I was browsing the website of deAnna Anderson, a Dallas Jivamukti yoga teacher, and found a recipe for Kitchari. The recipe was given to her by her teacher, founder of Jivamukti yoga and vegan chef, Sharon Gannon.
Kitchari is often made with mung beans, ghee, brown rice, and spices. I was excited to see this recipe that uses red lentils, brown rice, and coconut milk. I added ginger, chili flakes, cilantro, and lime but you can be creative with the seasonings.
Kitchari is a staple food of the Ayurvedic system. Ayurveda is the healing side of yoga, offering easily applicable tools to stay balanced using the proper diet and exercise for our own unique bodies.
Eating right for our own bodies is the key to wellness. It has been a way of the past, and I believe, will be the wave of the future. Convoluted, contradictory information is forcing us to take a more prevalent role in our health so that we learn to pay attention to how our bodies, thoughts, and emotions react to certain foods. There is no one size fits all diet, despite the claims of contemporary pop diet fads.
When we eat properly, our body is less likely to become out of balance, thus taming the potential for disease and ill health. This time of year seems to bring on sinus issues, allergies, colds, flu, and many other easily spread viruses that can cause sickness, so it is good to eat warming, calming, hypoallergenic foods so the body does not become out of balance. Good food is the best medicine.
If ayurveda sounds confusing or you’re not interested, just think of this as a simple red lentil and brown rice soup with coconut milk, spices, cilantro, and lime, that is calming to the system, easy for the body to digest, great source of vegetarian protein, and super delicious.
Kitchari – Red Lentil and Brown Rice Soup with Coconut Milk
Recipe adapted from Kitchari by Sharon Gannon
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups purified water
2 cups red lentils, divided
1 cup short grain brown rice (or brown basmati rice)
1 1″ piece peeled fresh ginger (leave whole)
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
1 15 ounce can full fat organic Coconut Milk
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and diced into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for garnish
Sea salt as needed for seasoning, likely around 2 teaspoons
Place vegetable broth, water, 1 1/2 cup red lentils, brown rice, ginger, and chili flakes in large dutch oven or soup pot and heat over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Turn heat to medium low heat, and stir occasionally until lentils soften, about 30 minutes. Add additional half cup of lentils and cook additional 15-20 minutes. Add coconut milk, tofu (if using), and cilantro and cook until heated through, 5 minutes. Season with salt and lime juice. Serve right away with additional cilantro and lime or refrigerate up to 3 days.