recipe // ayurvedic butternut kichari

recipe // ayurvedic butternut kichari

Kichari is like the comfort food of Ayurveda. Its what you eat when you are feeling under the weather, or overdone, or just need to simplify things. We eat kichari once a week in my household, and this butternut squash kichari with toasted coconut is like giving a hug to my belly and the kids enjoy it too (WIN!).

This recipe is from my latest book in collaboration with Kate O’Donnell, Everyday Ayurveda Cooking for a Calm, Clear Mind. The new cookbook has many more variations on kichari — you can eat it everyday if you like in fact sometimes I do just that ;)

Butternut Kichari


 

1 small butternut squash
Coconut oil
¾ cup split mung beans, soaked overnight or at least a few hours
¾ cup basmati rice
4 cups water
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp salt
¼ cup coconut, large flakes, for garnish

To roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, rub a few drops of coconut oil onto the cut faces, and place face-up on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven.

In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of the water and the coconut milk to a boil on high heat. Set the other cup of water aside to add during cooking as needed.

Rinse the mung beans and rice well. Add the rice, beans, spice mix, turmeric, and ginger to the boiling water. Keep on high heat until the liquid boils again. Turn the heat down to low.
Scoop the squash out of the skin with a large spoon and add, in chunks, to the pot. The chunks will break down as it cooks. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes or more, adding the reserved 1 cup water as needed. It’s finished when the rice and mung beans are soft; the liquid is loose and soupy; and the butternut squash chunks are have fallen apart. Turn off the heat, and stir in the salt. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

In a frying pan, toast the coconut flakes on medium heat, stirring until they begin to brown. Remove from the heat immediately. Spoon the kichari into individual bowls, and garnish each bowl with 1 Tbsp coconut flakes.

Why Is Kichari so Important?
Kichari (“Kich-AH-ree”), also spelled kichadi, is a porridge made of beans and rice. The traditional, cleansing version is made with split mung beans and white basmati rice. This combination, when cooked well with plenty of water, ghee, and digestive spices, both nourishes and cleanses the body without supporting any kind of imbalance. This easy-to-digest dish is beneficial for all body types and all seasons. Kichari works well when the digestion is “off” in any way or the mind and emotions are unsteady.

 

-From Everyday Ayurveda Cooking for a Calm Clear Mind by Kate O’Donnell © 2018 by Kate O’Donnell. Photographs © 2018 by Cara Brostrom. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.shambhala.com

artist fellowship with getawayhouse

photo by Cara Brostrom

I recently held an artist fellowship with Getaway House, a project of the Millennial Housing Lab. Artist and designer @risa_horn joined me for the trip to a secret location in New Hampshire.

The Ovida was a tiny house lost in the woods, where the wifi was weak but the connection was stronger. I made a series of images based on our presence in this place, and materials available to us. I’ll share these in the coming days as #fieldstudies.

“Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” – Mary Oliver

photo by Cara Brostrom

photo by Cara Brostrom

photo by Cara Brostrom

photo by Cara Brostrom

photo by Cara Brostrom

photo by Cara Brostrom

modern day rock-n-roll woman

modern day rock-n-roll woman

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Juliet Loranger is a self-described modern day rock-n-roll woman. “I teach Yoga because I practice Yoga. Also because it is a transformative process and I believe everyone should somehow keep connected with the process of transformation.” @julietflamethrower

My notes in preparation for this photoshoot included: rock out / get sweaty / take risks / depth / experience / artist / woman / yoga practitioner. We photographed on location at Yoga on Union in New Bedford and Mass Audubon’s Stone Barn where Juliet teaches summer yoga classes and retreats.

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inherit the green | autumn

inherit the green | autumn

photo by Cara Brostrom

My original intention with this Inherit the Green photo project was to spend time outside every day with my family, and to document it. Yes, in the months since my last post on this subject, we spent time outside. We live in a city where we get around mostly on foot so it is unavoidable in may ways.

But I was not as diligent about the kind of time we spent outdoors. Much of our time outside was to get somewhere, often in a rush. I did occasionally pause to make a photograph, but they collected and waited on my hard drive as I focused my time on editing work for my clients. I didn’t have the time or the personal energy to look at or share the photos I had been making for myself.

Admittedly, part of this was because I had lost sight of my original motivation for this:

to spend time outside with my family,

to live our daily rhythm with intention,

to discover and participate in the landscape we call home.

Instead, I questioned its relevancy to my audience. I doubted its appeal. I wondered if anyone cared.

But looking through the last 6 weeks of photos last night, I found stillness and curiosity. I found evidence of a season well-lived. Of passing time together, even amidst the busier days. And today I share these photos and these thoughts for us, for my family. To reflect and know that it was (and is) good to be in and know this place.

And that is enough.

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Inherit the Green, 52 weeks in our life out of doors.

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