almond quinoa chocolate bars

21st September 2016

 

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Cool softened air, full moon swell, falling leaves, savouring the light….

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These have been a decadent treat around here.  Loved by all.  Perfect when you need something more than a dried date or fig for a sweet after a meal.  Based on this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories – a wonderful video is included showing you just how easy they are to make.  I altered the recipe slightly, adding ¼ cup hot water to the dates when mashing them. Even though the dates I used were soft, the hot water helped in the overall consistency. Instead of pumpkin seeds, I used extra almonds and toasted them to make them snappy and to bring out their flavour. I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts and seeds.  You could use a carob topping instead of the chocolate, by melting down carob buttons or using this glaze.

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almond quinoa chocolate bars

Makes 16 squares.

ingredients:

2 Tblsp coconut oil

200g soft medjool dates – approximately 10 dates

¼ cup hot water

1 cup/250g home-made almond butter

1 Tblsp fresh ginger, grated

a pinch rock salt, optional

½ cup/55 grams toasted almonds/hazelnuts

1 cup/80g puffed quinoa

for the chocolate topping:

100g dark chocolate

3 Tblsp dried unsweetened coconut

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

to roast the almonds:

Place the whole almonds/hazelnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  If using hazelnuts – while they are still warm, rub the nuts in a towel to remove the skins.  Allow to cool, finely chop and set aside.

to make the almond quinoa bars:

Line a 7 x 7/8 x 10-inch baking tray with baking paper, leaving 2 inches around the edges.

Remove the seeds from the dates and measure out 200 grams.  Set aside.  Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat and add the dates into the saucepan with the coconut oil.  Add the hot water and mash with a fork.  Mix in the almond butter, ginger and salt, stirring until it all comes together.  Remove from heat and add the puffed quinoa, chopped roasted almonds/hazelnuts, incorporating everything evenly.

Using your hands, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat. Using the edges of the baking paper, fold over and run your finger along the edges to create level sides and corners.  Place in the freezer while preparing the chocolate coating.

to melt the chocolate topping:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat, then using a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the slice. Sprinkle with half the shredded coconut, leaving the other half to sprinkle on later.

Place in the freezer for at least two hours, until cold and firm. Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. The bars will keep for a month.

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green bean palya

11th September 2016

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This is a great dish to make in late August when you have a glut of beans that cannot be picked fast enough and are becoming quite tough and in need of that extra boiling time to soften and bring out the flavour.  The climbing bean would have to be one of my favourite vegetables growing in the garden.  Once they are at their peak they continue to produce at a fast and furious rate.  Here, in Europe I grow the runner beans which have proven to do the best, being most resilient and tough, in this odd unpredictable, misty, Sintra climate.  They also produce the most beautiful flowers of ivory and cream.

Before leaving for our Summer holiday I planted a second round of climbing beans, planting in hope to extend the season, but alas only two came up, fortunately I also threw in a bed of very old french beans to clean out my seed box.  To my surprise all sprouted with robust enthusiasm and are close to picking in two weeks, I just hope the weather stays warm as we edge our way into early Autumn.  This is the warmest and dryist of Summers we have had since arriving in Portugal and the garden is rejoicing in it.

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This dish may be used as a condiment or independently served with rice, chapati or poori.  It strengthens the body, is easily digested and is suitable for all constitutions.   Suitable to be used daily and throughout all seasons.  For a variation of taste, lemon juice can be added at the end of preparation.  This variation is recommended when eating with rice.

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Green Bean Palya

The chilli, commonly used in South Indian cooking, is Byadagi chilli and is known for its deep red colour; it is relatively sweet and less spicy.  If unsure about the level of spice of the chilli you are using, leave whole or cut in half.

The Byadagi chilli, split bengal gram & urad dāl can be purchased at your local Indian store.

Serves 4

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma.  

ingredients :

4 cups (420g) green beans

4 Tblsp peanut/melted coconut oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp split bengal gram (chickpea)

1 tsp split uraddāl (black gram)

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 medium, mild dried red chilies,chopped

tsp hingu powder (asafoetida)

½ tsp turmeric powder

20-25 fresh curry leaves

375ml (1 ½ cups) water

5 Tblsp dried shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

½ cup chopped coriander leaves

Preparation:

Wash, top-tail and chop the green beans into small pieces.  Set aside.

