After returning home from a summer road trip to New Mexico, my body was needing cooling, hydrating and earthy nourishment. A meal that was filling, yet light. Comfort food with a touch of the summer season. Soupy khichadi, kitchri or kitchuri, depending on the transliteration, was calling my name.

I started to make soupy khichadi when I was living in San Marcos. One of the many beautiful towns surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. During this life period, my eyes awoke with the sunrise and fell asleep when it was too dark to see. We had no electricity or curtains, but we had a propane stove and a pressure cooker.  All we needed to prepare our daily khichadi lunch.

Not familiar with pressure-cooker cooking, my khichadi was consistently neither a porridge nor a pilaf. Instead, I’d end up with soupy khichadi. Where the lentils and rice still held together in a seasoned broth. Basically daal over rice made in one pot. A comforting meal with that nostalgic touch. Exactly what I needed, in my temporary home away from home.

Summer-Squash-Chit-Chaat-ChaiI’ve thought about getting a small pressure cooker. However…in my tiny kitchen! My four quart pot will need to suffice. And it did. After twelve years, soupy khichadi is back! Coinciding perfectly with with transit of Jupiter in virgo. Where it lived during my San Marco days. How does this astrological transit fits together with this story? I have no idea…but the timing has my whiskers on alert mode.

With this version of the recipe, I’ve introduced corn. My touch of summer. I was a little wary about adding sweet corn, but I wanted to move away from the normal veggies, I occasionally add to khichadi. Familiarity serves a valuable purpose. It can be easier and save time. While also allowing for complacency. A side effect I was starting to recognize. The season of transformation, called me to to change it up.  Take a chance on corn. Love the little lessons I am reminded of when cooking.

Sprouted Moong Soupy Khitchari with Summer  Veggies

servings: 4-6 | time: 45mins

Dosha: PKV
Season: Summer
Tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Astringent, Bitter
What you need: 4-quart pot

  • 3 T ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 T (heaping) freshly grated or finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 serrano green chili diced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted moong
  • 1/3 cups basmati rice (rinsed and soaked 20 mins)
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh corn (2 cobs)
  • 3-4 summer squashes
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt/pink rock salt or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) chopped cilantro
  • 6 cups water

1.Over medium heat, warm the ghee or coconut oil in a 4-quart pot. When the oil has melted and is quite warm, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick.  Cook until the cumin seeds are toasty (darker brown) and aromatic.
2.Then add in the sprouted moong,  soaked rice (drain the water it has been soaking in), grated ginger, turmeric and give it a few stirs. The wet rice should prevent sticking and let the ginger and turmeric gently warm.  Then add in the 6 cups of water and fresh corn. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil.  Then let the khichadi simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes or until rice is 95% cooked.
3.While the khichadi is cooking, chop up the summer squash into medium size chunks or slices, depending on the shape of the squash. Try to keep the pieces consistent in size for even cooking.
4.Once the rice is 95% cooked, add in the squash and salt. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Turn off the stove when squash is 95% cooked, to prevent overcooking. Add in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix well and serve with a dollop of ghee (especially for vata constitutions).

Notes: If you want a soupier khichadi, add additional boiling water prior to adding the squash so the flavors can meld. Bring to a boil and then continue with step 4. Frozen corn can be used as well. If adding a dollop of yogurt, skip the lime juice as both ingredients are not compatible for digestion.

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