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December 2013
Feb   Jan

yours in service:

Hello, I'm Kurma Dasa. This is my blog. I cook, travel, and write. Join me in my culinary adventures.

Kurma on SBS TV:

I live in Sydney and enjoy running vegetarian cookery classes.

Cooking Class at my place:

This is lunch, cooked by my students and I.

prabhupada my cooking preceptor:

My guru, Srila Prabhupada, as well as being a world-renowned scholar and author, and founder-acharya of the Hare Krishna Movement, was also an expert cook.

His close disciples learned a great deal from him about the intimate details of Bhakti-yoga cookery, and it is from those early students that I received my culinary inspiration.

Cooking workshop in Belgium:

I do a lot of overseas teaching. I was invited to Belgium to teach a group of students from over 20 countries. Here we are, engrossed in the pleasures of all things culinary.

spice merchant, Bolivia:

I've visited many spice markets, but those in Bolivia were fascinating. This local La Paz merchant is offering a fine selection of condimentas.

delectable eggplant panir:

This is one of my favourite pictures, from my popular cookbook 'Quick Vegetarian Dishes'. It's fried eggplant and freshly-made chunks of panir cheese in a spicy tomato sauce. For more information about my cookbooks...

in the altiplano:

This is the Bolivian altiplano, the vast mountainous region, on a breathless and freezing cold morning at 5200 metres (over 17,000 feet) above sea level. We were on our way to Cochabamba. These boys were selling granite spice mortars, but unfortunately they were too heavy to bring home.

Special Sweets in Hertsmere:

In Bhaktivedanta Manor, the famous London temple/estate donated by George Harrison, there is a cook who prepares nothing but sweets all day.


She offers them with love to Krishna. These sweets are sought after throughout the world.

Super Poories in Alice Springs:

These magnificent wafer-thin puffed breads called poories were cooked at a class on a trip to Alice Springs, in the centre of Australia. Note the beaming chef.

grocer shop, Bakirkoy, Istanbul:

My visit to Turkey was one of the highlights of my overseas teaching. This is a typical grocer shop, in the area known as Bakirkoy. The food culture of Istanbul is phenomenal.

Big Pots in London:

Cooking lunch for 300 during a visit to London.

"I'm a Vegie-Chef, and I'm OK, I cook all night and I cook all day..."

Masterclass in Instanbul:

The ladies and gentlemen above attended my classes in one of Istanbul's most prestigious cookery schools, the Mutfak Sanatlarý Akademisi.


This delectable, classical Indian sweet is called burfi. It's made from milk, roasted almonds, sugar, butter, and vanilla, and is prepared by slowly reducing the milk until it resembles a firm fudge. It is then smoothed into trays, then cut into pieces when cool.

Santiago de Chile:

Here I am, absorbed in reading from my book 'The Great Transcendental Adventure' on a freezing cold evening in Santiago de Chile.

Homemade Thai Sweets, Bangkok:

I spent a day studying traditional Thai sweet-making in Bangkok.

thumbs up on the Baltic:

Another highlight was my 2-week tour of Poland's Baltic Sea coast on the Festival of India tour.

cooking on the roof of the world:

I conducted my highest ever cookery class in La Paz, Bolivia. The city of 1 million is situated in the valley of the Choqueyapu River below a plateau with an altitude of 3,600 meters (11,811 feet). The cooking was truly (and literally) breathtaking.

Lunch in Africa:

Here's the fruits of a wonderful full-day cooking intensive in Durban where we just cooked vegetable dishes.

My son Caitanya:

This is my son Caitanya, born 1985. He presently lives in Perth.

Breakfast at Sandra's:

These are the famous breakfast pancakes called pudlas, served with two types of chutney.

Goodbye from my friends in Poland:

Saying goodbye to all my friends in Poland was very hard.

With Ian Parmenter, Elizabeth Chong & Friends:

Australian Television Icons Ian Parmenter and Elizabeth Chong joined me at Methodist Ladies College in Kew, Melbourne for a special cookery event with the girls.

Hungarian Edition:

A recent translation of my classic first cookbook 'Great Vegetarian Dishes'. This is the Hungarian edition.

playing the mridanga drum:

Part of my Bhakti-yoga lifestyle involves kirtan (chanting and singing Sanskrit mantras) accompanied by musical instruments like small brass cymbals (karatals) and the two-headed clay drum called mrdanga. In this photo I am leading a group of kirtan performers in Perm, near Siberia.

Belgian Feast:

A feast fit for a King! One of our wonderful cooking class lunches in the Chateau de Petite Somme, Belgium.

crew at Mona Vale:

Mona Vale in Sydney's outer suburbs is home to a cookery school called Foodstuff. I hold classes there yearly.

