Kitcheri on CBC

This morning, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Nadia Kidway, I presented the following dishes.  I made these for a few reasons.  It is a New Year and we all need help with ideas for keeping New Year's resolutions, be they about your own health, or about buying local foods and supporting local producers.  These dishes are very healthy and are recommended for recovering from illness, as a cleansing diet, and great vegan proteins.  These are also delicious.

Kitcheri 1 (Red lentils and Basmati Rice)
1 cup Basmati Rice, washed
1 cup Red Lentils, washed
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander
1/8 tsp asafetida
In a small blender:
1" inch ginger
1 Green chili pepper (optional)
1 head garlic cloves
1-2 pieces of fresh turmeric or 1 tsp ground turmeric
(blend until smooth)

8 leaves curry leaves
4 cups Water (or combination with coconut milk)
1 1/2 tsp salt

 Options:  Cooked squash, cubed

  1. Start instant pot in sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add black mustard seeds and cook until popping.
  2. Add sliced onions and stir until translucent and starting to brown.
  3. Add ginger mixture with curry leaves and brown, then add rice, lentils and water. Stir in salt. Close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  4. Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 5 minutes.
  5. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR)
  6. (optional) For tempering, heat ghee in a small pan and add the red chili powder to it. Add it on the cooked Kitcheri.

Kitcheri 2 Quinoa and yellow split peas

1 cup Brown quinoa, rinsed (Available at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market at Tamarack Farms)
½ cup split yellow lentils
1 yellow onion, sliced
4-6 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbs Turkish Baharat (or your favourite spice blend)
2 cups favourite vegetable such as spinach, kale, sorrel, etc, chopped
1 small acorn squash, baked and scooped out
½ cup good tomato paste
chopped tomatoes, to preferences
½ cup cilantro, chopped

  1. Wash & drain the dal & quinoa
  2. Chop all veggies.
  3. Heat the oil & add the spices, sauté for a minute or until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the mung dal & quinoa.
  5. Desired amount of broth, bring to low boil & then cover & simmer for 30-40 minutes or until soft & soupy.
  6. In the final 10-15 minutes of cooking, add the chopped vegetables.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro
  8. Optional garnishes such as fresh sprouts from Fresh Forage, dried chili mango slices from Food for Folks, etc.