Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer Vegetable Kitcheree

Kitcheree is a highly nourishing, hypoallergenic stew made from mung beans and brown rice. It assists in the detoxification process as it is very easy to digest. The spices and summer vegetables create a luscious stew that can be made in just minutes using a pressure cooker, though you don't need one to make this.

I know, I know, summer is nearly gone and Autumn will be upon us soon enough. I am not ready yet. I'm still savoring every last bit of this warm, dappled September sun. Sure, we harvested all of our sugar pie pumpkins and other winter squash today and my daughter was already asking when will I be making pumpkin scones and pumpkin pie, not yet though. Summer is still here, let's just be with it while it lasts.

I'll be sharing the White Nectarine Ice Cream you all keep asking me about in my next post. We'll say farewell to Summer, celebrate the fun times, and eat ice cream. Are you with me? :)

For now, how about using up the summer veggies in this fantastic bean and whole grain stew! This recipe is perfect for those of you who are vegan and following the Elimination Diet, particularly during Phase 2…...and will also work for those of you simply desiring a fast, healthy, and tasty meal. I made this stew and packed it into two large Thermos containers for our recent wild blueberry picking adventures in the mountains. We all enjoyed a bowl of warm stew after the sun had set. There was a certain chill in the air and having a warm meal was just divine! Tastes good + nourishing = blissed out, happy, energetic, and ALIVE!!

Summer Vegetable Kitcheree

Kitcheree is an Indian stew-like meal made from mung beans and brown rice. Spices and vegetables make up the remaining ingredients which can vary widely. Here I used carrots, fresh tomatoes, kale, peas, and cilantro. If you are on the Elimination Diet then this recipe is ideal. *Just keep the tomatoes and chili flakes out until Phase 3. Once nightshades are added back into the diet then have at this recipe in its entirety!

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
pinch or two of crushed red chili flakes*
2 cups brown jasmine or basmati rice, rinsed
2 cups dry mung beans, rinsed
3 to 4 large carrots, cut into large chunks
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
8 to 10 cups water
4 cups finely chopped kale or spinach
1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
3 medium tomatoes, chopped*
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 to 3 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
dollop of chilled coconut milk, for garnish

Heat oil in an 8-quart pot (or pressure cooker). Add ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and chili flakes, gently sauté over medium heat until the seeds begin to pop.

Then add the mung beans, rice, carrots, turmeric, and coriander. Stir together a bit so the spices evenly coat the rice and beans. Then add the water (start with 8 cups and add more after the stew is cooked if necessary). Lock the lid into place (if using a pressure cooker) and bring to high pressure, cook for about 10 minutes, then use the quick release method to bring the pressure down. If the stew needs some more time, bring to high pressure again and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Add more water if needed.

If you don't have a pressure cooker simply bring the stew to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for about 45 minutes (add more water if needed).

Once the rice and beans are cooked, add in the chopped kale, tomatoes, peas, cilantro, and salt. Stir until just mixed. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for about 5 minutes. The tender vegetables will just barely cook in the hot stew. Add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes: Be sure to cut the carrots into large chunks otherwise they will fall apart in the stew while cooking.

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. This looks delicious! Know anything about the health properties/benefits of mung beans? Thanks for posting!

  2. In my latest post, I'm mostly talking about the coming of fall and here you are telling me to "be with it while it lasts." ;-) I guess I'm doing that by campng this weekend, but those 40s night-time temsp won't feel very summery. LOL I'm all for the White Nectarine Ice Cream post, and I'm just as anxious as your daughter for all the pumpkin recipes. I would be in heaven to be harvesting sugar pie pumpkins--those and cushaw squash (which provide the same flavor in a much bigger package) are my absolute favorites. They speak happiness to me, so I guess that goes along with your happy theme when enjoying that bowl of stew after the sun set. What great planning and such a memorable moment for you all!


