Ayurvedic Cooking

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Ayurveda is the ancient Indian philosophy of health and wellbeing. It means the art of living wisely. In simple terms, Ayurveda is a holistic system which guides us so that we can live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. It recognises that we are all unique and focuses on lifestyle, massage, yoga and herbal remedies and of course food.
In this video Anjali Pathak shows how to cook Kitcheri, a one pot dish containing ingredients with many Ayurvedic properties - histone rice, lentils, vegetables and wonderful healing spices. It is fully balanced, nutritious and inexpensive.



Ayurvedic Properties

Turmeric natural antiseptic cures anything inside and out
Black Pepper coughs and colds
Tomatoes high in Vitamin A good for coughs and colds
Balti Paste over 20 healing spices perfect for everything (coriander - digestion, cloves blood purifier, cinnamon good for memory, cardamom digestive and mouth freshener)
Spinach good source of fibre and so good for intestines
Potatoes and leeks vitamins and minerals
Rice high in vitamin A & B and easily digestible
Lentils (yellow dhal) full of protein
Salt good for bone growth and heat regulation of the body
Sugar good for energy

Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 40 minutes
Serves 4


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper, lightly crushed
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoons Pataks Balti Paste
100 g (3½ oz) basmati rice, washed well and left to soak in cold water for 30 minutes
100 g (3½ oz) yellow split mung beans or yellow gram / toover dhal, washed well and left to soak in cold water for 2 hours
1 baking potato, peeled and chopped into bitesize pieces
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
75 g (3 oz) spinach, washed
1 tomato, chopped
boiling water (approx. 2 2½ pints)
pinch of sugar
salt, to taste
juice of ½ lime (optional)


In a pan heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and black pepper. When the seeds begin to sizzle add the turmeric powder and Pataks Balti Paste. Sprinkle in a few drops of water and stir well. Drain the lentils and rice and add to the masala. After 1 minute add the leeks and allow to cook for a further minute before pouring in enough boiling water to cover the grains by about 5cm (2 inches). Add the potatoes, stir and cover. Allow the kitcheri to come to the boil before reducing the heat and allowing it to simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking and add more water if required. After 20 minutes add the tomatoes and spinach.
The kitcheri is cooked through when the grains are squashed easily between your fingers and when the rice is soft. Most of the water should have been absorbed.
Add the sugar and check the seasoning, adjusting the salt if necessary. Finally, squeeze in the lime juice (if using).
Serve simply with fresh hot chapattis.

Anjali's Tip : For an interesting twist why not garnish with the seeds of half a pomegranate. This fruit is fantastic for purifying the blood and cleansing the stomach.