fresh curry leaves

carrot raita & 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 2-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 raita

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

Serves 2 person

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

Raita 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 and 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 raita can be used as a dressing over a salad, or roasted vegetables or accompanied with a spicy rice/grain dish or dal.   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 yoghurt

1 cup filtered water

½ cup carrot, finely grated

½ tsp ginger, finely grated

¼ tsp rock salt

voggarane

2 tsp melted coconut/peanut oil

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves – torn in half

2 pinches turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk the yoghurt, add the water and whisk again until well combined.

2.  Grate the carrot and ginger using the finer side on a box grater/parmesan grater. Stir into the yoghurt, and add the salt. Set aside.

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prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to pop, 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, then turn off the heat, add ¼ cup yoghurt mixture into the voggarane, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Pour into the yoghurt mixture, mix well.

Serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, garnish with fresh coriander.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Indian spiced millet cauliflower mash

7th February 2016

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This would have to be my second favourite Indian breakfast – my first being idli.  In my earlier days, when I was studying yoga in Mysore, there was an Indian lady who opened up her house for Westerners serving breakfast and dinner.  She would make the most delicious pongal drizzled with a sweet-sourish tamarind sauce.  Only recently, after making it for so many years, I finally obtained an authentic recipe for the tamarind sauce on our last retreat in India.  The secret lies in obtaining fresh curry leaves and using a seedless tamarind pulp.  A wonderful soothing dish, perfect for chilly mornings.

When my husband made it with our teacher’s wife a few years back, she added a heaping spoon of rasam powder to the sauce, and it oozed and tasted of India.  I must admit I prefer mine sweeter and drizzled lavishly with ghee.

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Indian spiced millet cauliflower mash

This millet mash is a lighter version of the traditional South Indian breakfast dish – pongal, which is usually made with white rice and a yellow split moong dal.  The traditional method uses ½ cup white rice with ½ cup yellow split moong dal and is simmered until soft.    

The millet mash is lovely just on its own without the addition of the Indian spices – with a side of greens and a drizzling of ghee. 

I start to soak the tamarind first, then pressure cook or simmer the millet and cauliflower while going back to the spices and chutney…..

Serves 2 – 3

for the millet mash

½ cup millet, washed and soaked overnight (if not soaking, cooking time will be longer and more water added as required)

400 grams cauliflower, cut into florets – thicker stem discarded

3 cups water

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp ghee

voggarane

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tsp grated ginger

1 dried chilli, broken in half (optional)

10 pieces raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 cup freshly grated coconut or ( cup unsweetened dried coconut)

to prepare the millet mash 

1.  Drain and rinse the millet, place in a medium saucepan with the cauliflower, water and salt, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until millet is soft, fluffy and all the liquid has absorbed.

2.  Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes, add ghee and mash with a potato masher until creamy.  I like to puree a quarter of the mixture using an immersion hand blender for a more creamy consistency. Set aside.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small pan, add the ghee and cumin seeds, curry leaves, pepper, ginger, chilli (if using) and cashew nuts – fry gently until the cashew nuts are browned slightly and there is a wonderful aroma.

4.  Add the coconut and turmeric, mix well and set aside.

5.  Stir the Indian spices into the millet mash, season with salt and spoon into bowls.  Drizzle with ghee and a generous helping of the tamarind sauce.  Enjoy warm.  The cauliflower and millet will thicken as it cools, just add hot water and mix well.

 

TAMARIND sauce

tamarind chutney

This tamarind sauce really deserves a post all on its own, it is so good.  The colour will also vary with the type of tamarind used.  Use a seedless tamarind pulp which comes compacted in a package. When I am pressed for time, I use ¼ cup tamarind paste which I dilute with a little water, then proceed as in the recipe.  The sauce will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, use it to drizzle over kitcheree, rice dishes, or as a dipping sauce.

ingredients 

150g seedless tamarind pulp

2 ¼ cups hot water – divided

2 Tbsp oil

¼ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 green chilli, sliced in half

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 fresh curry leaves

80g – 100g jaggery, or dark brown sugar

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 cup loosely packed freshly grated coconut (or cup unsweetened dried coconut)

½ cup water

salt to taste

preparation 

1.  Break the tamarind pulp into pieces and place in a bowl with 1¼ cups hot water, set aside for 30 minutes, mashing and turning the tamarind regularly.

2. Pour through a strainer and allow to drain, then using the back of a spoon, scrape against the bottom of the strainer to get as much of the thick tamarind liquid as possible.

3.  Pour the remaining 1 cup hot water over the pulp to flush through more of the tamarind. Compost the remaining pulp.  Don’t worry, the sauce will be very liquid, the jaggery/sugar will thicken it while it simmers.

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4.  On medium heat in a small saucepan, add the oil and mustard seeds; when they start to pop, add fenugreek, chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds, then pour in the tamarind sauce, bring to a rapid boil, turn down the heat, and crumble in the jaggery/sugar – allow to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, until it becomes slightly thicker and comes away from the edges around the pan.

5. In a high-speed blender, add half cup water and grated coconut – blend for 1 minute.

6.  Add to the tamarind sauce, using a spatula to get as much out of the blender as possible.  Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the turmeric and season with salt.

Drizzle over the millet mash, or enjoy with rice, vegetable palya, or as a dipping sauce with these samosas.

tamarind-chutney

Goodness shared by Stacey

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