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* Healthy Mind & Body
* Triphala: The Rejuvenator
* Chikitsa: Disease Management
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* Personal Dosha Test
* Ayurvedic Recipes
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Ayurvedic Recipes
* Kitchari
* Ayurvedic Tea
* AHR Morning Smoothie
* Ghee (clarified butter)
* Samosas
* Pakoras & Tomato Chutney
* Saffron Rice
* Fresh Curd (Paneer)
Nourishing Kitchari

Recipe by Richard Masla ND

In America, downing a hearty grain dish would not be called fasting. But in India kitchari - a soupy porridge made from rice and mung beans, lightly spiced with ginger, cilantro, and other spices - is considered a fasting food and is used to purify digestion and cleanse systemic toxins.

Ayurvedic physicians often prescribe a kitchari diet before, during, and after Pancha karma, a rejuvenative treatment that cleanses toxins stored in bodily tissues as it restores systemic balance. Kitchari provides solid nourishment while allowing the body to devote energy to healing. You can safely subsist on kitchari anytime in order to build vitality and strength as it helps balance all three doshas. For restless vata, the warm soup is grounding; for fiery pitta, its spices are calming; and for chilly kapha, it provides healing warmth.

Ayurveda believes that all healing begins with the digestive tract, and kitchari can give it a much-needed rest from constantly processing different foods while providing essential nutrients. The blend of rice and split mung beans or red lentils offers an array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Its mixture of spices is believed to kindle the digestive fire, the Ayurvedic description for your innate digestive power, which can be weakened by poor food combinations.

Kitchari tastes like a cross between a creamy rice cereal and a light dal, or lentil soup. If it is a cold, blustery day or you are feeling under the weather, a steaming bowl of this classic Indian comfort food can both warm up your bones and restore sagging energy.

This recipe serves 4 comfortably.

1 cup split yellow mung beans or red lentils
2 cups basmati rice
2-3 cups chopped vegetables (your preference)
½ tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin or whole cumin seeds
½ tsp. fennel seeds
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp. ground basil leaf (optional)
1/3 tsp. asafetida (Hing)
pinch of cayenne
1 ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
2 Tbsp. of Ghee (clarified butter) for lightly frying

Cooking Instructions:

First, rinse the split yellow mung beans or red lentils thoroughly (3-4 times). Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Then turn down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes (or until the beans break up). Add more water if you would like a soupier consistency.

Rinse thoroughly 2 cups of basmati rice and add to the beans. You may now add 2-3 cups of assorted cut vegetables. Choose vegetables according to what is seasonal in your area and to support your dosha - vata, pitta or kapha. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring regularly, while you work on the next step.

In a fry pan melt ghee (clarified butter) over medium flame and add only the seasoning seeds first (cumin and fennel). Let cook until light brown before adding the rest of the spices, then let cook for 1 minute or until brown. Add this to the beans and rice. Add salt at the end (salt to taste - you may want more than the recipe calls for). The consistency should be like a thick soup. (Add water if you need to.)

Cook for another 5-15 minutes, stirring regularly. Garnish with fresh grated ginger and/or cilantro if you like.

Hari Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Ayurvedic Tea
Mix 1 T. each of whole cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, steep for 5 minutes in 3 cups of hot water. Strain it and add honey or stevia to sweeten to taste.

This tea is balancing to the digestive system. It supports the absorption of nutrients in the body and balances samana vata. Samana is known as the stabilizing air; once it is out of balance the other energies in the body quickly suffer.
Ayurveda Health Retreat Morning Smoothie
Advantage lean protein powder
12 oz almond milk (original)
1T Fresh ginger
1T Bee pollen
8 soaked almonds w/ skins removed,
¼ T cardamom seeds
1 cup fresh or frozen organic raspberries or other seasonal berries
2T Dr Shultz’s Super Food (greens foods concentrate)
1T ground flax seeds

Place all ingredients in blender for 30-60 seconds. Enjoy, relax, energize!
Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Ghee is clarified butter, or butter which has the solids or "impurities" removed. It is actually pure; therefore it is best cooking medium; requires no refrigeration, and keeps indefinitely. It is more healthful than any other cooking oil.

