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Tridoshic 'Yam' Kitcheri

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1cup split hulled mung beans
1 cup basmati rice
3 tbsp ghee
1 and half inches minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tsp turmeric 
1 handful cilantro leaves
8 green cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
11 black peppercorns
3 inch piece cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves Salt to taste
1 large yam, cubed (actually a golden sweet potato)

  • Rinse mung beans well with cold water and soak for a few hours 
  • Rinse rice well and soak while beans are cooking
  • Put ginger, coconut, turmeric, cilantro and some water in a blender or food processor and blend. Use enough water to blend well.
  • In a large pot, melt ghee over medium heat and sauté cardamom pods (split open first), cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and bay leaves for a few minutes. Then add the blended spices and sauté for a few more minutes until lightly cooked
  • Next add beans and yams; cook for a couple more minutes. Add enough water to cover the beans with at least 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the beans are completely broken down. Then add the rice and cook until the rice is broken apart. Add more water as needed Salt to taste and enjoy!


Alakananda's Basque Pie

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This is a great vegetarian centerpiece for a Christmas or New Year's dinner as well as a fine winter meal.


Serves 6-8


3 carrots,                                                

3 turnips,

2 rutabegas,                                             

2 Parsnips,

3 medium zucchini,                                  

3 golden beets,

3 celery stalks,                                         

2 heads of broccoli,

2 large portabello mushrooms,                   

2 cloves garlic,

3 medium tomatoes,                                 

1 bunch Italian parsley,                    

1handful rosemary

1 handful  sage                                          

 1 teaspoon salt

½ tablespoon thyme                                  

fresh ground black pepper to taste

3 lbs potatoes organic, Yukon gold are best

4 ounces butter                                        

½ cup whey                          

Sheep pecorino


Slice the root vegetables and the  zucchini,  cut the celery in1/2" thick pieces and the broccoli in florets.Lightly sautee the veggies and arrange in bottom of a large baking dish.Add olive oil, chopped herbs, sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves.Meanwhile, boil the potatoes.Mash the cooked potatoes with salt, pepper, butter, and whey. Spread on top of the veggies.Grate parmesan on top, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for at least 50 minutes or an hour.At the end, take off the foil to brown the top for about ten minutes. Vegans can substitute sunflower oil for butter and rice milk for whey and use a vegan cheese substitute.








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With my sister and her family in Wales, those of us who don't eat meat  enjoyed a vegetarian version of traditional Christmas dinner.


Main dish--Chestnuts simmered in cream
Roast potatoes

Brussels sprouts
Roasted parsnips
Roasted carrots
Chestnut stuffing (unstuffed)
Sage and onion stuffing
Bread sauce
Cranberry sauce

The meal was actually healthy! Chestnuts are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, Vitamin C, folate, B vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and potassium. Parsnips area major source of folate. Brussels sprouts are high in Vitamin C as well as cancer-preventing glutathione. Carrots provide beta carotene. Potatoes, like chestnuts, are gluten free and a great source of VitamIn C. So Christmas dinner, traditionally made, offers benefits especially for winter health and for women of childbearing are who need a folate-rich diet. 

This was followed by vegan gluten free Christmas pudding. All Mum would say about this recipe was that she followed Great-grandma Olivia's recipe while omitting flour, sugar, breadcrumbs and eggs and substituting vegetarian suet. Or here is a vegan recipe link:


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Sunchoke Butternut Mash

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Sunchoke & Butternut Mash


Sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes are members of the asteracae family and have flowers similar to yellow sunflowers. The roots are high in inulin, a prebiotic which also helps lower blood sugar. A good potato substitute for diabetics.

Serves 6


Preheat oven to 375º F.

Halve squash; place cut side down on a baking sheet along with whole sunchokes.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
Scoop seeds from squash cavity; scoop out pulp into a large bowl (if desired, leave squash shells intact to use as serving containers).
Chop sunchokes (no need to remove peel); add to squash pulp. Add butter, yoghurt, mace, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mash mixture on medium speed of electric mixer until blended; or process in food processor or blender in batches.


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Golden Harvest Rice

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Golden Harvest Rice


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! Serves 6. 


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

8 cloves

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

3 Tbsp ghee or sunflower oil

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.                         



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Here is an Ayurvedic menu using traditional Thanksgiving ingredients.
Buttery sweet potato puree with tomato bits, from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi, and Cranberry Apple Chutney, my own recipe, accompanied by rice and dal.

