Category Archives: Vegetarian Recipes

Ayurvedic Red Rice Kitchiri (Vegan)

by Princess Draupadi

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About Kitchiri

Kitchiri is a highly versatile Indian vegetarian dish because it can be customized to suit your needs. It’s a breeze to make, easy to digest and highly nourishing. I consume kitchiri on days when I do my yoga kriyas (cleansing) so that my digestive system gets a break while cleansing itself of accumulated toxins (called ama in Ayurveda). Kitchiri is extremely useful to help restore imbalanced digestion, i.e. when experiencing bloating, gas or after a bout of food poisoning.

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This Recipe

Navara is a type of red rice grown in India, known since ancient times for its extensive medicinal properties and for being tridoshic (helps to correct most bodily imbalances). Although any type of red rice can be used for this recipe, I highly recommend Navara if you can get it.

red rice

Sesame and coconut oils are recommended to help correct Vata and Pitta doshas (bodily imbalances) per Ayurveda, respectively. For this recipe, I’ve used Ammani’s cold-pressed extra virgin sesame and coconut oils. Ammani oils are manufactured using the Indian nattu mara chekku method, meaning the oils are pressed using a traditional wooden pestle to maintain nutrients and natural healing properties.

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Ingredients:

½ cup red rice
½ cup brown rice (unpolished)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 cups water
½ tsp ground turmeric
2-3 dried cloves
½ tsp fennel
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup yellow lentils
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Marmite yeast extract (optional)

* Makes 2 – 4 servings.

For Garnishing:

10 – 12 fresh curry leaves

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Method:

1. Wash the two types of rice in plenty of water – it’s fine to mix the red and brown grains up. Drain well, then put the washed rice into a rice cooker. Wash the lentils, then pour enough boiling water to cover them. Leave the lentils to soak for 2 minutes, then drain and give them a quick rinse. Add the lentils to the rice cooker.

2. Add the water and all other ingredients, except the sesame oil, coconut oil and curry leaves.

3. Switch on the rice cooker and wait till the rice is cooked. If you prefer your kitchiri to have a porridge-like consistency, pour in an additional ½ to 1 cup of water and allow to cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes.

4. Once the rice is cooked, switch the cooker off and remove the lid. Then, add the curry leaves, coconut oil and sesame oil while the rice is still hot. Stir well, then quickly replace the cooker lid and allow to stand for 5 minutes (to allow the curry leaves to cook slightly in the steam).

5. Serve hot.

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Notes:

  • This dish can be made in larger quantities and stored in the freezer. To reheat frozen kitchiri, sprinkle generously with water before microwaving.
  • Regular table salt can be used in place of Himalayan pink salt.
  • Onions and garlic may be added to taste if a purely sattvic dish isn’t required.

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Ayurvedic Benefits:

  • Navarra red rice is highly medicinal and is known to help cure various ailments and bodily imbalances.
  • Cold-pressed, extra virgin oils retain more nutrients as they’re not heat-processed. Sesame oil balances Vata dosha while coconut oil balances Pitta dosha. Wood-pressed oils are manufactured following an ancient, traditional Indian oil-processing method.
  • The dried spices promote internal cleansing and healing. The internal organs (specifically the liver and bowels) are gently stimulated to eliminate toxins and decomposing matter from processed foods.
  • Curry leaves promote and enhance the growth of hair, and prevents premature greying and hair loss.
  • Lentils provide protein to ensure a balanced meal.

Related Links:

Ammani Malaysia Official Website

Healing and Rejuvenation with Abhyanga

Restaurant Review: Kriya Bhavan Ayurvedic Cuisine (PJ, Malaysia)

Kitchiri, the Best Sattvic Detox Food

Ayurvedic-Balinese Jamu for Weight Management

Video:

How Nattu Mara Chekku (Wood-pressed) Oils are Manufactured

 

Ayurvedic-Balinese Jamu for Weight Management

by Princess Draupadi

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This recipe is my personal creation. It’s 100% vegan and is based on an ancient Balinese jamu (herbal drink) preparation, which is regularly consumed in Indonesia even today. It aids weight loss, full-body detoxification and removal of impurities.

This simple but highly effective preparation utilizes some of the most powerful food ingredients known to mankind, namely turmeric, tamarind and honey. These ingredients have been used by various ancient cultures (especially in India as part of Ayurveda) for thousands of years for their medicinal properties. As turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, regular consumption of this drink will also give a natural glow to the skin, as well as help heal damage within the digestive tract. The curcumin in turmeric has almost unlimited health benefits, which is why Ayurveda sings praises of this humble root.

As the taste of fresh turmeric is not very palatable, you may add more honey as needed. It’s best to consume this jamu twice a month for best results, one or two servings per person.

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Ingredients:

(Makes 2 servings)

  • 1 – 2 inches of fresh turmeric root, grated
  • Natural honey (any type, add to taste)
  • 1 tsp seedless tamarind pulp
  • 450 ml water
  • A small wedge of any citrus fruit (optional)

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Method:

1) Boil the water. Once boiling point is reached, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 2 – 3 minutes.

2) Add the turmeric and tamarind pulp into a heatproof container. Pour the entire quantity of hot water over this. Stir well and let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

3) Strain the liquid into drinking glasses. Discard the leftover strained turmeric root (better still, use it as plant fertilizer). Add the honey and stir well. If you wish to use citrus for this recipe, squeeze the juice in at this point.

4) Consume while still warm.

