Introduction To Vegetarian Cooking

Om Namah Sivaya Blessed Friends,

Welcome to Rainbow Life Yoga. This introductory post is based on a cooking course I designed while teaching at the Sivananda San Francisco, CA Yoga Center. Each recipe is ayurvedically inspired and based on how we generally eat at the ashram or center. The recipes  are tasty, healthy and balanced for everyone. Cooking should be fun, so enjoy the recipes as they are written or feel free to experiment with substituting different vegetables, legumes or grains as your diet allows. Thanks for reading. Please share your feedback and let us know if you have any questions.

Om Shanti! Mahadeva

Are you SMILING? Ok then, now we’re ready to cook!

Your energy is the most important ingredient. Keep a positive attitude and put all your love into the food, listen to uplifting music or recite mantra, make it a truly nourishing meal.

Dals/Beans, Your Soupy Sustenance

Basic Dal
Serves 4

Cooking time including prep, about 1 hour
(cooking time can be reduced by pre-soaking dal)

Ingredients:
1 cup Split Mung Dal
4-5 cups Water

1/4tsp Ginger powder or 1tsp fresh chopped Ginger*
1/2tsp Coriander ground
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
pinch Black Pepper
(optional) pinch Chili Flakes or Cayenne

2 Tbsp Sunflower oil or Ghee
¼ tsp Fenugreek seed
¼ tsp Black Mustard seed
½ tsp Cumin Seed
dash hing

*optional 2-5 curry leaves
2 Roma Tomatoes cut into 1/8’s

Optional additions: Carrots, Green Beans, Brocoli, Spinach or your other favorite.

Salt to taste
¼ cup Cilantro chopped
Directions:

1) Rinse Dal in water 2-3 times until water is mostly clear, drain.
2) Put Dal and 4-5 cups of water in a 2 quart or larger pot, bring to boil and reduce to medium/low heat.
3) Add powdered spices, except salt, to pot and cook until the dal is soft (30-40 minutes).
*Time to prep the rest of the meal.
4) In a separate pan heat oil and add Fenugreek seeds immediately.
5) Once Fenugreek starts to fry add Black Mustard seeds.
6) Once Mustard pops add Cumin Seeds wait a few moments then add Hing, then Curry Leaves.
*If using fresh Ginger add now.
7) Add Tomatoes and a little water if needed to deglaze the pan, cook for 2-3 minutes.
8) Add Contents of pan to Dal
9) Add Salt, cook another 10 minutes
10)Taste… Stir in Cilantro leaves and turn off heat, ready to serve

Whole Mung Bean Recipe
Serves 4

Cooking time including prep, about 1 hour
(cooking time can be reduced by pre-soaking beans, substituting other beans will change cooking time)

Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Mung Beans
4 cups Water

1/2tsp Ginger powder or 1.5 tsp fresh chopped Ginger*
1tsp Coriander ground
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
pinch Black Pepper
(optional) pinch Chili Flakes or Cayenne,
(optional) pinch Graham Masala

2 Tbsps Sunflower oil or Ghee
¼ tsp Fenugreek seed
¼ tsp Black Mustard seed
½ tsp Cumin Seed
dash Hing

Optional additions, 2-4 Tbsp Tomato paste, Celery, Carrots, Peppers chopped.

Salt to taste

Optional garnish: Cilantro, Yogurt or other fresh herbs

Directions:
1) Rinse Beans in water, remove any unwanted particles, drain
2) Put Beans and 4 cups of water in a 2 quart or larger pot, bring to boil and reduce to medium/low heat.
3) Add powdered spices, except salt, to pot and cook until the beans until is soft.
(30-40 minutes, may take longer with whole beans sometimes)
*Time to prep the rest of the meal.
4) In a separate pan heat oil and add Fenugreek seeds immediately.
5) Once Fenugreek starts to fry add Black Mustard seeds.
6) Once Mustard pops add Cumin Seeds wait a few moments then add Hing
*If using fresh Ginger add now. If using optional veggies add to pan brown add tomato paste and a little water bring to a simmer.
7) Add Contents of pan to Beans
9) Add Salt, cook another 10 minutes
10)Taste… turn off heat, ready to serve


Its Almost There… Keep Cooking

Grains, Great For Soaking Up Sauce

Spiced Basmati Rice
Serves 4
Cooking time including prep, about 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup White Basmati Rice,
(If using brown basmati follow use 2-1 water to rice ratio and increase cooking time to 50+ minutes)
1.5 cups Water

2 Tbsp Sunflower oil or Ghee

4-5 Cardamom pods
1” Cinnamon stick
¼ tsp Black Mustard seed
¼ tsp Cumin seed
pinch Black Pepper
(optional) pinch Chili flakes
dash Salt

¼ cup toasted nuts/seeds Cashews, Almonds, Pumpkin or Sunflower seeds

Directions:
1) Heat Oil/Ghee in 1 quart pot, add Cardamom pods and Cinnamon stick
2) Once the spices are aromatic reduce heat and add Mustard, Cumin, Black Pepper, Chili flakes, cook briefly and add rice, stirring well and lightly toast rice.
3) Add 1.5 cups water and salt, cover and bring to boil, reduce to low heat cooking 20-25 minutes.
4) While rice is cooking toast Nuts or Seeds.
5) When rice is finished fluff with a fork and mix in Nuts/Seeds.
6) Optional, stir in a little more Ghee or Coconut oil to taste.

