Author: rumin

Apricot & Ginger Chickpea Stew

As a big fan of one-pot meals with all six tastes and a textural variety, stews place high on the weekly menu. No matter the season, and especially towards the end of summer, the beginnings of fall. When energy begins to dissipate. Simplify daily living to focus on rejuvenation is one essential goal. This period when summer aka pitta season begins to meet fall aka vata season is also peak tomato season. A fruit that is known to be unbalancing for all doshas. Therefore, omitted from diets rooted in a 100% pure sattva only foods. A fan of eating the fruits and vegetable Mother Nature blesses us with each season, tomatoes continue to remain on my food list. This is not without significant testing to a balance that works for me. When I see Roma, Early Girls, San Marzanos’ and heirloom varietals dress the stalls. Looking all fiery, ripe and ready for a drizzle of olive oil and salt. I’m ready to enjoy the seasonal nutrients Mother Nature is communicating to me. She’s talking and I …

Waste Not | Herb & Citrus Salt

What do you do when you have more herbs than you can use? One solution is to preserve them in salt. With more herbs, than the time or energy to cook, a Thanksgiving day, many a year ago,  I decided to shortcut the process for making herbed salt. Opting to “dump” the herbs into a salt jar. Rather than the traditional method of spreading the salt and herbs out on a baking sheet. Washing another clunky dish was not appealing and nor was wasting the herbs. With little to no energy, I put my faith in salt’s fire element. Hoping whether the salt and herbs were on a baking sheet or in a jar, salt’s heat would still extract and dry, in-turn preserving the herbs. Every day or two, I’d check up on the mixture and give the fragrant blend a stir. The aroma was as divine as therapeutic. Bringing a little sunshine to the cold, fall days. After about a week, I had a lovely jar of herbed salt. Fortunately, the short-cut method worked and since …

Moringa & Amchur Red Lentil Coconut Dal

Any opportunity to make a one pot, six taste meal, we are all about it. In an era, where time is of the essence, even for those of us who love to cook, having a quick, easy recipe makes life a little easier. One of our favorites is a simple red lentil soup or dal. Readily available, red lentils adapt well to an array of spices, herbs grains, and vegetables. Served thick and creamy or light and soupy, these fiery orange pulses are a tasty source of plant-based protein. Stir in a fresh moringa leaves to the pot for a nutrient boost, a gentle cleansing action and another source of protein, amino acids, and iron. Taking an ol’ favorite, Simply Delicious Tangy Masoor Dal in 30 minutes, as inspiration. This variation includes a green, fresh moringa leaves and calls for amchur, green mango powder. Fresh moringa leaves fall under the bitter taste in Ayurveda, however, the leaves have a delicate and subtle taste. Cooking up like any other leafy green, while the gentle cleansing benefits …

The Alkalizer | Coconut Water & Cardamom Elixir

This cooling, alkalizing elixir comes from ayurvedic physician, Vaidya, Lakshmidevi M. Kartha, BAMs., from Kerela, India. A quick, easy and alkalizing tonic made with two ingredients, coconut water, and cardamom. Cold infused for ten to fifteen minutes, this refreshing, aromatic drink acts as an antidote to acid. While also preventing its reoccurrence in the body and urine. An age-old recipe commonly recommended when there is indigestion or a burning sensation during urination. The tender, young, coconut water serves as a natural cleanser with its’ diuretic, antimicrobial properties. Helping flush out infectious bacteria and keeping the body cool. The crushed cardamom pods or powder balances samana vayu, a sub-dosha located in the abdomen that governs digestion and assimilation. Cardamom, a carminative and diuretic also balances apana vayu.  Another vata sub-dosha permeating the lower abdomen area, responsible for downward movement in the body.  Including the elimination of carbon monoxide, urine, stool, etc. The combination of these two natural ingredients acts like a gentle cleanser.  It can be enjoyed at room temperature, a few times throughout the day for two-three …