In a heavy bottom skillet, over a medium flame, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds; wait until they start to splatter and pop and then add the bengal gram, urad dāl, cumin seeds, chillies, and hingu. 

Fry until bengal gram and urad dāl have turned golden in colour then add the turmeric powder and curry leaves.

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Add to the skillet the chopped beans, water, salt and jaggery. 

Stir to combine.  Simmer rapidly on medium heat until the beans have softened – approximately 15 minutes.  If wanting more of a firm bean, simmer for less time.

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Turn off the heat and stir in the dried coconut and fresh coriander leaves. 

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Allow to sit for 5 minutes in order to cool slightly and for the flavours to be absorbed.  Taste, adding more salt or jaggery, as needed.

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blackberry – acai popsicle

2nd September 2016

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A gorgeous coloured blackberry sorbet in celebration with the season, with the added benefits of acai – a recipe for the Holmes Place magazine; an ongoing concept of ‘super foods ‘ throughout the year.

‘Acai is a rich, deep purple fruit which is similar in shape to a grape and has a mild chocolate-y berry sweetness. These berries grow in huge clusters near the tops of palm trees, which grow in the Amazon rain forests. Each Acai berry contains just 10% fruit and pulp and a large seed, which has no benefits, so harvesting this fruit is laborious since the tree has no branches and each cluster of berries needs to be cut and brought down manually in order to preserve the fruit and pulp.  Within the nutritional pulp and skin, Acai berries are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It helps to increase your antioxidant levels, boosts your energy levels, supports your immune system and helps to promote a healthy digestive system.’

There are three basic ways to add acai to a recipe: acai powder, acai juice and acai frozen smoothie packs. Here, I choose to use the powder which is more widely available and which has been freeze-dried instantly to preserve the active components and is not overly processed. The powder can be added to smoothies, juices, home-made ice creams, sprinkled over your morning porridge, or added into raw treats.

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~home~

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Blackberry-Acai Popsicle

Makes 9 small popsicles

If you don’t have blackberries, try a different berry variety, blueberries, raspberries or even strawberries.  For a creamier sorbet, replace the apple juice with coconut cream by refrigerating a tin of coconut milk, & scooping out the white thick cream on top.   If you don’t have access to acai powder, it can be easily omitted. 

3 cups fresh blackberries, washed

2 medium ripe frozen bananas

½ cup unsweetened apple juice or fruit juice of choice

2 teaspoon acai powder

2 Tablespoon natural sweetener of choice (coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey)

Wash the berries and place in a high-speed blender or food processor, along with the peeled frozen bananas, apple juice, & acai powder.  Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping if you need to push the fruit down with a rubber spatula.  Taste, and add sweetener, if required.  Blend again to incorporate the sweet.

Spoon or pour into your popsicle holders, & freeze until firm or enjoy as is, for an instant treat.  When ready, pull the popsicle out of their moulds by running them under some warm water. 

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References – https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/facts-and-myths-about-acai-berry

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coriander leaf vanghi bath

25th August 2016

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We made this dish in the last ‘Introduction to Meditation & Ayurvedic Cooking’ workshop we held in June.  It is a recipe given to us by Gillian, taught to her by our teacher’s wife – the original recipe uses fresh fenugreek leaves which are hard to come by here in Portugal, so the fresh coriander makes a lovely alternative.

The Ayurvedic cooking session is taught in the last part of the workshop, so we all get to share in a blessing together and enjoy the meal we have just prepared.  This Coriander Leaf Vanghi Bath with Indian spices and heaps of coriander leaves is superb, and goes perfectly accompanied by a salad of grated carrot; a big bowl of sliced cucumber and various leaves and flowers picked fresh from the garden. Each workshop is very special and as we partake and teach more and more of them, we become open, confident and efficient in the running of them.  Both days were deliciously warm, sunny and still, so we were able to open up the doors and sit outside during the breaks to enjoy the beautiful presence of nature and the warmth of the sun.

Our next workshop is planned for September and is open to register here.

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CORIANDER LEAF VANGHI BATH

Use heaped portions with measurements, except when stated otherwise.

