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  • Writer's pictureLeslie

Easy Artichoke Kitchari

Updated: May 1



Every year, twice a year, in Spring and Fall, I do a deep detox. Not a fast, or a juice cleanse, or anything like that. This is a two-week Ayurvedic program that I have followed for nearly a decade. Similar to an even more intense panchakarma cleanse, this is a serious program that is not for everyone and gave me the inspiration to start the 5-Day Detox. In our 5-Day Detox, we usually offer a version of kitchari in our Recipe Booklet.


Kitchari (also spelled khichadi or khichdi) is an Ayurvedic porridge consisting of (preferably organic) split yellow mung beans, a long grain (more nutritious) white or basmati rice and beneficial spices. Kitchari is enjoyed commonly in India for comfort, is mildly spiced, and balances all body types (doshas). It is also considered nourishing for people of all ages and conditions including during a detox. It is easy to make and stores right on the stove to be enjoyed over multiple meals throughout the day if desired.


While long grain rice has a lower glycemic index that shorter grains, we have chosen to give you a grain-free version that can also be called a "candida" version. Candida is a ...... In springtime, we like to reduce sugar intake in preparation for the sweet offerings of summer - hence our 5-Day Spring Sugar Detox. If you do not have blood sugar issues, feel free to use 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup beans and increase your liquid (broth or water) from 3 to 4 cups.


Split mung dal beans boast loads of nutritional benefits. And since their hulls have been removed, they are the easiest of nearly all beans to digest. They are packed with minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and also contain powerful antioxidants. Packed full of fiber, they also help support healthy blood sugar levels and increase hormones that signal fullness. These powerful beans also produce important butyrate in the gut to help support healthy intestinal walls that discourage "leaky gut." And if you use the rice-bean combo, you will also be pleased to know that you'll be getting all 10 essential amino acids! Kitchari, in other words, is considered a "perfect" or "complete" protein and has been used to support people from different cultures for thousands of years.


Our version uses only beans (no rice) and a simplified spice combination. Feel free to add rice if desired (see ingredient note on this above and in notes section), and/or experiment with additional or alternate spices you'll find in the notes section. You can also make things super simple and use a pre-made spice mix, like this one from www.banyanbotanicals.com. They also sell organic split yellow mung dal, which can sometimes be hard to find. Another source we like for organic beans are HERE and this site also sells a complete kitchari kit we like that includes rice, beans and spices.


Artichokes are notably rich in antioxidants, are loaded with (largely prebiotic) fiber (nearly 7 grams in one artichoke!), and even a decent amount of protein. They are gut-supportive and studies have shown that consuming artichokes can reduce intestinal spasms common with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) while also increasing beneficial gut bacteria. There are also numerous studies showing cancer-protective benefits of artichokes.


Tomatoes are also considered cancer-protective, largely due to their lycopene content. They also boast respectable amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate. Please note that they are number 13 on the EWG's Dirty Dozen list so do your best to use organic tomatoes whenever possible.





For this dish, you'll need:


split mung dal beans (can sub red lentils)*

leek

garlic

spices (cumin, corainder, turmeric, red pepper flakes, kelp granules, bay leaf, fresh pepper)*

organic broth or filtered water

organic chopped tomatoes

artichoke hearts (jarred, canned or frozen)

fresh chard or spinach

lemon

cilantro for serving


*see ingredient notes


so let's get started...



Leek & Artichoke Kitchari

Serves: 6

Prep time: 30-40 minutes (not including soak time)

 

Ingredients:


  • 1 cup dry split mung dal beans (see notes about possible substitutions), soaked

  • 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped (~ 1 cup) (sub seasonal spring onions)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (~1 TB)

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste ( ¼ – ½ tsp)

  • Dulse or kelp flakes (~1/4 tsp) , optional

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 cups organic broth or filtered water

  • 1 24-ounce jar/can organic chopped tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)

  • 1 15-ounce can artichokes (or 19 ounce frozen)

  • 2 cups organic fresh chard or spinach, cleaned and chopped

  • Juice of one lemon, plus extra slices for optional garnish

  • Fresh cilantro, baked kale or chard chips, extra lemon slices, optional for serving

 

Directions:


  1. Soak beans in filtered water, preferably overnight but at least for one hour. Drain and rinse well, allow to drain again.

  2. If using frozen artichokes, soak in hot (not boiling) water.

  3. Heat a large stockpot, add ¼ cup vegetable broth or water and leek and saute over medium heat until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Add garlic and spices and cook another minute until fragrant.

  5. Add beans (and rice, if using) and stir. Add bay leaf, broth or water, tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

  6. Drain artichokes. Add artichokes and greens and continue cooking until the artichokes are heated through and greens are wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

  7. Serve with optional toppings.

  8. Save leftovers covered on the stove to enjoy throughout the day. Otherwise, store in fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Ingredient Notes:


If you choose to make your kitchari with both rice and beans, use 1/2 cup beans and 1/2 cup rice and increase broth or water by 1 cup. If you can't find mung dal, you can substitute with red lentils.


Kitchari spices vary by recipe and can be customized to your own taste. In general these spices support digestion and detoxification. Use what you have on hand or what suits you from the long list of traditionally-used spice ingredients (see below).


To make things more simple, use THIS pre-made version which includes some harder to find spice ingredients.


Bonus spices: If you want to play around, try adding small amounts of freshly ground mustard seed and fennel seed, a pinch of ground cinnamon, cloves, asafetida and or cardamom. These are all optional and should be used according to your own taste. 



Cheers to your health, enjoy!



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