All posts filed under: Vata

Moong Daal in a Pot

Ghee-licious Moong Daal

Sometimes 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 …

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 …

Rose-Mary Citrus Platter

It’s a Rose-Mary Citrus Party

Citrus season is in full swing in California. Local markets are filled with an abundant array of varietals, from juicy tangelos—don’t you just love the ring of it? To sweet ruby reds and blood colored oranges. On a cold winter’s day, walking through the citrus aisle warms the heart like a gorgeous sunset. The vibrant colors and invigorating scents activate the sluggish winter mind, while their sour taste activates digestion. As energizing as citrus fruits are, they are also heavy. All that juicy goodness, may be hydrating, but water can be weighing. Lucky for us, Mother Nature provides a little balance through the bitter pith and membranes. Bitter, one of the six taste in Ayurveda, is naturally detoxifying. In eating citrus with the membranes retained, the intended balanced nutrients are received—sweet with a little sour and bitter. In comparison to citrus juice, which can reduce fiber content and the bitter, detoxifying element. Juice also increases the serving portion from one piece of fruit to perhaps three or four. Something to consider, when sugar intake is of concern. Citrus fruits also …

creamy-quinoa-khichadi

Creamy Quinoa Khichadi with Cumin Ghee

There’s something comforting about a rice and lentil porridge that just makes me holistically feel good.  I think Naram (creamy) Khichadi (khitch-ri) is infused within each of my cells. If a month goes by and they haven’t gotten a taste of some khichadi,they begin radiating signals and I begin to crave for it. If you’ve seen my Instagram posts, you know I make khichadi quite often. Per your requests—and thank you for the encouragement, I am posting the recipe for this down home dish with a slight twist today. I never thought the day would come when khichadi, would be requested by so many!  I think my nani (maternal grandmother) would be in shock if she knew that a dish she would dare not serve at a dinner party, is now loved across many cultures. Like daal (lentil soup), the are several khichadi variations. However, the base is always moong daal and a grain—traditionally, basmati rice. Naram Khichadi or just Khichadi as we refer to it in our home, is similar to Bhuni Khichadi. It is soft, moist and easy on the digestion. The …

chit-chaat-chai ayurvedic roasted squash and yam with tahini dressing

Roasted Squash & Yams with Sweet Spices & a Tahini Lime Dressing

A common perception about ‘Ayurvedic’ food is that it is Indian food and vice versa. Hundreds of years ago, this may have been true, but overtime, trade, economics, immigration, migration, personal tastes, priorities, availability, population, media, etc…have influenced India’s cuisine. Creating a distinction between Indian food and ‘Ayurvedic’ food. Although the spices may be similar, Indian dishes tend to a bit spicier, oilier, heavier, hotter or at times more processed than a dish deemed ‘Ayurvedic’. As the proverb goes,  “what you eat becomes your mind, as is the food, so is your mind”. ‘Ayurvedic’ food is based in a holistic approach to ingredients, preparation and serving. Each aspect accounts for the mind-body connection, to ensure a meal is not only nutritious, but that it has soul! Ingredients are fresh versus highly processed to attain the highest nutritional value. They align with the season to support digestion, absorption, and elimination. Meals are prepared with an intention along with calm, steady and happy mindset to infuse the meal and ultimately the mind-body-soul with the same energy. When food is served, it’s to appease the eyes and the nose, …

5 Spices w/Yams & Rainbow Chard #chitchaatchai

5 Spiced Yams & Rainbow Chard

I love leveraging a good, basic recipe and adjusting a few ingredients to change up the flavor. It makes cooking easier, leaves room for a little creativity and keeps meals fresh—who doesn’t want that?! Today’s recipe, is based on a recipe I posted awhile back that was intentionally developed to be flexible—5 Spices & a Veggie, a Quick ‘Ayurvedic’ Stir-Fry.  Using the same simple concept to create today’s recipe. I chose veggies and spices based on the tastes and qualities that are complimentary to the summer aka pitta season. The main ingredients—yams (sweet), red onions (sweet when caramelized) and rainbow chard (astringent and bitter) make up the 3 key tastes of summer according to Ayurveda’s wisdom.  A sprinkle of five spices (technically six with the lemon-oops!) provide the remaining three tastes—pungent, sour and salty. Ayurveda speaks to the importance of incorporating all six tastes in every dish and/or meal to ensure the body, mind, emotions and spirit get the essential nutrients and nourishment. This helps with retaining balance and reduces cravings.

Fall's Breakfast Spice Mix #chitchaatchai

Breakfast Masala Mix for Fall (Ayurvedic)

Every season I tell myself, I am going to make a seasonal spice mix, and every season I get side tracked. But not this season! Goal accomplished and I am already seeing my  ROI.  The 15 minutes I invested to make my Breakfast Masala Mix for Fall has already saved me time, effort and less to clean up—my favorite. Now every time I make my morning porridge, eat fruit, make a batch of muesli and other dishes I have yet to explore, I am ready to spice it up. I decided to keep my breakfast mix simple to 3 of my favorite Fall friendly spices, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.  These warming spices are naturally sweet (except ginger).  A taste I want to embrace during vata or the Fall season. Their natural sweetness reduces my sugar intake while starting my morning off with the carminative energy I need to ignite my digestive fire. For those occasions, the variety lover in me wants to add another spice into the mix, I have the flexibility to do so. It’s nice having a good seasonal base to begin with and the …