Serves 4

ingredients:

1 cup rice

3 cups water

¼ cup ghee/coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

10 fresh curry leaves

3 bunches/3 cups fresh coriander leaf/fenugreek leaves

½ cup dried shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

½-1 tsp tamarind paste

1½-2 tsp sambar powder

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Preparation:

In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs off clear, then drain.

Pour in the water and bring to boil over a medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until water has almost completely evaporated. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to cool.

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While waiting for the rice to cool, wash the coriander leaves, dry and chop (can use stems).  You should have 3 full cups chopped coriander.  Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow the spices to fry evenly.

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Add the fresh coriander leaves, dried coconut, salt, jaggery, tamarind paste and sambar powder, and stir for one minute, then turn off the heat. 

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Add the cooked rice (make sure it has cooled first), and combine the rice using a wooden spoon or the right palm of the hand, gently combine, to ensure the rice is mixed well with the spices.

Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, sugar/jaggery.  Garnish with handful of extra fresh coriander leaves and serve with a spoon of ghee.

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golden honey passionfruit elixir & a chia pudding

15th August 2016

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A recipe created for  Holmes Place magazine as part of an ongoing concept of seasonal ‘superfoods’ through out the year.

Elixir : a substance, usually a liquid, with a magical power to cure, improve, or preserve something.

This Elixir works as a wonderful topping for your morning yogurt or warm cooked oats. At other times, mixed in with a salad dressing; drizzled over vanilla ice-cream for an evening treat; as a drink, stirred into hot, not boiling, water or gently heated and stirred into milk; or added to smoothies or juices for a flavour kick. Turmeric root is often used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties.   For this elixir, it is combined with the multiple wonderful benefits of passionfruit, honey and ginger, all healing and preventive powerhouses on their own.  

When buying passionfruit, the ripe fruit should be firm and heavy with wrinkled skins, and have a little “give”.  If the skin is not deeply wrinkled, but only shrivelled and unappealing, keep the fruit at room temperature until it is.

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Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Makes 1 cup (240mL)

Recipe adapted from Tara O’Brady – Seven Spoons.

When passionfruit are not in season, replace with an extra ¼ cup honey.

ingredients:

½ cup mild tasting honey, preferably raw

½ cup ripe passionfruit pulp (approximately 6 fruits)

2 Tblsp freshly grated ginger

1 heaped tsp turmeric powder/ 1 Tblsp freshly grated turmeric root

Zest from 1 lemon

2 pinches freshly ground black pepper

Grate the ginger and lemon zest.  Halve the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp and seeds to measure half a cup.  Set aside.

Pour the honey into a jar, add the passionfruit pulp, grated ginger, turmeric, lemon zest and ground pepper.  Stir to combine well.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes before using, or an hour if you can, then cover and refrigerate.  The longer it sits, the more the flavours balance and settle.  Stir before serving.  Use within 1 week.

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Chia Pudding with Berries & Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Serves 2

chia pudding :

2 Tblsp chia seeds

½ cup almond milk/or nut milk of choice

¼ tsp vanilla essence

serving options:

1 cup Greek style yogurt or choice of non-dairy yogurt

2 – 4 Tblsp Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Fresh seasonal fruits, such as sliced peaches/nectarines, strawberries and raspberries, washed and chopped

2 – 4 Tbsp chopped almonds/granola

To make the chia pudding, place the chia seeds, vanilla essence and nut milk in a jar.  Screw on the lid, shake a few times and refrigerate for 30 minutes or preferably overnight.  Stir again before serving.

When ready to serve, divide the yogurt into two individual bowls and evenly spoon over the chia pudding.  Drizzle the Golden Passionfruit Elixir over the top, arrange the fruits and berries, and garnish with fresh mint leaves, toasted almonds or your favourite granola.

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mango passionfruit sorbet

6th August 2016

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I photographed this before I left for our holiday. We travelled for almost 2 days and a bit, arriving in a bit of a daze – a haze. Finally, with our feet on earthly ground and toes in the sand.  The jet lag is HUGE, but worth every moment of breathing in all these scents and sounds which are so familiar.  The early, early mornings are my most favourite, most alive, sitting out on the deck above the blue, blue waters, waves lapping on the rocks below, watching the sky change its colour from black to blue to pink to orange – so brightly. And with it all, along comes the eerie call of the curlew, followed by a kookaburra and then the screech and squawk of the white-crested cockatoos.  Australia is a beautiful country.