Nasya | Why Cleanse & Lubricate your Nose with Oil

The nasal cavity is considered the gateway to the brain, mind, and consciousness, according to Ayurveda. Through the nose, prana—the vital force, flows. Entering the body with every inhale, with every breath. One reason why nasya, an herbal oil based therapy, is one of five key ayurvedic cleansing and restorative therapies. The treatment detoxifies the nasal cavity, by clearing and lubricating the respiratory pathways. Promoting the assimilation of prana. While also relieving sinus congestion and dryness. Two imbalances that can amplify issues with memory, nervous disorders, mental fog, emotional stress, and tension in the head, face, sinuses, jaw, throat, neck, and shoulders. A time-tested therapy supporting imbalances above the clavicle bone, nasya has been practiced for thousands of years in India. The herbal oil drops improve circulation to promote clarity and boost overall mood. Balancing prana vayu, sadhaka pitta, and tarpaka kapha. The three sub-doshas that govern inhalation, processing emotions, and lubrication. Consisting of a face and neck massage along with steam helps to open up the respiratory pathways, encouraging circulation while beginning to loosen accumulated mucus. …

The Summer Cooler | minty, cucumber, aloe & lime elixir

On those summer days when no amount of water seems to quench the thirst, there’s nothing more satisfying than a refreshing, minty beverage. A glass filled with a little sweet, a little tangy, and a whole lot of cooling hydration. To rebalance the five elements, nourish the tissues, replenish electrolytes, and pacify pitta dosha. During a season where mineral depletion and heat accumulation are common imbalances, reaching for a cooling mineral-rich drink can recharge the system, while reducing internal heat. Summertime well-being has a lot to do with the balancing the water and fire elements in the body. Staying hydrated and cool are essential practices in cultivating a balanced pitta dosha. To sustain energy levels and prevent imbalances related to dryness and heat. In a season when the body is prone to rapidly lose water and minerals, dehydration is a common imbalance. Depleting the tissues of vital nutrients and moisture. Dryness in the body can also play a role in imbalances related to blood pressure levels, the flexibility of the joints, muscles, and be one …

The Summer Lover | a minty-rose, cardamom probiotic lassi

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a little fling. Sweet, intoxicating bliss, sparking the heart’s fire, sadhaka agni, with sattva—peaceful energy. A little wink, wink with an aphrodisiac infused with aromatic roses, mint, and cardamom. Then churned with a probiotic-rich yogurt to boost summers’ low digestive flame.  To tame the heated warrior spirit that arises from acidic heat stored in the gut, liver, and blood. In the summer season, when the element of fire is fierce, turn the wild passions of war into an elixir of love. Hello there…Summer Lover. Happy Drinking. Happy Digesting. 1/2 cup full-fat yogurt with whey (not greek) 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds or powder + a pinch a 1 finger pinch of Himalayan salt 2-3 fresh mint leaves 2 T rose water 2 T raw or coconut sugar* (or to taste) Decorative ingredients 1 T rose petals crushed + splash of rose water (optional) Getting fancy: to rim serving glasses with rose petals,  place crushed petals on to small plate/saucer. Coat the rim of the glass with rose water and dip …

Artichokes with Crispy Garlic, Ghee & Sumac

After coming home with a bag of freshly harvested baby artichokes from Palo Alto Farmer’s Market last Sunday, I was reminded that some fresh produce still remains seasonal. With year-round access to our favorite fruits and vegetables, sometimes remembering whats in and out of season can be a little challenging. Strolling through the Farmer’s market was a lovely way to reconnect with nature’s seasonal gifts, the farmers, and sunshine. While remembering that produce like fava beans, cherries, peaches, fresh peas and artichokes don’t come by daily. Seasonal produce still exist!