Durban Happy Meal:

A cookery class was conducted, then lunch was served at one of Durban's most prestigious bookshops, Exclusive Books.

my son Nitai:

This is my son Nitai (short for Nityananda Rama) born in the sacred town of Vrindavan, India in 1996. This photo was taken in the Peruvian Andes a couple of years ago.

dinner in Townsville:

A kitchenware studio called DeStudi in Australia's tropical Townsville regularly hosts my classes.

curry puffs:

Who can resist warm, flakey curry puffs?

Early Morning in Belgium:

The bovines of Belgium's spiritual community of Radhadesh are truly magnificent!

"May cows stay in front of me; may cows stay behind me; may cows stay on both sides of me. May I always reside in the midst of cows." (Hari Bhakti-vilas 16.252)

cookin' it up in China:

Here I cook lunch for friends on a teaching trip to Hong Kong.

Joeline and Sebastian:

Here's my daughter Joelene and her oldest son Sebastian. Can you notice the family resemblance?

Alta Cucina Vegetariana da tutto il mondo:

My first cookbook, 'Great Vegetarian Dishes', was translated and published in Italy in 1996, and entitled 'Alta Cucina Vegetariana Da Tutto Il Mondo'.

Curtin University:

Curtin University is one of Perth's leading campuses. I cook there regularly.

let them eat cake:

A wonderful egg-free Black Forest Carob Cake!

Summer School Degustation:

Albany Summer School hosts me regularly. Here's part of a feast cooked there not long ago.

idli batter:

I take my cookery classes to private homes around the world. Here I'm whipping up a batch of the famous cashew-studded breads called idlis at a home in Perth's suburbs.

on the road 10:

Fine dining vegetarian-style after a class held at Melbourne's famous William Angliss College.

on the road 1:

Here's a feast comprising completely of non-grain items for the sacred day of Ekadasi at a class in Slovenia's capital Ljubljana.


My cookbooks are full of a huge selection of gourmet international vegetarian delights, like these crispy Mexican tostadas, piled with frijoles refritos, guacamole, salad, cheese, and spicy cumin-scented tomato sauce.

veg world food, my third book:

There's many more like this in my book 'Vegetarian World Food'.

Light Lunch at Univerity of Western Australia:

The fruits of our labour at a class at University of Western Australia.

Dublin Cookery Class:

The residents of Dublin are some of the warmest and friendliest people I have ever met. Here's a group photo taken at a class held at Govinda's Restaurant, downtown Dublin.

succulent gulab jamuns:

Here's an aromatic batch of star-anise, cassia and rose-scented gulab jamuns, succulent and juicy confections that are held in high acclaim in the sweet world. These were prepared in a cookery class in Perth.

Kowloon masterclass:

Kowloon housewives make for a pretty dynamic crew at a cookery workshop!

Clare Valley South Australia:

Posing in the kitchen of Mt. Surmon Estate in South Australia's Clare Valley during an 8-course degustation dinner.

enjoying in Ustronie Morskie, Poland:

This girl is enjoying some freshly-prepared matar panir that I cooked at a cookery class in Ustronie Morskie on Poland's Baltic Sea Coast.

Plating up dessert at Methodist Ladies' College:

Time for dessert at Methodist Ladies College.

greek salad:

A simple but sublime salad of fresh vegetables and feta cheese encountered at Sunion on the Attiki Peninsula, Greece.

Hong Kong Masterclass:

My students pose for a group photo at the summation of our Hong Kong Masterclass.

Fruit Cake:

A truly spectacular eggless fruitcake. The recipe is in my first cookbook 'Great Vegetarian Dishes'.

battle plan:

Co-ordinator extrordinaire Felicity Fraser and I plan our culinary attack at Methodist Ladies College.

International Hotel School, Johannesburg:

The International Hotel School, Johannesburg hosted a wonderful cookery workshop. Fifty students cooked and feasted with abandon!

at a cookery school near you:

Poised to commence a class in Sydney.

Lunch is served at Albany Summer School:

Albany is a town on Western Australia's South West coast. The Summer School there has hosted me on many occasions. This was a lunch to remember!

getting fired up in London:

Some lethal cooking stoves at my London Masterclass!

Teaching the Teachers at Santa Maria Ladies College:

The Home Economics staff at Perth's Santa Maria Ladies College attended a class of mine.

meeting my twin in Tamworth:

Parallel universes collide in Tamworth, Australia's famous country music capital.

getting a bit carried away in Melbourne:

Getting arrested in the Bourke Street Mall, circa 1978. A long story...

at cooking coordinates:

I regularly teach in Australia's national capital Canberra. This is Cooking Co-ordinates, a kitchenware emporium and cookery school in the Belconnen Fruit and vegetable markets.

Feast in Torquay:

A delectable birthday feast cooked in honour of our hostess in Bell's Beach, of Victoria's surfing fame.

