Turmeric Chai – the perfect winter pick-me-up!


A bottle of organic turmeric powder in your pantry is a must!

I use this milk at the first sign of malaise heralding a winter chill and cold.

1/2 – 1 level teaspoon turmeric powder

1 spoon green cardamom pods, finely pounded in a mortar and pestle

1 cup of almond milk – I like the Califia* brand because their unsweetened version does not have anything but almonds and water (not a big fan of fortified milks).  Cow’s milk or any other milk you like to use are great options too.

In a heavy bottom pan, boil and whisk together the almond milk, turmeric, and cardamom for about 8 minutes.  Shut off the heat.  Filter off the grit if you are sensitive to that.  Sweeten with a natural sweetener like honey or agave.  Just don’t heat the sweetener with the drink – mix it in after you take the mixture off the heat.

Drink this warm milk as a pick-me-up preferably away from meals.  It works as a soothing night-time tonic.

* http://www.califiafarms.com

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Curried French Lentil Soup with butternut squash and carrots


photo-15Spices: Cumin-Coriander blend, turmeric, and paprika or cayenne for heat

Sizzle the spices in a little ghee or coconut oil.
Add grated ginger, garlic, and diced onions. Let the aromas work their magic for a few minutes. Add diced veggies and saute for a couple of minutes.

Wash the lentils and add in with enough water to cook.
Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour till the lentils are done!
Add salt to taste, garnish with fresh herbs.

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Curried Kuri & Apple Soup

Curried Kuri & Apple Soup

Curried Kuri & Apple Soup

Pre-heat an oven to 375F.
1 Kuri squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 apples peeled, seeded, and diced….tart to sweet – take your pick and experiment
1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced

In 2 tablespoons of ghee heated in a small skillet, add the following:
1 tablespoon cumin-coriander powder
1 teaspoon each of fresh grated ginger and garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika – I used 1/2 spoon each of powdered Ancho chile pepper and a mild Hungarian paprika

Shut off the heat and let the spices sizzle for a few minutes. In the meantime, toss the squash, apples, onions, and salt + pepper to taste in a large bowl; add in most of the spiced ghee and toss to coat. Pour into a cookie sheet pan in a single layer and roast the veggies for 45 minutes.

Puree when cool with a little warm water to a creamy consistency. I used 1/2 cup of unfiltered, unsweetened apple juice (Trader Joe’s has some) along with a cup or two of water.

Drizzle with spiced ghee and dig in!!!

Eat them sprouts!

I know everyone that read the previous post made Mung bean sprouts! So here is one of my favorite ways to use them up.

Sprout Crepes called Pesarattu

Pesarattu on hot griddle - flatten batter with the back of a spoon to get it thin and fully cooked.

Pesarattu on hot griddle – flatten batter with the back of a spoon to get it thin and fully cooked.

(L) Batter, Finished Pesarttu, (R) Coconut-cilantro-sweet onion chutney

(L) Batter, Finished Pesarttu, (R) Coconut-cilantro-sweet onion chutney


1 cup sprouted Mung or 3/4 cup dry Mung beans, covered fully in warm water and soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup rice flour – available at Asian groceries
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 green chile (any kind – depends on the heat you can tolerate)
Salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender with enough water to make a pourable batter (slightly thinner than that for pancakes). I like to add finely chopped onion, cilantro, and green cabbage to this batter. Mix well.

Heat up a griddle and pour a scoop of the batter on it, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon into a round crepe-like pancake. Drizzle a spoon of virgin expeller pressed sesame or coconut oil onto the edges; allow one side to cook well and lift and flip the pancake with a flat spatula to allow the the other side to cook fully – you’ll know when it is done 🙂

Enjoy with a side of coconut/cilantro/onion chutney for a most satisfying meal! Oh the Chutney? Here we go –

For the chutney – blend smooth 1 cup fresh grated coconut (from your Indian market freezer), 1/2 sweet onion, a handful of washed cilantro leaves, 1-2 green chillies and salt with enough water to make a spreadable chutney!

Bring in Green!

Green is the color of the season.  Fresh local greens are starting to make their appearance at a farmer’s market near you. Show them some ♥  Bring them home!  Simply steam with a dash of coconut oil, salt, (pink Himalayan salt from the local Indian market?), and crushed black pepper for an amazing treat – your body will thank you!

Sprouts are a perfect way to send food based ‘information’ to the body and mind to cue Spring time.  Ayurveda says this is a time to reset and renew – to kick-start a fat burning metabolism that this season naturally heralds.  If you have the time to boil water, you can start your own sprouts on the kitchen counter and let nature do the rest.  Here’s a simple how to.  Check back for recipes to use your sprouts in!

Step 1: Soak whole green Mung beans in hot water (warm to hot is adequate) for 6 to 8 hours.

Step 1: Soak whole green Mung beans in hot water (warm to hot is adequate) for 6 to 8 hours.

Step 2: Place soaked and drained Mung in a thin, clean cloth towel or napkin.