A picture of man getting the netra basti, treatment

A Ghee Bath: an “Ayurvedic” Therapy to Nourish the Eyes

One thing we’ve learned from Ayurveda is to embrace the oily life. Dating back over 5, 000 years, this holistic medical system loves healthy fat–sesame, coconut to ghee. Internally and externally, Ayurveda recognizes the medicinal value of oil. From aiding detoxification to calming the nervous system. “Ayurvedic” therapies utilize oil in a wide variety of therapy to support the mind and the body. When it comes to treating the eyes, oil can be used as well. In a therapy called, netra basti. Living in the digital era, in which eyestrain is on the rise, we wanted to learn more about the benefits of netra basti. A therapy commonly recommended by Ayurveda Practitioners and Doctors in which the eyes are bathed in ghee to relieve strain and much more. So, we called upon Julie Bernier, owner of True Ayurveda in Malibu, California. A NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) certified, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Therapist, Julie chit-chatted with us about the what, when, why, how and what if’s of this ancient, time-tested, eye therapy.

5 Books on Ayurveda We Recommend for “Newbies”

Have you been wanting to learn more about Ayurveda and looking for a book to get you started? A book that provides an informative overview while having a practical element. Focused on the aspect of Ayurveda in which an individual can participate in their own well-being? With a vast holistic medical system like Ayurveda, finding an introductory book can be challenging. This 5,000-year-old time-tested science encompasses a wide range of knowledge. From prevention-based practices for the general public to disease management that is geared towards medical professionals. For someone new to Ayurveda, the search for a personally relevant book can feel overwhelming.

In Conversation with Filmmaker, Jeremy Frindel, The Doctor From India

We recently chit-chatted with Jeremy Frindel, director of the 2012 documentary, One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das about his new film, The Doctor From India. A poetic documentary about the pioneering work of  Ayurveda Physician and Educator, Dr. Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc. Frindel’s immersive portrait shares Dr. Lad’s journey in bringing Ayurveda, a holistic-based healthcare system, to the United States in the late 1970’s. Documenting Dr. Lad’s life from childhood to present day, the film includes interviews with Deepak Chopra and longtime friend, Ayurveda physician Dr. Robert E. Savboda. Frindel’s meditative documentary brings new light to Ayurveda and captures the accomplishments of a doctor and healer with a humanitarian spirit. In Conversation with Director, Jeremy Frindel on his second documentary, The Doctor From India  Rumin Jehangir (RJ): Hi, Jeremy. I am so excited to be talking with you today. Thanks for taking the time. I thought we could just jump right into the questions.  I’d love to hear how this film came about. How were you introduced to Dr. Lad, were you a student of Ayuverda? Jeremy Frindel(JF): I knew pretty much …

Ep.4 The Doctor From India, Director, Jeremy Frindel

Episode 4. In Conversation with Filmmaker Jeremy Frindel On The Doctor From India We chit-chat with Jeremy Frindel, director of the 2012 documentary, One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, about his new film, The Doctor From India. A poetic documentary that brings new light to Ayurveda and captures the accomplishments of a doctor and healer with a humanitarian spirit, Ayurveda Physician, and Educator, Dr. Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc. For information on screenings, visit zeitgeistfilms.com or the film’s Facebook page. Read the interview and watch the trailer  

7 Tips to Prevent Spring Allergies & Boost Digestion

Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth are popping up in backyards, street beds and random corners of neighborhoods. With their sparks of color, these flowering bulbs are a reminder that spring is upon us—and so is pollen! From the lens of Ayurveda, the body’s response to the seasonal shift can be indicative of the diet and lifestyle choices made in the prior season. What we did or did not do, ate or did not eat, or drank or did not drink in the winter can play a role in how the immune system will respond in the spring. Ayurveda & Spring  Ayurveda refers to spring as kapha season. Kapha translates to “stick together”. Giving us insight into the qualities of this dosha—cold, sticky, heavy, slow and wet. After a dry winter season, kapha qualities bring balance to the environment. An increase in rainfall adds moisture to the air and soil. While more sun hours transforms snow into water and warms-up the earth. Inspiring hibernating bulbs to bloom. As the season shifts from winter to spring, the body, mind, …

Sesame Honey Ladoos (Balls)