Adelaide workout:

A cookery class at Outdoors on Parade in Adelaide. And a few dishes to wash...

Cherry Cheesecake:

Cherry cheesecake - hard to resist!

The team at Jo'Burg:

A colossal example of flawless team effort at one of my biggest hands-on classes ever, held at Johannesburg's International Hotel School.

cashew fruits, Pindamonangaba, Brazil:

These are cashew fruits, for sale at a market in Pindamonhangaba, Brazil. My visit to Brazil is well documented here.

cashew fruits in the Brazilian jungle:

Cashew fruits in their natural habitat look like this. The cashew is inside the odd leathery pouch that hangs under the fruit. Care has to be taken to extract the nut, for it is surrounded with a highly irritating fluid.

cooking in Argentina:

During my visit to South America, I taught at Buenos Aires' prestigious Instituto Argentino de Gastronomia. For the full story...

making cheese in Bunbury:

Cheese-making is a highlight at many of my classes. The milk's just coming to the boil...

a batch of homemade panir cheese:

And here's the result of our cheesemaking labour - a wonderful batch of homemade panir cheese. It's ready to pan-fry, deep-fry, fold into salads or make into dessert. Ultra versatile!

saffron scented confectionery in Alice Springs:

This is the famous saffron-scented confectionery called Shrikhand, prepared at a class in Alice Springs

Chillin' in Red Square, Moscow:

A freezing cold day in Moscow's Red Square.

lunch at Santa Maria College:

Saffron pushpana rice, hot parathas, and fresh mango chutney served at our Santa Maria College cookery class.

El Colorado:

I took a day off from my vigorous teaching schedule in a hot kitchen in Santiago de Chile and trekked to the top of a mountain to experience sub-zero snow at the icy summit of the famous El Colorado.

lunch in Dublin:

Govinda's Restaurant is one of Dublin's best-loved vegetarian eating establishments.

Chapatis in Murwillumbah:

Our fired-up all-girl crew prepare chapatis at a class in Murwillumbah, in Australia's Northern New South Wales.

with Sebastian and Toby:

These are my grandsons, Sebastian and Toby. They live in Sydney with my daughter Joelene.

cooking naan bread in a tandoor, Northern India:

Cooking naan bread in a tandoor, Northern India. Welcome to the world of flatbreads...

dinner parties all around Australia:

Rainee shows us her wares at a cookery class/dinner party held in Queensland.

Wangaratta's longest vegetarian dinner table:

Wangaratta's longest vegetarian dinner table. A day to remember!


On pilgrimage at Peru's famous Inca site, Machu Picchu.

Kurma at the Parthenon:

At the Parthenon, Athens, ready to learn some Ancient Greek recipes..


This is pandan, Southeast Asia's answer to vanilla.

Friends in Poland:

New friends made while teaching in Poland.

the famous gulab jamuns:

Finally - a meal is not complete without a sweet. Go on - you know you want to...How about one of these irresistible delights - the famous gulab jamuns?

kurma at alice springs:

At your service.


You can contact me at kurma.acbsp@pamho.net

This site is hosted by ISKCON Melbourne.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Permanent link to archive for 21/12/13. Saturday, December 21, 2013
Bye Bye Blog Hello Facebook

Dear Venerable readers,

As you may have gathered, I am not regularly blogging anymore. I am however Facebooking, so if you look me up on Facebook you can be my "friend' there!


Feel free to use this huge resource of archives, accessible via the search box on the blog front page (that's it up there on the right - just key in any search topic).

with love,


Posted by Kurma on 21/12/13; 2:51:23 PM from the dept.

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Bye Bye Blog Hello Facebook

Permanent link to archive for 17/2/13. Sunday, February 17, 2013
"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

Apparently there is no record of Marie Antoinette ever having said this favourite line when told that the common people were starving.


One thing is for sure: I did bake a cake yesterday and here it is. At least this is a photographic record that it existed. As all things in this real but temporary world, it has now gone the way of all great gateaux.

For your culinary and orally-fixated pleasure: it is (or was) a two layer peach, nutmeg, coconut and lemon zest enriched sponge cake sandwiched together with mixed berry jam, frosted with a combination of sweetened cream cheese infused with lime zest. I decorated it with toasted coconut ribbon and candied lemon peel. Yes, it tasted as spectacular as it sounds.

Finally: I would like to offer my apologies that this blog is very sparse these days. I am totally absorbed in looking after my father's affairs since his health has deteriorated. If you'd like to stay in touch, I suggest you follow me on Facebook, my only regular interface with the world these days. My Facebook name is private, but if you write me by commenting on this post, I can provide you with it.

Posted by Kurma on 17/2/13; 7:05:23 AM from the dept.

