If you know us, then we’ve probably fed you a hot bowl of congee or rice porridge. This simple meal has become a staple in our kosmic kitchen, not just for its flavor, but for its healing properties. Porridges are enjoyed all over the world as a way to nourish the sick when most food isn’t able to be digested. They provide nutrients while allowing the digestive system to take a break from needing to digest rich or heavy foods. In Chinese Medicine herbs are often cooked into porridge to make them more palatable and as an easy way to assimilate the medicinal properties of the herbs. Perhaps you’ve been given herbs to enjoy this way from your acupuncturist. From an energetic perspective, congee is warming, moistening and tonifying or building to the body. Its the perfect meal to enjoy during the cooler months when staying warm and nourished is key to feeling balanced.
Turmeric is one of our favorite kitchen spices we use in just about everything—dressings, drinks, honey, soups, stews, grains and greens. Most people think of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties but often don't realize how wonderful this plant is for the digestive system as well. The bitter, astringent and warming nature of turmeric helps to improve poor circulation, balance metabolism and aids in the digestion of proteins. It really compliments the warming aspects of congee and make a simple dish come alive with its deep golden color. We recommend getting your ground turmeric from the highest quality brand we know, Diaspora Co. This queer woman-of-color owned business is changing the way the world thinks about the quality of herbs and where they are sourced from by decolonizing the commodity spicy trade. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back to buying turmeric from the spice isle again!
We like our congee savory with a serving of protein and usually something fermented like kraut or kimchee. We’ll make a batch in the morning to enjoy for breakfast and to eat throughout the day. The options are endless so feel free to experiment with your favorite flavor combinations.
1 cup rice, we typically use basmati
1 teaspoons ground turmeric
4-6 cups water or broth
Poached egg / smoked salmon / tempeh
Steamed kale / chard / collards
black sesame seeds / toasted sunflower seeds / pumpkin seeds
ghee / olive oil / toasted sesame oil
kraut / kimchee
The night before making the congee, pour the rice in a prep bowl and cover well with water and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. This will help break down the enzyme inhibitors and make the rice easier to digest. Place a kitchen towel over the the top to cover and let sit until morning. Strain and rinse the rice then add to a pot. Sprinkle in the turmeric powder and stir to coat the rice. Pour in the water or broth and bring to a boil then turning the heat down to a low simmer. Let the rice cook for 30 minutes to an hour until its the texture of a thin porridge. Enjoy hot, ladled into bowls with your favorite toppings.