Ghee can be used for deep frying, for making spicing masala, for regular cooking, pan frying, and in breads and baked goods. When it becomes filled with food particles from repeated deep frying, it can be cleaned by heating to a liquid and straining it through a cheese cloth.

5 lbs. of butter should yield over ½ gallon of ghee. Cooking time 30-40 minutes.

Melt butter in a thick bottom pot and boil on a medium flame. Gradually the impurities will separate. Don't stir or the butter will burn; just boil. When bubbles appear on surface and the butter has turned amber color, it is done. Immediately after it separates, strain through cheese cloth.

Ghee is very important, being the essence of the miracle food, milk. Dietary fats are very good for their palatability and satiety value, as a source of concentrated energy, as a carrier of the fat soluble vitamins and as a source of essential fatty acids. You should derive no more than 35% of your daily calories from fat. Ghee is the basis for being a satisfied vegetarian. In Ayurveda ghee is known as a rasayana or rejuvenator that supports overall health and wellbeing. It is lactose free and helps to balance excess stomach acid and maintain a healthy mucus lining in the stomach. It enkindles the digestive fire without aggravating pitta. Ghee is one of the most valuable foods for good mental and physical health.
These are traditional Indian pastries filled with seasoned vegetables.


4 large potatoes
½ lb. peas
¼ cup ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 minced green chilies
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon asafetida

Boil whole potatoes and peas separately until tender. Heat ghee and add cumin seed, ginger and chilies until seeds are brown. Then add the potatoes and peas and other spices, stir and mix well.


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
about 2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons ghee or butter
Ghee for deep frying

To make the dough, cut ghee into the whole wheat pastry flour. Mix together with hands until it is the consistency of coarse corn meal. Slowly add water. Mix well and then knead until dough is completely soft---about 5 minutes.

Pinch off balls of dough about 2" in diameter. Using a rolling pin roll each ball in circles 6" diameter; Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling inside and fold closed. Press firmly on the seam, pinch, twist and fold the sealed edge in successive folds to form a fluted top (similar to a traditional pie crust edge). Each samosa should have 10-12 little pressed down folds.

The final objective is to have a triangular or fan shaped samosa. They must be well sealed so that they will not break open during the deep frying.

Heat the ghee for deep frying. Deep fry samosas until golden and flakey. Tap lightly with tongs or spoon--if it sounds hollow, it is done. This the most delicious pastry ever made! Makes 15. Serve hot.
Pakoras & Tomato Chutney
Cauliflower pakora and tomato chutney are a delightful combination of flavors and textures. And they're a great informal snack or buffet itme because they're for dipping and eating with your fingers! (You can make almost any vegetable into pakoras with this recipe. Be sure to cut the veggies small enough to cook through, but large enough to hold up during cooking.)

pakorasCauliflower Pakoras:

1 head of cauliflower
1 cup gram flour (chick pea) flour
½ teaspoon asafetida
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
3-6 cups of ghee for deep frying in a wok or a sauce pan with a thick bottom.

• Start warming ghee over medium heat.
• Mix spices and flour; then add water until it makes a smooth batter. Cut the cauliflower into florets and dip into batter so they are completely covered.
• Slip a few at a time into the medium hot ghee to avoid splashing. If you put too many they will stick together as they cook.
• Deep fry for a few minutes, then turn each over for a few minutes to cook evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon or turning fork and let cool on paper towels to drain excess ghee. They should be crisp and golden brown. Serve hot. Serves 8

chutneyTomato Chutney:

6 ripe tomatoes (chopped small)
½ teaspoon asafetida
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 stick cinnamon
4 cloves
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
2 minced green chilies
2 teaspoons ground coriander
¾ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
¾ teaspoon salt
1 table spoon raw sugar or molasses
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

• Prepare a masala by heating ghee. Add mustard, fennel and cumin seeds. When they turn light brown, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, chillies, ginger and powdered spices. It will be a slightly pasty, bumpy texture in the ghee.
• Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes. Let the mixture cook down for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning and clumping.
• Finish by adding salt and sugar. Pour into one lare or several small dipping bowls, then garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serves 4
Saffron Rice
Rice is a wonder food; it is very nutritious and combines well with many other foods. It is important for proper digestion and is extremely inexpensive and tasty.

