ghee

steamed green beans

19th August 2020

Lately, I been working in the garden in the mornings. I found that the sun is softer and the areas that need work are in the shadier parts at that time. Early this morning, I picked some green beans to go along with Monday’s Pepper Rasam. Later that morning I returned to the garden and started pottering around, feeding the plants with compost, and staking up a few bean bushes – to my surprise, despite thinking I had picked all the beans earlier, I found myself walking away with another handful. The thing with beans, and even cucumbers to a lesser extent, is that you really need time and patience when harvesting them. There is much happiness to be had in rummaging through the leaves in search of their elegant, dangling pods. Just when you think you have picked them all, there’s still more hiding behind their foliage. It’s important to approach the plant from different angles and heights, squatting down to their level, even then you can still miss a few…

I planted a few varieties of beans this season: romano pole bean, small french finger bush beans, and a long climbing snake bean. And for the first time, I planted another climbing variety in a pot on our balcony, so it can climb up the iron gate outside our kitchen door.

I have been staggering the sowing for a continuous supply, late May-early June, then another crop in July, and again in the last week of July. The hot season seems to come later each year, enabling another harvest just before the cooler weather hits by early November.

The better quality and fresher the beans, the better tasting this recipe. Serve with, pepper rasam, simple dal or pongal.

steamed green beans

Steaming beans, rather than boiling help keep their colour and flavour.

Preparation 10 minutes

Serves 3

ingredients

350g green beans

2 Tbsp ghee

freshly ground pepper

Himalayan salt

preparation

1. Wash the beans and trim the ends. Leave them whole or cut in half.

2. Set a steaming basket in a medium saucepan filled with 1 – 2 inches water, once boiling simmer over high heat for 5 – 7 minutes, depending on how tender or crisp you like them.

3. Discard the water in the saucepan.  Add the beans and ghee, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

other recipes using green beans

toor dal, mung beans, green bean and dill palya

vegetable bath

green bean palya

simple yellow dal with green beans and cabbage

summer garden palya

moong dal sambar with green beans

moong dal with garden greens

carrot and green bean rasam

green moong dal with Indian spices

a buttery herbed pilaf

bisi bele bath

Kristin’s Moroccan stew

gentle Indian spiced vegetable stew

Donna’s Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

13th August 2019

On this day 10 years ago, Donna and I posted our first combined post on Goodnessis’, and with this in mind, we felt it was appropriate to share another, considering that we are currently spending family time together in Australia. As we live on opposite sides of the world, we always commit to meet once a year with our parents in Australia’s Winter on Hamilton Island. Each night, Donna and I cook and prepare a meal together, these Hasselback sweet potatoes was one of those delicious meals!

Donna first initiated this blog as a way for us to keep in contact. As with most areas of life, for growth to occur, things need to evolve, and due to exploring other pursuits, Donna stepped away from contributing and I continued. For me, this blog has given so much and has become a wonderful way to share this way of life and recipes with like-minded well-wishers.

This post is a heartfelt THANK YOU to Donna!  I am forever grateful that we began this journey, as I am not sure this blog would have taken birth without her initial inspiration.

Hasselback sweet potatoes

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 6

ingredients

3 large/6 small sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp ghee/extra virgin olive oil, melted

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 

sea salt & cracked pepper

to serve

spicy avocado yoghurt puree

beetroot, apple, fennel, sesame seeded salad with ginger lemon dressing

preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Place sweet potato in between 2 wooden spoons. Holding the spoons and the potato, make thin slices across the top of the potato. The spoons prevent cutting all the way through. Repeat with all sweet potatoes.

3.  Place each sweet potato on the lined tray. Gently fan out the potatoes so the slices are revealed.

4.  Drizzle ghee over the potatoes, aiming for a little to drip between the slices, and then also brush tops with ghee.

5.  Sprinkle the rosemary over the top of each. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes, then remove foil and roast for a further 15-20 minutes, or until edges are crispy/charred, depending on how you like them.

kaseri bath – sweet upma

12th February 2017

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Satya, sivam and sundaram.

Truth, sacredness, and beauty are three most important characteristics seen through the universe. They come from the Eternal Truth and are contained in everything to a greater or lesser extent. Happiness takes shelter under their protection.  Violence can utterly spoil them.  When we intentionally violate these qualities we violate Truth. It is, therefore, our duty to preserve and maintain them.

~ The sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr Shankaranarayana Jois

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A recipe shared by our teacher last year as part of The Jivana Yoga Programme, we are fortunate to be graced with their presence here in Portugal.  Their presence in our home and lives leaves a profound effect on our daily existence and our practices become that little bit more concrete and established on this yogic path.