Related Links:

Healing and Rejuvenation with Abhyanga

Kitchiri, the Best Sattvic Detox Food

Blue Butterfly Spiced Milk

Mahabharata Indian Art Series by Giampaolo Tomassetti

Blue Butterfly Spiced Milk

by Princess Draupadi

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, fresh milk is a highly recommended food for hatha yogis. This 15th-century yoga manual by Swami Svatmarama praises milk as a wholesome, nourishing food and states that it is an essential part of a sattvic yogic diet.

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Understandably, unethical dairy farming methods are a huge concern these days. I usually get my supply from small local dairy farms or ISKCON centers (ISKCON cows are protected for life and never slaughtered) to ensure that the least cruelty is involved. If you can get ahimsa milk where you live, fantastic! For a vegan version of this drink,  see the notes within the recipe below.

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Spiced milk (Hindi: masala doodh) is a common beverage in India. The spices in this recipe impart fragrance, flavor and medicinal properties to the milk, as well as help in aiding digestion.

It just so happens that my favorite color is blue and my good friend, Alex Lee, has a Clitoria Ternatea flower farm in Australia. Alex provided me with a sachet of her organic, all-natural Blue Butterfly powder, and this is my first attempt at using it in my cooking. This flower is commonly known as bunga telang in Malay, and it’s popular in Peranakan cuisine. The plant is a creeper, and pretty easy to grow in a tropical climate.

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As a kid, I saw Luke Skywalker drinking blue milk in Star Wars, and I’ve wanted to drink it ever since. There you go, an idea to get your kids to drink more milk – actual dairy or a quality vegan substitute, whichever your choice may be.

Here’s a simple recipe for spiced milk. I consume this almost daily before bedtime. You can vary the spices if you wish, or add a pinch of saffron. This beverage makes an excellent and nourishing meal substitute, especially at night.

Blue Butterfly Spiced Milk

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • ½ tsp Blue Butterfly powder (mix with 2 tablespoons warm water)
  • 500ml fresh cow’s milk (or a vegan milk substitute)
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 1-2 whole dried cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 small springs of Indian holy basil (tulsi)
  • ½ tsp organic chia seeds
  • Honey or jaggery to taste (optional)

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Method:

1) Pour the milk into a sturdy pot. Add in all dried spices and stir well. Bring the milk to boil on medium heat, stirring regularly. Milk burns easily, so stir briskly and well, scraping the bottom of your pot.

2) When the milk comes to a rolling boil, stir well for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat. Allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes. (If you wish to sweeten the milk, allow the milk to cool for 10 minutes before adding the honey or jaggery, then stir well).

3) Add the Blue Butterfly powder solution to the milk. Stir briskly until the color is uniform.

4) Pour the milk into serving glasses or mugs. Add the springs of holy basil (one per glass), ensuring that the herb is at least partially submerged in the milk – this helps the Ayurvedic medicinal properties of the leaves to steep into the milk. Garnish with the chia seeds and serve hot.

Vegan variation: To make a vegan version of this recipe, simply substitute the cow’s milk with any vegan milk of your choice. Also, when using vegan milk, do not allow the liquid to boil – simply heat the vegan milk up, then turn off the heat when it’s close to boiling point. The best vegan milks to use for this recipe are soy, cashew, oat, almond and coconut. 

Related Links:

My Blue Tea – Blue Butterfly Flower Powder

Kitchiri, the Best Sattvic Detox Food

Index of Articles

Kitchiri, The Best Sattvic Detox Food

by Princess Draupadi

kitchri

Kitchiri is an ancient Indian vegetarian dish which can be customized to suit your needs. It’s a breeze to make, easy to digest and highly nourishing. I consume kitchiri on days when I do my yoga kriyas (cleansing) so that my digestive system can have a break while getting rid of accumulated toxins (called ama in Ayurveda).

This is my personal recipe. I recommend kitchri when you feel your digestion has become unbalanced, i.e. food poisoning, bloating, gas or general indigestion.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Basmathi rice
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp ground turmeric
2-3 dried cloves
½ tsp fennel
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/4 cup yellow lentils

* Makes 2 – 4 servings.

For Garnish:

10 – 12 fresh curry leaves

Method:

1. Wash the rice well in plenty of water. Drain well, then put the washed rice into a rice cooker. Wash the lentils, then pour enough boiling water to cover them. Leave the lentils to soak for 2 minutes, then drain and give them a quick rinse. Add the lentils to the rice cooker. 
2. Add the water and all other ingredients, except the ghee and curry leaves.
3. Switch on the rice cooker and wait till the rice is cooked. If you prefer your kitchiri to have a porridge-like consistency, add in ½ to 1 cup of water and allow to cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes.
4. Once the rice is cooked, switch the cooker off and remove the lid. Then, add the curry leaves and ghee while the rice is still hot. Stir well, then quickly replace the cooker lid and allow to stand for 5 minutes (to allow the curry leaves to cook slightly in the steam).
5. Serve hot.

Notes:

  • This dish can be made in larger quantities and stored in the freezer. To reheat frozen kitchiri, sprinkle generously with water before microwaving.
  • Ghee may be replaced with any good-quality vegetable oil of choice for a vegan version.
  • Regular table salt can be used in place of Himalayan pink salt.
  • Onions and garlic may be added if a purely sattvic dish isn’t required.
  • Replace the mushrooms with a different vegetable such as cauliflower for a purely sattvic dish.

Ayurvedic Benefits:

  • The dried spices promote internal cleansing and healing. The internal organs (specifically the liver and bowels) are gently stimulated to eliminate toxins and decomposing matter from processed foods.
  • The ghee provides the body with lubrication and moisturizing properties.
  • Curry leaves promote and enhance the growth of hair, and prevents premature greying and hair loss.
  • Lentils provide protein to ensure a balanced meal.

 

See Also:

Healing and Rejuvenation with Abhyanga

Index of Articles