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"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

Permanent link to archive for 30/12/12. Sunday, December 30, 2012
Today's Produce

Fresh produce from my garden. By the way dear readers, I now have transferred a lot of my energy to my new Facebook page. If you'd like to find me, and I know you, I will accept your friend request. Comment on this post to get that happening.


Posted by Kurma on 30/12/12; 12:56:31 PM from the dept.

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Today's Produce

Permanent link to archive for 3/12/12. Monday, December 3, 2012
Spuds - Two Words to Rule Them All


While admiring my newly sprouted potato plants this morning (the photo is above) I had an extraordinary flashback.

It's 1970, my last year of high school at Vaucluse Boys High. The year 12 students (called sixth form back then) are putting on a play called The Kitchen, by Arnold Wesker, written in 1957.

Looking back, that is sort of remarkable as it is, since The Kitchen is pretty much a two-word prediction about the rest of my life.

Talking about two words...

The play is set in the basement kitchen of a large restaurant, as thirty chefs, waitresses, and kitchen porters slowly begin the day preparing to serve lunch. The central story tells of a frustrated love affair between a high-spirited, young, German chef, Peter, and a married English waitress, Monique.

Anyway, I really wanted to be in the play but my auditions were less than impressive. I think the drama teacher felt sorry for me and gave me a part where I had to memorise two words. That's it - a two-word part.

It's opening night. As the stage lights start to rise a dark figure (me) enters the stage dragging a sack of potatoes. I am a female kitchen porter. I always got caste as women - don't ask me why - I don't know the answer. Oh, it was a boys' school - that could explain it. And I was in touch with my feminine side even back then.

Anyway, I heave the sack to centre stage and open my mouth to say my memorable two words; but I fluff my lines! Lines you say? Two words?!! Yep. I say 'spuds' instead of 'the spuds'.

I'm so nervous and ashamed I slink off the stage, past the incredulous drama teacher and end my theatre career as unceremoniously as it has began.

So there we have it. Spuds.

Posted by Kurma on 3/12/12; 9:37:30 AM from the dept.

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Spuds - Two Words to Rule Them All

Permanent link to archive for 2/12/12. Sunday, December 2, 2012
Only Three Shopping weeks Until Christmas

Only three shopping weeks to Christmas!
Why not gift your loved ones a Kurma cookbook or two! Yes we can!!

juicy panir: divine laksa:

the menu: degustation anyone:

just dessserts: come to samosa heaven:

Cook sumptuous dishes like these? Yes we can!!

book_qveg: book-cwk:

book-vwf: book_veg:

These are the books.

the kurma dvd:

This is the 11-disc 20-hour Kurma TV cookery show DVD compendium.

Contact Kurma now: kurma.acbsp@pamho.net

Yes we can!!

Posted by Kurma on 2/12/12; 1:09:33 PM from the dept.

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Only Three Shopping weeks Until Christmas

Permanent link to archive for 19/11/12. Monday, November 19, 2012
Only 5 Shopping Weeks Until Christmas

Yikes! Only five shopping weeks to Christmas!
Why not gift your loved ones a Kurma cookbook or two!

cook Mee Goreng:

Cook this delicious Mee Goreng for your friends.

book_qveg: book-cwk:

book-vwf: book_veg:

These are my books. I'll personally sign them for you.

the kurma dvd:

This is the 11-disc 20-hour Kurma TV cookery show DVD compendium.

Contact Kurma now: kurma.acbsp@pamho.net

Posted by Kurma on 19/11/12; 4:58:44 AM from the dept.

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Only 5 Shopping Weeks Until Christmas

Permanent link to archive for 5/11/12. Monday, November 5, 2012
Seven Weeks Until Christmas

Only seven shopping weeks to Christmas!

Can we gift your loved ones a Kurma cookbook or two! Yes we can!!

juicy panir: divine laksa:

the menu: degustation anyone:

just dessserts: come to samosa heaven:

Cook sumptuous dishes like these? Yes we can!!

book_qveg: book-cwk:

book-vwf: book_veg:

These are the books.

the kurma dvd:

This is the 11-disc 20-hour Kurma TV cookery show DVD compendium.

Contact Kurma now: kurma.acbsp@pamho.net

Yes we can!!

Posted by Kurma on 5/11/12; 8:40:46 AM from the dept.

Discuss (1 response) Comment [1]
Seven Weeks Until Christmas

Permanent link to archive for 2/11/12. Friday, November 2, 2012
Kurma Cooking DVD sets Special Offer - Special Offer for Christmas

My 20-hour, 11-disc Cookery DVD Collection is on special for just $60 for the pre-Christmas months of November and December. This is inclusive of postage and handling, anywhere in Australia. Hurry since stocks are limited!!!

Respond to this post now to take advantage of the great offer! Please note that this offer is only for those residing in Australia.