Remember the sesame brittle candies wrapped in clear twisted plastic..often found at the check-out counter? These sesame honey balls from Divya Alter’s cookbook, What to Eat for How You Feel remind me of them. But without the sticky fingers and teeth. Since the beginning of winter, I’ve been wanting to make sesame “candies” from scratch. They’re the perfect, nourishing winter treat. Rich in immunity-boosting nutrients, healthy fat, anti-oxidants, and minerals. With a warming energy to balance with the cold season. Sometimes, it’s hard to wrap my mind around how a yummy “candy” can also be nutritious. Traditionally, sesame “candies” are made in the cold season. Often in the form of a laddu (ball) or as brittle (I love the diamond-shaped versions). Instead of honey or refined sugarcane, South Asian recipes most often call for jaggery, an unrefined sweetener that comes from sugarcane. It’s often given to kids melted on a chapati with ghee for their iron and mineral content.  A snack after my own heart. Jaggery is also used in nuts and seeds based spiced treats made specifically for women, post childbirth. …

Nourish the Body & Mind, Sesame Love

You say sesame seeds, and I say my nana (maternal grandfather) and his blazer pocket.  The three are forever synonymous in my mind.  They go together like sesame seeds melded together with honey— remember the little rectangular “candies” wrapped in rice paper and twisted in clear plastic. They were always stashed in my Nana’s navy blazer. Each one slightly tacky and perfectly gooey from traveling on his day-long adventures. Even into my adult years, out came the little one bite wonders from his navy blazer. The treat never grew old. Just gooier and gooier between my teeth. When I formally started studying Ayurveda, sesame seeds took on a whole new light. What was once associated with “Nana candy”, was now seen as nourishing and detoxifying food for the body and mind. In class, if we weren’t talking about how to cook with them we were talking about using their oil in treatments for the skin, mouth, throat, nose, and ears. I quickly learned how revered these tiny seeds were in Ayurveda. Touted for their not only for their …

Shredded Carrot & Lentil Salad

I think what I appreciate most about Indian/Pakistani salads is their similarity to a slaw.  They can be eaten as is,  a side, added to a wrap or the final topping on a bowl. Complimenting a meal or a bite, similar to a chutney or condiment. While retaining a hearty, crunchy freshness like a slaw. Since they last a few days in the fridge without wilting or losing the crunch factor, they can easily be made ahead. A handy convenience when time is of the essence. Salad-slaws can be a quick way to add a missing taste, quality or vegetable to a meal when applying Ayurveda food guidelines to eating.  Need a sweet, sour, astringent or bitter taste? Or something a little dry (aka crunchy) or light? Depending on the type of slaw, several missing bases can be covered at once. If I haven’t already said enough about why slaw-salads are awesome, here is one more thing. Slaw type salads aide and support digestion. A light fermentation process takes place from the salt and lemon or lime “dressing”.  Adding a …

Green Bean & Coconut Stir-Fry

Quick and easy with a flavorful aromatic punch pretty much sums up this string bean coconut stir-fry recipe from Chitra Agrawal’s new cookbook (read more here).  Any dish with shredded coconut always makes my eyes shine.  The chewy goodness sweetly balances the spicy flavor profile of this Karnatakan dish.  Adding a layer of complexity to a fairly simple dish.  The use of coconut is one of the things I appreciate most about cuisine from the Southern part of India. When I came across this recipe in Vibrant India, I knew it was one of the first ones I wanted to try.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Lentil Stew

The days when I craved butternut squash soup were long ago. A time when the sweetness did not overwhelm my taste buds and the heavy soup felt light.  An era I did not think would return.  Until I came across this Roasted Butternut Squash & Lentil Stew recipe in . A cookbook filled with Chitra Agarwal’s family’s recipes from the southern Indian state of Karnataka (click here to read my review). The combination of sweet and spicy ingredients immediately appealed to my current taste preference. Which is currently lingering between autumn and winter. When vata dosha is still center stage and kapha dosha begins to introduce itself.  A time when the grounding, earthy nourishment from the sweet taste is still integral to Ayurveda’s seasonal diet. While the pungent taste needs to take a step forward.  To counterbalance the start of the cold and wet season with its warming and drying qualities. A take on a traditional family recipe, Chitra, author of , blends butternut squash with red lentils.  Then spices it up with with a traditional …

