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.

Pitta pacifying recipes

Martin’s Quinoa Treat.

This recipe comes from a friend of mine who runs a popular vegetarian restaurant in Darwin. Customers travel from all over the Northern Territory to partake of this dish. It combines all six tastes described in Ayurveda making it a well-balanced meal.

1 kg pears - diced
¾ cup quinoa (50% red and 50% white)
300 mls of coconut milk.
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
3 star anis
500 mls water
1/4 cup grated ginger
200 gms of fresh dates

1 fresh lime
Full cream natural yoghurt and walnuts to taste

Put all ingredients together in a large pot and cook on medium heat for 20 -30 minutes stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. Then add lime-juice so you have a nice contrast of sweet,tangy and gingery tastes. Serve warm with a dollop of yoghurt and walnuts on top. A mouth-watering breakfast or dessert all year round.

Lisa’s Byron Bay Salad.

This was the most popular salad at a café in Byron Bay owned by a member of my extended family. A meal in itself – it is brimming with flavour!

Roma tomatoes - 6
Green beans – a handful
Snow peas – a handful
Shallots – 1/2 a bunch
Fresh dill- 1/2 a bunch
Fresh Mint – 1/2 a bunch
1 Spanish onion
Haloumi cheese – 250 gms
Kalamata olives – a handful
Australian olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Celtic sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper

Oven roast Roma tomatoes, placed on oven proof paper to absorb moisture, by cutting each tomato in half, brushing them with olive oil and then seasoning with sea salt and cracked pepper. Then slow roast for 11/2 hours at 160 degrees Celsius. Let cool and then cut in half again.

Then blanch green beans and snow peas, cut in half. Pan-fry haloumi cheese in thin strips until crispy brown. Finely chop shallots and then chop Spanish onions, dill and mint. Finally mix together all ingredients and toss in a dressing made with half balsamic vinegar, half olive oil, ground Celtic sea salt and cracked pepper.

Aviyal – mixed vegetables in coconut milk.

3 tbsp of ghee
3 tbsp of raw cashews
a pinch of asafoetida
6-8 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp of fresh ginger – grated
1 tsp of sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp of turmeric powder
400 mls of coconut milk
1 – 2 tsp of sea salt
2 - 3 cups of mixed vegetables. eg. carrots, green beans, kumera, cauliflower
10 snow peas

Gently roast the cashews in ghee in a large frying pan, tossing often to prevent burning. Remove the cashews and set aside. Then add to the remaining ghee the asafoetida, ginger and curry leaves, frying gently. Increase the heat and add the mixed vegetables, sweet chilli sauce, turmeric and coconut milk. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until tender. Remove the frying pan from the stove and place the snow peas on top of the mixture then add the roasted cashews. Replace the lid and wait 5 minutes for the food to settle. Finally stir and serve with your favourite grain.

Timbeau’s baked ricotta.

A vegetarian Sunday roast that beautifully complements a vegetable and rice dish. Very popular with children and great in sandwiches the next day.

4 tbsp of olive or macadamia oil
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp tarragon leaves
½ tsp turmeric
freshly ground black pepper to taste
375 gm fresh ricotta slice or slab

Mix together the herbs, spices, oil and salt in a small bowl.
Place the slab on an oiled tray and baste the herb and spiced oil over the cheese, Bake in a moderate oven (180 C) for about ¾ an hour, basting several times throughout. When lightly browned remove from oven and allow to cool at little.

Bean Provencale.

A quick and easy dish that is ideal for people with a Pitta body-type. It is tasty but is not overly heating, using western culinary herbs.

1 tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion – sliced
1 small red capsicum – sliced
1 small green capsicum – sliced
1 clove of garlic – crushed*
3 tsp tomato paste
Fresh basil and oregano leaves - chopped
1/2 cup of water
1/3 cup of pitted black olives
1/4 bunch of parsley – chopped
3 ripe tomatoes – chopped
1 x 440g can of 4 bean mix – drained

Heat oil in large frying pan and stir-fry onion for approximately 2 minutes, add capsicum and garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat, stirring regularly, until ingredients are well mixed into a stew. Let bubble on low heat as time allows. Turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes. Serve over couscous or rice and garnish with a little parsley.

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