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Podcast Series: You Are What You Digest

 

You-Are-What-You-Digest-Podcast

After several months of collaborating with the founding President of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, renowned Ayurveda/Jyotish educator, and a dear friend Mamta Landerman CAS, it is with great pleasure and excitement to share Chit.Chaat.Chai’s first podcast series! You Are What You Digest, In Conversation with Mamta Landerman CAS. A 3-episode podcast all about digestion through the lens of Ayurveda.

Mamta and I developed this series to share a holistic perspective on digestion that extends beyond the gut. Each episode is dedicated to one of the three realms: physical, emotional and mental (digestion is more than just elimination!). Using stories and analogies in each episode, we talk through each level step by step for easy digestion. As the series progresses, we discuss how all three are interconnected and work synergistically. We hope this episodic journey provides you with insight on how Ayurveda approaches digestion and supports your path to healthy digestion.

All three 30 minutes episodes are now available on iTunesSoundcloud or click on each episode to stream from the web. I will also be releasing a couple exciting interviews with women who have helped pioneer Ayurveda here in California (including Mamta!). To receive episodes as they are released, subscribe to Chit.Chaat.Chai’s podcast channel and get them in your feed! Thank you for your support.

Chit-Chaat-Chai-Podcast-Logo

Listen & Subscribe on iTunes

Episode 1. Physical Digestion

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. Approximately 30 minutes

Episode 2. Emotional Digestion

In the second episode of this 3-part podcast series, Mamta and I talk about digestion on the emotional realm. Discussing the impact the subtle body has on the gross. Using the same terminology from the previous episode we show the relationship between the physical and the emotional bodies while providing a broader view on the understanding of digestion. Approximately 30 minutes

Episode 3. Mental Digestion

In the final episode, Mamta and I talk about digestion within the mental realm. Discussing Ayurveda’s view on the mind and the role the intellectual fire plays in supporting physical and mental digestion. Approximately 30 minutes

Listen on Soundcloud

Read the Transcriptions


You Are What You Digest was developed in partnership with Mamta Landerman,  a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist and Vedic Astrologer (Jyotishi). Considering their study as a lifelong journey, she teaches these subjects both privately and in different colleges across the U.S. Her keen interest in growing Ayurveda as a profession in the U.S., led her to be the Founding President of The California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, which she served for five years. She also produced the first three International Symposia on Ayurveda at University of California at Berkeley. To learn more about this amazing woman and the services she offers visit Ayujyoti.com.

Ep.3: You Are What You Digest, Mental Digestion

You-Are-What-You-Digest-Podcast

Episode 3. Mental Digestion

In the final episode, Mamta Landerman CAS and I discuss the role of the mind in the digestive process. Providing insight on how Ayurveda views the mind and the role the intellectual fire plays in supporting physical and emotional digestion.

Listen on iTunes or Soundcloud

Read the transcription


You Are What You Digest was developed in partnership with Mamta Landerman,  a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist and Vedic Astrologer (Jyotishi). Considering their study as a lifelong journey, she teaches these subjects both privately and in different colleges across the U.S. Her keen interest in growing Ayurveda as a profession in the U.S., led her to be the Founding President of The California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, which she served for five years. She also produced the first three International Symposia on Ayurveda at University of California at Berkeley. To learn more about this amazing woman and the services she offers visit Ayujyoti.com.

 

Ep.2: You Are What You Digest, Emotional Digestion

 You-Are-What-You-Digest-Podcast

Episode 2. Emotional Digestion

In the second episode of this 3-part podcast series, Mamta Landerman CAS and I talk about digestion on the emotional realm. Discussing the impact the subtle body has on the gross. Using the same terminology from the previous episode we show the relationship between the physical and the emotional bodies while providing a broader view on the understanding of digestion.

Listen on iTunes or Soundcloud

Read the transcription


You Are What You Digest was developed in partnership with Mamta Landerman,  a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist and Vedic Astrologer (Jyotishi). Considering their study as a lifelong journey, she teaches these subjects both privately and in different colleges across the U.S. Her keen interest in growing Ayurveda as a profession in the U.S., led her to be the Founding President of The California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, which she served for five years. She also produced the first three International Symposia on Ayurveda at University of California at Berkeley. To learn more about this amazing woman and the services she offers visit Ayujyoti.com.

 

Ep.1 You Are What You Digest, Physical Digestion

 You-Are-What-You-Digest-Podcast

Episode 1. Physical Digestion

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.

Listen on iTunes or Soundcloud

Read the transcription


You Are What You Digest was developed in partnership with Mamta Landerman,  a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist and Vedic Astrologer (Jyotishi). Considering their study as a lifelong journey, she teaches these subjects both privately and in different colleges across the U.S. Her keen interest in growing Ayurveda as a profession in the U.S., led her to be the Founding President of The California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, which she served for five years. She also produced the first three International Symposia on Ayurveda at University of California at Berkeley. To learn more about this amazing woman and the services she offers visit Ayujyoti.com.

