February 2010 Archives

Vegan Mexican Pumpkin Soup

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We adapted this recipe from a great website, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen http://blog.fatfreevegan.com


Mexican Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4
Gluten free, Casein free, soy free, parve.
Good for pitta, rakta, artava.

1 cup pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 medium pumpkin or two acorn squashes
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
4 cups vegetable broth
5 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (DO NOT PEEL)
1 tablespoons oregano
1 tabelspoons mild chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup rice milk
salt, to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

Drain the soaked beans and pressure cook for one hour. Meanwhile, bake the pumpkin or acorn squash, scoop out the flesh and puree, discarding the seeds. Heat the oil in a large pot, add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the broth, pureed pumpkin, cooked beans and potatoes. Stir in the oregano, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.Simmer for about 30 minutes (longer at altitude or for a larger quantity), until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice milk, add salt to taste, and serve immediately garnished with cilantro.

Gurukula members who are not casein sensitive added khefir as a sour cream substitute and we put out picante sauce for those who wanted a spicier taste.
The potato skins are a good source of iron and the beans supply folate. Pumpkin/winter squash is a good source of beta carotene.

Herbal Teas For Flu

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Curcuma longa- COMMON TURMERIC, Turmeric • Ass...

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When you have flu, it is important to fast while you have a fever. If you don't fast, the body will not be able to burn toxins and you will get additional problems.While fasting, you can drink some of the following tasty and healing teas. These teas can be taken 3-4 times daily.


Vata Teas

Use these if you are Vata or if you are cold, shivery and dry.


½ tsp ajwain

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Simmer 5 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink with a little sesame oil.

or 1 tsp tulsi

1 tsp fresh ginger

½ tsp liquorice root powder

Simmer 5 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink.


or 1tsp fresh ginger

     1 tsp fresh or dried turmeric

Simmer 5 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink.


Pitta Teas

Use if you have a high fever, sore throat, and burning eyes.

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp sandalwood

1 tsp rose

steep 10 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink lukewarm for a high fever.


Or 1 tsp fresh ginger

1 tsp fresh or dried turmeric

1 tsp liquorice root powder

Simmer 5 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink,especially for a sore throat.


Kapha Teas

Use if you have a low fever and a lot of thick , sticky  phlegm.


1 tsp dry ginger

1 tsp tulsi

1pinch black pepper

Simmer 5 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink.


or 1tsp dry ginger

     1tsp turmeric

     1 " piece of osha root

 Simmer 10 minutes in boiling water

Strain and drink.






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Today for Gurukula lunch we made this recipe, which we adapted from  Kitty Morse - The Vegetarian Table

Serving Size : 8

2 tablespoons olive oil 

 2 Roma tomatoes

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

8 threads Spanish saffron--crushed

20 sprigs fresh cilantro

10 sprigs parsley, flat leaf

salt--to taste

black pepper--freshly ground

1 cup red lentils--rinsed & picked over

8 cups water

1 ½ cups garbanzo beans--cooked, with liquid

1 ½ cups fava beans--cooked, with liquid

½ cup gluten free rice angel hair  

lemon wedges--as desired/garnish

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Puree the mixture, in batches if necessary, until fairly smooth.
  In  a soup pot,  heat the oil, add the pureed mixture and bring to a boil.

Add the lentils and water.
Cover tightly and reduce heat to low.
Simmer the soup until the lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Add the undrained garbanzo beans and the favas and bring the soup back to a low boil.
Add the pasta and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with lemon wedges.

We selected this recipe in our women's health section as it is high in folate for pregnant and nursing women. We also learned that fava beans are among the oldest legume cultivars going back 5,000 years. As well as having  the  typical  health benefits of legumes, they also are a good source of l-dopa, a dopamine precursor and are being investigated as a medicine for Parkinson's. Since l-dopa also increases HGH production, fava beans are an important rejuvenative food for elders. To overcome the gas-forming and vata aggravating  properties of fava beans, a recipe such as this is suitable. It is warm, moist and soupy and employs vata soothing digestive spices such as ginger, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon and cumin.
You can get fava beans at Middle Eastern markets. 
Try it and enjoy!

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This kitcheri recipe can be used during panchakarma , or you can fast on a mono diet of this kitcheri fora few days as a simple cleanse.

1/2 cup split yellow mung dal (available from Indian and Asian markets)
1 cup basmati rice

1 tbsp ghee (or sunflower oil for vegans)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp each of powdered fennel, cumin and coriander

6 cups water

To see how to make ghee:Making Ghee

Wash mung dal and rice thoroughly. Heat the ghee or oil, add the spices and cook for a minute, taking care not to burn the spices.

Add rice, dal and water, then bring to boil. Turn down to simmer for 45 minutes or until mung dal is very soft in pot on stove (or make in crock pot cooking overnight--be sure there's plenty of water or you're making a much larger batch to activate the heating elements in the crock pot).

After cooking, add salt to taste. If you live at altitude, cook the mung beans for 45 minutes while soaking the rice, then add the rice and cook for 45 minutes more; or make the kitcheri in a pressure cooker.


Making Ghee

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Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 11.13.04 AM.png

Photo by Sadananda

Prep time: 30 min (it takes longer for a larger batch)

Yield:  2 cups

Good for all three doshas although Kapha should use less.

Ingredients: 1 pound organic cultured unsalted butter 

In a heavy saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Continue to cook at medium-low heat. The butter will bubble and make bubbling sounds. When it is almost done, milk solids will collect on the bottom of the pan. When it is done (15-20 min), it will look clear and become very quiet.

Quickly, remove it from heat (before burning), and cool slightly. Pour the ghee (the clear golden liquid) though a metal strainer and/or cheese cloth into a glass  container.  Store ghee at room temperature in a screwtop glass jar. Never store ghee in plastic!



Be sure to keep watch of ghee while cooking.

Undercooked ghee tends to mould. Overcooked ghee tends to burn. A touch of browning can add a nice flavour.

After making this once, you are likely to do it again and again! Homemade ghee is simple, pure, and inexpensive!


Revised from Amadea Morningstar's The Ayurvedic Cookbook.


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