Kurma DVD:

The set includes:

INDIAN ENTREES Includes scrambled Panir cheese; sweet and sour glazed carrots; North Indian red bean curry (Rajma); green beans sauteed in yogurt and poppy seed sauce, and many more recipes. Colour 111 min.

SOUPS, RICE, SAVOURIES & CHUTNEYS Includes whole green mung bean and tomato soup; creamy vegetable soup; rice pilaf with nuts and peas; deep fried cauliflower balls in tomato gravy (kofta); apple chutney; fresh tomato and cucumber Raita, and many more recipes. Colour 111 minutes.

BREADS, DRINKS & DESSERTS Includes basic unleavened whole wheat breads (chapatis); flaky pan-fried breads stuffed with green peas (parathas); sweet yogurt smoothie (Lassi); rose sherbet; classic semolina Halava; traditional vanilla sweet rice, and many more. Colour 109 minutes.

EAST MEETS WEST LUNCH, BUFFET & DINNER Includes tofu steaks; rainbow brown rice; potato and cottage cheese rolls with cranberries; baked, stuffed avocados... Colour 90 minutes.

ASIAN-STYLE LUNCH, BUFFET & DINNER Includes Indonesian vegetable stew; Thai vegetable curry; Malaysian hot noodles with tofu; vegetarian spring rolls & more. Colour 82 min.

MEDITERRANEAN LUNCH, BUFFET & FEAST Includes Italian fried corn bread (Polenta); Turkish nut pastries in syrup (Baklava); spinach filo triangles (Spanokopita); Moroccan couscous with vegetable sauce; stuffed vine leaves (Dolades); and many more mouthwatering recipes. Colour 90 min.

NORTH INDIAN LUNCH I, II & SOUTH INDIAN DINNER Includes cauliflower and potato supreme; peanut and coriander chutney; savoury wholemeal pancakes (Dosa), and many more recipes. Colour 90 min.

MEXICAN-STYLE BUFFET, MIDDLE EASTERN ENTREES, ITALIAN LUNCH I & II Includes vegetarian chili; baked, stuffed cheesy corn breads (Enchiladas); Israeli chickpea croquettes (Falafel); Lebanese bulgur wheat salad (Tabbouleh); eggplant Parmagiana; potato dumplings with tomato sauce (Gnocchi), and more. Colour 120 min.

SUMMER PATIO LUNCH I, II & III; THE COMPLETE GOURMET MEAL Includes ricotta cheese-filled pastries (Calzone); summer chilled fruit soup; sweet potato pie; baked cheesecake; savory samosas; fresh coriander chutney, and more. Colour 120 min.

INDIAN FEAST I, II & III Includes Bengali royal rice; yeasted, puffed fried bread (Khamiri Poori); date and tamarind sauce; curried chickpeas; tomato, peas and home made curd cheese (Matar Panir); and many more. Colour 90 minutes.

THE VEGETARIAN SMORGASBORD, PICNIC & CHILDREN'S PARTY; HOME-STYLE LUNCH Includes potato & pea croquettes; vegie nut burgers; asparagus & tomato quiche; North Indian potato salad; carob fudge cake; shepherd's pie; steamed cauliflower salad with eggless mayonnaise, and many more recipes. Colour 120 minutes.

Posted by Kurma on 2/11/12; 8:45:00 AM from the dept.

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Kurma Cooking DVD sets Special Offer - Special Offer for Christmas

Permanent link to archive for 1/11/12. Thursday, November 1, 2012
All About Ghee

Ghee – An Ayurvedic Perspective

(from http://www.amritaveda.com/learning/articles/ghee.asp)

"The milk of cows is considered to possess the essence or sap of all plants and Ghee is the essence of milk... When we consider Ghee we are in the company of superlatives. In India, Ghee has been so highly regarded for so many things, for so long, that one is slightly embarrassed to enter into this crowded river of praise.


This is what I have heard:

The ingestion of Ghee is like offering the finest of fuels into the fires of digestion (Agni). In accord with this, Ghee builds the aura, makes all the organs soft, builds up the internal juices of the body (Rasa) which are destroyed by aging and increases the most refined element of digestion (Shukra or Ojas) the underlying basis of all immunity and the "essence of all bodily tissues”.

Maya Tiwari calls Ghee the “single most ojas producing food on earth”. Ghee is known to increase intelligence (Dhi) refine the intellect (Buddhi) and improve the memory (Smrti).

Although Ghee kindles or increases the digestive fire (Agni) on which all nutrition depends, it does so without aggravating Pitta - the elemental functioning of fire within the body. In fact, Ghee cools the body, essential in much of today’s world in which everything is overheating.

