Persian Tomato and Eggplant Stew | Khoresht-E Bademjan

Ayurvedic Recipes_Persian Tomato and Eggplant Stew.jpg

There's nothing like a nice warm casserole on a cold day. And when snow and ice prevented us travelling on Thanksgiving Day, I was left to my own devices to create a meal from what we had on hand. That included four small eggplants from our garden (two purple and two white, to be precise), and six San Mazarno tomatoes we harvested at Munson Family Farms, a few miles away. We had shallots from Munson's as well. Of course, this dish is supremely vata soothing and ideal for a chilly day in fall. It could also be quite pitta provoking; but the chickpeas, lime peel and turmeric do help to modify the dish. As a pitta, I found it acceptable on a vata day in context of a menu of pitta soothing dishes, as noted below.

This dish is typically served over plain rice; we made ours a little drier and served it on the side with Persian Rice with Chard and Persian Winter Squash Soup. And the dish usually includes meat in the sauce, but our veggie version was delicious!

The original recipe says to peel the eggplants; we didn't peel ours as a lot of the blood sugar balancing phytonutrients are in the peel Another option is to stripe them with a peeler, leaving stripes of peel on while removing some.

Ingredients

Serves 3 people

  • 2 medium-sized or four small eggplants, sliced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 large plum tomatoes
  • Peel of half a lime, cut into small strips.
  • A few squeezes of the limejuice
  • ½ can of garbanzo beans, coarsely mashed.
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic- chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and place them on sheet. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan sauté shallot and garlic in the olive oil until golden brown.
  3. Add ½ cup of water, the tomatoes, lime peel, mashed garbanzos, salt, pepper, and turmeric to saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the tomatoes are soft and you have a nice saucy texture.
  4. Place eggplants in a deep baking dish, top with tomato sauce. Cover and cook for 45 minutes in preheated oven.

Source: Based on http://shelbyvillemultimedia.org/2011/09/khoresht-e-bademjan-persian-eggplant-stew/

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Chef Tony's Seaweed Sabji: Welsh Laverbread

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My brother-in-law Tony is an accomplished chef and enjoys experimenting for an appreciative audience, for which we qualify. Tony wanted to create a sabji featuring Welsh laver, a seaweed variety beloved in Wales. Known in Ireland as slake, laver is a type of porphyra and is thus closely related to nori (same genus, different species). For those of us who don't have access to Welsh laver, nori is a great substitute for making this delicious recipe. Porphyra is high in minerals, particularly iodine and iron, a plus for thyroid health and blood building.

Ingredients

Serves 3-4

1 Tbsp. ghee
½ tsp. fenugreek
½ tsp. cumin seeds
1tsp turmeric
1 lb 'yams' (orange-fleshed sweet potato), cubed
1T garlic-ginger paste
4 oz laver (substitute: 4oz nori strips, torn up into small pieces)
½ cup water
½ Tbsp chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

In a wok, heat ghee, add seeds and allow to splutter. Add the turmeric and then the cubed yams ands tir-fry on medium heat for 5 minutes. Now add the garlic ginger paste, the laver or nori and the water and simmer until the yams (sweet potato) are tender but not fallen apart or mushy. And the cilantro, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with rice and dal. Enjoy!

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Okra and Bitter Gourd Sabji

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My brother-in-law, Tony, prepared this Kashmiri recipe for us after an exciting visit to the Afro-Asian market in Ipswich to stock up on exotic vegetables. Both bitter gourd, known in Hindi as Karela, and okra, are noted in Ayurveda for their antidiabetic properties, so this recipe is great for people with diabetes or insulin resistance or who are trying to lose weight.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

4 Tbsp. ghee or sunflower oil
3 medium bitter gourds
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 green chili, thinly sliced
2" fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 whole clove of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of madras curry powder
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
15 - 20 okra, washed and cut in small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup of cold water

Preparation

Cut the bitter gourds lengthwise, remove the seeds, sprinkle with salt and set aside for an hour. Meanwhile, wash, peel and chop the other ingredients as indicated on the ingredients list.