  3. Hi Ali and Tom,

    We make this recipe often since you sent it out on one of your newsletters! I just emailed the healthy lunch chart link to my sister-in-law ~ that is amazing. Thanks!

  4. Oh yum! I love the sound of this =D. Perfect for dinner, on any night!

  5. Hallie - Mung beans, like all beans, are high in fiber and protein. But unlike other beans, mung beans are very easily digested. That's about all I have right now without referencing the nutrition books! :)

    Shirley - I am feeling the change now, we had a arm week last week and it just felt so summery! The nights are cooler lately and fall is on its way here! Time to start posting apple and pumpkin recipes I guess. Hope you enjoyed your camping trip! :)

    Lillian - So glad to hear you enjoy this, thanks for sharing! :)

    Lauren - Thanks, yes it makes a quick meal for sure! :)

  6. Hi Ali,
    I made this for supper tonight. The kids liked it a lot. It's mild tasting, yet with interesting flavors, and of course it's super healthy to boot!
    It's so quick and easy that it makes a great last minute dinner. And the recipe makes enough to feed an small army (or a family with many kids! ;-) I imagine it will freeze well, which is also really nice.

  7. Ali, this is delicious! I finally found the Herbamare at the store and this is the first dish I have used it in. Thanks for a great recipe.

  8. Hi Tom and Ali,
    I just made this delightful dish. However, our household consists of 2 mature adult. I have a huge amount and am wondering if I can freeze some of the remainder or should I start giving some away? We are at an age where it is important to limit our serving sizes. It is so delicious I don't want it to go to waste.

  9. Donna - I think it should freeze well, especially if you left the tomatoes out. If not, the tomatoes will be a little mushy when you reheat it but it should still be delicious! I always make big batches because I have so many mouths to feed. Sometimes I forget that there are folks like you who need smaller batches. Thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed it! :)

  10. This looks great. Are there any beans that would work well as a substitute for mung beans? I can't eat mung beans, but would love to give this recipe a try.

  11. Sophie - I would try lentils or adzuki beans. Let me know how it turns out. Enjoy! :)

  12. Hi again. I just made the recipe with adzuki beans and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe :)

  13. Hi Ali. Just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes. I recently ordered your book so I could start the Elimination Diet and am still in Phase 1. Feeling very energetic so far and am looking forward to playing with all the recipes and trying to come up with some of my own. I do have one question though, I noticed there are some inconsistencies with spices allowed. Can I or can I not have things such as cumin, tumeric, cinnamon, etc? If not, what phase can I? Thank you and let me just say I cannot wait to bake with my Teff flour again. I'm missing morning banana pancakes dearly! (Your recipe of course)

  14. Hi Nicki - Thanks for the great feedback! :) As far as those spices are concerned, yes to those you mentioned for all phases. The concern would be with curry powder which most often contains chili pepper (nightshade). Turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin are quite healing so use them liberally! :)

  15. Hi! I'm just checking out your website and recipes. I've been diagnosed with celiac from last six months. New to the whole GF eating.

    This kitcheree has been like my everyday meal since six months. It's a quick pressure cooker recipe too.

  16. Thank you, this kitcheree is so delicious. Other's I've tried were really bland and boring. I also appreciate that you use brown basmati rice rather than white as most kitcheree recipes do. Love your recipes.

  17. Hi,
    I'm trying to plan my meals for the elimination diet but I'm a little bit confused. This recipe contains 3 tomatoes but in the Phase 1 list we are not suppose to eat tomatoes. Should we replace them for something else? Thank you.

  18. Do you use split mung beans? I have heard that there is a difference and that you get the full health benefits with 'split' mung beans.


Join the Conversation!

I'd love to hear your feedback with my recipes. If you make any changes or substitutions then please share what you did so others can learn.

If you have a question about a recipe, please leave it here. I will do my best to answer it when I have time.

Comment moderation is in place. Your comment will be only be visible here once I publish it.

Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)