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As some of you know, I’ve spent some time studying Ayurveda as a way to help me find more balance in my life. During those studies, I came across a lot of delicious recipes that are full of spices and flavors and leave you feeling so good after eating them. Kichari is one such recipe. This low carb vegan kichari is a variation on more traditional recipes that’s quite flavorful and super easy to make.
Kichari (or kichadi/kichadee/kicharee) is an ayurvedic food typically consumed during a detoxification period. Traditionally, kichari is made with rice and mung beans, and vegetables are added optionally. This version uses cauliflower in lieu of the rice and zucchini as the main vegetable. Cauliflower is typically considered a detoxifying food in ayurveda, cooked zucchini is easy to digest, and both bring a healthy amount of micronutrients to the table. The peppers are mostly there for flavor, but they are a good source of vitamin C.
Is this a super traditional version of kicharee? Nope, there are definitely some changes made from the traditional recipe. There are pretty much a million different variations for making kichari, but this is the one I’ve become most fond of eating. It’s rich in anti-inflammatory spices, and packed with flavor. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your own taste preferences and nutritional needs. There are some notes below on increasing fat and reducing carbs. If you make this, I’d love to hear about it, either in the comments or on instagram. 🙂
Notes on Making Vegan Keto Kichari
- If you don’t have all of the spices mentioned, no worries! This is still delicious, even with omissions.
- Traditional kichari recipes call for asfoetida, an ayurvedic spice that aids in digestion. If you happen to have some on hand, you could add in 1/2 tsp, but it’s totally not necessary.
- For a more traditional flavor and take, you can use 1 tbsp of whole mustard seeds in place of the prepared mustard, and heat the seeds with the rest of the spices at the beginning.
- Because I am making this as a way to help give my digestive system a little break, I didn’t add garlic or onion to this. However, if these alliums don’t give you any digestive issues, you can optionally add in 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp onion powder for a little extra flavor.
- This recipe calls for 1 medium zucchini. I cubed up half of it and grated the other half. The grated zucchini basically melts into the rice and gives the dish more of a porridge-like texture while the cubed pieces are nice for some variation. You could easily grate the whole zucchini though, if you’d prefer.
- You can really use any type of pepper you’d like here (or none at all!). If you’re in the mood for something a little spicy, chile peppers work well, but a small sweet peppers add some lovely flavor as well.
- To add more fat, you can replace the non-dairy milk with a can of full-fat coconut milk. This makes everything super rich and creamy and delicious.
- To add more protein, cube up a block of tofu and add in with the vegetables. 🙂
Vegan Keto Kichari
- 3 tbsp coconut oil olive oil, mustard oil or MCT oil
- 1 tbsp curry powder I use a garlic-free variety
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground powdered ginger or 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp mustard seeds or prepared mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cups 12oz/340g cauliflower rice
- 1/2 cup 80g hulled hemp seeds
- 1 1/2 cups 350ml coconut milk or other nondairy milk of choice
- 1 medium zucchini about 200g/7oz, with half cubed up and half grated (see notes)
- 1 small pepper of choice see notes
- sliced pepper
- chopped chives
- In a dutch oven or covered pot on medium low heat, mix the oil and spices (including the mustard). Let this warm for a minute or two.
- Add in the cauliflower rice, hemp seeds and coconut milk, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Add in the zucchini and pepper and stir until the vegetables are evenly distributed.
- Cover and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low. Cook until the cauliflower and zucchini are tender (about 30-35 minutes for me) and then remove from the heat. If you want a thicker consistency, remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking, to evaporate any extra liquid.
6 thoughts on “Low Carb Vegan Kichari”
Hello! Where did you study Ayurveda? I am soon to be a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute w/ Dr. Lad! I have been vegan for many years now but am about to embarque on the plant-based keto journey. Your blog is the most innovative and comprehensive I have found regarding this specific diet. Thank you so much!
Lovely recipe! I am an Ayurvedic practitioner who recently transitioned to plant-based keto. This is a great alternative. I am also MEGA meal prepping for a big backpacking adventure, thus dehydrating everything. I included this recipe into my menu. I am excited to see how it turns out re-hydrated and all! Also, traditionally we add fresh coriander leaves, shredded coconut and a squeeze of lime as a topping. Cheers!
Hi Jasmine, thank you so much for the comment. I’d be really interested to know how this fares for backpacking! I’m planning my summer camping/hiking trips now and would love to get away from just packing pre-packaged foods and trail mix. 🙂
Do you have a website for your practice? I’d love to be able to refer people who ask about Ayurveda!
Thank you so much for reaching out Liz! I do not have a website quite yet. It is definitely a project. But if you know anyone who has questions or would like to schedule a consultation please feel free to give them my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I had 3 batches of this recipe dehydrated, waiting to be accompanied by creams of brocoli and asparagus. It dehydrated perfectly! I will let you know how they “held up” on the hike!
I hope it help up well!! I will certainly pass on your info to those who ask! 😀
Looking forward to building a clientele! Oh and I just got back from my backpacking expedition. This recipe was part of three of my meals. It was one of the tastiest and rehydrated wonderfully. I added brocoli, broth paste and butter powder (I usually use ghee but it was way too heavy to carry). Thanks again! This is definitely a keeper!