Kichadi (Vegan Indian Stew)

Kichadi – sometimes spelled e.g. khichdi or kitchari – is a well-known Indian stew, cooked with plenty of spices and said to possess purifying and detoxing properties according to Ayurvedic traditions. There’s no 100% set formula, it seems like, but most versions come with mung beans, rice and a variety of vegetables, in addition to e.g. mustard seeds, cumin, ginger etc. Kichadi is sometimes used as a reset button for the digestive system, and some people eat it solely for a few days in order to give the body a fresh new start. We’ve never tried doing something like that (nor have we ever tried fasting), but this dish does feel very warming, nourishing and overall grounding. The fact that you only have to get one pot dirty is also a huge bonus! Once you’ve chopped up all the veggies (you can go for a rough chop here, nothing needs to be too small), your work is more or less done, and you’ll end up with a good chunk of leftovers too. It reheats very well, even after some time in the freezer.

We chose our vegetables based on what’s in season right now, and recommend you do the same. That way, you’ll also be able to vary your kichadi throughout the year! But before we let you go make this… just a heads up: this might not be the most delicious thing you’ve ever had. You kind of eat it because it’s supposed to be really good for you, ok? So don’t come blame us if you weren’t too crazy about the flavors – instead, know that your body is thrilled and that you’ve given your digestive system an amazing treat.

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Makes 8 hearty servings

500 grams mung beans, dried
350 grams yellow onion (approx. 3 medium), chopped
150 grams tomatoes (approx. 1 medium), chopped
150 grams bell pepper (approx. 1 medium), chopped
400 grams carrots (approx. 4 medium), chopped
700 grams green cabbage (approx. 1/4 head), chopped
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
6 dl brown rice
2 1/2 liters of water (to begin with)
2 1/2 tsp salt
A handful of chopped cilantro

  1. Soak the beans in plenty of water for about 6-8 hours at room temperature. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up the coconut oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and stir around until the mustard seeds start to pop (roughly 5 min).
  3. Add coriander, ginger, turmeric and the cinnamon stick and let swirl around for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Fold in all the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes, making sure everything gets a nice coat of coconut oil-spice mix.
  5. Add rice, soaked beans, water and salt. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding in more water if it seems too dry. Keep the lid on, but stir around every now and then to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. The end product should be more liquid-y than e.g. risotto, but less than a soup.
  6. Season to taste, and serve with chopped cilantro on top. Optional toppings include: a dollop of yogurt and sliced avocado.

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