Besides being over-the-top flavoursome, rasam serves to deliver a range of health-giving spices to the body. This one particularly. The spices it contains are all potent ayurvedic spices. It is like taking a weekly dose of nutrients via a tangy, spicy liquid. What can be better – healthy AND flavoursome.
Here is another Mung Soup, one of the most grounding and nourishing soup there is. This recipe is based on one from the Ayurvedic guru, Vasant Lad. I saw him once in Coimbatore, working with his students and his techniques of deep readings the pulses. He certainly is an amazing teacher and practitioner.
He says that this soup is balancing for all doshas. It is cooling and energising. It is also very light on the digestion, and a couple of cups of this with rice and chapatis or with the main meal is beneficial.
Are you weary? Stressed? In need of some relaxation? I have a rasayana for you – saffron in milk with honey and ghee. Amazingly, this drink relaxes and destresses. You feel your breath ease and deepen and worries vanish.
The art and science of rasayana is about lengthening the lifespan, and individual rasayana recipes can be considered as tonics or something that enhances well being. Rasayanas not only include food but behaviours and practices.
This is a very precious recipe.
There are several recipes for Tulasyadi Phanta. This is one that is not so common – perhaps more recent as it includes lemongrass. It is a infusion that is good for colds and fevers, and also if you are exhausted from work or illness, and need to feel comforted and rested.
The infusion is made with Tulsi, the Indian holy basil, seeped with lemongrass, cloves and cinnamon. It really is relaxing – as you sip it in the afternoon you feel your body beginning to relax and your breath deepen. It is a gorgeous way to wind down.
Tim was a great friend of mine when I lived in Sydney and we spent a lot of time together. Since I moved away, he has lived in Europe with only the rare visit back to Australia. Always a wanderer, Tim is also a great cook, a yogi and an ayurvedic master in the kitchen.
A wonderful light, healthy soup made from sweetcorn emerged from one of Tim’s Ayurvedic cooking class. It is exceptional. It is so simple and cheap, but beautiful. Wonderful. Exceptional. Amazing.
Tim always warned that the coconut milk might split, and to be honest, I had it split on me once, many years ago. But, if you consider Thai cuisine, coconut milk can be boiled easily without splitting, and I have never had a problem with other recipes using coconut milk. So I believe it is more to do with the quality of the coconut milk – as this soup depends on the coconut milk for its intrinsic qualities, get the best that you can. I have also included a step in the recipe that will totally minimise any chance of splitting, if it is at all prone to it.
There is a tradition in various parts of the world to add salt and some fat or oil to tea and/or coffee – from Ayurveda to Nepal to Mongolia and other parts of the world. We make an easy version of this using our common domestic coffee making equipment.
Chai made with a range of spices and liquorice root is incredibly good. It is also very detoxifying, so it is a healthy AND flavoursome tonic for an afternoon relaxing hot drink. Or morning. Or evening.
This recipe is very much like our first chai – Yogi Chai – all those years ago. Spices are roasted to enhance their flavours, and then simmered. Tea can be added or not – your choice. And it can be sweetened or not. Milk can be added or not. So there is a range of choices and variation.
While it is usually consumed piping hot, it is also wonderful chilled and sipped on hot days and in those heatwaves so common in the area where I reside.
One can’t overemphasise the delicious and nourishing qualities of mung beans. Use the whole green beans for delicious, grounded, darker flavours, and the hulled yellow split mung dal for lighter, summery yet nourishing flavours.
This dal comes again from The Monk’s Cookbook by the beloved Monks on Kauai. A very simple dish but one packed with flavours. Their recipe feeds 20, and I have modified it down to a family meal size. It takes no more than about 45 mins to cook – 35 – 40 for the dal and the rest for the tadka.
We love iced spiced infusions in Summer and hot, warming infusions in Winter. We call them Teas, even Herbal Teas, but there is hardly a herb in site in these, and there are no tea leaves to be found. In India, any label that includes “Tea” indicates the presence of tea leaves, so to call an infusion a tea is very confusing there. Here, we call anything that is infused and sipped a tea.
These infusions can be consumed hot or chilled over ice. As I write it is 42C here in down town outer Adelaide. We have a spice mix infusing in the large tea pot. When it is cool it will be refrigerated and served over ice in the heat of the afternoon. It might be garnished with lemon slices and lemon verbena leaves, or maybe mint leaves.
The thing about spiced infusions is that they do have Ayurvedic properties. I have listed doshas here, but if you haven’t heard of doshas, then ignore them and just enjoy the spice combinations. Please note that I am not am Ayurvedic practitioner, so if you need health advice, please consult a professional.
I collect recipes for different Ayurvedic infusions and chai – these are ones that I’ve come across recently.
There are a number of stuffed okra dishes, and each is so good and so worthy of being made. Use fat okra for this dish – they can be long or short, but they do need some body.
This is a beautiful stuffing made from coconut (use frozen if you don’t have fresh), coriander leaves and spices. The recipe calls for Goda Masala, and you can make your own or purchase it from your Indian grocers. If you can’t find this lovely spice powder, use Garam Masala instead.
This recipe’s inspiration comes from the beautiful and well-known book Sukham Ayu: Cooking at Home with Ayurveda Insights, by Jigyasa Giri. I love this gentle book which builds Ayurvedic wisdom, sattvic approaches and down-to-earth Indian dishes.