Lunch Flask Kitchari

It’s hard to find time rush­ing in the morn­ing before work and school, but if you can make a few moments to throw together sand­wiches to brown-bag for lunch, then there’s enough time for an incred­i­bly fill­ing, nutri­tious soup. This is an ayurvedic (ancient Indian sys­tem of health) take-to-work lunch, a sin­gle serv­ing so large you can enjoy a few spoons of it later as a guilt-free after­noon snack. My ver­sion is vegan.

  • Hot water for preheating
  • 1 Table­spoon veg­etable oil
  • 1 tea­spoon ground Indian spice blend, such as curry pow­der, garam masala or an ayurvedic churna
  • 1/4 tea­spoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup split mung beans OR red lentils, inspected and rinsed
  • 1 Table­spoon brown rice OR other grain such as pearl bar­ley, rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped veg­eta­bles, frozen OK

Fill a wide-mouth quart or liter vac­uum jar half full of very hot water to pre­heat. This recipe makes just over a pint of soup, but ini­tially it takes more space. Pre­heat­ing the Ther­mos is the top step for this recipe’s success.

Heat the 2 cups water, per­haps in a ket­tle, while gath­er­ing the other ingredients.

Have legumes, grain, spice mix­ture and veg­eta­bles ready by stove. Heat small saucepan on medium 2 min­utes. Add oil then spices and salt, and saute, stir­ring, just 5 sec­onds. Add the water, legumes and grain. Increase heat to high. Bring to vig­or­ous boil. Add veg­eta­bles and return to vig­or­ous boil. Alto­gether the cook­ing should take about 3 min­utes. Sim­mer­ing a cou­ple more min­utes won’t hurt a thing.

Empty hot water from vac­uum jar. Care­fully spoon soup from pan into it and screw on top. The soup will be cooked in no less than 3 hours.

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Adapted by Ben S. Pol­lock from The Raj Recipe Book, at this PDF down­load.

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