Category Archives: Ayurvedic Recipes

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Healthy Breakfast Foods: Stewed Apples

In Ayurveda, waking up early in the morning is considered as beneficial for health, as the morning is the purest time of the day, when the air is fresh and the mind is at ease. It also states that eating at least half an hour after waking stimulates digestive fire and keeps metabolism rates up. Skipping breakfast is one of the bad habits that we often succumb to due to busy work schedules and it does not contribute to good health in the long run. Therefore, it is important to at least have a piece of fruit and some milk before leaving for work.

Stewed apples is an Ayurvedic dish that is one of the best ways to enhance digestion and vitality. Apples contain pectin and polyphenols which help the body to cleanse itself of toxins and metabolize fat effectively. It maintains proper balance in the functions of the body also.

You can also drink freshly made fruit or vegetable juice, as in Ayurveda, it is believed that having raw fruits and vegetables in the morning is extremely beneficial for health. In fact, it is best to have fruit the first thing in the morning, even before you have cereal or anything else.

Here is how one can prepare the Ayurvedic recipe for stewed apples:

Ingredients:

1-2 organic apples

5 whole cloves

1 cup water

Cinnamon or cardamom

Handful of raisins

Peel the apples and cut them finely into pieces, and boil them in water. Add in the spices and raisins so that they combine with the apples to give it a flavour. Once they start boiling, cover the vessel with a lid and keep cooking till they turn soft. After they are cooked well, drain the extra water and remove the cloves from the mixture. Allow the fruit to cool.

This is the best breakfast prescribed by Ayurvedic principles, and is especially great to have during the Spring season. Your system will be cleansed of toxins and excess ama. This dish also helps in creating ojas, the by-product of digestion that contributes to strength, well-being, immunity and vitality. In addition, consuming this wholesome Ayurvedic recipe dish overtime will also lead to a reduction in your cholesterol levels over time. Not only this, it also eases digestion and promoted the elimination of body waste to keep your digestive tract healthy and clean.

Ayurveda’s primary focus is on maintaining a healthy life through a balanced, nutritious diet. Fresh fruits like apple when cooked appropriately and tempered with the right spices can truly enhance your overall well-being. The morning time is the purest time of the day and eating something that is fresh and a product of nature will keep your energy levels up and going through the rest of the day.

Promote better health and a stress-free lifestyle with the goodness of Ayurveda. Feel free to explore our range of 100% herbal, Ayurvedic products enriched with nature’s best here.

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4 Healthy Diwali Sweet Recipes

Diwali is near, and the festive season brings with it a lot of indulgence. The entire month turns into a wonderful occasion for meeting loved ones, fasting and later, feasting. During this time, it’s important not to over-indulge to avoid putting on unnecessary weight and spiking up blood sugar levels. Eating too many nuts and dry fruits can also strain your stomach. Here are a few great ideas for healthy Diwali sweet recipes:

  1. Oats Burfi:

This nutritious Diwali sweet makes for a healthy preparation too as it does not contain sugar or milk.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

40 ml water

¼ tsp green cardamom powder

1 tsp rose essence

1 tsp olive/almond/coconut oil

¾ cup powdered plain oats

Mix a cup of sugar with 40 ml of water and start boiling at a medium flame, while stirring constantly. Add ¼ teaspoon of green cardamom powder and a teaspoon of rose essence or any other essence you may like. Wait till the syrup becomes of a stringy consistency and then add ¾ cup of powdered plain oats to the mixture. Add a teaspoon of olive, almond or coconut oil and continue cooking on a medium flame while stirring constantly. After a while when the mixture becomes thick, dry and leaves the sides of the pan, turn off the stove. Check if it turns into a stiff ball when you take some into your hand and roll it. Finally put the mixture in a greased tray and cut into squares. Top the burfis with pumpkin seeds or dry fruits.

  1. Fruit Sandesh: Sandesh is a popular Diwali sweet and you can turn it into a healthier version by using fruits instead of sugar.

