This is a hearty, fiber-rich kitchari, seasoned with the cozy, satisfying tastes of tamari and ajwain (bishop’s weed). The result of combining the nourishing French lentils and brown rice with rich seasonings and kale makes a great cold-weather lunch to ground and sustain you for the rest of the afternoon.
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 1 cup French (Le Puy) lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 1 Tbsp Sattvic Spice Mix (see below)
- 2 cups chopped kale, large stems removed
- 1 Tbsp tamari
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 1–2 Tbsp ghee
- ½ tsp ajwain (optional; if you can’t find it, replace with cumin seeds)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
Sattvic Spice Mix
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Roast coriander, fennel, and cumin seeds in the same frying pan over medium heat. Stir consistently for 3-5 minutes, until you can smell them. Cool and grind these spices together with turmeric and cardamom to a uniform powder.
- In a large saucepan, boil 5 cups water on high heat. Set other cup aside to add during cooking as needed.
- Rinse and drain rice and lentils. Add spice mix, rice, and lentils to the water. Keep on high heat until it boils again.
- Immediately turn the heat down and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Do not stir. Check after the first 20 minutes to see if the beans are submerged. If not, pour the other cup of water on top, and do not stir.
- Put kale on top to steam. Cover and simmer for 10–20 minutes more. The texture should look loose, and rice and lentils should be breaking down.
- Warm ghee in a small skillet on medium heat. Add the ajwain (if using) and mustard seeds. When seeds pop, about 2–3 minutes, take off heat, and pour into kichari.
- Add tamari and stir well. Let stand, covered, for a few minutes.
- Served as a stew, kitchari should have a soupy, soft consistency. Garnish with fresh cilantro if you have it.