March 2010 Archives

Channa Halva

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English: besan is a powder on chnna dal

English: besan is a powder on chnna dal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Channa Halva
Gluten free, nutritious, supports breast milk production.
Good for vata, pitta, kapha (occasionally), rakta, sthanya.
Besan flour, also known as gram flour, is made from channa dal (deshi channa or bengal gram) a close relative of chickpeas. Its golden colour speaks to its high antoxidant content. Channa has a low glycemic index.

Serves up to 12
3 cups besan flour (available at Indian grocery stores)
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup raw cane sugar (turbinado)
1 can coconut milk
2 cups hot water (or as needed)
1 tsp cardamom seeds

Heat ghee in heavy bottomed pan.
Add besan flour and roast until golden brown but not burnt.
Add almonds and dates and fry for a few more minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until it thickens into a loose dough.
Serve warm as a breakfast or dessert.

Gluten Free Vegetable Dalia

Gluten free, vegetarian, suitable for ekadashi, suitable for Passover (Buckwheat is not a grain).

Good for kapha, rakta, sthanya.


This is a modification of a recipe from

Dalia is a popular Indian breakfast dish and can also serve as a light supper or lunch with the addition of koshimbir (Indian salad). Dalia is given to nursing mothers to support milk production. It is prepared with cracked wheat (dalia) which is nutritive and building. To create a gluten free version, we used buckwheat kasha instead of cracked wheat. Buckwheat is light and rough, ideal for kapha, yet also supports breast milk production. Buckwheat also helps lower cholesterol.


• 2 cups buckwheat kasha
• 2 carrots
• 1/2 cup peas
• 2 tbsp sunflower oil
• 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
• Salt to taste
• 1 tsp mild red chili
• 1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp ghee


Peel and chop the carrots into cubes.

Unfreeze the peas.

Boil the vegetables and buckwheat kasha together, in 3 cups water.

Add ginger-garlic paste, fry for 2 min and then add salt, garam masala and red chili.

Mix well and add the boiled vegetable dalia mixture.

Stir in the ghee and frozen peas. Cook for a couple more minites.

The texture should be moist and loose like porridge. If it is heavy and sticky, add more water.

Jaggery used in Indian cuisine.

Image via Wikipedia

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Ayurveda recommends natural sweeteners that are not industrial products, such as jaggery, (shown in the picture) raw local honey and mishri (natural rock candy). Even these should be used in moderation and with attention to prakruti, (constitution) as well as vikruti (current imbalance).

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Asparagus cashew rice pilaf (Armenian)

Gluten free, vegetarian. Vata, pitta, anna, rasa, sthanya. Asparagus is said to enhance milk production for nursing mothers and is a good source of folate for pregnant and nursing mothers.

We adapted this recipe from the website See original at

Armenian rice 2.jpg


· ¼ cup butter

· 2 ounces uncooked rice spaghetti, broken

· ½ teaspoon minced garlic

· 1 ¼ cups uncooked jasmine rice

· 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth

· salt and pepper to taste

· ½ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

· ½ cup cashew halves, fried in ghee


1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium, and stir in spaghetti,

cooking until coated with the melted butter and lightly browned.

2. Stir garlic into the saucepan, and cook about 2 minutes, until tender. Stir in jasmine rice, and cook about 5

minutes. Pour in vegetable broth. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and

cook 20 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.

3. Place asparagus in a separate medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until

tender but firm.

· Mix asparagus into the rice mixture, and serve warm

· Offer cashew halves on the side as a garnish

A nice touch is to accompany recipe with Armenian/Persian pickles or tourshi. Recipe for tourshi is at

English: Blanched almonds. Gaelg: Almonyn gial...

English: Blanched almonds. Gaelg: Almonyn giallit. हिन्दी: भुने बादाम. മലയാളം: പുഴുങ്ങിയ ബദാം പരിപ്പ്. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creamy Almond Pudding

Gluten free, Casein free, Soy free, vegan, parve

Good for Vata, Pitta, mamsa, sthanya, ojas

Building, may promote lactation.

Sephardically, this recipe is suitable for Passover.

Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine, the Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi, Bala Books. We adapted a GF CF version.

Allow two hours almond soaking time!

Serves 6

2/3 cup slivered almonds

1 cup boiling water

6 cups coconut milk

2 tbsp Cream of Rice

¼ tsp saffron threads

1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds

½ cup turbinado sugar

2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds for garnishing

Place almonds in a bowl, add the boiling water, and soak for 2 hours. Pour nuts and soak water into food processor and process until smooth. Slowly add one cup of coconut milk and process again until smooth.

Put the rest of the coconut milk into a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a boil. While stirring constantly, sprinkle in the cream of rice, then pour the blended almond mixture in. Turn down the heat, add the saffron, cardamom and sugar. Simmer, stirring attentively, until the pudding is reduced to one third of its original volume. Remove from the heat and beat with a whisk to smooth the texture. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with toasted almonds.

The original recipe called for cow's milk instead of coconut milk. It is thus like a thickened version of ojas drink and would be even better for ojas, sthanya and mamsa. However, when made with cow's milk it should be taken alone rather than as dessert or it would present food combining issues.

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