Immunity Boosting Spice Mix
6 parts turmeric
3 parts cumin
3 parts coriander
6 parts fennel
1 part powdered dry ginger
1 part black pepper
¼ part ground cinnamon
Roast, or dry-fry, whole cumin, coriander, fennel and black pepper and then grind the mixture into a powder. Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.
Mix all the powdered spices well and store in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
For daily use, sauté one teaspoon of ghee, heating until you smell the aroma. Immediately remove the pan from the heat to avoid burning the spices.
Sauté the spices in ghee and sprinkle or drizzle on vegetables, rice or other grains, or cook them in vegetables like a soup.
Or add steamed vegetables to the spice mixture while still in the pan and stir.
Or sprinkle them on your food if you eat your noon meal out. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This spice mixture should be used regularly to flavor one dish for the main meal to boost immunity and enhance digestion.
Heat oil or ghee moderately and sautée seeds in soup pot. Add bay or curry leaves.
Put mung dal in pot with 3 cups of water, being to boil and then simmer til soft. Medium heat, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking. Add the last 3 cups of water and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add turmeric, masala, salt and pepper.
I love adding greens towards the end!
Red Lentil Soup With Lemon
1. In a large pot, heat the ghee, add onions and garlic and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes
2. Stir in cumin, turmeric, salt, black pepper, and chili powder or cayenne and sauté for about 2 minutes
3. Add broth, 2 cups of water, lentils and carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium low. Simmer until lentils are soft.
Taste and add spices and salt to your liking.
4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to the pot.
Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup dusted lightly with chili powder.
Note: For pitta and vatta easy on the chile powder or cayenne. For kapha, spice it up!
Baked Squash and Root Vegetables
December in Maine and I am still eating what our garden produced this summer. Some root vegetables are stored in the root cellar and some are still in the garden tucked under earth, leaves and snow.
Root vegetables have a lot of earth quality and in ayurveda earth is "building" and nourishing which is what we need when it is cold. This is a good satisfying lunch or dinner. It is easy to prepare and can cook in 30 minutes if the vegetables are cubed small. The baked vegetables can be eaten on a bed of arugala or/and grain of your choice. A tahini sauce poured over is a yummy addition.
For root vegetables use a combination of 2-3 beets, 1 turnips, 3-4 potatoes or/and 3-5carrots and one butter nut or delicata squash.
2 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice up the leeks and chop all the vegetables into 1/2 inches cubes. Put the ghee or oil in the bottom of a dutch oven pot and sautée some mustard seeds and caraway seeds on a low flame. Take the pot off the fire, add leeks and vegetatles and bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven carefully, add salt and pepper and turn over the vegetables. Replace in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are cooked. All done!
Serve with a tahini sauce if desired.
Tahini sauce: 1/2 cup tahini with 2 tbsp of olive oil and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Mix well. If you want a thinner or lighter sauce add a little bit of water as you whisk, until you get the consistency desired.
This recipe is great for the vata dosha and pitta. For kapha people eat in moderation and add spices like pepper flakes or garam masala.
This recipe is versatile so play with it and experiment.
I first started to eat radicchio in Sud-Tyrol Italy while visiting my son. I fell in love with this slightly bitter spicy vegetable! Radicchio is also know as Italian chicory. For a little bit of trivia,
Pliny the Elder, in Naturalis Historia, claimed that radicchio could aid insomnia and had blood purifying properties. Radicchio contains intybin which is a sedative according to the journal of Ethnopharmacology. This is what we taste as bitter. Food indeed can be our medicine!
Rinse the radicchio head (leave some water still clinging to leaves) and slice it up. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until tender, about 4 minutes. Before serving add some aged balsamic vinegar to taste and enjoy over a grain or/and with some grilled salmon or meat.
I enjoy the radicchio over quinoa and some sunflower seeds. This is a great dish for the kapha dosha. For vata and pitta serve with a light meat like chicken and choose rice instead of quinoa.
Cilantro is a wonderful plant for the summer because of it's cooling property. In its dry form we use the seeds which is called then coriander.
In the summer when it is hot, cilantro is particularly good for the Pitta dosha.