Ingredients:

1 litre low fat cow milk

30 ml vinegar

1 banana or apple, peach or fig

50 ground almonds

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp kewda water

Add vinegar to one litre of boiling low fat cow milk. Once the milk curdles, drain the whey with a muslin cloth and keep the paneer to cool. After it cools ensure that the paneer has no moisture left. Then gently rub it with the edge of your wrist to make it crumble. Take a ripe banana or even peach, fig or apple. Mash it with kewda water and honey. Add the paneer and mix it till it turns doughy and sticky. Now shape it into pieces. Wrap it in ground almonds and garnish finally with almond flakes.

  1. Dates payasam: This is a no sugar, no guilt traditional South Indian Diwali sweet with a twist.

Ingredients:

15 dates
2 ½ cups boiled milk

¼ cup Coconut milk
1 tbsp chopped dates – 1 tbsp
1 tbsp chopped cashew and almond

A pinch of cardamom powder

1 tsp ghee

Soak the dates for 15 minutes in ½ a cup of warm milk. Chop the dates and nuts and heat ghee in a pan, adding them to it till they become crisp. Transfer the milk-soaked dates into a mixer, and grind it to a fine paste after adding a little milk. Boil 2 and a half cups of mil, letting it cook on medium flame and add the dates paste to it. Mix it well and cook for 5-7 minutes on low flame till the mixture thickens. Add ghee, the roasted dates and nuts mixture, cardamom powder and coconut milk. Switch it off. Keep chilled and then serve.

  1. Wheat halwa: This is an easy twist on the Tirunelveli or Kerala halwa recipe by using wheat flour.

Ingredients:

½ cup wheat flour

1 cup sugar

1 and ¼ cups melted ghee

¼ tsp cardamom powder

1 tbsp broken cashews

1 cup warm water for soaking

1 pinch orange food colour (optional)

Add water gradually to the wheat flour to form stiff dough. Soak the dough for at least 5-7 hours in a cup of warm water and then mix it well to remove lumps. Strain the milk well, and fry the cashews in ghee and keep it aside. Now take a nonstick pan. Boil sugar with ¼ cup of water till it gets a stringy consistency. Add the wheat flour milk. Keep stirring till it gets a porridge-like consistency. Add ghee gradually and you will reach a consistency which will make it look like one mass. After it starts looking like halwa in the final stage add the remaining ghee, cashews and cardamom powder. Check if it forms firm balls and remove from the flame. Cool for a bit and serve.

These recipes will add a nutritious touch to your regular sugar-loaded Diwali sweet specials and taken in very limited quantity can be had by those who are monitoring their sugar levels. We hope you try these recipes for a happy, healthy and wonderful celebration with your family!

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Healthy Substitutes You Must Make At Dinner

According to Ayurvedic principles, dinner should be light on the stomach and nutritious. However, these days we often succumb to the easy way out rather than the healthy way out. Dinner becomes a takeout option, or last night’s leftovers. The prana or life-force in plants is what makes them nourish our body, and Ayurvedic principles state that foods that are not cooked fresh tend to not be very good for balancing one’s doshas. Here are some easy you can try as a dinner substitute for a change.

  1. Quick pongal/khitchri: Khitchri is a nourishing, simple and easy-to-make dish that is also easily digestible. It is made by combining rice and moong dal together and cooking them until soft. You can garnish with coriander and black pepper. Coriander helps to pacify all the doshas and helps in counteracting the heating effects of onion. Turmeric (bitter) and rice (sweet) are considered the best balancing tastes. Pitta and Vata types can add vegetables also for more flavour and taste. A filling, healthy and nutritious dinner substitute. Serve with roasted papads for that extra crunch for your kids.
  2. Zucchini Soup: If you are looking for a very light dinner that will help you sleep well, a simple zucchini soup will help. It is light and smooth yet rich. You can eat it with bread as an accompaniment. Slice zucchini with 1 cm thickness and cook with a bit of vegetable oil (rice bran or sunflower oil are good options). After a few minutes add 1 cup or water and cook for about 5 minutes. Cook chopped onion and garlic until slightly brown. Finally blend the zucchini and garlic/onion with water using a blender until smooth.  You can add water depending on how thick you want the soup to be, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Rice with green beans sabzi: Beans are an excellent source of protein and cooked the right way can be a filling healthy dinner substitute. Boil green beans and cook them. Take sesame seeds, curry leaves and chilli and roast them in a tablespoon of coconut oil till they start sputtering. Add this to the cooked beans and put in grated coconut. Stir for a few minutes till the beans is cooked and ready. Serve with rice and sambar
  4. Cauliflower is an easy to cook and healthy vegetable fortified with vitamins and minerals. Prepare a light cauliflower sabzi which can be eaten with whole wheat chapatis made from organic flour. Cook it with chopped onions, tomatoes and blanched almonds for a healthy twist. Saunf or fennel seeds add a lovely flavour to this dish and chopped coriander completes the garnish. Add spices like garam masala and red chilli powder very sparingly to make it easy on the stomach.

