The easiest way to make a protein-rich, vegan main dish is to simply mix pulses and grains together. In India this type of dish is called ‘kitcheri’ and it is one of the staple foods in northern parts of India.
Kitcheri is a generic term for rice and pulses cooked together—cleverly making them more nutritious and easy-to-digest while providing a complete protein dish. In Ayurvedic medicine, kitcheri is used as a convalescent food.
Here is one of my great ‘Keith-cheri’ recipes, so-called because it’s my own variation of this classic dish.
I have added seaweed in this recipe for additional minerals. Also its delicious sliminess actually lubricates the food and soothes digestion.
100 g split mung beans
100 g basmati rice
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
75 g sweet potato peeled & diced
75 g carrots peeled & diced
75 g courgettes diced
750 ml vegetable stock
1 stick of kombu seaweed
salt & pepper to taste
Rinse the split mung beans and basmati rice in several changes of water then drain.
In a large pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the mustard and fennel seeds. Once sizzling, cover the pan and wait for the mustard seeds to pop. Remove from the heat and wait for them to finish crackling.
Carefully add the cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, coriander and ginger; reheat and cook for a few seconds.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Then add the beans, rice and prepared vegetables to the spice mix. Cover with the stock, and add the kombu stick.
Bring to the boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 30-35 minutes.
Add a little more stock or water if it dries out. Season with salt and pepper.