Ghee causes secretions and liquification in the dhatus - bodily tissues - that dissolve wastes allowing the functional intelligences of the body (doshas) to carry away toxins (Ama) (also known as aam). The ingestion of Ghee is used in Panchakarma specifically to first penetrate into and then dissolve ama in the dhatus, allowing the wastes to be then carried to the intestinal tract and then expelled.

It is traditionally considered, that the older Ghee is, the better its healing qualities. 100-year-old Ghee is highly valued in India and fetches a very high price. Such Ghee was often kept in Temples in large vats and families often pass on aged Ghee to their next generation to be used as medicine.

more ghee: Qualities of Ghee

Ghee is known as a substance that gives longevity… This is because it has opposite qualities (heavy, slow, oily, liquid, dense, soft), and thus pacifying effects, to the light, dry and rough qualities of Vata dosha. It is the increase of the qualities of Vata that are synonymous with aging. Ghee, in a very sure and steady way, slows the aging process by balancing the living one.

Ghee has the quality of snigda, oiliness, and unctuousness. It is smooth, lubricated and nurturing. Ghee is thought to make the voice soft and melodious.

Ghee is Guru, heavy. It increases the qualities of Kapha and decreases Pittaand Vata, which are both light.

Ghee has the quality of mrdu, softness. In Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments, Ghee is the oil used on the eyes. In Netra Basti, a small dam is built around the eyes and filled with warm Ghee. Then, you open your eyes to its soothing softness. It seems after that treatment, that you see the world though a soft diaphanous curtain of love and loveliness.

more ghee: Healing Properties of Ghee

In ancient India, wells full of Ghee were especially for those who suffered wounds. When a surgeon cuts open a body, he only does so knowing that the body will be able to heal itself. The surgeon cannot do this. Ghee is known for the quality of Ropana - healing, and its effectiveness in facilitating recovery from wounds. In Ayurveda, when a person has a chronic peptic ulceror gastritis, Ghee is used to heal that ulcer inside the intestinal tract.

Ghee works wondrously on bedsores for the elderly or debilitated. It can be applied for broken bones and bruises. It is highly effective for all sorts of skin rashes. It is also used on burns of both fire and chemicals. Once, I accidentally got some sandalwood oil in my eye. It burned intensely and I was unable to wash it out with a variety of eyewashes. I spent hours in pain and finally I remembered to use Ghee. Almost immediately, the Ghee pacified the burning and the eye irritation ceased.

Just recently, a friend of mine who is a yoga instructor had a pressure cooker blow up in his face, giving him second and third degree burns. He immediately put some Ghee on his face and went to the emergency room. They told him that he would be scarred for life, that the burns would take several months to heal and that he should take steroids to help him (the body shuts down the production of testosterone after burns). He declined to take the steroids and continued to put on the Ghee, twice daily. After six days, he was completely healed without scarring.

Those with obesity should be very frugal in their use of Ghee and those with high ama should not take Ghee at all.

Ghee increases the overall strength, luster and beauty of the sarira - the body. Let us look at a variety of ways:

Used on the skin, Ghee softens and strengthens, protects and nourishes. Up until the last generation in India, there used to be men who gave Ghee massages on the street. It was always the preferred substance for the skin, but since it was more expensive than oil it has come to be used only for internal purposes. For generations, Indians have used Ghee for cooking and as an added measure on top of their food and as a medicine.

In India, medicinal ghee is passed on from one generation to the next. It was used for old and young, for new babies (Mothers in India will massage their children with Ghee) and for those in the last days of their life. I massaged my Father’s body with it before he died - He loved it. Sometimes, when he could not sleep, I rubbed it on his feet and temples and it soothed his agitation. It is considered it one of the best substances for self-massage (Abhyanga).

more ghee: Many Uses of Ghee

For Body Massage-Abhyanga. Apply ghee all over the body, rubbing into head, chest, limbs, joints and orifices. This will bypass the digestive system and allow the qualities of Ghee to penetrate directly into the deeper tissues. It is said that 60% of what is placed on the skin is absorbed into the body. We literally “eat” what we put on our skin. Western science has discovered that massaging the skin creates endorphins or peptides, which enhance the body’s immune system. Peptides are thought to be the vehicle that the mind and body use to communicate with each other, a literal chemistry of emotion. According to the Charak Samhita, regular Abhyanga slows the aging process.

Ghee is used in Purvakarma (early Panchakarma) where a small amount of Ghee is taken first thing in the morning by the practitioner to oleate the internal organs and “dissolve” the ama or toxic wastes in the tissues, allowing them to be carried to the digestive tract for elimination.

Ghee is used as a carrier or “yogavahifor herbs and bhasmas because of its supreme penetrating qualities and thus ability to carry these substances deep into the dhatus or tissues. One or two teaspoons first thing in the morning followed immediately with hot water will promptly produce a bowel movement. It will also warm the body quickly. Two spoonfuls of Ghee in warm (non-homogenized) milk before bedtime is soothing to the nerves and lubricates the intestines and facilitates a bowel movement in the morning.