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Kaseri Bath – Sweet Upma

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 8 – 10 small servings

Kaseri Bath is especially recommended for Yoga practitioners.  It calms the mind and keeps it fresh.  It may be used by all constitutions.  Kaseri Bath can be served as part of the main meal and it is especially recommended to be served with Upma or Idli.  Best served warm, it is the Indian tradition to start with the sweet first.  Depending on the type of sugar used, the taste and colour may vary. Instead of bananas, apple or pineapple can be used.

ingredients 

1½ cups/350ml warm water

1 pinch saffron – 15 threads

½ cup/125ml ghee – melted

10 cashew

10 almonds

1 cup/170g semolina

¼ cup/35g raisins

3 medium/200g bananas

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/205g light brown sugar 

6 cardamom pods  – ¼ tsp 

preparation 

1.  Place the saffron threads in warm water to steep for 15 minutes.

2.  Cut the almonds into 3 pieces and the cashew nuts into 2 pieces. Peel and cut the bananas into 1 cm pieces.  Remove the hard shell from the cardamom, and place the small black seeds in a mortar and pestle, grind into a fine powder – set aside.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, add ghee, almonds, cashews and semolina – stir continuously for 10 minutes, or until the cashews have turned golden-brown.

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4.  Pour in the saffron water, add the raisins, chopped banana and salt – stir continuously for 3 minutes.  

5.  Add the sugar, after about 30 seconds of stirring the Kaseri Bath will become considerably softer and liquid in consistency, and then will thicken slightly again. This process will take approximately  2-3 minutes, of continually stirring; or until the sugar has dissolved.  While stirring, once you feel the Kaseri Bath is thicker in consistency and starts to pull away from the pan – it is ready. 

6.  Turn off the heat, stir in the cardamom powder, mixing well. 

Allow the Kaseri Bath to rest for a minute and for the flavours to deepen.  Serve warm.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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 dal, 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

chapati

Preparation 30 minutes

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 – which I buy from here.  If you are able to purchase this type of flour, it is recommended. Otherwise use a combination of cup wholewheat and cup white flour, resulting in a softer, less tough chapati.  Regular whole wheat 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 fun and easy process.

ingredients 

1 cup/130g flour (or use ⅔ cup white & cup whole wheat)

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsp/10g melted ghee

¼ cup/55g hot water (or enough for a kneadable dough)

to make the chapati dough 

1.  Into a bowl, place the flour and salt – whisk to combine. 

2.  Pour in the ghee and hot water and stir with a spoon, slowly bringing the dry ingredients into the wet, until mostly combined.

3.  Knead, adding water if needed (a teaspoon at a time), to create a tender dough. Knead until smooth, shining and does not stick to the hands – 5 minutes.  Set aside, covered for 5 minutes. 

4.  Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and shape each into a ball. Take one ball, flatten slightly into a disc and flour both sides, then roll into a thin almost transparent circle using a rolling pin. Makes sure each chapati is symmetrical so it puffs up well.  Set aside covered with a towel/individual sheets of baking paper, and repeat with the remaining balls.  

to cook

5.  Preheat a skillet or non-stick pan (tava) over medium heat.  Once hot (it is important that it is hot), cook the chapati until bubbles start to appear, about 1 minute.  Flip and cook until brown spots appear underneath, about 30 seconds.  It should start puffing like a balloon, which could be helped by pressing gently on the forming bubble with a cloth and thus expanding it over the entire surface of the chapati.  

6.  Flip twice more for 30 seconds on each side. 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 dal or Green Bean Palya. 

Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot moong dal soup – a winter warming soup

6th December 2015

I thought I would re-visit this soup, as it is one I make most often in the colder months and a particular favourite of Donna’s.  It is also very quick and easy to prepare and has such simple flavours and warmth due to the pepper and ginger, keeping us nourished and grounded in these colder months.  Dry roasting and roughly grinding your own spices make all the difference to bring out the flavours, don’t be tempted to skip this process.

Out of all the pulses, moong dal (green gram) is one I use most often; as it has a calming, cooling and balancing effect on all dosha’s.  It is also very cleansing and medicinal.  The tomatoes can easily be omitted if desired; as the lemon juice adds the acidity that this soup requires.

A few memorable images from our recent retreat in India.

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– Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram

– Banyan Tree, Firefly Resort

– Illuminating cloudscape

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carrot moong dal soup

The original recipe is from Yamuna Devi’s, The Vegetable Table.  It is a little worn and splotched on most pages from over-enthusiastic use.  A great book to start with when wanting to cook good, wholesome Indian meals without the addition of onion or garlic.  There is also a sense of devotional cooking in all the recipes which I really like.

This is my version of her soup with a few changes.  The original recipe uses split moong dal (yellow) which results in a lighter soup. I particularly prefer using the whole moong for a heartier Winter soup.

