Author: rumin

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, …

4 Rosey Ways to Stay Cool

Roses are summertime’s queen of the floral court. A sniff of her petals and she’ll have you wrapped in bliss with her sweet, intoxicating aroma. Feeling grounded, calm and cool even on the hottest of summer days. When pitta (fire + water) dosha is at its peak, roses are the aromatic elixir to balance the lower quality flames. From emotional outbursts, anxiety, to heat-related pitta headaches, roses cooling energy and sweet aroma is medicine for the spirit. Awakening loving, compassionate and peaceful vibrations to support a mind-body balance. In Ayurveda, aroma (to smell) is connected to the grounding earth element. Even on the hottest of days, when it’s hard to move, think or breathe deep, aroma grabs ahold of attention. A compelling scent can vie one to sniff and sniff again. Encouraging the breath to become longer and deeper. Deep breath then activates the circulation of stagnated air within the body. Helping to release pent-up tension and bring forth a moment of calm.

Peaches_Ghee_Coconut_Sprinkles

Peaches, Ghee & Spiced Coconut Sprinkles

It’s July and my California fruit calendar is telling me peach season is here.  So, I head to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market and guess what? Fuzzy, flame colored beauties everywhere! I love how each month my fruit calendar gets it right. White, yellow and donut peaches filled the stalls.  Calling to almost all my senses—sight, smell, taste, and touch.  Riding high with sensory overload, I picked-up more than I could eat—surprise, surprise.  Over excitement and hunger are discernments worst enemy.

Hibiscus-Rose Infusion for all Aphrodites

A magical infusion of hibiscus, rose, and cinnamon. It’s been several years since this intoxicating pinkish-red tonic touched my lips. Oh, how I missed it! This summer it returns. Exciting my eyes and tingling my nose. While cooling the body and mind from the fiery heat of the sun. Know for reducing excess heat from the body, hibiscus supports the first two chakras and balances feminine energy. In enhancing internal beauty is aids in producing an external glow. A gentle, detoxifying flower, hibiscus also evokes sattva—purity, harmony and balanced mental energy. A flower for all the goddesses, the Aphrodites. Here’s to embracing and balancing the divine feminine energy that births the population. Hibiscus through the lens of Ayurveda

Venus Water

I love turning what may seem like an ordinary moment into a spa like experience. Whether it is taking a bath or drinking a glass of water. Evoking the senses with something out of the norm allows space for the ah-ha moment, the deep breath and appreciation. It’s a treat I wish I did more often, but there’s also something special about an occasional routine, I truly appreciate. Making water smell like roses will be one of my occasional summer routines. I am thinking of mixing up a jug at least once a week. To have on hand after a hike, on a lazy afternoon or just as a substitute for plain H20. It’s a cooling, nourishing option without the sugar that supports balancing  pitta’s (fire + water) intense summer energy. If I feel like enhancing the sensorial experience, I’ll sprinkle in dried rose petals and fresh mint. In a few seconds (literally), the herbs transform my glass into a mini-edible garden and look so darling floating around. The bright green and pink attract a calming, yet …

Thyme for Coriander & Asparagus

I’ve been eating asparagus every week for the past 6 weeks and I am still loving it! With minimal prep and cook time, whether sauteed or steamed, these slightly sweet and astringent tasting spears are topping my spring list for the easiest green veggies. They’re so tasty too! Rich in the earth and air elements, foods with an astringent taste, like, asparagus, can bind and draw out excess from the body.  Whether it is ama (toxins derived from undigested food), fat or water, the astringent taste supports detoxification. Have you experienced urinating a bit more or longer after eating asparagus? In helping the body release excess water, combined with asparagus’ cooling energy, these delicious spears support reducing inflammation and puffiness, while helping to purify the blood. For individuals who tend to retain water or have accumulated excessive heat from the winter season, asparagus is spring’s natural detoxifier. It’s light and dry qualities harmonize with spring and prep the body for the summer. Mother Nature’s—she’s on it and one step ahead. Whether steamed or sautéed, the simpler the …

