Kichdi- the joy of mung beans and rice!

22 June, 2012

We are delighted to have the wonderful Kundalini Goddess, travel writer, and Himalaya Yoga Valley Philosophy Guru-ess Viriam Kaur as our guest blogger this month!

Her recipe for Kichdi is a cracker and we hope you enjoy!

 The Joy of Mung Beans and Rice

‘You are what you eat’ is a key mantra for healthy living. When we start to listen to our bodies and tap into the healing energies of our food, we can start to heal our physical, emotional and energetic bodies at a core level. How much of our eating is tied into habit, or our emotions? It’s time to start listening to ourselves… and eating with awareness.

Sadhana is our daily practice or living mindfully – we can practice a yogic sadhana, or we can practice sadhana when we make a family meal. It is all in our attitude and intention.

“Live in sadhana while preserving the Mother Consciousness – honoring her river, sky, earth, wind, and space. This is preventative medicine in its truest form,” says Mother Maya (formerly Maya Tiwari author of The Path of Practice). Our primary commitment is to harmony.  According to the Atharva Veda, Ayurveda’s timeless education of sadhana is the most effective spiritual path to awaken consciousness and enhance our Inner Medicine potential for healing ourselves. Whatever is the inspiration or calling, each one of us has a divine right to choose healing and to be healed through myriad ways and means.”

Healing Foods – Digestion is the seat of good health. Honour yourself with food. “Our food, our body, and nature are all one entity. The flesh of our body is made of the same elements as the flesh of a melon. Our bodily fluids are composed of the same elements as the milk of a coconut,” says Mother Maya, who believes that preparing and eating food with awareness helps us to rediscover our natural rhythms. “Not only do food sadhanas (daily practices of cooking as meditation) impart rasa (taste or essence of life), they also nourish and influence our life force.” She encourages us to eat with our hands, grind our own spices in a pestle and mortar and bring awareness to the sensual nourishment of food, not simply the physical nourishment through calories. Mother Maya looks at ayurvedic healing through the lens of three healing modalities – food, breath and sound. As well as eating with our hands, she also encourages us to chant mantras as we cook, tapping into the healing vibration of sound.

Kichdi (Mung Beans and Rice)
This is a wonderful year round food that is easy to make and has infinite variety depending on your choice of vegetables. Choose vegetables that are seasonal. It is great for people on a budget. It is said that mung beans and rice are a pre-digested food, it doesn’t overtax our digestive systems but is still highly nutritious.


1 cup mung beans 1 tsp turmeric/ haldi (essential!)
1 cup basmatti rice 6-8 peppercorns
9 cup water 1 tsp garam masala or to taste
3 tbsp sesame oil Salt, soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s to taste
4-6 cups chopped vegetables of choice 1 tsp of any other herb or spice that you like – experiment!
1 onion chopped 2 bay leaves/ or curry leaves (again usually curry leaves found in Indian grocers)
Inch minced fresh ginger root2-3  cloves garlic minced Seeds from 5 cardamon pods
½ tsp mustard seedsPinch asafoetida (hing) Found in most supermarkets these days or Indian shops – helps to de-gas beans! ½ tsp crushed red chiles
(HOT! More or less to taste… optional)

Soak mung beans over night – makes them much easier on the digestion. Wash beans and rice. Bring water to boil, add rice and beans and let bubble medium heat – give occasional stirs, if the water boils away too much it has tendency to catch on the bottom. (You can also cook separately if you prefer) You can add cardamom and peppercorns to water and a pinch of asfoetida (hing), bay leaves or curry leaves too.

My recipe does not use ghee as I’m not a fan… (sorry Dr Rohit) but you can substitute ghee for sesame oil. Heat sesame oil in a separate frying pan and add mustard seeds until they start to pop! Then add whatever ground spices you like, but namely turmeric (very healing – anti-bacterial and excellent for women’s health) another pinch of asafoetida (de-gasses lentils!) and then garam masala and whatever else – keep experimenting, each kichdi I make is slightly different. Then once spices are cooked together briefly, add chopped onions and lots of garlic and ginger (in my tradition, we call onions, garlic and ginger the holy trinity!) Add to the pot of mung and rice and let it bubble together.

These are the essential ingredients. Dr Rohit mentions dried fruits, I’ve never experimented with this but I try all different sorts of seasonal vegetables. You can cook vegetables within the pot or separately. Obviously if it’s a hard vegetable like beetroot you can add when you start to boil the mung and rice. If it’s a softer vegetable add later, for example add spinach just before serving as it cooks so quickly. One of my favourite combinations is beetroot, sweet potato, celery and spinach. Remember to chant as you cook!

Another great quick recipe drink for Ultimate Healing – Golden Milk
In a pan, heat up ¼ cup of water  (approximately… add more water if this gets too dry) and add ¼ tsp of turmeric (and 3 cardamom pods – optional) until you get a paste (approx 5 mins). Then add 1 cup milk or soya milk and 2 tbsps of almond oil. Bring the liquid to  boiling point. Do not let it boil! Add honey as desired to taste (this naturally makes one cup… you can make extra turmeric paste and keep in fridge for up to 40 days.) It’s a great way to take oils internally and turmeric is a very healing herb, especially for women.


Thanks to Viriam for her wonderful recipe!

Viriam holds workshops and training’s worldwide all year.  If you would like to get in touch with her about this recipe or anything Kundalini related contact her at her website

Over the next few weeks we will have other guest bloggers from the Himalaya Yoga Valley team including Ayurveda specialist Dr Rohit & Anatomy master & body mechanic Adam Divine

Do you have any topics you would like covered by the team at HYVC? If so please drop us a line and we will forward your question to the teacher.