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Glorious days, white sands & soft, glowing, clear skies.

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mango passionfruit sorbet

Serves 6

This is incredibly quick & easy, with a remarkable end result of a golden-coloured smooth, refreshing sorbet for these hot Summer days or as a light evening treat to end a meal.

ingredients :

650g/3 heaped cups fresh ripe mango (2 large mangos)

6 – 8 passionfruit

2 Tblsp mild-tasting honey/maple syrup (optional)

Peel & chop the mango flesh into large chunks and place in a bowl.  Run your hand over the seed to remove as much of the mango pulp and juice as possible.  Place the pulp and the honey into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.   Set aside.

In a small jug, half the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp.  Pour into the blender and stir to combine with a spoon.

Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and churn for about 25 – 30 minutes, or to the manufacture´s instructions, until frozen.  The sorbet will be soft.  Transfer to a container, cover and freeze for at least 3 hours or until completely frozen.

When ready to serve, allow to soften outside for 15 minutes before scooping into bowls.  Garnish with leaves of fresh lemon verbena and bright, edible flowers.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, freeze the cut mango until solid.  Place in a blender with the honey and blend until smooth.  Stir in the passionfruit pulp and place in the freezer until it just starts to harden around the edges.  Whisk vigorously with a fork to break up any ice crystals, then freeze until firm.

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pepper rasam

26th July 2016

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Pepper Rasam is a simple and tasty liquid dish, considered tridhatus samya, balances all three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  It provokes the appetite and is helpful for indigestion. It helps to reduce nausea and is beneficial for those with high fever.  It may be consumed two or three times in a week.  It is recommended to be served with rice, a spoon of ghee and goes very well with steamed greens or a green bean palya.

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~ Evening, Praia Do Guincho

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Pepper Rasam

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma.  For those with Vata imbalance, it is recommended to reduce the toor dahl to 1/3 cup.

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

ingredients:

1/3 – 1/2 cup toor dahl

1  1/4 liter/5 cups water

1  1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp jaggery

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

first voggarane:

2 tsp ghee 

1\2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dahl

1/2  – 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, depending on your preferred spice

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves 

1/8 tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 cup shredded dried coconut

1 cup warm water

second voggarane :

1 tsp  ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves

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preparation:

In a heavy saucepan, wash toor dahl several times until water runs clear – then drain.  Pour water into saucepan and bring to boil on a medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.) Simmer until dahl is soft and broken down – approximately 30 – 40 minutes, 2 – 3 cups of liquid remaining.

first voggarane:

In a small pan/bandalei over medium heat, add 2 tsp ghee, once hot add mustard seeds; as the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add urad dahl, whole peppercorns, and 1 tsp cumin seed. Once urad dahl is golden brown, add 6 curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around allowing spices to fry evenly. Pour into the voggarane, dried coconut and 1 cup of warm water, stir to combine then pour into blender. Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute.

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Add mixture to dahl, use liquid from dahl to swish blender clean, add back into the dahl.  Add salt and jaggery – mix well and set aside.

second voggarane:

Tear remaining 6 curry leaves in half (this way everyone gets a curry leaf, receiving their benefits), set aside.

In the first voggarane pan/bandalei, over medium heat, add remaining ghee, once hot add 1 tsp cumin seeds and torn curry leaves. Fry until the seeds are golden-brown (careful not to burn the cumin.) Pour voggarane into rasam, and stir in chopped coriander leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before tasting, adding more jaggery or salt as needed.  Serve with rice, green bean palya or sauteed greens and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

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chapati

12th July 2016

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Chapati has become a regular event in our house.  They are wonderful drizzled with ghee, and served with  a simple dahl, or vegetable palya.  I also love them alongside a bowl of guacamole or roasted red pepper spread.

