This warming fall recipe makes use of the seasonal vegetables of harvest time. Soothing for vata and easily digestible, it can be balanced for pitta with the addition of cilantro and for kapha with cayenne or black pepper. Omitting the cashews, it is a great recipe for small children!
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
1 pinch saffron
1 small or half a medium sized pumpkin or winter squash
1 yellow or orange bell pepper
1 cup sweet corn
½ cup cashews
3 cardamoms, split open
3 black cardamoms, split open
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1 pinch hing
1" piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
Wash the basmati rice; soak for an hour and drain. Allow to air-dry.
Boil the water; add the saffron and leave to steep.
Peel and cut the squash or pumpkin into 1" cubes and stir-fry or sauté in 1 Tbsp of the ghee or oil until fork-tender (about 30 min).
Meanwhile, chop the pepper.
Heat half the remaining ghee or oil in a heavy flat bottomed pan and gently fry the cashews until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining ghee, if needed.
When the ghee is hot but not smoking, lower the heat and add the spices and ginger, frying until the ginger browns and the mustard seeds pop.
Add the hing and within a few seconds the pepper and corn.
Stir-fry for a few minutes, and then add the rice and cook for a minute or two until the grains are translucent.
Add the saffron water, cashews and squash.
Bring to the boil, cover and cook at low heat for 25 minutes.
Stir with a fork and serve with wedges of lime.
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.
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