spring

easy spelt focaccia & a vegetable garden

13th June 2017

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I make this focaccia every Sunday as an accompaniment to our traditional pasta night.  I mix the dough in the morning and leave it covered on the side for a full day, the extra fermentation adds flavour to the bread.  You can also make it days before, and store in the refrigerator after the first rise, the dough develops a more complex flavour, and you can pull part of it out to make dinner – just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping and continue with the recipe.

I usually make one large focaccia but since our move a month ago I have a small oven that fits two narrow trays – now I make two oblong focaccia.

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Quality of Food

‘A very natural lifestyle in which we could collect fresh vegetables everyday would be even more ideal, however. Growing a small garden can serve that purpose to some degree. There are also many other benefits one may experience from having a small garden. For example, one may gain beneficial exercise, as well as deep satisfaction in doing garden work. If done in a measured and relaxed way, it may lead to a calm and quiet mind.’ 

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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easy spelt focaccia

Makes 1 rectangular or 2 small focaccia. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

‘You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pouring of oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables, or a flavourful tomato sauce. However you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top – especially around the edges – for a crunchy golden crust’.

ingredients :

1¼ cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

tsp sugar

1 cup/120g whole spelt flour; plus additional for kneading

2½ cups/320g white spelt flour/all purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 Tblsp olive oil + ¼ cup (divided) for drizzling over the top

herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

preparation :

Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

Add 1¼ cups of warm water, yeast, and sugar to another bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes.  (If it doesn´t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start again.)

Add the flours, salt, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and mix to combine to form a sticky dough.

To knead by hand: Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

Or, to use a food mixer: Fit the dough hook and add the water, yeast, and sugar to the mixer bowl, stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low-speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

For the first rise : Put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

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Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

For the second rise : Place the dough on the baking sheet or divide the dough into two pieces and place them on the oiled baking sheet.  Stretch the dough out with your hands (It helps to oil your hands) into your desired shape on the baking sheet, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour.

Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (or put a single rack in the middle if you´re using one baking sheet) and preheat to 200C/400F.

After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, herbs or spices, or toppings of your choice.

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Bake for 22  – 25 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil while still hot from the oven.  Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Serve it with your favourite pasta or top it with mashed avocado, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt.

Focaccia is always best eaten the day it is made.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

cosamberi – moong dal coconut carrot salad

31st May 2017

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Cosamberi is a delicious light, easily digestible raw salad that nourishes the body. It can be eaten twice a week and in all seasons. Cosamberi is best eaten as a side dish alongside a main meal. It can also be eaten as a small snack in the morning or evening.  It balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

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Less is More 

There are hundreds of varieties of food, but in order to be fit and healthy for Realization, we need to eat only a few of them. Once we establish a basic diet, we may or may not decide to eat other kind of foods. We are best served to work hard only for what is most needed to maintain a balanced mind and body. This is our duty and the essence of aparigraha (the value of having few belongings).

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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cosamberi

Serves 4 – as a side dish.

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

Any left-over coconut can be grated, sealed and stored in the freezer. If unable to obtain fresh coconut, replace with ½ cup/35g dried shredded coconut.  For best results, grate the carrot and coconut small and fine, using the finer side of a box grater.

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ingredients :

½ cup/100g split moong dāl  (split yellow dāl)

1 heaped cup/75g grated fresh coconut

1 large carrot – approximately 100g

1 Tblsp + 2 tsp/25ml lemon juice – divided

⅓ cup/15g finely chopped coriander

½ tsp fine rock salt

voggarane :

1 Tblsp + 1 tsp/20ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp split urad dāl

1 dried red Byaadagi chilli

20 fresh curry leaves

pinch asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation :

Rinse moong dāl thoroughly by covering with water and swishing around with your hand, drain, then repeat 3-4 times until the water runs clear.  Cover again with water and set aside to soak for one hour.  After one hour, drain the dāl through a fine-mesh sieve and allow it to dry for 15 minutes.

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Finely grate the fresh coconut using the finer side of a box grater – measuring 1 tightly packed cup.  Wash, peel and grate the carrot – measuring 1 tightly packed cup.  Pour 1 tsp lemon juice over the carrot to prevent discolouring. Rinse, dry and chop the fresh coriander – measuring ⅓ cup.  Place in a medium-sized bowl along with the soaked dāl, sprinkle with salt and do not mix.

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prepare the voggarane :

Depending on the level of spice preferred, cut the chilli into small or large pieces, then set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, add oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the urad dāl and the chopped chilli, then fry until the urad dāl is golden in colour.  Add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, and continue to fry for a few seconds, swishing the pan around so the spices fry evenly.