It is good for headaches caused by heat, it improves digestion, stimulates the liver function, it is anti-parasitic and helps with the prevention of gallbladder stones.
I eat it freely when I am in the garden but cilantro chutney is a great treat!
Put it in the blender along with the water, coconut, chili and ginger.
Blend until it is well mixed and a paste is formed.
Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add the ghee, cumin seeds, mustard seeds hing and curry leaves.
Cook until the seeds pop.
Cool and mix well into the cilantro paste.
Squeeze in the juice of the lime, add the salt and stir gently.
Eat a dab with each bite of food.
Can store in fridge for few days.
This recipe is tridoshic but for the pitta dosha you might want to decrease the chili, mustard seeds and salt.
Recipe from Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad.
Asparagus and Rhubarb
Asparagus and rhubarb are some of the first plants that we see emerging in Maine after a long winter.
At first it seems to be a weird combination but try it because it is good!
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat add the asparagus and toss for about 3 minutes. Add the rhubarb and continue to toss for another few minutes.
Add the minced herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste and served immediately. I love this over rice, quinoa or couscous.
Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms
Comes the month of May and I am on the look out for asparagus! Yesterday, May 14, 5 asparagus were tall and fat enough to propose themselves for dinner! With little hesitation I harvested them and was wondering what else I could find in the yard to cook with them. I found some baby kale and spinach and my husband offered some shiitake mushrooms that were ready to pick on his logs. We had dinner!
In a cast iron pot, I warmed up some coconut oil and sautéed for few minutes some spring onions with caraway and black mustard seeds. Then added the shiitake mushrooms. When they started to cook, I added the asparagus cut in bite sizes for few more minutes. When mushrooms and asparagus were cooked, it was time to add the greens. When the spinach and kale got bright green it was time to serve over some saffron rice!
Nothing like eating with the season and fresh out of the garden. All my senses were satisfied! I felt nourished and happy!
P.S. Salt and pepper of course!
More details? Please ask, comment and/or share.
One of my favorite meals during my trip to Peru was quinoa soup! Every time I ordered it in a restaurant it was a little different...so variations are totally okay!
This is a perfect meal for the fall or spring. Especially when it gets a little chilly!
Heat some oil or ghee in a pan and sauté at low heat 1 medium onion finely chopped and few garlic cloves finely chopped as well.
Pour over about 8-9 cups of vegetable broth or chicken stock.
Add 1/2 cup of quinoa and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes.
Stir in 1/3 cup of fava beans blanched for 1 minute and peeled. Cook for another few minutes till quinoa is cooked.
You may add few seasonal vegetables of your choice.
Salt and pepper to your liking.
For the vata and pitta dosha some cheese or chicken could be added.
For the kappa dosha I would add 1/2 of a rocoto chile slices or other chile to make it a little spicy.
P.S The fava bean can totally be optional. I ate it without beans but potatoes instead.
FULL PROOF GHEE!
“Fool”or full proof recipe!
Place 1 or 2 pound butter in a Dutch oven and cook, uncovered, on lower- middle rack at 250° oven for 2-3 hrs, or until all water evaporates and solids are golden brown. Let cool slightly and strain ghee through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.
Pour into a clean jar, let cool completely and seal.
Ghee can be kept sealed, in a cool place for 3 month or refrigerated for up to one year.
This is a recipe from Cook’s illustrated.
In Ayurveda the health benefits of ghee are many…..ghee is clarified butter with the water totally evaporated. High smoking temperature around 400°F. In winter it is dry so we need unctuous food…fat….to keep us warm and from drying. Ghee nourishes us in the deep tissues….bones, brain….According to the ayurvedic ancient text, ghee is good for inflammation, memory, digestion and during a detoxifying cleanse ….. We just need fat but of course in moderation. Vata constitution or aggravation need it the most, no moderation for them! Pitta in moderation because pita naturally has oil. Kapha is the most unctuous so in greater moderation. If ghee is consumed at a level of 10% or less of total calories and the other fats consumed are plant based ghee is beneficial.
In average 1-2 Tblsp/day.