Ghee is excellent for cooking and sautéing or stir-frying. Ghee has one of the highest flash points of all oils and is very difficult to burn. In India, it is said that food is incomplete without the use of Ghee.

Ghee is excellent for a gargle (gandush) to improve the health of the teeth and gums.

Ghee can be used as a bath oil. Take two tablespoons of Ghee and mix with several drops of an essential oil of your choice.

Ghee is excellent for scrapes and both chemical and heat or fire burns. Ghee can be used in the eyes for tiredness or fatigue.

Ghee is an exquisite facial moisturizer.

In India it is said that if a few drops of ghee are placed in the nostrils then nosebleed can be checked. If this is done twice in a day, then headache can be relieved.

more ghee: How Ghee is Made

Ghee is the most refined end product of milk. (When you make Ghee, you are concentrating the quality of the milk you started with. This includes, antibiotics, hormones (rGBH), chemical pesticides, etc. For this reason, always use the best milk/butter you can find.) When you milk a cow, you get whole milk. If you let this milk sit for a while, cream rises to the top. If you skim off the cream and then churn it, after a while and all of a sudden, the fat globules will begin to stick to each other and form butter. What is left over is buttermilk.

In the west today, very little butter is churned the old fashioned way. Most modern dairies, even many “organic” ones, no longer churn their cream to make butter. In a typical dairy in America, the cream is now pushed (extruded) through a fine mesh screen in which the heavier and larger molecules of butter are held on one side of the screen while the smaller molecules of buttermilk pass on through.

I recently asked an Ayurvedic Teacher (Vaidya) about what difference this makes. He said that butter made without churning is lacking in a quality of fire (Agni). He even went further in his consideration of difference; the home-based Indian culture churns their cream with a hand churn, rolling it back and forth between their hands. This back and forth action, he said, imparts a particular balancing quality to the Ghee - instead of the one way churning of a gear driven churn.

As I have pointed out above, most of the butter made in the West today is not even churned. When we consider the process of butter and Ghee making at this level, we are in the realm of subtlety, but it is in exactly this realm (the subtle) that what is pure and purifying (sattvic) is found.

There is one very important difference in the way Ghee was and is made in India. The Indians start out with milk from a cow, just like in the West. But, they do not let the cream rise to the top and skim it off as we do in the West. Instead, and here comes the key difference - they culture the milk with yogurt, allowing it to sit for 4-5 hours, just before it becomes completely soured. Then they churn the whole milk. From that point on, the process is more or less the same.

This culturing with yogurt introduces another form of fire (agni) into the substance of refining the milk into butter and then Ghee.

As I have said, in my recent visit to modern day India, it was very hard to find high quality and pure cow Ghee. The commercial milk, cream and butter there are now homogenized and pasteurized or now ultra-pasteurized (This is a process whereby milk is heated to a higher temperature than pasteurization for a shorter period of time. This kills and destroys various living substances/enzymes in the milk thus prolonging shelf life. Ultra pasteurized milk can keep un-refrigerated for over a month). According to Ayurvedic Vaidyas I have consulted with, all of these factors increase the Vata (air and ether/destructive, catabolic, drying, rough) qualities in what was originally a very Kapha (earth and water, building, oily, tonifying, anabolic) substance - milk. Some of these processes, like homogenization, make the milk, and thus the cream and butter, indigestible. One of the things you can look for in milk and cream is the sticky quality (picchila), one of the gunas of Kapha. It will be lacking in processed milk products.

In the West, like India, there is a similar theme to the story. Although organic dairies are appearing all over the country, many of them make their butter by extrusion. Furthermore, they homogenize and ultra-pasteurize their milk (This is certainly not true of all milks available, but, like in Vrndavan, India, the tides of ignorance are increasing and the quality of milk and nutrition is decreasing,

Now, back to making Ghee. Once you have obtained your butter, you heat it in a stainless steel or enamel pot, bringing it to a boil. I believe that it is best to make your Ghee in stainless steel heavy pots, rather than aluminum because of the toxicity. It is best even to avoid thin stainless steel. This is because a heavier pot will distribute the heat of the fire more evenly, surrounding the Ghee.

Always try to use real fire rather than an electric range (This is again in the realm of subtlety and sattva that I referred to earlier). There is a quality of Agni that lends itself and pervades a substance cooked on flame that is not there when cooked on electricity. Because I could not understand the difference between the "heat” of a fire and the “heat” of an electric range, I asked several Vaidyas about this in India. They all simply said that fire was a superior (more sattvic) way to cook food. While I personally still cannot explain that to anyone, that is the way I do it.