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Pour the voggarane into the bowl, and add the remaining lemon juice, mixing well to allow all colours and flavours to blend evenly.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

fig almond & orange swirl cookies

19th March 2017

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This recipe was quite a journey.  After many attempts and too many references to mention, I persevered, as there seemed too much scrumptious potential in these cookies to give up. It felt like I was conjuring up a kind of magic, from the transformation of ingredients to the finished result – even more so due to the many attempts to get here.  I am now satisfied to share it with you.

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In Ayurveda, sultanas are considered kingly of all the fruits, figs are considered precious and Winter citrus adds colour and zest to the last of these dark and rainy days.

Figs, whether fresh or dried, are an incredibly healthy treat and have favourable levels of calcium, contain iron, potassium, manganese and vitamin B6.  They also have a high fibre content, keeping us feeling fuller for longer and have a helpful laxative effect.  When buying any dried fruit, look for organic and sulfite-free.

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fig almond & orange swirl cookies

Makes approximately 18 cookies.

Recipe inspired by here and here.

Not overly sweet, the luscious fig filling is deeply flavourful and the pastry is light and buttery. 

The filling could be replaced with any dried fruit of choice – dates would work nicely.  I used 1 cup whole almonds which I ground in a blender – blanched almonds would give a much more visually pronounced contrast between the filling and the dough.  I wanted to achieve a lighter cookie, so I used white spelt flour, but it can be replaced with whole spelt or for a gluten-free version, rice flour. 

I call this a dough but just to clarify it doesn’t handle like a normal dough – it is very fragile and easily crumbles this is why it is recommended to work between to pieces of baking paper – the end results is delicious and is worth all the fiddliness.

for the dough :

1½ cups/130g almond meal (1 cup whole almonds ground in a blender)

1 cup/120g white spelt flour

tsp fine rock salt

¼ cup/60ml olive oil

2 heaped Tblsp brown sugar/coconut sugar

¼ cup/60ml freshly squeezed orange juice

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

for the fig paste :

180g dried soft figs

80g dried sultanas/raisins

orange zest of 1 orange

½ tsp cinnamon powder

¼ cup/60ml fresh orange juice

sesame seeds for garnishing

preparation :

Set the oven to 180C/360F.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

to make the dough :

Place in a medium bowl the almond meal, flour and salt, then whisk together. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil and sugar for a few minutes.  Add the fresh orange juice, baking powder and baking soda.  Whisk until combined – it will billow up and turn into the most gorgeous, soft, golden colour.  Slowly add to the flour and almond meal mixture, then gently combine.  The dough should be quite moist and soft. Cover and refrigerate while making the fig paste.

to make the fig paste :

Remove and discard the hard stems from the figs, chop in half, then place into a food processor, along with the sultanas, and orange zest, process until the fig are nicely broken up.  Add the cinnamon powder and pour in the orange juice. Process until it forms a thick, sticky paste and starts to come to together.  Cover and set aside.

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to assemble :

Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a piece of baking paper.  Place another piece of baking paper on top and roll out the dough into a rectangle just under ¼-inch thickness, approximately 15-x 9-inches.  (It is fine for the dough to be longer than 15-inches but makes sure it is no wider than 9 – 10 inches.  To make a neat rectangle, trim off any excess dough around the sides and press it into the corners which need more shaping.  Spoon the fig filling over the dough and spread evenly, making sure it comes all the way to the edges.

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Use the baking paper to gently roll the long side of the dough around the filling, so that it forms a neat log. Leave the seam side down as the weight of the roll seals the edge.  Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and use the outer edges of the baking paper to help press the seeds into the top of the roll and the sides, pressing any seeds which have fallen down.  The contrast between the dough and fig paste will be more pronounced after baking.  Place the log in the freezer for 20 minutes – this will make it firmer for easier cutting.

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With a sharp knife, slice into 2 cm thick pieces, wiping the knife after each cut. If wanting a more perfect round shape, rotate the roll after several cuts, then give them a gentle squeeze to reshape them into rounds on the tray.

Carefully transfer them onto the baking tray, laying them flat, with the spiral of the fig paste facing up.

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Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the tray half way through baking and bake until golden in colour,  remove from the oven.  Delicious eaten warm, or later that same day, or the next.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

everyday simple dal for Yasmin

6th March 2017

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A simple dal we make weekly, served with chapati and along side a cabbage or okra palya.  A recipe my daughter requested that I write-up so that she can refer to when she moves out later this year.  It is also one of her favourite meal combinations.  We are in the process of learning how to make 6 easy meals which she can prepare herself.  This dal being one of them.

If the thought of making chapati sounds a bit over whelming – it can be served with a bowl of rice and a crispy salad.  When drizzled with ghee it becomes a deeply soothing, warming, nourishing meal.