 

Moong Daal in a Pot

Ghee-licious Moong Daal

Moong Daal in a PotSometimes you got to strip it all away and get down to the bare necessities. It took me six months of recipe testing to digest, practice and implement this, but I got there. Practice, practice, practice! And now I have a recipe for moong daal, I love.

You would think a girl who grew up eating daal, almost every other week, could just whip up a moong daal.  It would be easy breezy. Well…apparently, that wasn’t my case. Growing up we enjoyed a dry moong curry in which the integrity of the lentil remained. Several other single lentil daal recipes were enjoyed too, but never a soupy moong. Hmmm—maybe it’s a regional thing? I am not really sure of the why, but I do know there are a plethora daal recipes. They vary from town to town, street to street, home to home, religion to religion in South Asia—that’s just the glory of daal.

While working on this recipe, I pulled out every typical ingredient from my daal bag—fried onions, whole garam masalas, an array of spice mixes, but none of them were giving me that simple, uncomplicated goodness I was seeking. After a couple months and moong daal overload, I needed a break. I was trying too hard and the repeated disappointment was fostering stagnated ideas. Heavy clouds were looming over me and the creative fluidity was running dry.  Then, good ol’ Father Time delivered a message. “Just make it the simplest way you know how”. And boom! That’s my story of how a girl whose life was turned upside down, over a simple moong daal recipe, developed  Ghee-licious Moong Daal.

I am loving this recipe. It has been on my weekly rotation. It’s nothing fancy or complicated, it just simple, traditional, goodness. The combination of ghee and hing (asafetida), add a buttery touch, while still keeping the daal light. It’s not overly spicy or predominant in one spice versus another.  Each time, I have made this recipe, I am reminded of how sometimes the simple things are the best things in life.

Daal SpicesMoong is the favored lentil in Ayurveda. It is known for its digestibility, overall nourishment, and sattvic nature.  It is also the key ingredient in khichadi, a simple rice dish enjoyed throughout India (and parts of Pakistan) when feeling under the weather, like chicken soup.  I like to have moong daal over a little basmati rice, as a compliment to a veggie dish or use it as a soup stock. In the autumn an extra dollop of ghee, or if you have a pitta/vata dominant dosha that dollop can come with each season. Happy Eating. Happy Digesting.

Ghee-licious Moong Daal

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy

Dosha: VPK Season: All Qualities: Moist, Warm, Soft, Light Tastes: Astringent, Bitter, Pungent, Sour, Salty Time: 30-40 minutes* Serves: 4-6 What you need: a 3-4 quart heavy bottom pot, a small pot, hand blender (optional)

Ingredients

In the pot:

  • 1 cup peeled+split mung daal (lentils)
  • 6 1/2 – 7 cups water*

Vaghaar/Taarka/Hot Oil Infusion:

  • 2 T (heaping) ghee or sunflower (any season) or coconut (summer) 
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing aka asafoetida
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 T grated ginger (heaping)
  • 1 medium garlic clove very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  •  8-10 curry patha (leaves) (nice to have)
  • 1/2 serrano chili sliced or 1-2 dried red chili or 1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional)

Finishing Touches:

  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon or opt for lime in the summer
  • 4 T chopped cilantro (with stems)

Directions

  1. Rinse and soak moong daal for a minimum of 20 minutes to overnight if possible. This aides with digestion, slight starts to sprout the pulse and can reduce cook time. I soaked mine for about 4 hours (after I had breakfast).
  2. 2.In a 4 quart pot add water and rinsed mung daal (throw out the water it was soaked in). Bring the daal to a boil on medium-high heat with the lid slightly uncovered. Remove foam, if any. Cover and let the daal simmer on medium heat. Be careful it doesn’t overflow. If this happens lower heat and/or leave it slightly uncovered.

    While the daal is cooking, prep your spices and bring them close to the stove. The oil infusion is a fast process, so having all your spices measured out and nearby is really helpful.

    3. While the daal is simmering, in a small pot (this way you have a puddle of ghee), warm the ghee over medium heat. When it is nice and warm—add 1 mustard seed. If the seed sizzles the ghee is at the right temperature. If the seed pops out it too hot—let it cool down. If the seed sizzles, add the remaining mustard seeds and keep a cover nearby. The seeds need to pop to release the flavor, covering the pot can help getting seed stung. I also like to use a mesh, flat strainer with a handle. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, they are activated! Then add in the following order: the hing, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chili or green chili, and garlic. Once the garlic starts to turn a light golden brown, add the ginger and stir. Then turn off the stove and add the turmeric (and the optional red chili powder)—this will activate the spices, but won’t burn them

    4. Immediately, but gently, pour the infused ghee into the simmering daal. It will sizzle and you will see lots of steam. Get every last drop of the infused ghee into the daal. I also like to ‘rinse’ the pot, by adding a little bit of the daal into the infusion pot. Give the daal a good stir. Continue to simmer with the pot slightly uncovered until the lentils are well blended & creamy.

