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.

Vata pacifying recipes

Apple and Millet Breakfast.?

A warm, nourishing breakfast that is easy to digest, alkalizing and protein rich. It favours sweet, sour and salty tastes making ideal for people with a Vata body-type.

2 apples – delicious, pink lady or fuji – cut into 2 cm cubes
½ cup of hulled organic millet
¼ cup of sultanas
¼ tsp of cinnamon powder
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp of ghee or olive oil
enough water so that the top of the mixture is 2 cms below the surface of the water

Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then turn onto a low heat and let simmer with saucepan lid on until most of the water is absorbed. This takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Once water is mostly absorbed, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm and wash down with a cup of your favourite breakfast tea.


Okra in yoghurt sauce (Okra Karhi)

One of the most popular dishes at our Ayurvedic cooking classes. It is a great way to experiment with okra for those not used to cooking with this interesting vegetable. It is very easy to digest.
2 cups of okra (Ladies Fingers) or green beans
1 tbsp of ghee or sunflower oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp of besan flour (chickpea)
2 cups water
2 cups yoghurt
3 tbsp of lime juice
1 tsp of brown sugar or rice syrup
1 tsp of sea salt

Wash and dry okra, then cut off the tops of the okra. Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds pop and cumin seeds are a darker shade of brown add the okra and dust with turmeric. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes, shaking the pan often. Next combine yoghurt, water and chickpea flour in a large bowl using a whisk until a smooth consistency is reached. Add this yoghurt mixture to the okra and spices with the remaining ingredients. Cook for 20 minutes on a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve with your favourite grain.


Tofu Mulligatawny Soup.

A stalwart dish at our autumn Ayurvedic cooking classes that is perfect when feeling depleted and low in energy. Non-vegetarians may substitute chicken for tofu. It is very strengthening and nourishing for Vata imbalances.

1 tbsp of ghee or olive oil
500 g of firm tofu
¼ tsp of fenugreek seeds
1 cinnamon quill
2 cloves of garlic
4 cms of fresh ginger
10 threads of saffron
2 vegetable stock cubes
900 mils of water
300 mls of coconut milk
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tbsp of cumin powder
1 small onion
4 small tomatoes
1 lime

Sea salt according to taste

Saute tofu till brown in a large frying pan. In a large saucepan add remaining oil and sauté fenugreek, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, curry leaves and saffron gently before addling tofu cubes. Next whisk together in a bowl the water, coconut milk, coriander and cumin powder and add to the mixture in the saucepan along with the stock cubes. Simmer for 30 minutes. In the same frying pan used earlier, brown the chopped onion and add tomatoes. When softened add to the soup. Season with lime-juice and salt.


Vermicelli payasam – a warm milk pudding

This recipe was demonstrated to me by an Indian mother, while staying at her family’s Ayurvedic ashram in Kerala. Serve warm or cold depending on weather and inclination.

1 litre of milk
1 cup of wheat vermicelli
3 tbsp of ghee
1 cup of sugar or Sucanat
1/2 cup of cashews
1/2 cup of sultanas
1/3 tsp of ground cardamom
1 pinch of saffron

Slowly bring milk to boil on a low heat stirring well. Gently fry vermicelli, broken into 2cm pieces, in ghee turning continuously until golden brown. Let vermicelli cool and then wash in water several times. Once milk has boiled add toasted vermicelli, saffron and cardamom. Gently fry cashews and sultanas in left over ghee. Add sugar to milk mixture and then cashews and sultanas stirring continously for a minimum of 10 minutes. Cover pot and let sit. Serve warm or cold depending on weather and inclination.

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