raita

vegetable bath

5th September 2020

We first made this dish with Ganapathi Aarya in the Jivana Yoga Programme, after that I made it once or twice, and then it got tucked away forgotten. It was only when Lior made it one Wednesday after practice that I remembered how delicious it is. Now, it is a dish I make on a weekly basis. I cook the dal and rice separately to keep them fluffy and whole. This does mean you are using three pans for cooking; one for the rice, one for the dal, and then one for the vegetables. If wanting to keep it simple, soak the whole moong dal overnight and cook it with the rice the following day, as in the original recipe.

For serving, grated beetroot and carrot salad with a ginger-lemon-sweet dressing, and raita with dill and a finely sliced cucumber. Use a mandoline for grating the carrot and beetroot and for slicing the cucumber finely. A mandoline is such a useful tool to have in the kitchen, especially for putting together a quick salad. So much so that my son has asked to take one back with him to university!

Vegetable Bath is suitable for all constitutions – it is simple, nourishing and balancing.

Niyamas

“One of the niyamas is santoṣa – “contentment”. Many people are confused when trying to differentiate between contentment and happiness. Contentment is a feeling of satisfaction or completeness. Contentment arises from inside of us. It tends to have a lasting or enduring quality. Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or lightness that tends to be a result of some external reason and is usually fleeting.”

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois

vegetable bath

Preparation 45 minutes

Serves 3

All spice measurements are heaped unless otherwise stated.

ingredients 

¼ cup/50g whole moong dāl + 2 cups water

¾ cup/150g white basmati rice + 1¾ cups water

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

1½ – 2 heaped tsp sambar powder (moderately spiced)

flat tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp ghee

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

3 cups/350g beans, carrot, capsicum

¾ cup water

½ flat tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  In a small saucepan, rinse the dāl, add 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, set aside.

2.  In a large-sized pan, wash the rice, drain, add 1¾ cups water, bring up to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until water evaporates and the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. Cover, set aside for 10 minutes. Add the cooked dāl.

3. Cut vegetables into small uniform pieces and measure remaining ingredients.

voggarane

4.  In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, add vegetables – mix well.

5.  Add water and ½ tsp salt, simmer uncovered until vegetables soften – 8 minutes, stir once or twice.

6.  To the rice and dal, add the vegetables, coconut, sambar powder, remaining salt, ghee and coriander. Combine well and serve.

serve

Twice a week, as a morning or midday meal, across all seasons.

variation

Using a pressure cooker; combine all ingredients including the vegetables, alongside the separately fried voggarane with 2 cups water. Cook for 3 whistles – set aside until the pressure has subsided.

grounding & satisfying -whole moong with greens, grated beet & carrot salad, cucumber raita, round brown rice

6th June 2020

I have a little brown book the size of the palm of my hand where I write down combinations which have worked well and have become a weekly favourite. Whenever I lack inspiration in the kitchen, I refer to this little book.

I appreciate the aestheticism of things, so my cooking is very much inspired by this, also in terms of the colours I use. If I am using a lot of greens in one dish, like the dal used here, I add in bright colours which contrast nicely, like beetroot and carrot. This approach extends to the flavours, if the dal is spicy and strong, the accompanying dishes will be soft and light so that there isn’t competition between the dishes.

In the menu below, the dal is softly flavoured, so the spiciness of the ginger in the salad balances and enables the other dishes to shine.

The menu: 

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whole moong dal with garden greens – two variations

Prepare the soupy version of this recipe, adding in whatever greens are in the garden or fridge. Usually fennel or celery, then leafy greens towards the end: fenugreek leaves, coriander, kale or spinach. In the image above, I used fennel, then added fenugreek and coriander leaves towards the end of cooking.

grated beetroot & carrot salad

Prepare a simple version of this salad, using only grated beetroot and carrot, toasted sesame seeds and lots of ginger in the dressing. If you have sunflower sprouts or small bitter leaves on hand, add a handful of those to sprinkle over the top.

round brown rice

You could use basmati, but there is something pleasing about the plump texture of this small round rice with the dal. Keep it slightly undercooked so it doesn’t turn to mush.

raita

yoghurt, salt, fresh dill

Don’t forget to drizzle with 1 – 2 spoons of ghee to enhance the taste and aid digestion. Having a strong digestion enhances every aspect of your life.

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If you want to add more colour and texture, instead of serving the raita, crumble feta over the salad or slice an avocado decoratively. Ninety-five per cent of the time I keep it simple, without the addition of cheese or nuts, as the meal then becomes heavy on the system. The magic in this combination is that not only it tastes good but it is easy to digest which helps access the full nutrients and minerals of each of the ingredients leaving you feeling content, satisfied, brighter and lighter.

I hope this combination inspires, nurtures and nourishes you!

ENJOYMENT OF FOOD

“Eating food that tastes good to us is very important. Otherwise, we will not feel satisfied with our meal. The feeling of satisfaction brings balance to many emotions that are essential to a healthy human being. If we consume food that does not have the proper taste, there will be something lacking in our emotional state. Balanced emotions support us to enjoy both bhoga and yoga.”

~ The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr Shankaranarayana Jois ~

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