Foods are also classified as sattvic, rajasic and tamasic according to the quality of the impact they have on the body, mind and spirit. Foods that are nourishing for the physical, mental and emotional bodies and promote spiritual realization are called sattvic. Rice, milk, ghee and almonds are examples of sattvic foods.

Saffron Rice
1 cup rice
2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon of asafetida
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon ghee

• Wash rice and drain. Place water, salt and butter in small saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil; add the rice and spices.
• Reduce heat to medium high and stir. Boil uncovered for 1 minute. Then reduce heat to warm or simmer; cover tight and leave to steam for 15 minutes.
• Check if the rice appears dry and has small holes down through it, it should be done. You'll get a feel for this after a few times cooking rice.
• Remove from heat and dump into a large bowl. DO NOT STIR, but slightly separate the grains to make it fluffy. The butter in this recipe should keep the rice from becoming sticky.

Other Styles:

To make plain rice a little fancier, one or more of these spices can be added to the water before boiling:
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon asafetida
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt

• Or you can also add some vegetables to the water, like ½ cup peas, ½ cup diced tomatoes, or ½ cup small cauliflower florets.
Fresh Curd (Paneer)
Curd is a light, fresh, un-aged milk cheese. It is the basis of many different Indian preparations. When it is pressed to a consistancy similar to cheese, it is called paneer. When kneeded or simply not-pressed, it is often called cheena. Here we will make paneer, which is best made with organic raw milk. The more processed the milk, and the lower fat content, produces less and poor quality curds.

You will need:

½ gallon whole organic milk
18" x 18" square piece of cheese cloth
Metal collander & deep pan or wide bowl
Curdling agent--juice of two lemons
or ½ teaspoon citric acid (sour salt)

• First put the bowl or deep pan into your sink, set the collander in that, and line the collander withthe cheesecloth. You will be pouring the mixture through the collander and catching the whey in the pan below.
• Bring the milk to a boil carefully over a medium-high heat. Stirr often to prevent sticking or burning.
• Just as the milk comes to a full boil, pour in the curdling agent slowly and evenly. Gently stirr very, very slowly as the curdling process unfolds. Concentrate on the outside edges to prevent curds from sticking to the sides of the pot.
• You can turn off the heat and let the curdling process finish. When it is done, the curd will be distinct masses in a cloudy pale yellow whey.
• Pour the curds and whey into the collander. The whey makes a wonderful broth base for rice, soup, and sauces. You can freeze this for quite a while.
• The wet cheese cloth may be quite hot, so carefully gather the edges together and lift it from the collander. You can twist the loose cloth together, gently scuring the ball of curds together, and hang this over a bowl to catch the drips.
• After about a half hour, your curd is ready to press into paneer. (Be careful because it may still be hot!). Leve the curd wrapped securely int he cloth, and lay on a cutting board or in a pan. put another cutting board, plate or pan over this and add some weight (usually a few china plates or a glass mixing bowl is heavy enough). Let it press for another half hour.

Pressed Fried Curd
Sometimes the simplest dish is the most delicious. Lightly frying the paneer is simple, and it can either be eaten plain like this, or easily added to vegetables or other dishes. You will need only:
Pressed curd (paneer)
Tablespoon ghee

• Carefully unwrap the cheesecloth from the curd. With a sharp knife, cut the curd into bite-size cubes.
• Warm the ghee in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the ghee is sizzling, drop in the curd cubes. Turn the cubes as they brown. Remove from pan and sprink with a little salt and pepper. Delicious!