Cooking with Vibrant India

Living in a country where South Asian food tends to be associated with Northern Indian cuisine, Chitra Agrawal’s cookbook,  brings a refreshing change. State-specific South Asian cookbooks are a rare find. Coming across one with a personal narrative and captures the cuisine from the south-western Indian state of Karnataka, suggests we are entering into an exciting time for South Asian cookbooks. Filled with every day to special occasion dishes,  connects food with family memories, traditions, and comfort. Recipes passed down from generations, rooted in sattvic dietary customs and reflective of a second-generation American of Karnataka descent. It’s family’s cookbook of sorts.  One that is now publicly available to the DIY foodie, the traditional enthusiast and/or those seeking to diversify their South Asian recipe box beyond chicken tikka masala and palak paneer.

Digest Better: Engaging the 5 Senses with Each Bite

In a couple weeks, here in the U.S., it will we will be time for the Fall Harvest Feast. A holiday that brings people together to share a meal, laugh, and reconnect with loved ones. It’s also a time to recognize and be grateful for all the gifts we have in our lives. While it can be a joyous day,  it can also be one of overindulgence. A day in which we tend to please our emotions and often tune out the needs of our body. Transforming active, joyous energy to lethargy. How do we walk away from the table feeling mentally and emotionally happy while our body still feels energetic?  With room to digest the nourishment it just received. One practice is connecting the mind and the emotions with the body through actively engaging the five senses. Using our senses to direct our mind and emotions towards love and appreciation. If we do this prior to taking the first bite, it can help bring us into the moment. Focusing our attention towards the gift of a meal and helping to prevent mindless eating. The practice also helps prepares …

5 Dishes to Spice Up Your Fall Harvest Feast

Looking to add a little spice to your Fall Harvest Feast this month? Here are five delicious sides (and 1 appetizer) that also happen to be vegan, dairy and gluten-free. Happy Eating! Happy Digesting! 1. Smokin’ Sweet Cranberry Chipotle Chutney It’s amazing what a little chipotle, cumin, cinnamon, garlic and orange does to cranberry sauce. Click here for the recipe. 2. It’s a Rose-Mary Citrus Party Entice those fingers to grab some pre-meal fruit. Thinly sliced citrus makes keeps it easy and clean for the chef and guests.  A  light, hydrating snack that leaves room for the main course and sides. Click here for the recipe. 3. 5 Spiced Yams & Rainbow Chard Spice up yams and greens with three tasty digestive aides cumin, fennel and ginger.  A variation of the popular 5 spices and a veggie. Click here for the recipe. 4. Corn in a Roasted Poblano Coconut Curry  Take the corn off the cob and this recipe can easily convert to a vegan, dairy-free creamed corn or corn dressed in a spicy coconut based sauce.  Click here for the recipe. 5. Roasted Squash & Yams …

Ep.1 Physical Digestion, You Are What you Digest

In the first episode of this 3-part podcast series, Mamta Landerman CAS and I talk about digestion as a continuous process that extends beyond the gut and into the seven tissues, through the lens of Ayurveda. Covering topics such as the digestive fire, indigestion, ama or toxins, eating habits, food choices, and how everyday kitchen spices can aid in supporting digestion within the physical body.

Moong Daal in a Pot

Ghee-licious Moong Daal

Sometimes you’ve got to strip it all away and get down to the bare necessities. After six months of recipe testing, I was able to digest and implement this practice. Understanding that good food does not need to be complicated. The time and practice were well worth the experience.  Along with a ghee-licious recipe for moong daal, I love. You would think a girl who grew up eating daal every other week, could just whip up a  batch of soupy moong daal.  It would be easy breezy. Well…apparently, that wasn’t my case. Growing up moong daal was served like a dry curry. In which the integrity of the lentil remained. We ate this tomato based dish with chapati.  Sometimes rolled into a burrito. It was our road food. We also made other single soupy-style lentil recipes like tuwar and urad, but never moong. Hmmm—maybe it was a regional thing? I am not really sure of the why, but I do know there are a plethora daal recipes in South Asia. They vary from town to town, street to street, …