The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vegan Kitchari from Anupy Singla's "The Indian Slow Cooker" Book

Whole Green Lentil and Brown Rice Porridge
"Sabut Moong Kitchari" from "The Indian Slow Cooker Book" by Anupy Singla

I woke up at the crack of dawn because I had a meeting with a client, but my bleary eyed self read his email that he had "double-booked" himself.  What now?  I didn't want to try to go back to bed with the dogs and the cat and wake up my husband, who does not thrive on sleep loss (somehow I have the illusion that I do).  Hmmmm.......Okay, just whip up some Kitchari and some Rajmah from The Indian Slow Cooker Book.  The Rajmah takes 12 hours! But if I started it now then it would be done by the time I walked in the door tonight!

You want Moong Beans.  Or "Mung" beans.  But not what may be labelled "Green Lentils"in the Whole Foods Bulk Department.  If they have them in bulk they would be called "Mung" (the type you sprout), and at the International Store they are "Moong".

Mung Beans.  Often a "healing" indgredient.  Easy on the tummy.

Kitchari is when you mix the lentils, rice, and all the other goodies up in one pot.  I had always seen it in the Yoga and Kundalini type cookbooks as being a healing, cleansing type of food.  Maybe because the Mung (Moong) beans are easy on the tummy.  Anupy Singla includes 2 Kitchari recipes in her book.  The Whole Green Lentil and Brown Rice Porridge is the one I made today.  It is the spicy one.  This dish is done in 4 hours!!  And it's incredible.  I kind of thought it might lack a little spice, since I had associated Kitchari with healing upset tummies, but this Kitchari is full of spice and flavor.  The other Kitchari, Split Green Lentil and Rice Porridge, on the page prior, is the "Healing Tummy" one.  We loved this recipe and it cooks up so quickly!  My dad has been heating the water prior to adding it to the slow cooker and make it a little bit less of a "slow" cooker.  He mentioned that there was a little section in the beginning of the book about doing that to decrease the cooking time.  

Organic Brown Basmati Rice.  
Hanging out in my newest slow cooker.  We bought a smaller one so we could go crazy and cook
more than one thing at a time.

All the ingredients Dr. Oz has on his show, nearly everyday, that fix ya up.

Before Cooking.

Slow Cooker Party in the Kitchen.

Finished Kitchari.  After stirring there was no liquid on top.
 I can't believe that in just a few minutes I made this much food.

We ate this for lunch while my husband read me dismal economic news from the ipad.  The HuffPost reiterating what  Karen Weaver had said about the municipalities faltering on their bonds.  Police, firemen, teachers getting cut.  People not getting their pensions.  So unreal, yet I guess totally expected, in our country.  The darkest economic days have not yet arrived.  But Anupy's Kitchari will save the day!

Verdict:  The Kitchari rocked.  I really was expecting something more bland (I am A Spicy Lady) because it didn't have a ton of spices in it. But it was bursting with flavor and I can see where you would be inclined to make it everyday!  This dish is great because it has the rice and mung beans all in one pot.  Sounds like Anupy's kids might be growing up on the stuff.  The Mung Beans are very mild in flavor and supposed to be very digestible.  I used to be able to get them in bulk at Whole Foods but the last few times I haven't seen them there.  I ended up getting them at the Indian Store, where they don't carry organic anything.  But I will probably try to order them organic next time.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
Hands down the best new book for Vegans.
If you think you don't "do" slow-cookers, think again.
Anupy has made it so you simply dump dried, unsoaked beans in for these recipes.
You can make these dishes super healthy, for pennies, with only minutes of actual prep time. Also great for all of those "Raw Mom, Cooked Dad" households.  Funny that I even know of such a thing, a decade ago I would have been "What's a cooked Dad?"

Anyway, the Kitchari and knowing we can make super healthy and delicious food for pennies, does help a bit!


  1. I too think the Anupy Singla's recipes are great. However, there are just the two of us at home now and even if I halve the recipes, it's still much too much. If I divide it a lot further, what about the spices? How much can one divide spices and still get a tasty dish?

    Thank you,

  2. I believe that you reduce everything equally. So if you wanted to make 1/4th of the recipe, and it calls for 1 teaspoon Tumeric, just put in 1/4 teaspoon Tumeric. Try reducing the spices just the same as the rice, veggies, and beans. I believe the cooking time would be the same. But if you make such a small amount you would probably want to use a small slow cooker. We also are only 2 people, but we eat tons of food. We do have leftovers though, and we usually reheat them in a saucepan on the stove. We just add a little water as the beans absorb more liquid the longer they sit. Also, I have frozen the recipes as well. I just put some in Mason Glass jars and stuck them in the fridge. This worked great too. I should probably 1/2 the recipes as the 2 of us have nearly gone through the Dal Makhani and the Rajmah recipes in one sitting. Talk about full tummies!