Serves 4

Preparation – 45 mins

ingredients 

1 cup whole moong dal

8 cups water

4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 whole cardamom pods (peeled and seeds crushed)

1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1 small plum tomato, finely chopped

¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

voggarane

1 – 2 Tbsp ghee

 tsp asafoetida powder

1 dried chilli, torn in half

6 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a medium pot, wash the dal until it runs clear, drain, refill with water, add the carrots, ginger, and cardamom pods and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, partly cover and cook until the dal is soft – 30 – 40 minutes.

2.  In a small pan over moderate heat, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds until golden and deeply fragrant, allow to cool, then place in a mortar and pestle, and grind into a rough powder.

3.  Add to the dal with the tomatoes, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper – turn off the heat.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee, asafoetida powder and chilli – fry for a few seconds, then add the curry leaves and turmeric powder, fry for a few more seconds, remove from heat and pour into the soup.  

5. Taste, adding more salt or lemon if needed.  I find the lemon juice and freshly ground pepper bring this soup together, so you may want to add more.  Drizzle with a spoon of melted ghee when serving.

Serve with your favourite bread toasted and a bowl of guacamole, or if trying to avoid bread make a pot of red rice or quinoa and serve a spoon in each bowl of soup.

Goodness shared from Stacey

turmeric flavoured millet, amaranth & seasonal vegetables

1st June 2014

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I thought I would share this simple, but extremely quick and easy nutritious meal I have most mornings. You will appreciate the ease which the body digest it.  It is actually my first meal of the day at around 10 or 11 o’clock, depending on when I feel the first signs of hunger.

I love these one-pot meals that use a number of different foods cooked in a single pot with ample water.

The importance of this bowl is finding the right millet to use. I use a very small grain (foxtail millet) as opposed to the bigger commonly found millet, which can become quite dry when cooked.  The foxtail millet is much finer and softly moist, and when combined with amaranth, the two together create a very soothing, playful texture.

Amaranth is high in protein, fibre, rich in vitamins, and exceptionally rich in the amino acid, lysine, which is absent in most other cereal grains. It is also high in calcium and has an iron content four times higher than brown rice.

I change the vegetables to what is in season and depending on what can be picked from the garden. Sometimes I use celery when there is no fennel or broccoli, spinach opposed to kale, sweet peas instead of beans etc.  To serve, I  keep it as simple as possible, just adding a little Indian pickle (something spicy), half of an avocado or scoop of yoghurt and lavishly drizzle with ghee.

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turmeric flavoured millet,amaranth & vegetables

Serves 2

The dish can be made with quinoa, rice or any grain of your choice – the cooking times may vary though.

ingredients 

¼ cup/50g millet

¼ cup/50g amaranth

2 cups water

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 cup fresh seasonal vegetables – carrot, cherry tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, a handful of small broccoli florets, finely chopped

½ medium fennel bulb, finely chopped

for the voggarane 

1 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves, roughly torn

pinch asafoetida (optional)

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

few rounds of freshly ground pepper

a handful of green leaves (kale, small broccoli leaves, chard, etc)

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped 

preparation 

1.  In a heavy-bottomed pot, wash the millet and amaranth, drain, pour in 2 cups water and 1 heaped spoon ghee and turmeric, bring to boil, reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer, simmer uncovered for 2 mins.

2.  Add the vegetables which require more cooking time and set aside the broccoli and fresh greens leaves, which will be added just before it has finished cooking – allow to simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

3.  Turn off the heat, add the broccoli florets greens, cover and set aside.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  Heat ghee in a small saucepan, add cumin seeds, asafoetida (if using) and curry leaves – allow to sizzle for a few seconds, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly. Add to the millet and vegetables.

5.  Stir in the salt, pepper and jaggery, recover and allow to sit undisturbed for a 10 minutes before serving.

6.  When serving, drizzle with ghee.  If not serving with pickle, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Updated:  Enjoyed this, this morning sitting in the sun.  I added okra and red pepper which I sautéed together in a very hot skillet, charring the edges a bit.  It was a delicious combination.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

green pea & yellow dal coconut curry soup

6th June 2012

in the spirit of change and acceptance

feeling the need to be quiet and introverted, completely lost in my own meandering thoughts.

I thought I woke up to rain this morning, but it was just the wind in the trees.

green pea & yellow dal coconut curry soup

This soup does thicken up so you may need to add a little more water or coconut milk to thin out as you reheat. If you have no curry powder on hand, leave out and add asafoetida and turmeric powder to the voggarane.

Inspired by Green Lentil Soup in ‘Super Natural Everyday’ with a few Goodnessis ism’s.