Buttery Sweet Potato Puree with tomato Bits


For this dish you can use either yams or sweet potatoes, depending on the degree of sweetness or moisture, you prefer. It is little more than a seasoned mashed root vegetable dish, and is nice with a Vedic or Western dinner menu. To keep calories to a minimum, rely on the orange juice to make a buttery consistency. The sweet, firm flesh of Italian plum tomatoes is ideal for this bharta, though you can use any type; even green tomatoes are delicious.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): a few minutes
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Serves: 6

6 medium-sized yams or sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds/1 kg) freshly ash-or oven-baked
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
½ teaspoon (2 ml) turmeric
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) paprika or 1/8 tsp cayenne
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) ground nutmeg or mace
4 table spoons (60 ml) orange juice
½ teaspoon (2 ml) orange zest
3 table spoons (45 ml) ghee or butter
1 ½ table spoons (22 ml) brown sugar or jaggery
2 medium-sized Italian plum tomatoes (about ¾ pound/340 g), seeded and coarsely chopped
2 table spoons (30 ml) sliced almonds, toasted

1.    Cut and scoop out the yam or sweet potato pulp and mash with a potato masher or force through a food mill or potato ricer. Add the salt, turmeric, paprika or cayenne, nutmeg or mace, orange juice and orange zest, and whisk with a fork until well blended.
2.    Heat the ghee or butter in a 12-inch (30 cm) frying pan over moderate heat. Add the sweetener and cook until it caramelizes and turns reddish-brown. Drop in the tomatoes and cook, gently tossing, justly until they soften and glisten.
3.    Add the yams or sweet potatoes and, using the back of a wooden spoon, mash and blend the ingredients. When warmed throughout, serve on a warmed platter, garnished with toasted almonds.


Cranberry Apple Chutney



2 punnets organic cranberries ( 4 cups)
4 cups chopped apples
1 orange
1/4 tsp raisins
2 tbsp chopped pecans
2" piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
6 cloves, ground
1 star anise, ground (optional but good)
2 pinches mace
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Water as needed

Put washed cranberries and washed chopped apples in heavy bottomed pan. Grate 1tsp of the orange peel and add. Now squeeze the orange and add the juice. Bring to boil and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and adding water as needed. Once it is simmering, add sugar and raisins.
In a small frying pan, melt the ghee, add cumin seeds and chilies and fry until they darken a shade. Now chopped ginger and cinnamon and fry until the ginger is browned. Add the fried spices to the chutney, then the spice powders (clove, star anise, mace, cardamom.) When the chutney is almost cooked, add the chopped nuts



Spaghetti Indiano

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Spaghetti Indiano

 After Sadananda had completed his Indian pilgrimage, he returned to his starting point in Italy, where he stayed with a group of vegetarian Italian bachelors. After observing their cooking techniques, Sadananda improved upon them with some of the cooking methods he had learned in India. The result was Spaghetti Indiano, an Alandi Ashram favourite.

You can vary the vegetables in this recipe according to what is available from your garden, CSA or farmer's market. Today I used the veggies pictured--the last summer vegetables, harvested right before the storm. The basic principle is to stir fry root veggies first, then those that have a medium cooking time, such as peppers and cauliflowers and finally those with a shorter cook time such as zucchini and eggplant. This time  I also added chickpeas for extra protein, because I happened to have some left over.



4 medium carrots

1 rutabaga

1 parsnip

1 cauliflower

1 summer squash

1 zucchini

2 portabella mushrooms

1 bunch Italian parsley

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp anise seeds

1-2 cloves garlic (optional)

3 roma tomatoes

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh or dried oregano

1 tsp fresh basil

One fourth tsp fresh or dried thyme

Olive oil

Salt and fresh ground black pepper  to taste

 Slice the carrots, rutabaga and parsnip. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the sliced vegetables. Lightly stir fry them, then add a little boiling water, put on a lid and let them sauté. Meanwhile cut the other vegetables. After the root veggies have sautéed for about 10 minutes, add the cauliflower florets and seven minutes later the sliced squash and zucchini. While the vegetables become tender, cut the mushrooms and tomatoes. Heat some more olive oil in a smaller pan and toss in the spices, turning the heat to very low so as not to burn the spices. If desired, add chopped garlic at this point.  Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and turn the heat back up to fry them. When they are nearly cooked, add the fresh and dried herbs. Toss the mushroom-tomato mix into the sautéed veggies and add salt and pepper to taste.


