Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cooking for your Self

Ayurveda is a perfect Science. It is a very precise and exact formula that has been gifted to all of mankind for all times, as perfect today as it was and has always been since the beginning of time. Ayurveda has many facets and its principles determine each and every aspect of our lives.
Food, being one of the three main pillars of life, impacts directly our understanding and perception, as our mind is also material and so made up of the subtle effects of the food that we take in during our lifetime. Our environment and even our experiences are greatly determined by the food we consume. With this in mind, we realize that we are the creators of our own world; our world itself having been created out of the mind; the mind having been created out of food.
Again, as our physical body is made up of the food that we take in during our lifetime, the same making up the mind, which is but a subtler form of matter, we come to realize how critical it is to choose those things which suit our constitution, and to reduce those which will throw us into disturbance. Ayurveda says that all diseases, symptoms and disturbances within, whether physical or mental, are caused by one thing and one thing alone: a disturbed or vitiated dosha. Once this challenge is met and one begins to live according to his unique constitution, he begins to see that there are mighty factors at work, and a great intelligence at play within. As the system within starts to correct itself, Ayurveda will come and ‘teach’ the things that are correct along with those that are incorrect; and slowly, those things that are not suitable will fall by the wayside, one by one. All such disturbances will then fall away as man returns to his natural state: his own home.


Potato and Capsicum Fry for Pitta

This is a nourishing, filling and very tasty dish.  Hits the spot during cold weather!

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large red onion, sliced
2 green bell peppers, chopped same size as the potato
1 tsp cumin seed
2-3 green chillies, seeded and sliced
2-3 sprigs fresh curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp lime juice



·         In a deep saucepan or wok, heat the oil.  When hot add in the cumin seed, green chillies and curry leaves and sauté till the seeds stop popping.

·         Add in the onion and continue to sauté until translucent. 

·         Add in the capsicum and stir fry until half cooked. 

·         Add in the potatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and cumin powders.  Mix ingredients well and add a little salt.  Cover and cook until potatoes are done, about 8-10 minutes.

·         Check salt and top the dish off with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Onion Chutney for Kapha Dosha


2 large red Onions, chopped into rather large pieces
Indian Sesame oil or Ghee
1 tbsp Urad Dal (Black gram)
1 tbsp Channa Dal (Bengal gram)

1/4 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

Tamarind (small golf ball size, or use the instant Tamarind concentrate)
          Mix the tamarind with 1/4 cup boiling hot water
1 sprig curry leaf
1 tsp mustard seed

4-5 dried Red chillies, broken into pieces
          (Available in the Mexican food section of your supermarket)
Salt to taste


·        Cut onion into big pieces.  Set aside.
·        Mix the tamarind with 1/4 cup hot water and set aside.
·        Heat oil or ghee in a saucepan or wok, then add in the urad dal, channa dal and hing, and fry till the dal starts to turn golden. 
·        Add in the onions, ginger and a little salt and continue to fry till onion is starting to turn golden in color and fragrant.
·        Add in the tamarind water and cook further to reduce till the water has sufficiently evaporated and the oil is starting to ooze out.
·        Remove the mixture to a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.
·        When sufficiently cooled, blend the entire mixture in a blender, to the texture you prefer.  Remove to a bowl and keep aside.
·        In the same saucepan, heat about 2 tbsp ghee until just smoking.  Add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing and dried red chillies and fry till the seeds stop popping and the leaves and chillies are crispy. 
·        Pour entire mixture onto the chutney.


This chutney is excellent for Kapha and fully supports the dosha with all the spicey ingredients.  Serve onion chutney with your favorite savory style pancake such as Rava dosa (Savory Semolina pancake) for Kapha.  Tasty and satisfying food as medicine.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rava Dosa

 This is a yummy South Indian breakfast dish that is easy and quick


½ cup Semolina, or Cream of Wheat
½ rice flour (available in the Mexican food section of your supermarket)
¼ cup all purpose flour
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin seed
2 green chillies, chopped fine
1 sprig curry leaf (if you have it)
1 tsp finely minced ginger
2 tbsp cilantro, freshly chopped
1 onion, chopped


·        Combine all the ingredients except the onions and curry leaves in a mixing bowl.  Mix up with a whisk to fully integrate all the ingredients. 

·        Add 1 cup water, stirring well.  Continue to add enough water so that you have a very watery consistency.  This is not a thick batter at all but a watery one.  If the batter is too thick, the dosa will not turn out crispy.

·        Heat 2 tsps of ghee in an iron frying pan or flat skillet.  You can also use a nonstick pan if you wish.

·        Add in 1 tbsp of the chopped onions and 2-3 curry leaves for each pancake, and allow to sauté until golden.

·        Using your hands, scoop up the batter and drizzle all around the pan, creating a very holey and lacy effect.  Drizzle 1 or 2 tsps of ghee on the topside and then wait for the bottom to thoroughly brown and crisp up.  This may take up to 5 minutes, but you must watch it.

·        When ready, simply fold the dosa into thirds with the spatula.  There is no need to turn the dosa over to cook the other side, but you can if you wish.

