: “Mung beans contain soluble fiber and resistant starch, which can promote digestive health. The carbs in mung beans are also less likely to cause flatulence than those of other legumes.”
Ghee is clarified butter. That makes it more digestible for those of us with a lactose intolerance (common after c-diff infection). There are a number of purported benefits to it as well. The same is true for cumin and ginger. In Ayurveda, these are staple spices because of their health benefits.
Moong Dhal Khichdi
- Rinse and wash ½ cup moong lentils and ½ cup rice together very well. Soak both of them together for 30 minutes in water. Then drain and keep aside.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp ghee or oil in a pressure cooker. Add ¾ tsp cumin seeds.
- When cumin splutters then add finely chopped onions (1 small to medium-sized onion). Sauté onions until translucent. No need to make onions light brown or golden brown.
- Once the onions become translucent, add 1 medium sized chopped tomato, 1 small sized chopped green chili and ½ inch grated/grinded fresh ginger
- Stir and add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and a [pinch of asafoetida (hing). – if you don’t have it, it’s okay].
- Sauté till the tomatoes soften.
- Add the drained rice and moong lentils to the pot. Stir for a minute.
- Add 3.5 cups water – for a more thin consistency, add 4 to 4.5 cups water.
- Add salt as required. Stir well.
- Bring to boil, then turn heat down to medium. Cover & cook 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency. It’s okay if it’s soup-like, might be good for you if you’re still looking to settle your stomach.
- Serve dal khichdi hot. You can top it with ghee while serving. It also can be eaten with a dollop of plain yogurt.
One more note: If you can tolerate vegetables, you can add them to the khichdi to create an even more complete meal. I did this by adding sautéed mushrooms the other night. I have also added finely chopped cooked carrots and peas. This dish is really versatile.