1C Quinoa Flour
½ C Amaranth Flour
½ C Tapioca Flour
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
½ tsp Salt
200ml Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil for frying
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Shallots, finely sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed to a paste
250g Shiitake Mushrooms
Salt + Pepper
2 tsp Tamari
1/2 tsp Coconut Sugar
2 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
2 tsp Coconut Sugar
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
Handful of watercress dressed with a squeeze of lime and 1 tsp sesame oil
1 red chili finely sliced
Add the flours, turmeric powder and salt into a mixing. Whisk in the coconut milk and enough water to make a batter the consistency of double cream. Pour into a jug and leave to one side.
Whisk the dipping sauce ingredients together and taste. Adjust with extra lime to your liking.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and when hot add the shallots and garlic and stir fry for a minute.
Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and continue to stir fry for a further 5 minutes. When the mushrooms are beginning to brown add the tamari and coconut sugar and cook for another minute until the mushrooms are coated.
Heat a table spoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over a high heat, when the oil is hot pour a ladle of batter into the centre of the pan and swirl around to cover the pan in a thin layer. Leave to fry for a couple of minutes until the batter is dry on top and the pancake is starting to bubble up around the edges. Loosen around the edges with a fish slice and carefully flip the pancake over and cook for another minute until golden and crispy, slide onto a plate and keep warm while you make more pancakes.
Place a spoonful of mushrooms onto one half of a pancake. Top with a few slices of red chilli, a handful of the dressed watercress and fold in half.
Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
Seeing rice in this dish will come as a bit of a surprise to many of you. I gave up eating grains several years ago, mostly as a way to reduce inflammation in my body so that I could avoid having surgery on my knee.
A few months ago I came across Kitchari, an ancient Ayurvedic cleanse. I didn't take much notice of it, mostly because of the rice which as someone that had avoided grains because of how great i felt without them, just managed to look so unappealing to me. But a couple of weeks ago in the space of a day, 3 articles came to me all talking about Kitchari, so I decided to start paying a bit more attention. So I researched, and I read and what i came up with motivated me to try it for myself.
Kitchari is a gentle 3 day cleanse and detoxification process. A mono-diet of Kitchari will reset our system, and balance our dosha. In Ayurvedic philosophy all health starts in the digestive system. The functioning of our digestive system depends upon digestion, assimilation and elimination of our food. If one of these is out of balance then we become susceptible to disease. Kitchari is often the first food given to babies because it is so easily digestible, but also because it heals and soothes the gut and intestinal walls.
For most of us though, the thought of living off rice and dhal for 3 days, goes completely against what we would normally think of as a cleanse. Where are the raw foods, and juices that we would normally consume at such a time? In Ayurveda cleanses are supposed to be gentle, and easy on the body. One of the reasons people find fasts and juice cleanses so difficult is because it upsets our blood-sugar balance, and causes stress on the body. Whenever stress is present, be that from environmental, physical or diet related causes, the body will typically hold onto any fat or toxins that you are trying to so hard to eliminate. Lower the levels of stress, and the body has an extraordinary ability to heal itself, easily releasing the stored fat or toxins that are present. Kitchari will provide nourishment in the form of a complete protein that will stabilise our blood-sugar levels, and allow us to enter a state of deep cleansing and detoxification.
Each ingredient in the Kitchari plays an important role. The mung beans will alkalise the body and purify the blood, something that is incredibly important when healing yourself from leaky gut disease, as our blood can become toxic from food particles permeating the digestive lining. The mung beans are also a complete protein, and provide essential nutrients to nourish the body. The Basmati rice is chosen for its easy digestion, brown rice will supply more nutrients but is much harder to digest because the husks are still intact. The spices are cleansing, anti-inflammatory and are warming on the system, which serves to re-ignite the agni, a sanskrit word that literally means fire. This fire provides metabolic energy to help us assimilate and digest our food. Fresh coriander acts as an antioxidant, and is thought to be a natural chelator of metals, aiding in the detoxification process.
Eat as much of the Kitchari as you like, but as delicious as it is try not to over eat as that places unwanted stress on our digestive systems, and aim to finish your last meal before 7pm so that full digestion can occur before you go to sleep. If the thought of eating dhal and rice for breakfast is too much, you can substitute for a warm quinoa and spice 'porridge', just make sure you are following traditional food combining rules, so no fruit with your quinoa as this makes the meal harder to digest.
Kitchari is also thought to help in your spiritual practice by facilitating an inner calm. For this purpose meditation and yoga are considered to be great support tools on your path. You may also like to include epsom salt baths, dry body brushing to stimulate your lymph and encourage detoxification, and daily oil massages.
