Butternut Squash and Tender Greens Kitchari

Today’s recipe is perfect for those days when you are at busy at home and can occasionally stir a pot, but not do endless preparation. As I am working at home today I thought this would be perfect to make my family for dinner and equally perfect to share with you all.
Also, I just purchased some tender organic greens from Farmer Jatayu (as Surya calls him) at the temple and want to use them. And this kitchari is the perfect thing to use them for. I have a butternut squash that has been sitting in my kitchen cupboard asking to be used. Add some spices and voilà! Creamy, healthy, kitchari.
This particular kitchari is very similar to risotto but with an Indian twist. To make a complete meal, I like to cut up some cucumber and tomato into slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. My four year old turns her nose up at any meal with less than two preps, and she has been known to ask “is this all there is?” So paring this kitchari with some raw vegetables as a side is a great contrast.

Butternut Squash and Tender Greens Kitchari
[Recipe by Pishima]

Butternut gives this kitchari some sweet creaminess, almost like you have added some sweet cream butter, and is the perfect complement to the slight bitterness of the greens. This recipe is great for kids (or adults) who are not fond of seedy spices in their meal. My daughter loves this kitchari and I love that she is eating healthy whole grains and vegetables.

1 bunch mixed greens (I’m using organic Kale, mustard mix)
1 medium/large butternut squash
1 cup brown rice
1 1/4 cups split mung dahl
7 1/2 cups water plus 1 cup
1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp asafetida/hing
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger (good quality)
2 tsp salt

Wash the mixed greens thoroughly a few times to remove all of the dirt. Chop the washed greens into smallish strips. Peel and chop the butternut into 1 inch cubes. Set the greens and squash aside and wash the rice and dahl. I wash them together to save time.
Place a large pot on medium heat and add the rice, dahl and water. If you wish to save time you can pre-boil your water (and electric kettle is great for this sort of thing). Bring to a boil and then add all of the spices and the butternut cubes. Let cook for a while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
After about 20 minutes add the greens and salt and keep cooking. Turn the heat to med/low and add 1 more cup of water. Let it gently boil for about 40 more minutes with the occasional stir or until the rice and dahl are fully cooked, the brown rice will still not be completely soft. Serve with a knob of butter or with some yoghurt and your favorite pickle.