Spring Time Masala Chai

Warming Cardamom, Ginger & Fennel Chai

Those leisurely Sunday mornings…lingering around in your favorite pajamas…slow beats vibrating softly through speakers…sun’s rays beaming in through the windows and pulling on those lethargic, sluggish strings to move on out…while the spirit snoozes under the aroma of cardamom, fennel and ginger brewing atop the stove. Ginger to heat the body, which has been dormant under the night sky, sweet cardamom to activate love, awaken the lungs, dissolve mucus and cooling fennel to lighten the body of excess air and water.  All three igniting the digestive fire, supporting movement and tantalizing the spirit through their aromatics. Masala chai Sundays are pure joy. For the past couple months, I’ve made it a spring ritual. Minimal ingredients, effort and three spices that are available in my spice cupboard at all times. This masala chai recipe is my current go to. It’s less milky, thus, less heavy than an autumn chai.  For a little extra pep with each step!

Zesty Fennel, Cucumber and Chive Salad

Over the past few years, fennel has a reserved spot my vegetable bin. It’s versatility, carminative properties and cooling energy has made it a weekly produce staple. When in season, I pick up a small to medium size bulb to incorporate half into a bitter-tart-sweet-slightly pungent juice, while using the stalk and fronds in homemade bone broths and the other half to roast with other seasonal veggies or shaved in a salad. From it’s seeds to flowers, fennel is used in many cultures around the globe. Commonly known as a digestive aide, fennel is cooling for the body. It is also a diuretic, helps with internal spasms and is considered a carminative herb. I wrote about the benefits of fennel, if you would like to learn about it in more detail, click here. This week, I was craving a slaw like salad. Something with a little crunch that felt cooling, was refreshing, with a touch of pungent and bitter tastes for balance and did not involve any lettuce. Apparently, all the ingredients also had to be green and white! I …

5 Spices to Heat Up Your Spring Pantry

It’s time to fall out of autumn and leap into spring! Soon, flowers will be blossoming to express the new season. A gentle, quarterly reminder from Mother Nature to start shifting lifestyle choices and harmonize with her spring energy. Generating heat and movement internally will support balancing the cold, wet and heavy qualities she exudes in the spring. While helping to prevent common spring imbalances such as congestion, sluggishness and stiffness. A natural antidote for producing internal warmth to break-up and move stagnation within the body are heating spices. The intoxicating flavors and aromas will lure the cook. While their medicinal magic will bless the meal with the ability to heal. Generally speaking, all spices can be enjoyed year round, simply by adjusting their quantity according to the season. Ayurveda, determines the seasonal recommendations based the spices’ inherent cooling or heating energy. Spices which foster heat, are recommended in the cold season—winter into early spring. The heat warms the cold and dries the wet qualities. Lightening up congestion not just in the chest but also in the gut. Helping to balance the …

Smokin' Sweet Cranberry Chiptole Chutney

Smokin’ Sweet Cranberry Chipotle Chutney

With the craziness of the holiday season, I should have, could have, but didn’t post my cranberry sauce recipe in November. Ce la vie, at times. You do what you can do—right? It may seem out of season, but cranberries are still lingering around in the markets. If you love sweet, smoky and tangy flavors, you’re going to want to preserve a jar of this chutney, to take you through spring. If not, hold on to this recipe for next fall! Six years ago, I came across Chiptole Cranberry Sauce in Bon Appetit and have never looked back. The following year, I used it as my base recipe and added a little orange zest and increased the spices a bit. The flavor from the zest is not strong, but it adds a little complexity that makes it taste extra good. It’s hard to believe that was five years ago. To my surprise, this recipe is one of the few dishes that returns to the Thanksgiving table. every year. This cranberry chutney/sauce is a-mazing with turkey, but the sweet, spicy, garlicky, smoky flavors …