The conch shell – its significance

In India the Conch Shell represents the five great elements – Earth, Water, Fire,
source of all existence, a cosmic womb. In Indian mythology, when the God Vishnu
of the Vedas. Today in India the conch shell is blown at the beginning of the
environment. Vishnu’s conch is also the symbol of Dharma, the cosmic law

Air, Space and is known as The Panchajanya. The Conch is understood as the
blew through the conch, the primordial sound Aum emanated taking the form
sacred rituals as its vibrations are said to dispel negative energy and purify the
behind all creation.

Kapha pacifying recipes

Buckwheat Pancakes.

1 ½ cups of buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of oat bran
1 tsp of baking powder
1 pinch of cinnamon powder
½ tsp of sea salt
1 ½ cups of plain yoghurt
1 ½ cups of water
1 egg
2 tsp of sunflower oil

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl beat the egg, yoghurt,water and oil. Then add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, stirring minimally. Pour onto a hot, oiled frying pan. When bubbles appear on the edges of the pancake and underside is light brown turn over. Serve with honey, maple syrup or your favourite berry.

Spicy South Indian Tomato Consomme (Rasam)

2 tbsp of toor dal or red lentils
½ tsp of turmeric
2 medium sized tomatoes – diced
2 tsps of rasam powder (available from Indian spice shops)
2 tbsp of tamarind pulp
½ tsp of jaggary
1 tsp of sea salt
3 cups of water
1 tbsp of ghee
1 tsp of brown mustard seeds
10 fresh curry leaves
½ tsp of asafoetida
¼ sprig of coriander leaves – finely chopped

Soak the tamarind in boiling water in a ceramic bowl. In the medium sized saucepan, bring to the boil the dal, turmeric and water, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Whisk the ingredients at the end of the cooking process to encourage softening. Then add the tomatoes, rasam powder and tamarind paste. In a small frying pan, heat the ghee and fry the mustard seeds till they turn grey. Add the curry leaves and cook till they turn dark green and start to crisp, next add the asafoetida and cook for a few seconds before pouring all the cooked spices into the dal pot. Cover the pot immediately, remove from the heat and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Savoury flattened rice (Pauwa).

A very quick breakfast dish or snack which needs minimal cooking, once the potatoes have been boiled. It fulfils the Ayurvedic requirement of including all six tastes.

1 onion
1 potato
1 – 2 green chillis
2 tbsp of brown mustard seeds
1 handful of fresh curry leaves
1 lime
1 tsp of raw sugar
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 packet (250g) of pauwa (flattened rice) – available from Indian spice shops
1 – 2 tsp of ghee or sesame oil
1 small bunch of fresh coriander leaves

Boil potato and then chop it into small cubes and set aside.
Next chop the onion. Heat ghee in a medium sized wok or frying pan and sauté the onion. Do not make it brown. Then add potato cubes and then the chopped chilies, turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves, cinnamon, sugar and sea salt. Wash the puffed rice in a sieve, drain it and then add to the mixture in the wok. If necessary wet it with little water to make sure it does not dry up totally. Cover and steam for a few minutes. Squeeze fresh lime and garnish with coriander leaves.

Famous beetroot curry

A Sri Lankan dish guaranteed to change your feeling for beetroot, if you are not already a true believer in this great root vegetable, rich in iron.

3 - 4 Beetroots, sliced into large julienne shreds
2 tbsp dry roasted curry powder (Sri Lankan if possible)
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2-1 tsp chill
10 fresh curry leaves
1 can of light coconut milk
1 tbsp of safflower oil
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 can of water
1 pinch Asafoetida
1 tbsp cumin seeds

Mix together in a large casserole dish the sliced beetroots, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, sea salt, curry leaves and chilli and coconut milk and water. In a small spice skillet heat the safflower oil and then add a pinch of Asafoetida and the other spice seeds and fry 1 minute. Then add all the spices to the mixture in the casserole dish, stir well and place in an oven at 180 C. Bake covered for one hour.

Sweet potato halva

A very healthy dessert that uses no sugar, deriving its sweetness from the fruits, vegetables and spices used.

500 g of kumera (sweet potato)
300 mils of milk (organic, unhomogenised)
15 saffron threads
½ cup of raisins
4 cardamom pods – crushed in a mortar
2 tbsp of ghee
½ cups of slivered almonds

Peel and grate the sweet potato. In a large frying pan bring the milk to the boil, add the sweet potato and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes. Soak the saffron threads in a ¼ cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Then stir in the saffron and water, raisins, crushed cardamom and ghee and cook for another 10 minutes. Pour halva into a buttered dish, sprinkle with almonds and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees. Serve with your favourite tea or chai.

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