    5. Once the lentils have dissolved add the salt. Continue to cook until the lentils and the water are melded together. If daal is too thick, add a little warm water. If it’s too thin, continue to cook with no lid until you get the consistency you like.

    6. After the daal is nicely blended and creamy. Turn off the stove. Add the cilantro and lemon juice and cover for 3-5 minutes before serving.

    Notes: The total time ranges from 30-40 minutes. If you live in high altitude, times may differ—consider using a pressure cooker to cook the lentils first. If you prefer a really smooth daal, once the lentils are cooked and the foam has been removed, blend the daal with a hand blender. Then continue with step 3. This recipe is for a daal on the thinner daal, like the consistency of a soup. If you prefer a thicker daal, reduce water (you can always add more water—always add warm to hot water to keep the temperature same and to avoid longer cooking time ).

    Moong Daal in a Pot


Sprouted Moong Soupy Khichadi with Summer Veggies

Summer-Squash-Khichadi-AyurvedaAfter returning home from a summer road trip to New Mexico, my body was needing cooling, hydrating and earthy nourishment. A meal that was filling, yet light. Comfort food with a touch of the summer season. Soupy khichadi, kitchri or kitchuri, depending on the transliteration, was calling my name.

I started to make soupy khichadi when I was living in San Marcos. One of the many beautiful towns surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. During this life period, my eyes awoke with the sunrise and fell asleep when it was too dark to see. We had no electricity or curtains, but we had a propane stove and a pressure cooker.  All we needed to prepare our daily khichadi lunch.

Not familiar with pressure-cooker cooking, my khichadi was consistently neither a porridge nor a pilaf. Instead, I’d end up with soupy khichadi. Where the lentils and rice still held together in a seasoned broth. Basically daal over rice made in one pot. A comforting meal with that nostalgic touch. Exactly what I needed, in my temporary home away from home.

Summer-Squash-Chit-Chaat-ChaiI’ve thought about getting a small pressure cooker. However…in my tiny kitchen! My four quart pot will need to suffice. And it did. After twelve years, soupy khichadi is back! Coinciding perfectly with with transit of Jupiter in virgo. Where it lived during my San Marco days. How does this astrological transit fits together with this story? I have no idea…but the timing has my whiskers on alert mode.

With this version of the recipe, I’ve introduced corn. My touch of summer. I was a little wary about adding sweet corn, but I wanted to move away from the normal veggies, I occasionally add to khichadi. Familiarity serves a valuable purpose. It can be easier and save time. While also allowing for complacency. A side effect I was starting to recognize. The season of transformation, called me to to change it up.  Take a chance on corn. Love the little lessons I am reminded of when cooking.

Sprouted Moong Soupy Khichadi with Summer Veggies

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy

Dosha: PKV Season: Summer Tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Astringent, Bitter What you need: 4-quart pot

Ingredients

  • 3 T ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 T (heaping) freshly grated or finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 serrano green chili diced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted moong
  • 1/3 cups basmati rice (rinsed and soaked 20 mins)
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh corn (2 cobs)
  • 3-4 summer squashes
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt/pink rock salt or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) chopped cilantro
  • 6 cups water

Directions

1.Over medium heat, warm the ghee or coconut oil in a 4-quart pot. When the oil has melted and is quite warm, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick.  Cook until the cumin seeds are toasty (darker brown) and aromatic.

2.Then add in the sprouted moong,  soaked rice (drain the water it has been soaking in), grated ginger, turmeric and give it a few stirs. The wet rice should prevent sticking and let the ginger and turmeric gently warm.  Then add in the 6 cups of water and fresh corn. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil.  Then let the khichadi simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes or until rice is 95% cooked.

3.While the khichadi is cooking, chop up the summer squash into medium size chunks or slices, depending on the shape of the squash. Try to keep the pieces consistent in size for even cooking.

4.Once the rice is 95% cooked, add in the squash and salt. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Turn off the stove when squash is 95% cooked, to prevent overcooking. Add in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix well and serve with a dollop of ghee (especially for vata constitutions).

Notes: If you want a soupier khichadi, add additional boiling water prior to adding the squash so the flavors can meld. Bring to a boil and then continue with step 4. Frozen corn can be used as well. If adding a dollop of yogurt, skip the lime juice as both ingredients are not compatible for digestion. Chit_Chaat_Chai_Summer_Kitchri


4 Rosey Ways to Stay Cool

Chit_Chaat_Chai_Ayurveda

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. Read More