This is an Indian drink: sweet, creamy, and flavored with nuts, cardamom, fennel, rose petals, and poppy seeds. Traditionally this would be made with whole milk-- the nuts and seeds alone make a milky drink that is dairy- free and so can be combined with other foods.
  • ⅓ C almonds
  • 3 T sunflower
  • 3 T hemp seeds
  • 3 T poppy seeds
  • 3.5 T raw cashews or other nuts
  • 4 C water
  • 1 C raw sugar
  • 1 t fennel seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 - 1" stick cinnamon
  • few strands of saffron
  • 20 rose petals, more for garnish

Combine almonds, seeds, cashews, and pistachios with 2 cups of water; soak for 1 hour. Remove and discard skins from almonds and pistachios if needed. Drain nuts and seeds; set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Add sugar and saffron, stirring until sugar is dissolved; set aside. Toast the fennel, peppercorns, cardamom and cinnamon in an skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes; let cool slightly. Transfer spices to a food processor, along with the nut mixture, medicated ghee, 1 tbsp water, and rose petals. Puree to a smooth paste. Whisk paste into water, and strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on solids. Refrigerate strained mixture until chilled or serve warm. Divide between serving glasses; garnish with grated nutmeg and rose petals, if you like.


Recipe adapted from Saveur Magazine (as usual)

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+ 2 inches lemon grass stalk, hard papery layers discarded, the rest coarsely chopped
+ 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped ginger
+ Salt to taste
+ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
+ 2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, also sold as yams
+ 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
+ 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
 
1. mortar and pestle the lemon grass and ginger with a generous pinch of salt to a coarse paste.
Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and work the ingredients together. Bring paste and oil to a very gentle sizzle over medium-low heat for 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, pressing the ginger and lemon grass to extract all of the oil. 
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush the parchment with olive oil. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges – smaller sweet potatoes will yield 8 wedges, larger yield 16.
3. Toss the sweet potato wedges in the bowl with the oil. Add the ground cumin and coriander, and salt to taste, and toss till thoroughly coated with oil. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (turn wedges after 10 min and again after 15 min).  Wedges should be tender when pierced and there should be some caramelized bits, especially at the thin tips. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before eating.
 
Yield: Serves 4

 

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I have come across a great way to make a filling but light milk based meal that is perfect for breakfast or in the evening if you didn't have time to eat a regular dinner. Remember any meal you eat after 7pm (or sunset if you are near the equator) must be reduced by 1/4th for every half hour delay. Ie eat less later.

Barley (or Yava) has a sweet taste (Madhura) and is considered to have cooling, drying and slightly laxative effect. Barley increases Vata, Reduce Pitta and Kapha. For this reason it is used to reduce weight. It is also good for reproductive health, increases stability and is used in cases of head colds, runny nose, asthma, sore throat and mouth, skin diseases, and even diabetes. 

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  • 2 Tablespoons fine barley flour.
  • Whisk into 1 C cold milk to form a thin paste
  • add 1 teaspoon spices including cinnamon, cardamon, dry ginger, and nutmeg if you need help sleeping
  • Pour into 2 C of boiling milk, stir while heating, until thickened
  • Add a little butter or ghee if you want it to be extra sumptuous.


 

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Kokum sherbert

Kokum sherbet is a refreshing drink for summer. Kokum controls pitta; other sour flavored foods will aggravate Pitta. You can find it dried in Indian groceries-- and occasionally a related fruit if found fresh in Chinese markets where it will be called mangosteen.I borrowed this recipe from my favorite Indian food blog of the moment: vegrecipesofindia.com

  • 1 cup kokum fruits, chopped or dry kokums
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5-6 cardamoms powdered or crushed
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • a pinch or two of black salt or salt (optional)

1: rinse dry kokum in water. 2: soak them in 2 cups of water for 3-4 hours. 3: grind kokum in a blender with some of the soaking water to a smooth mixture. 4: boil sugar with the remaining soaking water till the mixture becomes thick. 5: cool the sugar syrup and then add the kokum mixture to it. 6: add the powdered cardamom and cumin powder. 7: mix well and store in an airtight bottle or jar in the fridge. To make a refreshing drink spoon a table spoon or 2 of the sherbert into cool water or over ice.


Here is another recipe borrowed from the amazing SAVEUR Magazine, which I altered to be more ayurvedic: a version of Pkhali, a Georgian dish. Apparently this dish can be made with any veggie, I've tried kale and sorrel together and celery with dill. Both were delicious! Traditionally roasted beets or green beans are also used.

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Serves 4-6

  • 1 1/2 lb veggies of your choice
  • 1 1/2 c toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c parsley, chopped
  • 1 t hot paprika
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t fenugreek
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice (or something else tart; pomegranate or kokkum juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 sm onion chopped
  • salt and pepper for taste
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add veggies and cook till done (30 seconds for spinach, 15 minutes for celery). Drain veggies, let drip until fairly dry. If you are using greens you may want to squeeze excess water out. Chop or use a food processor to puree. Transfer to a bowl.

Add spices, walnuts, lemon juice, oil, and fresh herbs to the food processor; puree until very smooth. Mix walnut puree and veggies together; transfer to a serving dish and garnish. 

When you make sure that every meal, and even snacks, include all 6 tastes you know your meal will satisfy!. Sweet, salty. spicy, bitter, astringent and sour are all present in this popcorn seasoning. This panoply of  flavors signals to your body that is it being well nourished and you are less likely to have cravings later. Also these spices make sure that your body assimilates the corn fully. Keep a jar of it by your stove and use a light dusting to jazz up sandwiches, salad or soup.

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These quantities are rough—so adjust to your taste!

In a hot fry pan add spices in this order, toasting each a few seconds before adding the next. I like to toast the spices in whole form and then grind them all together.

  • 1 tsp black pepper corn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp hing

When they have all released their fragrances grind them in a mortar and pestle or food processor and add:

  • 1 tsp amchur powder (dried green mango—you might also try ground pomegranate seeds or sumac?)
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • 1 tsp saindouv or Himalayan salt

Sprinkle over popcorn freshly popped in ghee!