Serves 3

ingredients 

½ cup toor dal/yellow lentils

½ cup dried green split peas

2 – 3 carrots, finely chopped

4 cups water

voggarane

3 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

1 heaped tsp Indian curry powder

½ cup coconut milk

1½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

 

preparation 

1.  Rinse the dal and dried peas, drain and place in a saucepan with 4 cups water, bring to a boil, then turn down, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

2.  Add carrots and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the dal and peas are tender. May need to top up with water.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In the meantime, warm the ghee in a small saucepan; when hot, add mustard seeds, when they start to pop, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, red pepper flakes and curry powder, fry swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly – turn off heat and put to the side.

4.  When the dal has finished cooking, remove from heat, stir in the coconut milk, salt and jaggery -puree with an immersion blender (or if you have no electricity, like me at the moment, a potato masher will work fine).  You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until smooth.

5.  Stir in three-quarters of the spiced ghee, and add more salt if needed.

Serve drizzled with the remaining spiced ghee and sprinkle with fresh coriander.  Wonderful served with red rice and steamed greens.

Goodness shared from Stacey

ghee

27th August 2009

ghee

Ghee is the most amazing substance, melted, it pours like liquid gold.  At room temperature, it is semi-soft and creamy.  Ghee can be kept at room temperature for months and heated to frying temperatures without burning.  Ghee takes only moments of hands-on time to make at home. It’s derived from butter through a process of cooking off the milk solids until it becomes an easier to digest, healthier alternative to butter and oil or as an ingredient to add flavour and richness to foods.

Ghee heals your body from the inside.  In Ayurveda, ghee is recognised as one of the most sattvic foods.  Ayurvedic doctors have used ghee for centuries.  Ghee is known to reduce heat in the body, sharpen the memory and intellect, lubricate and strengthen the digestive tract.  It helps you on your yogic journey. 

Ayurveda recommends for overall health to add a spoon of ghee with one’s morning and evening meal. It is recommended to add ghee in the liquid form (melted) when adding it directly to your food.

ghee

ghee

Cooking ghee is a continual process, which requires a watchful eye. The butter goes through several different stages of clarification from a gentle simmer, to frothing, boiling and even rising up and settling down. Watch closely!

Preparation 10 – 15 minutes.

Makes about 1½ cups.

The good quality of ghee rests on the quality of butter, so use the best available and use unsalted. 

ingredients

500 grams, unsalted organic butter

ghee stage 1

preparation

1.  Place the butter in a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat.  It will take approximately 5 minutes to meltdown. Initially, it will froth and foam, and then begin to settle down.  

ghee 2

2.  The ghee will begin to bubble and crackle quite vigorously. Continue boiling until the bubbling and crackling stops – approx 3 -4 minutes. Use your sense of hearing as you will hear the intense bubbling, then a quieter sound.  Watch carefully, the ghee will burn quickly at this stage. 

ghee stage 3

3.  Turn off the heat, and allow the pot to continue to sit on the stove, it will continue to bubble slightly. Eventually, it will turn from white to fawn-colour.  The ghee will become clear, translucent and pleasantly fragrant, it is done.  Allow to cool slightly in the pan.

ghee stage6

finished ghee

4.  It is optional to pour the hot ghee through a very thin sieve, possibly a tea strainer.  Or alternatively allow the ghee to settle and pour the ghee as is, into a jar using the leftover residue to make a delicious treat. See below.  

ghee straining

Additionally, the residue left in the strainer and the pot can be turned into a sweet.  Add ½ cup/75g whole-wheat flour to the pot, stir for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add 2-4 tablespoons of jaggery or unrefined sugar and continue stirring another 2 minutes.  Add ½ cup/115g milk, stir and turn off the heat. Form into balls, roll in coconut and enjoy!  

Variation: use semolina or coconut or add to a pot cooked brown rice.

COOKING BENEFITS AND TIPS

  • Excellent cooking oil – since ghee doesn’t start smoking until it’s heated to 375F/190C, it will neither burn nor splatter easily. When heated its chemical structure remains more stable compared to other oils.
  • You will know when you have over toasted or burnt ghee as it takes on a granular texture when chilled and turns a dull beige colour.
  • Stores well – due to its low moisture content, ghee can go weeks without refrigeration. Ghee should be consumed within a month or two.
  • The key to ghee longevity: Store it somewhere cool, keep it covered and avoid letting any moisture or water into the ghee as this promotes bacterial growth.
  • Although milk-based, it lacks both lactose and casein.
  • As it sits it will become semi-soft and creamy.  (Unless you live in a very hot climate, it will stay liquid.)

Use as a replacement for oil/butter in cooking.  It can also be used to ‘cool down too spicy food’.

solid ghee - finished

Goodness shared from Stacey

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