The tomatoes can be replaced with any vegetable of choice,  I like the process of stewing them in a voggarane pan before adding them into the cooked dāl, this way they slightly caramalise, deepening the flavour with the spices.

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~ Evening forage at the end of the day in a blanket of mist.  Silent.

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everyday simple dal

Serves 3 – 4

Inspired by Tara O’brady – Everyday Yellow Dal.

In Ayurveda, it is important to understand the different types of dal/legumes used and their energetic qualities.  There are two dals which are favourable and used most often – whole mung beans (whole moong beans) and split moong dal (yellow split lentils) which are whole moong beans skinned and split.  These two are easy to digest, gentle on the system and cause minimum disturbances to your constitution.  All other dal/legumes are recommended to use in moderation and in small quantities.

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ingredients :

1 cup/220g yellow split moong dal (yellow split lentils)

3 cups/750ml water

for the voggarane :

2 Tblsp ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

8 fresh curry leaves

1 dried chilli – torn in half

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces

½ – 1 tsp fine rock salt

a small handful coriander leaves

juice from half a lemon

preparation :

In a heavy saucepan, wash dal several times until water runs clear – then drain.

Pour the 3 cups 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.)  You may need to skim of any foam which accumulates at the top at the beginning of boiling.  Simmer until dāl is soft, creamy and broken down – approximately 30 minutes.  You may need to add a little water if the dal becomes too dry.  I like to have the consistency quite thick when serving with chapatis and more liquid when serving with rice.

While waiting for the dal to soften, prepare the voggarane.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee, once hot add mustard seeds; as the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the cumin seed, curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, then add asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around allowing spices to fry evenly.  To the voggarane add the chopped tomatoes and ginger, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, fry until the tomato starts to break up.

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Stir this into the dal, add salt, lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander.  Serve with fresh chapati, a cabbage or okra palya.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

barley kichadi

22nd February 2017

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Barley is cooling, sweet, and mildly astringent.  Ideal for decreasing Pitta and Kapha.  It can improve a sluggish digestion and has a slightly drying effect, helping to clear fluids from the body. Barley is considered one of the “good” carbohydrates.

If the water in which barley is boiled, is given to a person suffering from diarrhea it gives him instant relief.

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~ evening reflections.

~ Pleopeltis polypodioides, also known as the resurrection fern. The resurrection fern gets its name because it can survive long periods of drought by curling up its fronds, appearing grey-brown and dead. However, when just a little water is present, the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to “resurrect” and restoring itself to a vivid green colour within about 24 hours.

~’Chasmanthe floribunda, African cornflag.

~ the outer edges of the wall at the end of the day.

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barley kichadi

Serves 3 – 4

I have been making this weekly, quick and easy with a scoop of thick yogurt and a drizzling of ghee, it is a wonderfully warming, soothing and cleansing meal.  When simmering the moong dal try to catch them while they still hold their shape and before they turn to mush.  I use an organic pearl barley in this recipe, if using unhusked barley it will need an overnight soaking and longer cooking time – recommended to boil separately ½ hour before adding the moong dal .

Our favourite barley recipe is this lovely soothing lemon barley water.

ingredients :

½ cup/100g  pearl barley

½ cup/100g whole moong dal (mung beans)

2 litre /8 cups water

1 cup/90g chopped celery/fennel

1 cup/50g chopped cabbage

1 heaped teaspoon rock salt 

1½ heaped tsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 Tblsp finely chopped ginger

½ cup/60g frozen green peas

voggarane :

1 Tbsp  ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

1 medium red chilli, roughly chopped

10-15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

juice of half a lemon or more to taste

½ cup chopped fresh coriander 

handful small kale/spinach leaves

preparation :

Place the whole moong dal & barley, in a heavy saucepan and cover with water.  Swish around with your hand, drain, repeat and rinse.  Do this several times until the water runs clear.  Pour the 8 cups water into the pot and bring to boil over a high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.  Simmer until barley has soften and the dal is cooked but still holding their shape – approximately 30 – 40 minutes. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.) Half way through cooking add the chopped celery & cabbage.

While waiting for the barley & dal to cook, chop the chilli into three pieces and tear the curry leaves in half (this way everyone is guaranteed to consume a curry leaf and benefit from their medicinal properties).

