Swami Satyananda has said that it is “important to eat foods that burden the body least.”
Ayurvedic cooking is an amazing way to eat foods that detoxify the body and promote health.
The following recipes provide you with practical ways to improve your digestion.
- Peel & grate raw ginger (peeling the ginger helps balance Pitta)
- Squeeze the liquid from the grated ginger over dry, ground ginger to create a dry, sticky paste
- Roll into 0.5-1cm diameter balls (squeeze, press & roll tightly)
- Leave to dry in the sun
- Store in a plastic bag or glass jar
Swallow 1-2 pills at the start of the lunch meal (also before breakfast and dinner) to improve digestion by stimulating agni, the digestive fire. Ginger pills are also good anti-nausea pills, for the heart and arthritis.
Another excellent digestive aid is the yoghurt drink lassi. This can be made either sweet or salty, and served during or after a meal. Yoghurt is cooling and excellent for Pitta types to have in summer.
To make a Sweet Lassi blend together:
- 1 cup (250mL) yoghurt
- 2-5 cups (500mL – 2L) water (to reach desired thickness)
- 1 pinch of ground cardamom
- 1 pinch of ground ginger
- 1 pinch of ground star anise
- 2-3 TBL brown sugar/honey (to desired sweetness)
- a few drops of good quality, natural rose water (optional)
This recipe makes four servings.
Kitchari is a great one pot meal, which is very light and easy to digest. Since the grains, lentils, and spices are cooked in the same pot, they work out their differences and create a balanced, tri-doshic food. Kitchari is good to eat when you want to give your digestive system a rest, especially in times of convalescence or when you feel under stress.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1 cup basmati rice (you can also mix basmati rice with an equal amount of quinoa)
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 4-8 cups pure water (pre-heat water before cooking)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ajwan
- 1TBSP ghee
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp black mustard seeds
- 1tbsp ginger
- 3 curry leaves or ½ tsp curry powder
- chopped vegetables (eg. potato, cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, fresh corn, daikon radish)
- Peel and grate the ginger.
- Chop all of your vegetables.
- Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pot (this will ensure that the spices do not stick and burn).
- Add the mustard seed and wait until the first seed pops.
- Grind cumin & coriander with mortar & pestle, add these spices with tumeric, black pepper, curry leaves or powder & asafoetida (or garlic & onion) to the ghee.
- Mix spices until thoroughly coated in ghee and fry until garlic & onion are translucent.
- Add the vegetables and coat them in the spices.
- Add the rice and lentils, and toast them a little, coating them in the spices. If the mixture starts to stick add more ghee.
- Cover with hot water and bring to the boil, stirring regularly
- Add salt, bay leaves, ajwan seeds and fresh grated ginger.
- Cook until lentils split and turn to mush (30-60 min), adding more water as necessary (the water is absorbed very quickly)
- You can add some chilli to the pot to increase the spice or serve mango pickle on the side.
To turn Kitchari into a delicious feast, serve with date & tamarind chutney, poppadoms, yoghurt and a small salad.