Now rinse the bitter gourd halves and chop in small semicircles.

In a wok, heat 2-3 Tbsp. ghee or oil and fry the bitter gourds and onion for fifteen minutes. Set aside.

In a smaller pan, heat 1Tbsp. ghee or oil, add the chili, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry until lightly browned. Now turn down the heat, add the madras curry powder and fry for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the powder. Quickly add the tomatoes, a little water and half the cilantro and cook on high heat for 15 minutes until it glazes and forms a tomato sauce.

In the wok, pour this sauce over the partly-cooked bitter gourds and add the okra. Sauté for ten minutes. Add the rest of the water, cover and steam on low heat for about 6 minutes until the okra and bitter gourd are tender but not falling apart.

Add salt and the rest of the cilantro and serve with cleansing kitchari or tridoshic kitchari.

Adapted from this recipe.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Pumpkin Seed Sauce

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It's time to begin transitioning our diet from summer to fall. To help us in the process, Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula student Savitri offers this warm, nourishing and vata-soothing pumpkin seed sauce to serve over seasonal roasted vegetables.

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup water
1 small tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. oregano
½ handful parsley, chopped
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1-2 Tbsp. ghee
2 pinches cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

Method

Fry the pumpkin seeds with the ghee in an iron cast pan until they turn

golden.

In a different pan, sauté the rest of the ingredients except the parsley in this order: bell peppers, tomato, garlic. At the end add the spices. Blend all the ingredients together, including the parsley.

Cook the sauce for a few minutes until you have the desired consistency.

Pour it over your favourite roast vegetables.

Enjoy!

Cucumber Mint Raita

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It's a hot September and cucumbers are in season, ready to be enjoyed from your garden, CSA or farmer's market. Complement a simple kitchari meal with this delicious cucumber-yoghurt relish.

Ingredients

2 medium cucumbers
½ tsp. salt
1.5 cups plain organic full fat yoghurt, cow or goat as preferred
¼ tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped (leave a few leaves whole for garnishing
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. sunflower or coconut oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds

Preparation

1. Peel and grate the cucumbers. If the cucumber is juicy, squeeze out the grated cucumber. Place in an attractive bowl in which you want to present your raita and sprinkle the salt over it.

2. Place the yogurt, paprika, mint and lemon zest in a 1-quart bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth and creamy. Pour this over the cucumbers and gently mix.

3. Heat the oil over moderate heat in a small pan. When it is hot but not smoking, add the mustard seeds. Fry until the seeds sputter and turn gray. Pour the fried seeds and oil into the cucumber-yoghurt mixture, and stir to blend.

4. Check seasonings, add more salt if needed.

5. Garnish with mint leaves and sprinkled paprika.

Note: Adding paprika gives a pinkish colour as above. If you prefer a white raita like the one below, do not mix in the paprika, just garnish with a little.

Source: Adapted from http://food.iskcondesiretree.com/shredded-cucumbers-in-smooth-mint-flavored-yogurt/9197/

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake

 Photo Credit:  Gluten Free Goddess

Photo Credit: Gluten Free Goddess

Our Chef, Scott Bears, prepared this delicious vegan flourless chocolate cake, but you don't have to be a chef or make it as it's quite easy. The recipe comes from here.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic cocoa powder e.g. Rapunzel
  • ½ cup sucanat, packed
  • 1 15 oz can organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate e.g. Sunspire
  • 1 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 punnet raspberries

Equipment: 8" circle pan

Method

Preheat oven to 375' F.

Prepare 8" circle pan with parchment paper (cut out a circle of parchment paper and lay it on the bottom of the pan). Grease the pan, including the sides, with coconut oil.

Place cocoa powder, brown sugar, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Melt the baking chocolate and coconut oil together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted.

Pour the melted chocolate in the the cocoa powder pumpkin mixture.

Whisk well until fully combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for about 60 minutes at 375' F

Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing, or remove from pan after it firmed up overnight, or ideally use springform pan.

Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight to firm up.

Next day, decorate with raspberries and serve.

Enjoy!

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!