Serve over spaghetti with some freshly grated rennetless parmesan.  For a gluten free dinner, simply choose gluten free pasta! And for casein free, use sheep pecorino instead of parmesan. The dish is vegan if you omit the cheese. Buon appetito!


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Today Sadananda asked me to make soup. With mustard greens being the only vegetable mature in the garden, Italian soup simply didn't seem like the best option. It was time to create some Southern food; dishes taken from the heart of Africa and then mingled with Native American and European staples to create that unique blend we now call Soul Food. Just as the slaves cooked whatever was given them,  I made this unplanned dish from whatever I happened to have in the frig. And added the extra Hindu twist--vegetarian Soul Food!

Mustard Greens.jpg

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can blackeye peas
1 small winter squash or one yam, peeled and cubed
1/2 red cabbage, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1 quart vegetable broth
I bunch mustard greens, washed and chopped
Salt to taste
Cayenne to taste

Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add garlic and shallot and fry until shallots are translucent. Add the cabbage, zucchini and squash or yam (we happened to have a a small winter squash from last year's garden but a yam would be even more authentic). Stir fry briefly, then add blackeye peas and boiling hot vegetable broth. Since I didn't plan this recipe ahead, I used canned black-eye peas but of course, made from scratch is ideal. Add the mustard greens, salt and cayenne and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Serve with cornbread. I used the cornbread recipe below (my favourite) and substituted golden flax seed meal for the eggs. One tablespoon flax meal plus two tablespoons warm water equals one egg. 

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Bitter Gourd Stuffed with Besan

Stuffed Bitter Gourd 1.jpg


Karela (Bitter melon) 4, size about 3 inch long. If longer, cut into 3 inch pieces.

Green chili, 1 finely chopped

Ginger, ½ inch finely chopped

Garlic, 2 cloves, finely chopped

Coriander, fresh, chopped, 1 Tbsp

Sunflaower oil, 3 tsp

Besan (gram flour) 4 Tbsp



            Red chili powder, ½ tsp

            Salt, to taste

            Coriander powder, 1 tsp

            Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp

            Amchur (Mango powder), ½ tsp or lime/lemon juice, 1 tsp

            Cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp



Method of Preparation

            Wash kerala thoroughly with water. If keralas are of longer variety, cut them into pieces of 3 inch size.

DO NOT cut the karelas in half  BUT just SLIT them open lengthwise so seeds can be removed & stuffing added. Remove the seeds. (in the photos, I cut them in half lengthwise Don't do this!)

•Heat a frying pan and add 2 tsp oil. When the oil becomes hot, add cumin seeds and hing. When the seeds becomes dark, add, green chili, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add all the spices and besan. Stir well and cook until the mixture turns light brown, about 5-7 minutes. Mix half the coriander leaves.

• Fill the above mixture in each karela and close it back up.

•Heat a  frying pan and spray oil. Place all the karelas in the pan, cover with a lid and reduce the stove to low. Let them cook for 20-30 minutes. Change the side of karelas and again cover with the lid. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd 2.jpg

Serve with rice & dal or simply with chapatti.

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Liver Cleanse Sabji

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Liver Cleanse Sabji


 This is a recipe to cleanse old pitta from the liver and to ground and nourish vata.   For pitta, choose Chioggia or golden beets rather than the standard red ones and use plenty of cilantro. For kapha add a hot green pepper and cook the vegetables more lightly to avoid releasing the sugars. Serves 6.

Liver Cleanse Sabji 1.jpg


4 medium carrots

2 beets

1 daikon

2 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil

1 bunch bitter dark greens (turnip, kale or collard)

1'' fresh turmeric, finely chopped, or 1 tsp organic turmeric powder

1" fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 Tbsp cumin seeds

Pinch hing

½ tsp salt

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped.


Wash and slice the root vegetables. Heat half the ghee in a wok or frying pan and stir fry the vegetables. When they begin to soften, add the greens, cover and sauté to the desired tenderness. Meanwhile, in a small fry pan, heat the rest of the ghee. When it is hot but not smoking, lower the heat and add cumin, turmeric and ginger. Fry until the cumin seeds brown, add the hing and toss into the vegetables. Stir in the salt and cilantro and serve.

Seen here with Cleansing Kitcheri and Spinach Raita.

 Liver Cleanse Sabji 2.jpg


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