There are different varieties of chapatis available; one made with no fat, one made with oil and one made with ghee. Chapati made with ghee will support the physical and mental health to the fullest extent. It is recommended to be consumed while warm, as it becomes harder when cool. A chapati made with oil is also tasty and healthy and keeps its softness when it has cooled. Chapati can be consumed at any meal time, in all seasons and supports all constitutions.

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early morning vegetable garden

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chapati

Makes 5 chapati

Recipe shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya.

Chapati is traditionally made with Atta, a granular flour milled from soft Indian wheat that yields very tender chapatis.  If you are able to purchase this type of flour, it is recommended.  Here we use a combination of cup wholewheat and cup white flour, resulting in a softer, less tough chapati.  Regular wholewheat flour (sifted to remove the larger bran particles) can also be used.  It may take a few attempts before finding the flours which suit best in your country of residence.  

Making chapati is great in getting the whole family involved in the kitchen. Each person rolling out chapati, makes it a fun and easy process.

ingredients :

1 cup/130g flour (I use ⅔ cup white & cup wholewheat)

¼ tsp salt

2 Tblsp/30ml melted ghee

¼ cup/60mL hot water (or enough for a kneadable dough)

preparation :

Into a large bowl, place the flour and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Pour in the ghee and hot water and stir with a spoon, slowly bringing the dry ingredients into the wet, until mostly combined.

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Using your hands, start kneading into the bowl, adding more water if needed (a teaspoon at a time), to make a tender dough. 

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Work the dough until smooth, shining and does not stick to the hands.  Approximately 5 minutes.  Set aside, covered for 10 minutes. 

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Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and shape each into a ball. 

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Take one ball, using your palms, flatten slightly into a disc. Dip both sides with flour, (most of the time I find I can skip this step and there is no need to dip in flour) then use a rolling pin to roll it into a very thin, round 7-inch circle.  Lately I roll out the dough, fold in half and fold in half again – then roll out again, into a 7-inch circle.  This encourages them to magically puff up when cooking.

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Cover with a damp clean towel/individual sheets of baking paper, and repeat with the remaining balls.   I like to roll out the dough a few hours before I am ready to cook them,  I fold a sheet of baking paper in half, then half again, and place each thinly, rolled chapati into the folded quarters of each sheet, until ready to cook.

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Preheat a cast iron/non-stick skillet or tava over medium heat.  Once hot (it is important that it is hot), place the first chapati in the skillet and cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface, about a minute. 

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Flip and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the pan, about 30 seconds. 

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Flip twice more for 30 seconds on each side.  There will be 4 – 5 flips throughout the whole process. 

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Be careful not to overcook, otherwise they will be dry and crunchy.  Stack and cover the chapatis as you continue to cook the remaining ones.  Serve immediately.

When made on a regular basis, becoming familiar with the process – chapatis become quick, easy and enjoyable to make.  Serve with a simple dahl or Green Bean Palya. 

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roasted red pepper walnut spread

1st July 2016

roasted red pepper

One of the (much well received) additions to our table recently is this roasted red pepper walnut spread.  This is one recipe I have made quite a few times as a wholesome snack, entree, spread or more filling side dish to an otherwise light salad based meal. Whatever the occasion, time of day or audience I can almost always be assured of…’mmm…whats in this?!’. My answer has always been…’oh, I’ll post it on my blog’. So here it is.

If there is one vegetable when roasted that brings it´s goodness, it’s a roasted bell pepper.  After being roasted in the oven, the skin becomes charred, wrinkly and the inside sheds its blistered skin – emerging more succulent and sweeter than the raw version. The transformation is magical and delicious.

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-a garden edging it´s way into Summer

red pepper

roasted red pepper walnut spread

Makes about 2 cups

I  have been looking for a another tasty dip other than the usual hummus or guacamole we serve so often here, and one that satisfies the matured taste buds of young adults.  The roasted pepper adds a distinct sweetness and the toasted walnuts & breadcrumbs balance out that sweetness.  It is great served as a dip, as a spread on sandwiches or over a base for a pizza.

Recipe from 101 cookbooks – Heidi Swanson.

ingredients :

3 medium red pepper  (I like to use the long pepper – I find them sweeter more flavourful than bell pepper)

3/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup whole/grain bread crumbs

1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

1/4 cup extra/virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 Tblsp honey\pomegranate molasses

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/2 tsp fine-grain rock salt

Pre – heat the oven to 410F/210C.