Step 2: Place soaked and drained Mung in a thin, clean cloth towel or napkin.

Step 3: Place the loosely bundled beans in a colander and leave on the counter; Spray and moisten the bundle with clean, warm water once a day. Check in 24-36 hours - you will see baby sprouts! Refrigerate! Use raw in salads for a crunchy note.

Step 3: Place the loosely bundled beans in a colander and leave on the counter; Spray and moisten the bundle with clean, warm water once a day. Check in 24-36 hours – you will see baby sprouts! Refrigerate! Use raw in salads for a crunchy note.

Spring Fasting

photo(45)Olan assembled and ready to go!Food is medicine, so is abstinence from it when appropriate. 

As temperatures shift from cold to cool and then warm, most world traditions observe a period of fasting.  It could mean not eating from dawn to dusk or for a part of the day, or simply skipping a meal periodically.

The most commonly avoided foods are meats, dairy, eggs, and heavy grains; some avoid substances like sugar, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and even specific processed foods like a favorite candy or gum :-).  The idea is to not eat congesting and heavy foods that can burden what may already be a sluggish digestion from winter.  Lighter foods especially seasonal vegetables, fruits, and lentils gently detox and nourish at the same time.

This soup is called an ‘Olan’ and is a part of Kerala’s cuisine from the south of India.  I find it to be light and nourishing and completely adequate as a meal.  This recipe has some modifications to make it seasonally appropriate and suitable for most palates.


• 1 packed cup of chopped greens (this is a good way to bring in baby kale, Swiss chard, arugula, or any seasonal green other than spinach);  and/or 1 packed cup of a spring squash like zucchini ; this soup is traditionally made with white pumpkin, peeled and sliced thin (available at Asian markets)

• Ground black pepper to taste

• 1 tsp. turmeric powder

• 1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated; 1 green Thai pepper, split – optional but entirely delicious!

• 1 can (preferably a brand that has lined cans) of organic, black-eyed peas drained and rinsed; alternately, they can be soaked overnight and cooked covered until tender.

• Coconut oil to drizzle; dash of coconut milk optional before serving.

Add all the ingredients (wet, dry, and the cooked beans) into a stockpot with plenty of water to make a soupy broth; bring to a boil and gently simmer until greens look bright green and tender and the vegetables are lightly done.  (My version in the photo was made with yellow squash, hence the lack of green!)

Season with sea salt and raw sugar to taste.  Add a generous tablespoon of virgin coconut oil to the pot and shut off heat.  Add a dash of coconut milk for a richer broth.  Enjoy!

Home-made Almond Milk

Hydrated almondsIn Ayurvedic cuisine, almond milk is not only a good dairy-free beverage option, it is a valuable food in and of itself. It is cooling to the body and adds nourishing fats to the diet in an easily digestible manner. It is usually consumed freshly prepared and combined with flavorings like saffron and cardamom and sweetened with a natural sweetener like raw sugar.  It is a popular beverage in the warm months.

Commercial almond milk has too many unnecessary additives like added vitamins and preservatives that take away the nourishing properties of this beverage.

It is easy to prepare at home, only requiring that the almonds be soaked ahead of time. Here is how –

Soak one cup of raw almonds in hot water, over night. In the morning, rinse the almonds. Using the thumb and forefingers of both hands, the skins of the almonds can be squeezed off easily. Rinse the peeled almonds one more time.

Almond milkA blend of hydrated almonds and water in a ratio of 1 : 1 and 1/2 cups yields a delicious light milk, not too thin or thick. This can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days and used as a drink or add-in for oatmeal and smoothies.

Note: How smooth and grit-free the milk is depends on your blender. If you find it gritty, you can sieve the milk through several layers of cheese cloth or a coffee filter.

Bowel Care

Many of us may have run dry through the dry and light winter months.  This would have manifested in dryness all over the body, inside and out.  Not only would our skin show this effect, our bowels may have been dry as well, with occasional to chronic constipation.  It is critical to health to pay attention and resolve this condition.  Without the body’s intelligence restored in this area it is difficult to address any other symptoms, including allergies and other seasonal afflictions.

In addition to avoiding dry and cold foods, Triphala can be used to gently and effectively correct constipation.  In Sanskrit, ‘Tri’ means 3 and ‘Phala’ means fruits.  Triphala is a triple gooseberry combination that is high in anti-oxidants, Vit C and all the good flavonoids of berries.  It works to restore natural health and intelligence of the colon while also rejuvenating the whole body, increasing seasonal immunity, and boosting life energy.

Dr. Lad, an esteemed teacher and Ayurvedic physician on Triphala:

Probably the best Ayurvedic remedy for constipation is Triphala, a combination of three herbs beneficial for all doshic types. Most problems with constipation can be corrected by taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Triphala at night. Steep the herbs in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drink.  Triphala is also rejuvenating and strengthening for all three doshas and all seven dhatus; it balances ojas, tejas, and prana.

Triphala is easily available at your local co-ops, Whole Foods, or online.