Serve dosa with coconut chutney, onion chutney or Indian sambhar for a traditional and yummy South Indian breakfast.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mexican Style Rice for Kapha Dosha

 This is a great one dish meal that is not too heavy
and is easily digestible


3 tbsp Corn or Sunflower Oil
2 cups rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, chopped
3-4 Green chillies, sliced diagonally
1 tbsp Cumin powder
1 yellow tomato, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3cups Chicken stock or chicken buillion
Black pepper
Fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Wash rice well and drain. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan.  When hot, add in the garlic, onion and green chillie and stir fry on medium heat until onion is golden.
  • Add in the rice and salt and continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes or until the raw rice is no longer damp and is starting to dry out and brown up a bit.
  • Add in the cumin powder and black pepper and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes so that the cumin becomes spicy fragrant and loses the raw smell. The mixture should look a little oily.
  • Add in the green pepper, tomato and sugar, and stir fry again mixing all ingredients well. Add in the chicken stock stirring well and return to the boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and continue to cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is done.
  • About half way through, remove the lid and stir through to ensure rice is not burning at the bottom of the pan.  Cover and continue cooking until rice is done.
  • Top off this dish with freshly chopped cilantro.



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Almond Milk for Vata

This is a refreshing drink to enjoy during hot weather.
Very nourishing for Vata


Milk - 4 cups
Honey – 3 to 4 tbsp
Nutmeg Powder - 1/8 tsp
Green Cardamom - 5 to 6 pieces
Almonds - 1/4 cup


  • Soak almonds overnight and in the morning remove skins.  Mince the almonds and set aside.
  • Grind the green cardamoms in a grinder, or mortar and pestle.  Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, add in the milk, ground cardamom, nutmeg powder and almonds.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • When a little cooled, add in the honey to taste.


You can drink this warm or chilled. 




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sweet Lassie

A Refreshing Yoghurt Drink for Pitta and Vata


1 cup fresh full cream yoghurt
1 cup freshly drawn cold tap water
½ cup ice cubes
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Rose water

Place all ingredients in blender and blend well until nice and frothy. Drink a little chilled.


Lassie will cool the system down to a very great extent.
Drink this in the mid afternoon or whenever the weather is hot.
Do not take yoghurt or yoghurt drinks in the evenings as it is too cooling for the system.
Do not take early morning as the weather is still a bit too cool for it.
Drink when your system is heated up and see how refreshing it is, and tasty too!
Be sure to observe your system's reaction to all newly introduced dishes and drinks.


Oats for Pitta and Vata

This old time favorite dish is very nourishing and satisfying for both Pitta and Vata.  It builds the tissues while reducing the cholesterol. 

1 cup whole rolled oats (not instant)
Approx 2 cups water
¼ tsp Salt
¼ Cinnamon powder (or less)
Pinch of Nutmeg
2 tbsp ghee
Handful of Raisins
Cashews, broken into pieces
Sugar or honey

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a rolling boil.  Add in the oats, stirring to prevent lumps.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cover.  Let oats sit for 3-4 minutes.
  • In a shallow saucepan, heat the ghee and sauté the cashews until they turn a nice rich golden color.  Add in the raisins and once they balloon up, remove the pan from the heat and pour entire mixture into the oats.  Don’t allow the raisins to burn as they will become bitter.
  • Sprinkle oats with a little cinnamon and nutmeg.  Use nutmeg very sparingly as it is very strong and can easily overpower the whole dish.
  • Add in a ½ tsp of unsalted butter if you like, and sweeten to taste with brown sugar or honey.
  • Add in enough milk to your liking and enjoy!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Savory Oats for Kapha Dosha

This savory oats dish is excellent for those needing to reduce Kapha dosha.  It is filling, spicy and very satisfying.  Oats prepared this way provides a lot of heat for the Kapha and is especially beneficial taken in cooler weather and winter. The oats further reduce cholesterol to a very great extent.   Increased energy and flexibility can be felt as the Kapha melts.


1 cup whole oats (not instant)
1 tbsp ghee or Indian sesame oil
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp urad dhal
1 dried red chillie, broken into pieces
1 sprig fresh curry leaf
Approx  2 cups boiling water
Salt to taste

¼ tsp black pepper
Heat the ghee or oil in a medium saucepan.  Check that the ghee is hot enough by putting in a couple of mustard seeds.  They should crack right away.  When ghee is hot enough, add in the mustard seeds and sauté till they stop popping.   

Add in the urad dhal, dry chillie, and curry leaf and sauté till the urad dhal turns a golden color. 

Add in the oats, and stir all ingredients well.  Allow this dry mixture to sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat.  Add in the black pepper and a little salt and mix well. 

Add in the boiling water and stir well, ensuring mixture is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.   The amount of water should be to your taste; more water for thinner oats, and less for thicker oats.

