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By Nadia Marshall
I’ve cooked A LOT of kicharee over the last 10 years or so... and I’ve eaten even more! I like to think of myself as a bit of a kicharee connoisseur. I thought I’d tried it all... all the variations of moong (or mung) with all the variations of rice.... with all the variations of spices. It is remarkable how versatile such a simple dish can be!
After trying to replicate Stephen Galpin’s kicharee for a few years, I got to the point where I was pretty darn happy with my kicharee creation. But a few weeks ago, it got even better.
The secret? Sprouted moong beans! On a whim, I bought a tub of sprouted moong beans from the fruit and veggie shop and added some to my kicharee and.... OMG! It was awesome! It added a whole new dimension of flavour and texture. Inspirational stuff!
From a more nerdy perspective, it also made the kicharee even better for me - the sprouted moong contains more ‘prana’ or lifeforce than split moong and also contains all essential amino acids. But who cares about that when it just tastes so good!
So my friends, that is my hot little kicharee tip for the month... and here is my most awesome kicharee recipe (based on Stephen’s) that I now make several times a week.
To morph this recipe into a daal, simply add less water and don’t use any rice. To turn it into a delicious daal soup, add even more water (and still no rice) and maybe some green beans. Easy.
Best Kicharee Ever
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 pinch asafoetida powder
2 tsp ground coriander/cumin/fennel (equal parts)
6 curry leaves
1/2-1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup yellow split moong
5 cups boiling water
sml bunch coriander; stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
juice of 1⁄2 lemon
3/4 cup of moong sprouts
salt to taste
Wash the daal and rice 3-4 times in a large pot. Add 5 cups of boiling water and the moong sprouts and simmer uncovered. Meanwhile, in a smaller pot, heat up the ghee. Add the mustard seeds and fry until they start to pop. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, then the ginger, coriander stalks, hing and turmeric. Cook for a minute or two then add the ‘chonk’ to the pot of rice and daal. Stir well until the spices are combined and continue to cook until the grains are completely cooked. The grains should be soft like porridge and have no ‘bite’ left. Remove the lid and allow the steam to dissipate, stir through a little extra ghee and salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Serves 4, GLUTEN FREE
Agni - the digestive fire.
Ama or Aama - undigested food waste, toxins.
Ojas- the foundation of our immune system and longevity.
Dhatus - the tissues of the body.
Srotas - the channels of the body.
Vata - the air/ether
intelligence in the body.
Pitta- the fire/water
intelligence in the body.
Kapha- the water/earth intelligence in the body.
Sattva- the quality of purity, intelligence, peace and love.
Rajas- the quality of
turbulence and activity.
Tamas- the quality of
dullness, darkness and inertia.
Rasa - the taste of a food (Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent)
Virya - second level of digestion (either Heating or Cooling)
Vipaka - third level of digestion, the deep taste of a food (can be Sweet, Sour or Pungent)
Prabhav - the 'special effect' of a food or herb/spice
Rasa - also the name for plasma tissue
Rakta - blood tissue
Mamsa - muscle tissue
Meda - fat tissue
Asthi - bone tissue
Majja - nerve & bone marrow tissue
Shukra - sexual reproductive tissue