Mung Beans and Rice with Vegetables (Kicheree)

A perfectly balanced dish, easy to digest and very satisfying. Good any time of the year,  but makes a particularly good winter diet.

Makes 4 servings
4-6 cups water
½ cup mung beans*
½ cup basmati rice*
1 onion, chopped*
1-2 Tb. ginger root, finely minced*
3 cloves garlic, minced*
1-3 cups chopped vegetables*
2 Tb. ghee or vegetable oil*
3/4 tsp. turmeric*
¼  tsp. crushed red chilies
¼  tsp. ground black pepper*
½  tsp. ground coriander
½  tsp. garam masala, optional
½  tsp. ground cumin
¼  tsp. cardamom seeds, optional
1 bay leaf
salt to taste*

Rinse mung beans and rice. Add mung beans to boiling water and cook until beans begin to split. Add rice and vegetables and cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the mixture cooks, it will start to thicken so add water as necessary.  Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add onions, ginger, and garlic and sauté until clear. Add spices and cook 5 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add a little water if necessary. Add this to the rice and beans. The final consistency should be like a thick soup. Total cooking time is about 1½ hours. Add salt, Braggs or soy sauce to taste.  Serve plain or with yogurt.

NOTE: Carrots and celery are good vegetables for this dish.
*These ingredients are available at Espanola Community Market!