These are some of the dinner substitutes you can make to your regular daily meals – they are very easy to prepare and light on digestion, while keeping doshas in check.

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Balanced, healthy dinners when there’s no time

We often find ourselves hard-pressed for time these days after getting home. A hard day’s work can make us feel tired, lethargic and in absolutely no mood to prepare dinner. Instead of falling into the trap of ordering take-out though, here are some quick, balanced and healthy dinner ideas to prepare when one wants to make dinner fast. In Ayurveda, dinner should be light on the stomach and nutritious. Fast food does not always have to be the unhealthy kind!

  1. Chickpea salad: Take a can of chickpeas or white chana, a large tomato, cucumber and mango. You can also replace the mango with apple or avocado. In a large bowl, add the chana after soaking it or boiling it. Put in the chopped vegetables as well. Finally, use a whisk to put together ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and some herbs. Add it to the bowl and mix it well. A surprisingly filling alternative to laborious dinner recipes. You can roast (not fry) papads as an accompaniment to eat with it.
  2. Stir-fried cauliflower: This is one of the most nutritious and healthy dinners that you can eat with whole wheat chapattis. Take 4 cups of chopped cauliflower, half of an onion sliced, and one yellow or green capsicum, sliced. Heat oil in a wok and add cumin seeds (jeera). Add the vegetables and one inch piece of peeled & finely chopped ginger. Stir fry for about 7 minutes. Add salt to taste, turmeric (haldi powder), garam masala and pepper. Add a little water and cover it after keeping it at medium heat. Cook until the cauliflower becomes tender. Garnish it with fresh coriander and serve.
  3. Baked Tomato spaghetti: This is a fast yet healthy continental dish that you can make for a twist in your normal dinner routine. Take 2 cups of cherry tomatoes or chop regular tomatoes finely. Heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Add the tomatoes and 4-5 cloves of garlic onto the tray. Sprinkle or brush on lots of olive oil on them. Roast it in the oven for 15-20 minutes and then add boiled sphaghetti in a bowl. Put the tomato-garlic mixture and add grated cheese and oregano before serving.
  4. Khitchari: Khitchari is one of the simplest yet most wholesome and healthy dinners you can make. It is easy on the stomach and provides all the essential nutrients you need. It is one of the most traditional and simple Indian dishes that is excellent for digestion. It is made by combining moong dal and rice, spices and ghee, boiled to a soft consistency. You can add sweet potato, carrot, etc depending on the season for added taste.
  5. Simple Ayurvedic dal: This Ayurvedic dosha balancing dal is made from toor dal. Wash 1 cup of toor dal and then add 2 cups of water, turmeric (haldi powder), and chopped green chillies. Cover the vessel and cook it on medium heat, for about 20 minutes till it softens. Add salt and grated ginger and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove it from the flame. Now in a separate pan take mustard seeds and some oil and heat them till they start sputtering. Add asafoetida (hing) then pour this into the Finally add chopped coriander and a teaspoon of ghee to garnish and serve with hot chapattis. One of the most healthy dinners you could have!

These easy-to-prepare, healthy dinners need only 20-25 minutes of your time and are much healthier than any fast food option. Definitely keep these quick fixes for dinner in mind the next time you get delayed at work.

