Indian Kichadi is a delicious recipe that is very rich, has a lot of different vitamins and some crucial ingredients to help the body recuperate from fasting. This is why it is usually eaten after fasting. For this recipe I chose white rice as a main ingredient because it is the best rice to eat during winter time: The body needs the energy!
Kichadi is a Sattvic meal: In Ayurveda this means that the meal is not just vegetarian but also entirely avoids canned and processed food or ingredients prepared with chemical fertilisers or sprays. It mainly contains fresh organic fresh fruits and vegetables. If a dish is prepared with lots of love this will add to its Sattvic quality.
Also, amongst others, Sattvic meals do not contain any onion, garlic and mushrooms. These three ingredients are not part of a good diet because of various reasons. Mushrooms, for example, are funghi, which means that they subsist on dead particles. This is not good for those who want to pursue a spiritual path where we should live on ingredients that need the energy of the sun. Garlic and onion on the other hand are not seen as good in Ayurvedic theories because they activate the lower chakras, the ones that are more connected with lust – such as sex, desire etc.
Some additional interesting facts about this recipe are that mustard seeds are great to kill belly worms and turmeric is known as having cancer-fighting benefits.
1 sweet potato: washed and cut into cubes
2 carrots: washed and cut into cubes
1/2 cup green peas
5-6 florets broccoli
1 1/2 cups washed rice
1/2 cup moong lentils
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch Asafoeitida
1 sprig curry leaves
2-3 slit green chilli
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/2 grated turmeric or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 grated ginger
1tsp tamarind paste or 1 cubed tomato
salt to taste
4 tbsp + 4 tbsp Coconut oil
1. Wash the rice in running water until the water turns clear, then strain. Add 3 cups of water and start cooking the rice, stirring it occasionally. When the rice is 60% done add the lentils and add more water if necessary to give it a porridge-like consistency.
2. Meanwhile saute all the vegetables in coconut oil with a bit of salt and keep them aside. When the rice and lentils are almost cooked add the vegetables and prepare the tempering.
3. For tempering heat the coconut oil and fry the mustard seeds till they crackle. Then add the cumin seeds, asafoeitida, curry leaves, green chilli, turmeric and ginger and fry on low heat. As soon as a nice aroma is filling the room add this mixture to the pot with rice and vegetables, drop in the tamarind paste and salt to taste.
4. Finally garnish with toasted coconut and cashews with fresh coriander.
Kichadi is wholesome food for the mind, body and soul: It nourishes you in all aspects.
To get some more fascinating information on Nandan’s Ayurvedic expertise we conducted an interview with Nandan, which can be read in our Handmade Heroes section.
© All photos taken by Andre Gaspar for ABURY