When I give patients a list of recommended foods and a prescribed diet, first I get a blank stare. After the blank stare, the first question I invariably get is, “When am I supposed to find time to cook?” (Or, “why can’t I eat ice cream anymore?”)
Dietary changes can be a shock to your digestive system and it can be daunting trying to cook something if you’re used to grabbing a meal on the go. Trust me, I get it!
As I was preparing today’s lunch, I watched the clock and noticed that it took me a mere 20 minutes. So in the spirit of making healthy meals quickly, I’ll be doing a set of blog posts called 20 Minute Recipes where I lay out Ayurvedically sensible, seasonally sound recipes that are easy to prepare (and often ones you can just throw in a pot and set a timer).
Today’s recipe includes basmati rice, green mung dal, sautéed fennel and spring peas with a bonus addition of some chutney if you have a couple of extra minutes.
20 MINUTE GREEN MUNG, RICE & VEGGIES
This should yield enough for 2-3 people for one meal or a full day’s worth of food for one. Make this in the morning and pack it up in an insulated lunch box and you’ve got food for the day.
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice, rinsed in a strainer
- 1 cup whole green mung beans, rinsed in a strainer
- 1 clove garlic
- Splash of white wine (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp ghee
- Rock salt
- Your choice of veggies: today I used diced fennel, shallots, and spring peas
- Pinch of saffron, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, turmeric powder
- Chutney (optional, but yummy): 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems, juice of 1/2 lemon or a full lime, 2 tbsp cashews, 1 tbsp organic cane sugar, 1 tsp ghee, pinch cumin seeds, 1 tbsp ground fresh ginger, 1 clove garlic, 1/8-1/4 cup water
Heat 1 tsp. ghee in a small pot, add in saffron and cardamom, let the spices heat up for a minute, then add rice. Add in 1 3/4 cups of water and put the lid on with a bit of room to vent. Cook rice for 12-13 minutes (or until water is soaked in and rice is fluffy). Remove from heat and cover for 5 mins.
Add 1 tbsp ghee, and then add garlic, and turmeric. Heat for 30 seconds, then add the mung beans. Let those sauté for a minute. Then add 4 cups of water. Once the water comes to a boil, put the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 17 minutes on medium heat.
(This is the pressure cooker I own. Double check cooking times for your model before you start any recipe.)
While mung and rice are cooking, dice shallots and fennel. Shell the peas, too. Heat up 1 tsp ghee and add shallots. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Add fennel and a splash of white wine if using. Saute for a few more minutes until fennel is soft. Then add peas. Sautee for another minute. Then cover and let steam for a few minutes while you check on rice.
That whole process should take about 15 minutes, depending on how quickly you can dice and prep.
If you have time to make this, it’s a yummy bonus addition. While fresh is always best, sometimes I’ll make a big batch at the beginning of the week and add to dishes. I vary it based on season and my digestion, but this is a good for late winter with the added cashews.
Put cilantro, fresh ginger, lemon or lime juice, 1/8 cup water, and cashews into a small mixer and blend. Melt ghee and cumin seeds in a small pan. Add the sliced garlic clove to the ghee and cumin seeds. Saute for 1 minute. Add to the blender and blend once more. The chutney should be thick and not too runny, but add more water to get the consistency you want.
Enjoy! Please post questions if you have them.
- As one of the oldest systems of medicine, Ayurveda sees the body as a microcosm of the larger macrocosm, essentially our bodies are a reflection of what's happening outside. Staying healthy means living in harmony with nature and the seasons. Each season raises a specific dosha (sometimes two). With summer being…