A cleanse is a great time to spend looking after yourself. Enjoy.
Most traditional Kitchari recipes blend the rice and the dhal together when cooking. I came across a couple of recipes however that cooked them separately. I chose to do this for no other reason than it looks a lot better, I still need my food to look appealing, even if I am on a cleanse! I doubled the recipe below which lasted me for the 3 days.
For The Dhal
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Ghee
1 C Yellow Split Mung Beans soaked for 6 hours
1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Cinnamon Stick
6 Cardamom Pods
1.4 tsp Coriander Seeds
1.5 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Ground Cumin
3 tsp of Fresh Turmeric, finely grated, or 1.5 tsp of dried
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
6 C Water
Handful of Baby Spinach Leaves
1 C Peas, fresh or frozen
1 Bunch Coriander
Dry roast the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander and fennel seeds in a pan over a medium heat until the seeds start to crack and pop. Remove from the pan and grind in a mortar and pestle.
In a large pot melt the coconut oil or ghee, add in the ground spices, along with the ground cumin, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, ginger and turmeric. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until the spices become fragrant and then add in the mung beans and cook for another minute until everything is well combined. Gradually add in the water, and bring to the boil.
Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 40 minutes, or until the mung beans have completely softened. Season with sea salt, and then fold through the baby spinach leaves and peas.
For The Rice
1 C Basmati, soaked for 2 hours
1 Tbsp of Coconut Oil or Ghee
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
6 Cardamom Pods
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 C Water
Melt the coconut oil or ghee in a pot over a medium heat and then add in the cumin seeds and cardamom pods. Cook gently for a few seconds before adding in the rice, and then cook for a further minute. Add in the water and boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover and then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the water has been completely absorbed.
Serve the rice and then dhal in bowls with lots of fresh coriander leaves and lime.
A plant-based twist on a Mexican classic.
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
275g of Firm Tofu
Pinch of Turmeric
Pinch of Smoked Paprika
Salt + Pepper
400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed to a paste
1 Green Chilli, skin blackened and blistered in a hot dry frying pan
½ Onion, finely diced
15g Coriander leaves and stalks
Salt + Pepper
1 Avocado, cut into 1 cm dice
100g Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
2 Tbsp Coriander, roughly chopped
Salt + Pepper
4 Corn Tortillas
Extra Coriander to serve
Blitz all of the sauce ingredients together in a food processor and pour into a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes until thickened slightly.
Mix all of the salsa ingredients together in a mixing bowl and leave to one side. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and crumble in the tofu. Stir fry the tofu for a minute and then add the spices and salt and pepper and stir well so the tofu becomes a light yellow and is well heated through.
Heat the tortillas through in the oven as per the packet instructions.
To serve, spoon the scrambled tofu over the tortillas, spoon on some rancheros sauce and top with the avocado salsa and freshly chopped coriander leaves.
1.5 C Buckwheat Flour
1.5 C Quinoa Flour
1.5 C Almond Meal
1/4 C Psyllium
4 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Sunflower Seeds + 1 tsp extra
1 C Pumpkin Seeds + 1 tsp extra
3/4 C Flaxseeds + 1 tsp extra
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 C Water
2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 180c. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl add the buckwheat and quinoa flours, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium, sea salt and the seeds. Mix together well.
Add in the water, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and mix together to form a thick batter.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and scatter with the extra seeds.
Bake for approximately 1 and a half hours, checking after 1 hour. Test with a skewer, and when the skewer is removed clean then your loaf is ready.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
The recipe for the cauliflower base was taken from Green Kitchen Stories.
A basic tomato sauce for the base
2 Onions finely sliced
100g of Blue Cheese
4 Portobello Mushrooms sliced
3 Cups of Cauliflower 'rice'
80g Almond Flour
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
3 Eggs, or replace with Chia Seeds for a vegan alternative. (Recipe in a previous post)
Sea Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the cauliflower florets form the stem and coarsely chop, place in a food processor and blend until resembles rice, and place in a mixing bowl.
Add in the almond flour, oregano and seasoning and mix well. Add the eggs and, using your hands fold together until everything is combined and you can shape it into a ball. It will be a lot wetter than a traditional pizza dough, so don't worry.
Place your dough on a tray lined with baking paper and pat out with your hands to form into a pizza base, making the edges slightly higher. Pre-bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, prepare the pizza topping.
Sautee the finely sliced onions in olive oil with a bay leaf until soft and golden.
Remove the base from the oven. Cover it with tomato sauce, caramelised onion, and the sliced portobello mushrooms. Dot small pieces of blue cheese over the pizza and put it back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and top with rocket and shaved parmesan. Serve.