Eat healthy: Recipes for the yogic diet

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As the world celebrates Yoga Day in style, it’s useful to remember that eating right is a big part of the Yogic way of life.  Our wise ancestors laid down the principle that we are what we eat and that the right food can help us along the route to wellness of body and mind.

Here are some recipes ideas for Sattvic dishes, which contribute to the maintenance of Sattva guna – the state of being calm and peaceful.

Dal and palak soup, a nourishing meal

1/2 cup moong dal, washed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Pinch of asafoetida

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ inch piece ginger, chopped

1 green chilli, chopped

A pinch of turmeric powder

1 bunch palak, cleaned and chopped

Salt to taste

1 tbsp lime juice

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Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the asafetida and the cumin. Follow with the ginger and green chilli. Add the dal and turmeric, sauté for a minute. Add two cups water and pressure cook for 6-8 mins.

Release pressure, and mash the dal.  Add the palak and the salt. Add more water if soup is too thick. Heat until the palak is just cooked, add lime juice to taste and serve.  You can add a spoonful of cooked rice to the soup bowl to turn this into a substantial meal.

Tabbouleh, a healthy salad

1 cup broken wheat (dalia)

2 cups water

1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

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Soak the wheat in water for an hour or so. All the water should be absorbed. Drain, if there is excess water. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Allow to stand for half an hour for the flavours to develop.  You can add some pomegranate kernels to give this salad a sweet twist.

Yogic Chocolate Orange Cake, a sweet that’s good for you

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder, preferably organic

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup orange juice

1 tsp vanilla essence

Zest of 1 orange

2 tbsp fruit vinegar

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Grease and line a 9-inch cake tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C.Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir all the liquids, except for the vinegar, in another bowl, whisking until smooth. Fold liquids into dry ingredients and then add the vinegar. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Turn out once cool. This cake can be topped with melted dark chocolate.

Tips for Yogic Cooking & Eating

Avoid animal products, overly spiced and greasy foods

Eat freshly cooked foods

Do not consume stale food, food that’s been refrigerated too long or microwaved food

Eat local and seasonal

Do not cook in a state of anger or distress

Eat calmly, slowly, mindfully

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