When the barley & moong dal has softened, add salt, sugar/jaggery, dried coconut and the chopped ginger.  Simmer for 5 minutes more, then turn off the heat, add the peas, (if using fresh peas add 5 mins after adding other vegetables) cover and set aside.

prepare the voggarane:

In a small pan over medium heat, add ghee and mustard seeds.   When the seeds start to splutter and pop, turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida powder (hingu), and the chopped red chilli.  Fry until sizzling and fragrant.  Add the 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 the voggarane to the kichadi.   Squeeze in the lemon juice and with your hands, break up the fresh coriander and kale, stir into the kichadi.  Check for seasoning, adding more salt or lemon if needed.  When ready, drizzle with ghee, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with a spoon of yogurt.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

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Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once – twice a day.  Kashaya balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – Below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.

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coriander seed:

Coriander is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste.  It evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. It tonifies, increases absorption, improves digestive enzymes, reduces nausea and blood pressure.  Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.  It also supports proper function of the kidneys and healthy urination. The seeds combine well with Cumin to make an excellent digestive tea.

cumin seed:

Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, Pungent and Astringent.  It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.   A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’.  In addition to providing flavour to food, cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It is useful to the eyes, beneficial to the heart and strengthens the uterus.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.

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Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Diploma.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rolicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups Kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder :

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed

preparation :

On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch. Dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and a noticeable smell appears – approximately 1 minute. Seeds may start popping by that point.  Be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – the coriander seeds will take 1½  minutes to roast.

In a powerful blender/coffee grinder, grind the toasted cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Repeat with the toasted coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  

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To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, it is recommended to make fresh every 10 – 14 days.

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to prepare the kashaya :

¾ cup water

1 heaped tsp Kashaya Powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5 – 10mL milk (less milk is easier on the digestion, especially in the evening)

preparation:

In a small pan, pour in ¾ cup water and bring to boiling point.  Add the Kashaya powder and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (no need to strain as drinking the layer of powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for the medicinal properties). Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.

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Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

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1 serving

Don´t throw away those left over seeds after straining, place them in a pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.

ingredients :

½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)

preparation :

In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the Kashaya.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

lemon rice

15th October 2016

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A delicious recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma. Lemon rice is a simple and tasty dish, it is easily digested and suitable for all constitutions. It can be used daily and throughout all seasons.  Serve with a simple vegetable palya, green salad or with a cucumber raytha.

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Beautiful India

Mallige – Jasmine flower, Mysore 

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Lemon Rice (Chitraanna)

Serves 3 – 4

Split bengal gram & urad dāl can be purchased at your local Indian store, when briefly fried in the oil they add a lovely crunch to the dish.  The fresh curry leaves when stored in the freezer keep their flavour up to 6 months – they have wonderful medicinal qualities. 

Use heaped when measurements except stated otherwise.

ingredients :

1 cup white rice

3 cups water

¼ cup peanut/melted coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp split bengal gram (channa dal)

1 tsp split urad dal (black gram)

1 medium, mild dried red chilli

10 raw cashew nuts

1 tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

1 medium carrot (1 cup grated)

2 tsp grated ginger

½ cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar / jaggery

1 -2 Tblsp lemon juice

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

to prepare the rice:

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.

While waiting for the rice to cool, halve the cashews, grate the ginger and cut the chilli into 3-4 pieces. Using a box grater, grate the carrot – measuring 1 cup. Rinse and chop the fresh coriander. Set aside.

to prepare the lemon rice:

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 bengal gram, urad dal, and fry for a few seconds, Then add the chilli, cashews, and cumin seeds. Fry until bengal gram is golden in colour (depending on the skillet / pot you are using, you may need to lower the heat while frying). Add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, and to continue to fry for a few seconds.  

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Stir in the grated carrot, ginger, coconut, salt, jaggery and lemon juice, cook for approximately 6 minutes, until all ingredients have combined and the carrot is soft. Turn off the heat.

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Add the cooked rice (make sure it has cooled first) and combine the rice with the grated carrot & spices. Stir in the fresh coriander. Using the right palm of the hand, gently combine, to ensure the rice is mixed well with the spices.
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Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, sugar/jaggery or lemon.  Serve immediately.  Lemon rice can be served with raytha, plain yogurt or accompanied with a vegetable palya.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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/60ml 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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Goodness shared by Stacey

coriander leaf vānghī bāth

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 November and is open to register here.

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coriander leaf vānghī bāth

Use heaped spoon 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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Goodness shared by Stacey

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 dal to cup.

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

ingredients:

⅓ – ½ cup toor dal

1 litre/4 cups water

1 tsp fine rock salt

4 tsp jaggery

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

first voggarane:

2 tsp ghee 

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dal

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

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves 

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup shredded dried coconut

250ml/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 dal 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 dal 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 dal, whole peppercorns, and 1 tsp cumin seed. Once urad dal 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 warm water, stir to combine then pour into blender. Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute.

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Add mixture to dal, use liquid from dal to swish blender clean, add back into the dal.  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 dal, 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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 Goodness shared by Stacey

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