Allow oats to cook for 4-5 minutes.  Check a couple of times to ensure there is enough moisture in the dish to your preference, and that the mixture is not sticking.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Basic Kitcharee

 A warm, nourishing and yummy dish suitable for everyone
1/2 cup yellow mung dhal (also spelt moong)
1/2 cup basmati rice
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Handful of freshly chopped cilantro
Black Pepper
  •  In a medium saucepan or rice cooker, wash yellow mung dhall 3 times, drain.
  • Add in basmati rice to the dhall, wash well once and drain.
  • Add in salt, and 4 cups of water.  Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and cook on medium slow fire for approx 30 minutes.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat ghee until it just starts to smoke.
  • Add in the cumin seeds and fry until they stop popping.  This will only take a few seconds if your oil is hot enough.  Do not let the seeds burn.  Immediately pour the ghee & cumin mixture into cooked rice and stir well.
  • Add in some black pepper if you like.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Serve this with Mango chutney if you can find it.  Papadams also go very well with this dish.
  • The ghee should be hot when putting in the cumin seeds as this will allow the seeds to immediately ‘pop’, releasing their essence.  If your ghee is not hot enough, this will not happen.  You can see the effect this has on the seeds - they will have doubled in size after popping.  The seeds at this point can burn very quickly, so the ghee has to be just hot enough to allow the seeds to crack immediately without burning.  Pour the mixture into the cooked kitcharee before the seeds burn!

  • Cilantro will normally have a lot of grit so you will have to wash well to get all the grit out.  I normally trim off the ends of the bunch, and then holding the end of the bunch, swish the bunch in a bowl of cool water, then drain.  You will clearly see the sand at the bottom of the bowl.  Do this at least three times to clear all the grit.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bitter Gourd Fry for Pitta and Kapha


This is an excellent choice for those looking to pacify Pitta and Kapha.  It is absolute food as medicine.  This veggie can be bought fresh or frozen at Indian grocers, along with the curry leaves.  Try growing these leaves in your garden.  they add distinct taste to dishes and are full of iron.

or 6 small Indian bitter gourds
3-4 tbsp ghee or oil
Small cinnamon stick
2 big red onions, sliced
3-4 sprigs curry leaves
3-4 sliced fresh green chillies
2 tsp cumin seed
Fresh lemon or lime

Wash and slice the bitter gourd lengthwise down the centre.  Remove seeds if they look tough, otherwise you can leave these in.  Cut the bitter gourds into small rings.

Heat ghee or oil and fry the bitter gourds until a little golden, and set aside.

Fry the cinnamon stick and cumin seed until it starts to pop, then add in the onions, chillies and curry leaves.  Fry until golden, add in the bitter gourd, salt to taste and mix well. 

Squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon or lime.  Mix well.  Be sure to remove the seeds and mix well.


Chicken Stew for Pitta and Kapha

This recipe is excellent for Pitta and Kapha, and is excellent on cold winter days and nights. 
Serve this yummy one dish meal often!


3-4 large chicken breasts (skin and bone on)
1-2 big yellow onions, sliced
5 stalks celery, chopped
1 big green bell pepper, chopped large
5 carrots peeled and chopped large
1/2 Rutabaga, peeled and chopped into bite sized cubes
Corn oil
Boiling water
Salt & fresh black pepper

  • Heat the oil in a deep large saucepan and when hot, sauté the onions till soft.  
  • Add in the chicken and stir well adding in salt and pepper. Allow the chicken to brown a little and lose the raw and pink look. 
  • Add in the vegetables into the mixture and stir well, cooking for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add in boiling water to cover all ingredients by a couple of inches. 
  • Bring to boil again, stirring well. Lightly cover the pot (not a tight cover as it may boil over). 
  • Allow to cook for about 45-60 minutes on a good medium hot heat. 
  • Don’t allow the liquid to boil away as the dish should be thick and soupy. Cook as to your preference for consistency. 
  • When the chicken starts falling off the bone, you can turn off the heat and check the salt.
  • Add in a little more fresh black pepper.
  • Garnish top with fresh parsley (optional) if you like.
  • Serve over rice, or just enjoy in a bowl by itself with some suitable bread.


Vata Chicken Stew


Chicken thighs – 6-8
3-4 tbsp butter
1 big onion, sliced
¼ cup flour
3-4 carrots peeled and chopped large
2-3 sweet potatoes peeled and quartered
1-2 large leeks chopped
Handful of fresh green beans, sliced 1”
Boiling water
Salt & fresh black pepper
Fresh parsley chopped


Sauté the chicken in oil until nicely browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add in the sliced onion and sauté in the drippings until a little caramelized.  Add in the flour and stir well.  Add in the salt and pepper and mix well till nicely browned. 

Add in the chicken pieces and cover with boiling water.   Lightly cover the pot and cook on medium heat  for  about 25 minutes.

Add in all the vegetables, stirring well, and lightly cover the pot (not a tight cover as it may boil over).   Cook for about 45 minutes.  Don’t allow the liquid to boil away as the dish should be thick and soupy.  Cook as to your preference for consistency. .  If the stew is too watery, leave the lid off and continue to cook until thickened.  If not enough water, add in a little more and close the lid.

Remove from heat and garnish with chopped parsley, if you have it.

Serve over rice, or just enjoy in a bowl by itself with some yeast free bread, if you can find it.

If not, stand by for the recipe.