By Aalif Surti December 2004 Innovative and healthy recipes from the ayurveda kitchen—a flavoursome experience that you must try, particularly when indisposed Foreigners call it mishmash. To us it is khichdi, the food many of us turn to when illness calls and we need something warm, light and restorative. However, there’s more to the khichdi than just mung and rice. Using a range of herbs and spices, Ayurveda cunningly devises khichdi recipes that can heal the spleen, pancreas, lung and kidney. To your health! Digestive Khichdi -Vata, +Pitta, – Kapha ½ tsp cumin seeds 2 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil. 3 bay leaves 1 tsp coriander seeds ½ tsp turmeric 1 tsp oregano, dry ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp ginger root, grated ½ cup basmati or any other fine-grained rice ½ cup split mung dal 4 to 6 cups water 3 cups fresh vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini or pumpkins, diced. Wash the rice and beans until rinse water is clear. Warm the ghee in a medium saucepan. Add the cumin seeds, bay, coriander and oregano. Brown slightly, until aromatic. Stir in turmeric, rice and dal. Add water, salt and ginger. Simmer covered over medium heat until beans and rice are soft, about 1 hour. Wash and dice vegetables. Add them and cook until tender. Pitta people can garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves to neutralise this effect. If Kapha is making this khichdi for themselves alone, the ghee or oil can be cut to 1 teaspoon. Additional ghee can be added after cooking if other doshas, especially Vata, are to be sharing in the eating. Serves 3-4 Basic Warming Khichdi -Vata +Pitta, -Kapha ½ cup basmati rice ¼ cup split mung beans 6 cups water 3 tbsp ghee 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/8 tsp hing 1 tsp coriander seeds ¾ tsp cardamom seeds 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 bay leaf ¾ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp ground cloves 1 tsp turmeric ¾ tsp salt, rock salt 1tbsp fresh ginger root, grated ½ small onion, chopped 1-2 cloves of garlic (optional) ½ tsp ground cumin 2-4 cups fresh vegetables: carrots, greens, string beans or zuchini, chopped 2 more cups water, as needed Wash the rice and split mung until the rinse water is clear. Warm a tablespoon of ghee in a small medium saucepan and add the whole cumin seeds and hing. Lightly brown them. Add the rice mung and water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 45 minutes. Warm the last 2 tablespoons of ghee in a small skillet. Add coriander, cardamom, pepper corns and bay leaf and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the spices and onion (and garlic, optional.) Blend the sautéed spices with ½ cup or less water. Pour this spice mixture into the rice and mung. Rinse out the blender with the last 2 cups of water and add it to the khichdi as well. Add the vegetables. Cook for 20 minutes or more. Comments: This healing brew is also good for stimulating digestion and circulation. Easy to eat. Based roughly on the proportions of a Punjabi garam masala in its spicing. Serves 2-3 Spleen-Pancreas Khichdi -Vata, 0 Pitta, mildly -Kapha 1 tsp sunflower oil ¼ tsp black mustard seeds ½ tsp cumin seeds ½ tsp turmeric ¾ tsp sea salt 3 curry leaves 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root (or to taste) ¼ cup split mung beans ½ cup Basmati or any other fine-grained rice ½ onion, finely chopped 3 carrots, sliced 6 cups water Fresh coriander leaves, chopped (for garnishing) Warm oil in a medium saucepan; add black mustard seeds and cumin. Warm until the mustard seeds pop, then add turmeric, onion, salt, curry leaves and ginger. Stir well and sauté onion until tender. Wash beans and grain until the rinse water is clear. Add them to the sauteéd mixture, stir well. Add water, bring to boil and let it cook, covered over medium heat for an hour or more. Add carrots and cook for another 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander to enhance digestion. Serves 2-3 Lung Khichdi -Vata, +Pitta, -kapha Follow the recipe for Basic Warming khichdi with the following changes: Wash 2 medium sweet potatoes and dice into ½ to 1 inch pieces. Add ½ teaspoon ajwain and sauté with cumin and hing. Add sweet potato when you add the mung, rice and water. Again, cook for about 45 minutes. Omit the bay leaf and fresh ginger and cut the cardamom to ¼ teaspoon, about one pod. Cut the ghee or oil in the second step to 1 tablespoon and add the coriander, cardamom, peppercorns and ¼ teaspoon of dry ginger. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the spices and the onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Follow the rest of the recipe as described. You can also add 1 tablespoon of flaxseed in the last 15 minutes of cooking to enhance clearing of the lungs. Simply mix it into the Khichdi as it cooks. Comments: This is for fighting winter colds, flus and rampaging bronchitis. It is also tasty enough to be served as a company dinner. Ajwain and ginger work to decongest the lungs, while the onion and garlic warm and stimulate the immune system and circulation. Sweet potato is rich in Vitamin A, which soothes the lung membranes and bronchioles and supports the immune system. Serves 2-3 Kidney Khichdi -Vata, -Pitta, -Kapha ½ cup dry aduki beans (rajma) 6 cups water 2 tbsp ghee 1 tsp cumin seeds ¼ tsp fennel seeds 1 large onion, chopped 1 tsp turmeric 2 bay leaves 1/8 tsp hing 3 curry leaves 1/8 tsp cinnamon 2 carrots 1 cup basmati rice ¾ tsp sea salt 2 more cups of water (as needed) Wash aduki beans. Put adukis, 6 cups water, burdock in pressure cooker. Bring to pressure and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. While the beans are cooking, heat the ghee in a medium skillet and add the cumin and fennel seeds. Then add onion, turmeric, bay leaves, hing, curry leaves and cinnamon. Sauté until the onion is tender; set aside. Wash the carrots and slice or chop into small pieces (1/4 inches). Wash rice well. Sauté the rice and vegetables with onion and spices for 1 to 2 minutes. When the beans are done, pour the sautéed rice and vegetable mixture with spices into the opened pressure cooker. Add an extra 2 cups of water. Cook without the weight for another 20 to 30 minutes. Add salt and serve. Comments: Garnish with dry ginger and yoghurt for Vata and coriander leaves and/or soy milk for Pitta. If making strictly for Kapha, reduce the ghee to 1 teaspoon. Serves 5-6 Feel free to use the pressure cooker for faster results. Reprinted from The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar with Urmila Desai. Published by Motilal Banarsidass.
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