Quinoa and Veggie Pilaf
Serves 4
Cooking time including prep, about 35-45 minutes,
depending on your vegetable selection and cut size.

Ingredients:
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water

2-3 Tbsp Sunflower oil or Ghee
¼ tsp Fenugreek Seed
¼ tsp Black Mustard seed
¼ tsp Cumin seed
pinch Black Pepper
(optional) pinch Chili flakes
dash Hing
dash Salt

1 Potato, cubed
1 Carrot, diced
1 Broccoli Crown and stem, chopped
2-4 tablespoons Tomato Paste

(optional) toasted Sunflower seeds for garnish

Directions:
1) Heat Oil/Ghee in 4 quart pot, add Fenugreek, then as spices cook add in the following order, Mustard, Cumin, Black Pepper/Chili Flakes, Hing
2) Add Potatoes, cook 3-4 minutes
3) Add Carrots, cook 2 minutes
4) Add Broccoli and Quinoa cook to 1-2 minutes.
5) Add 2 cups water, Tomato Paste and Salt.
6) Bring to boil reduce heat and cover, cook for about 25 minutes
7) Check after 10 minutes and add Water if needed.


Coconut Curry, yep its delicious!

Veggies, Rounding Out The Meal

Curried Coconut Veggies
Serves 4
Cooking time including prep, about 35-45 minutes,
depending on your vegetable selection and cut size.Ingredients:
Veggies: Amounts are approximate
½ – 1 Cauliflower/ or 1 Crown Broccoli
1 Carrot
1 Potato/Sweet Potato
½ Cabbage
Substitute or add your favorite veggies!

2-3 Tbsp Sunflower oil or Ghee
¼ tsp Fenugreek Seed
¼ tsp Black Mustard seed
½ tsp Cumin seed
dash Hing
(optional) pinch Chili flakes

½ tsp Coriander powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
¼ tsp Ginger powder/ 1tsp fresh Ginger chopped

½ can Coconut Milk
Salt to taste
¼ – ½ Lemon, juice
Optional Garnish, Fresh Cilantro or Basil leaf

Directions:
1) Heat Oil/Ghee in 4 quart pot, add Fenugreek, then as spices cook add in the following order, Mustard, Cumin, Black Pepper/Chili Flakes, Hing
2) Add Potatoes, cook 3-4 minutes
3) Add Cauliflower and or Carrots, cook 3-4 minutes
4) Add Broccoli if using cook to 1-2 minutes or add Cabbage.
5) Add dry spices, except salt, stir together cook for a minute or two
6) Add a little water, salt and coconut milk, cover reduce heat and cook 10-15 minutes, stir occasionally, add more water or coconut milk to keep your desired consistency.
7) Remove from heat, add Lemon and optional fresh herbs.

Note: Hing or Asofotieda is a resin used to replace the flavor of Onion/Garlic and helps dispel gas from the digestion of beans and vegetables. It is widely available in Indian grocery stores, but can be omitted from all the recipes if unavailable. 

Simple Steamed Greens
Serves 4
Cooking time including prep, about 15-20 minutes,
depending on your vegetable selection and cut size.Ingredients:
Greens such as Bok Choy, Chard, Kale, Mustard.
2 Bunches total Greens

½ inch piece of Ginger, chopped
Pinch Salt
Pinch Pepper
Dash Hing
Other spices if you like
¼ – ½ Lemon, juiced
2-4 Tbsp of Olive oil, Ghee, Sesame or another tasty oil

Optional 2-4 Tbsp toasted seeds.

Directions:
1) Chop Greens separately, if Greens have thick stems chop and keep separate.
2) Heat Pan with ¼ cup Water, Ginger, and hing, add tough Stems such as from Kale, cover and bring to boil.
3) Cook until stems are a little soft and add other stems.
4) Begin to add other greens in order of toughness; Kale, Bok Chard, Bok Choy, Mustard… Mix well add small amounts of water as needed to continue to steam, keep pan covered unless you have added to much water.
5) Add salt pepper, cook for another minute.
6) Remove from heat add Oil and Lemon juice, optionally stir in seeds.

2 Comments

  1. Mahadeva! You may not remember me as our paths crosses briefly at yoga farm in 2015 as you headed to the SF center. I am so glad to have found your website via shantanu s post!! Om Om !

    • Om Namah Sivaya Blessed Veena, So wonderful to hear from you. Yes, I remember you doing karma yoga with us leading up to TTC. Congratulations on making it back to the ashram this year and becoming a teacher, amazing!!! I am so happy to you found our website. Thanks for your support, please stay in touch, om shanti Mahadeva

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