Welcoming Winter: Ayurvedic Tips and Recipes

You should take care of your body during this period, because the change of climate may cause problems with your body.
Love it, it is a great gift. It is a miracle — a mystery.
You should wonder first about your own body, how the body turns the bread into blood. We have not been able to find a factory yet where bread can be turned into blood.
You and your body are not really seperate, but the manifestation of one. Your soul is your invisible body and your body is your visible soul. Now is the time to give it attention.

Winter has arrived in South Africa and it is cold. You can help your body to adjust itself accordingly.

Your body is a miniature universe. It is vast with millions and millions of cells, and each cell is alive with its own life and functioning in an intelligent manner.
This in itself seems incredible, impossible and unbelievable.

According to Ayurveda two types of sun positions are observed:

sun is taking energy from existence (Summer)

sun is giving energy to existence (Winter)

This winter period is different for different parts of the planet. In winter your body can always lose energy quickly. So we should try to save our physical and psychic energy as much as possible.
This simply means that you should boost your immune system during this period;
Drink warm liquids;
Cover Head and Feet;
Avoid using the car heater for short distances;
Include sprouted grains, nuts and warm foods in your meals.

Some recipes for winter

Spice Mixture for winter

• 1 part turmeric
• 2 parts ground cumin
• 3 parts ground coriander
• 4 parts ground fennel
Mix these spices together in bulk and store in a jar.
When you are cooking a meal, place a small amount of ghee in a frying pan on medium heat. Add detoxifying spice mixture, measuring out one teaspoon of spice mixture per serving of vegetables. Sauté spices until the aroma is released (but be careful not to burn).
Add steamed vegetables, mix lightly and sauté together for one minute. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Alternatively you can use the sautéd spice mixture to drizzle on vegetables or grains.

Bean Soup

(Two servings)
½ Cup Dried Gram (Chick Peas)
10 Cup Water
½ Cup mung Beans
½ Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp Pure Ghee
¼ Tsp Powdered Rock Salt
½ Tsp Black Peppercorns
1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Wash the gram and mung beans and soak them for 5 hours in sufficient water to cover them.
Bring 10 cups of fresh water to boil in a large heavy soup pot. Strain the soaked chick peas and mung beans and add to the boiling water, along with the salt. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes.
Use a small mortar and pestle and crush the seeds and peppercorns. In a small cast-iron skillet, heat the ghee and add the crushed seeds. Allow the seeds to fry for a few minutes, then add to the soup mixture.
Continue cooking the soup for an additional 20 minutes until the chick peas and the beans are soft and crumbly. Remove from heat and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice.
Serve immediately.

Kichadi — rice and mung bean mixture

(Two servings)
8 cup water
1½ cup white basmati rice
½ cup yellow split mung bean
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp pure ghee
¼ tsp powdered rock salt
½ tsp coriander seeds
Bring the water to boil in a large stainless steel pot. Wash the rice and beans and add to the boiling water, along with salt.
Cover and simmer on medium low heat for 25 minutes.
In a small cast-iron skillet, roast the seeds for a few minutes over the heat, until they are golden brown. Grind them into coarse pieces, using a mortar and pestle.
Heat the ghee in the same skillet and add the crushed seeds. Sizzle for 2 minutes, and then pour into the rice and beans mixture.
Cover and continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the Kichadi sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Wheat-Date Porridge

(Two Servings)
6 cup water
1 cup whole wheat kernels
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup pitted dates
½ tsp orange zest
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cardamom powder
1 cup milk
Brown sugar according to taste
Bring the water to boil in a heavy stainless steel pot. Wash the wheat kernels and add to the boiling water, along with raisins, dates, orange zest and spiced powders.
Stir, cover, and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour.
Then add the milk, sugar, and vanilla essence. Stir, cover, and continue to cook over low heat for an additional 30 minutes.Add water, if necessary, to prevent the porridge from sticking. Serve warm or cool.

Ama-reducing dal

Preparation time: 3 days to sprout the mung, 30 minutes to 1 hour to make soup.
Serves 5 -6
In a pressure cooker put:
2 -3 cups sprouted mung beans.
2- 4 cups water
Bring to pressure and cook for about 2 minutes. Or cook the beans and water in a covered saucepan until soft. Blend the beans and cooking liquid in a blender.
Set aside.
In a stainless steel soup pot, warm:
1 ½ tsp. ghee or olive oil
Add: 3-5cm fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
1-3 cloves of garlic, minced (omit if you have high Pitta)
1-2 – 1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ – 1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2-3 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. each of fennel seeds, cinnamon, and cardamom
Toss until coated and their aromas emerge. Add to the spices and oil.
2-3 cup. chopped vegetables (broccoli, carrots, greens, sprouts, green beans or asparagus work well)
Toss until coated. Stir for two minutes, and then add 4-6 cups additional water
Mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered until veggies are cooked.
Add pureed mung beans to soup pot. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and let soup simmer for 5 minutes. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired. Add:
½ tsp salt, or to taste.
Serve it warm.