Place the whole peppers on a rimmed tray lined with a baking sheet.  Roast, until the skin has become charred, and wrinkled, 50 to 60 minutes.

While the peppers roast, place a few slices of sourdough bread in the oven and toast until crunchy, approximately 20 minutes, place the walnuts into the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Careful not to burn.  Remove and set aside to cool.

When the pepper are ready, remove from the oven and gather up the corners of the baking sheet from the tray and wrap the peppers (use a kitchen towel to help if it is too hot).  This will steam them enabling the skins to easily peel off .

Cool until you can handle them, about 15 minutes, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems.   Keep the liquid from the peppers to add to the processor.  Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Using  a food processor attached with an S blade, process the bread crumbs, when coarsely ground, measure out 1/4 cup and return to the processor, add the chilli flakes and walnuts and process until the walnuts are roughly ground.

roasted red pepper ingredients

Add the cumin seeds, olive oil, honey, tomato paste, salt and skinned peppers with their roasting liquid, process until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth consistency.

Garnish with basil leaves, extra walnuts, and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve with fresh crackers, toasted bread, or with freshly made chapati (my favourite option) and a green, garden salad.

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carrot raytha & an offering

21st June 2016

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There is a spot on this property where three mighty cedar trees root together in a triangle creating a vaulted, protected, central glade below. This space draws you in, inviting a connection, a pause to listen, and quieten our minds and become present in that moment of beauty. One of the trees has a girth of almost two meters and is so tall it makes a visible home landmark from as far as the Moorish Castle lookout. The thick branches welcome you in, reaching out and upwards for the sky. They stand strong against the fierce gales that hurl off the Atlantic in the summer months. On windy nights, they moan, shake and call to us in our cosy beds.

When we first moved here we held fires under those trees, later it became a place to rest, a place to contemplate and gaze up into the branches; still later, a circle of flowers was planted, and one year we hung a swing from one arm, spending hours daydreaming, spinning, soaking up the feeling of being held by them. Now, it has become a place of offering: Abi and her boys created a mandala, a gesture of their gratitude – created from things collected, from the walks we did that week, from the land and sea, and the joyous celebration and wondrous family feeling of coming together in our home. If you create something in nature – a careful image, an honouring of beauty, an act of appreciation – it can help you tap into the inner light and deepen your connection to it.

It also has caught my attention each time I pass by it now, I pass much more slowly. I slow down and bow my head a little; it offers me perspective, a feeling of being filled with light and allowing that light to flow through and out into this world.

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Thank -you Abi, Issac, Aaron & Seth.

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carrot raytha

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

Serves 2 person

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma. 

Raytha is a very soothing dish, with the overall property of being cooling for the body.  It is recommended to serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, and becomes a very cleansing & satisfying meal to have in the evening.  In Ayurveda it is said to evoke a good night sleep.

For a variation on taste ¼ tsp lemon juice can be added and can be made with grated cucumber instead of carrot.  This raytha can be used as a dressing over a salad, or roasted vegetables or accompanied with a spicy rice/grain dish or daal.   Fresh curry leaves can be found at your local Indian Store and when stored in the freezer keep their flavour up to 6 months. After fried briefly in oil they become a uniquely flavourful, and a crunchy surprise, as well as benefiting from their wonderful medicinal qualities.

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ingredients:

1 cup regular yogurt

1 cup filtered water

½ cup finely grated carrot

½ tsp finely grated ginger

¼ tsp rock salt

voggarane:

2 tsp melted coconut / peanut oil

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

2 pinches turmeric powder

preparation:

In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, add the water and whisk again until well combined. Grate the carrot and ginger using the finer side on a box grater / parmesan grater. Stir into the yogurt, and add the salt. Set aside.

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prepare the voggarane:

Tear each curry leaf into four pieces. Set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (It is important to fry the mustard seeds well otherwise they will taste too astringent), add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and turmeric powder and fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly. Turn off the heat, add ¼ cup yogurt mixture into the voggarane, swishing the pan around to combine. Pour into the yogurt mixture, mix well. Serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, garnish with fresh coriander.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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