You can incorporate Ayurveda into your modern lifestyle with Pankajakasthuri. Find out how here.

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Health Benefits of Gulkand or Rose Petal Jam

Gulkand or rose-petal jam is one of the most delicious Ayurvedic preparations ever known. At the same time, its health benefits are undeniable. The word gulkand is derived from gul, which means ‘flower’ in Persian, and ‘qand’ which means ‘sweet’ in Arabic.

Preparation:

Things You Need: Glass jar with a wide mouth, Rose petals of the Rosa centifolia or shatapatri rose (a rose with 100 petals) variety, granulated sugar, cardamom seeds (optional), mukta pishti (pearl powder, optional)

Method:

  1. Ensure that the rose petals are clean and free from insects. Separate them, wash well and dry them.
  2. Arrange a layer of rose petals, top it with a layer of granulated sugar. Keep alternating them till the jar is full.
  3. Close the lid tightly and keep it in the sun for upto 7 hours per day for about 4 weeks.
  4. Every alternate day, mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  5. At the end of 4 weeks your gulkand will be ready and will have a jam-like consistency.

Gulkand is very easy to prepare, and is delicious as it is, or as an accompaniment to your meals, or even as an ingredient in sweets or milkshakes. The most commonly known benefit of Gulkand is that it has a cooling effect on the body. In addition to this it has a plethora of other wonderful benefits for your health and happiness.

  1. Pacifies pitta dosha: Gulkand pacifies excess pitta in the body which can cause heat, and so keeps the body cool. It alleviates heat-related symptoms such as lethargy, rashes, aches and pains and reduces any burning sensations in foot soles and palms.
  2. Improves memory & eyesight: It also helps enhance memory power. It is a powerful antioxidant which also helps in improving eyesight over time.
  3. Helps digestion: Take one or two teaspoons of gulkand daily also to reduce stomach heat and acidity. It also helps in improving appetite, and enhancing digestion to keep you at ease and free of any irritation in the stomach lining.
  4. Excellent skin tonic: Gulkand is great for the skin. It removes toxins from the body and purifies blood, and so prevents various skin problems like blackheads, acne, pimples and rashes.
  5. Protection during the summer: Have two teaspoonfuls of gulkand before going outdoors in the summer sun – it helps prevent sunstroke by cooling the body. It also prevents nosebleeds that occur due to excess heat in the body.

The above were just some of the wonderful health benefits that gulkand has to offer. Anyone can benefit from the wonders of gulkand; however, diabetics should consult their doctor before taking it.

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How to prepare tridoshic dal

Dal or lentils are one of the easiest dishes to prepare. It is light on the stomach and enriched with proteins. Tridoshic dal is an Ayurvedic preparation that is beneficial for all doshas and keeps them in check. It cleanses the body of ama or toxins, and is very good for digestion, as well as a light food to be taken if one is suffering from diarrhoea. It pacifies Kapha and Pitta doshas and increases Vata. Here’s how you can prepare this Tridoshic dal at home:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split moong dal
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 cups summer squash, in ¼ to ½ inch slices
  • 1 cup carrots, in ¼ to ½ inch slices
  • 1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon of haldi or turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 small hot green capsicum, chopped finely (If you have pitta dosha don’t add this)
  •  ½ teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon to 1 table spoon black mustard seeds (Add only a little for  pitta, and greater amount for vata and kapha)

Method:

  • Heat one tablespoon oil or ghee.
  • Add hing and cumin seeds. Then add all the spices and two teaspoonfuls of water. Sauté for 30 seconds over low heat but don’t let the spices burn.
  • Add the beans and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add chopped vegetables and stir it for another minute or two.
  • Add water, salt, ginger and pepper, bring to a boil on high heat. Then cover and reduce heat to medium low.
  • Let the dal simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Take another remaining tablespoon of oil or ghee, add cumin and mustard seeds, and let them pop. Add it to the dal finally.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander.

We hope you will benefit from this nutritious, healthy and easy-to-make Tridoshic dal which is well-suited for all dosha types.

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