Monday, 26 September 2011

Ayurvedic Sweets

Stewed apples:

This comforting, old fashioned recipe is idea for balancing Vata in Autumn, as it involves eating seasonal, organic food. Ayurveda considers cooked food as easier to digest than raw and this recipe is no exception.

4 cooking or eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced;5 organic figs or dried apricots (soaked in water overnight); 5 organic dates (dates are intensively sprayed with pesticides so especially important to buy organic!), pitted and chopped OR two handfuls of raisins; 2 tbsps of Agave syrup (a naturally low GI sweetener) maple syrup, jaggery OR brown sugar. Do not use honey as Ayurveda considers it to ferment when heated with detrimental effects when eaten! 1/2 tsp each of ground cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg or a teaspoon or mixed spice; 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger; 4 cups of water. Add ingredients to saucepan, bring to boil and simmer until apples are soft (10-15 minutes). Allow to cool a little and ready to serve if you like it chunky, or else bland to a puree. Serve warm for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Tasty coconut pudding:

1 tbsp. Ghee, 50g jaggery (or raw cane sugar), 100g desiccated coconut, 200 ml coconut milk, 250ml soya milk, ½ tsp. Cinnamon, 1 tsp rosewater (optional), 3 ground cardamom pods, 3 heaped tbsp rice flour. Add a little water to desiccated coconut to soak. Place ghee and jaggery in pan and heat till sugar starts to melt. Add soaked coconut, spices, coconut milk and soya milk, bringing to boil. As soon as liquid is hot, gradually adding the rice flour and beat with hand whisk to prevent lumps. Stir over heat for 3-4 minutes and the pour into a nice bowl to set for 2 hours or eat warm.

Hindustani Halva:

Often served warm as a breakfast treat and as prasad after satsangs at Sivananda Centres. 200g course semolina; 250ml water; 50g ghee/unsalted butter; 1 tsp. ground cardamom; 50g cashew nut pieces; 50g raisins, 150g jaggery.Toast semolina in a hot dry frying pan, stirring constantly until it browns slightly and gives off a nutty aroma. Stir in ghee/butter and set aside. Toast cashew nuts in a hot dry pan until slightly browned and set aside. Put jaggery and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and mix in the semolina, ground cardamom, raisins and cashew nut pieces. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and spread the mixture evenly on a serving plate. Leave to cool, then score into diamond shapes to make serving easier.

Sweet Carrot Halva:

3 large carrots, water, ghee, jaggery, 4 cardamom pods ground, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tbsp ground almonds or dessicated coconut, ¼ cup of soya or rice milk.Finely grate the carrots (or other vegetables- this is important as thick grating won’t look so appetising!) and add to saucepan. Add all other ingredients (except soya/ rice milk). Simmer with lid on a low heat for 20 minutes until carrots are soft. Add soya/ rice milk to loosen the mixture. As an alternative, halva can be made with carrots (or sweet potato or courgette).

Kheer:

Boil 750ml milk with 2-6 teaspoons of basmati rice. Add sugar/ alternative sweetener (NB: one without a strong taste, such as jaggery, which would spoil the taste of the kheer), ground cardamom and ground almonds and a handful of raisins. Delicious and filling. You can try the following variations on the basic kheer recipe: Add two teaspoons of Shatavari and cardamom to make a cooling, antacid recipe, good for women, and an aphrodisiac.


Indian Rice pudding:

6 cups milk; 1.5 cups basmati rice; a few strands of saffron, 15 cardamom seeds (not pods!), 2 tablespoons date syrup, ½ cup raisins, ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds, ¼ cup dessicated coconut. Wash rice until water runs clear. Combine rice, milk, saffron, raisins, and cardamon seeds and cook with water on low heat for about an hour. When rice is done, stir in sweetener, garnish with the coconut and serve. NB: You should not eat this pudding with weak digestion as it is heavy to digest! It gives strength to all the body’s tissues, and is especially good for sperm!

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