It is very clear to me that it is most important to create and enjoy a beautiful and positive environment when you are making Ghee. This subtle recommendation is perfectly in line with cooking Ghee on an open fire - “it makes a difference”.

Once the Ghee begins to boil, turn it down to the lowest flame at which it will continue to boil. As it boils, moisture evaporates off it and it will begin to “clarify” - the butter will turn from cloudy yellowish liquid to a more golden color. Whitish cloudy milk solids will rise to the top and sink to the bottom. Do not stir it. After an hour and half to several hours, depending on the amount and the size of the pot and the amount of Ghee compared to the flame, your Ghee will be ready.

The moment Ghee is “ready” is very critical. If you cook the Ghee too little, you will be left with moisture in the Ghee and it will lack the exquisite taste and qualities that it can develop, also, it will tend to spoil or sour. If you cook it too much, it will burn and impart a certain nutty flavor to the Ghee. This does not ruin the Ghee at all, but it is to be noticed, so that over time you can capture the “perfect” Ghee to be experienced between these two “extremes”.

After the Ghee is done, you skim off the top light crust of whitish milk solids. These and the heavier ones at the bottom of the pot are traditionally used to make sweets. Children in India love them and always plead with their Mothers to have the leftovers when Ghee is made.

Then, you pour the golden, sweet-smelling liquid through layered cheesecloth - to catch any last impurities into a bottle, leaving the slightly burned milk solids (caramelized lactose) on the bottom of the pot you cooked it in (Ghee has no lactose or milk sugars in it). Be sure to not close the glass jar into which you pour the hot Ghee until it comes to room temperature. The reason for this is that there should not be any moisture from condensation that may form on the inside of the jar. It is moisture that spoils Ghee, allowing a mold to grow and causing it to go bad. This is the reason that you always use a clean and dry spoon to take your Ghee out of its container. It is also a reason not to refrigerate your Ghee. One, because it is not necessary and two, it causes condensation to form inside the jar as you take it in and out of the refrigerator.

more ghee: Time and Season

It is best to make Ghee on the waxing fortnights of the moon as the moon represents the Mother and nurturing and all the best qualities of milk and butter are energized at this time. Regarding time and season, the quality of Ghee will change as the time of year and the diet of the cows change. Not all milk cows in the West are given green pastures to graze on. Even those, which are allowed to graze in the fields, often do not do so all year round. In winter, there are many days that the cows are not able to go out in the pastures and there is more hay and silage in their diet. This will change the quality of the milk, butter and Ghee. I have noticed that the more the cows graze in the fields on grass, the more yellow is the Ghee. This “yellow” is the result of more chlorophyll in the butter.

The making of Ghee is a very beautiful and peaceful experience. The sound of softly boiling butter, the pouring of the thick golden liquid into bottles ... this wonderful smell permeates the space.

more ghee: Cows and Buffalos

In India, Ghee is made from both Cow and Buffalo milk. If we consider the qualities of both of these animals, we can see why the Ghee of Cows is to be preferred. If we look at the bodies of a Buffalo and a cow, the buffalo is more heavily muscled; it is a denser animal in its makeup. Cows have a more moderate make-up of fat. The Ghee of a Cow is in liquid form at body temperature. The Ghee of a Buffalo is still slightly solid. Buffalo will eat almost any food, even spoiled food, while Cows in their natural environment, will turn away from such fare. Buffalos are often quite dirty and smell more strongly than Cows. Cows tend to be clean and like little dirt on their bodies. Cows smell quite good as I have experienced, when I stopped to pet and smell them on the streets of India where they roam about, ubiquitously, slowly and peacefully. Finally there is the striking difference in temperament between a Cow and Buffalo. Cows are far gentler in nature. Buffalos are comparatively more stubborn and aggressive. Because of these qualities and more, Buffalo milk and Ghee are considered more dulling (tamasic) while Cow milk and Ghee are considered more pure and purifying (sattvic).

When I asked my Indian acquaintances why there is a growing use of Buffalo milk and ghee over Cow milk and Ghee, they all said, “It is because the Buffalo give more milk”. Furthermore, the Indian peasants seek the nourishment of Buffalo Ghee, which has a far higher fat content than cow Ghee.

Even in Vrndavan, the home of Sri Krishna, where he himself was a cowherd, protector of the cows (Govinda) and the divine lover of the Gopis, cowherdesses, I was usually unable to find anything but Buffalo Ghee in the marketplace. You can tell the difference because Buffalo Ghee is white and Cow ghee is yellow.

Cow Ghee is used in lamps in temples and pujas all over India. It is said that the light of a Ghee lamp is more beautiful and brilliant than any other light. The light of burning Ghee is said to ward off negativity and evil influence.

Ghee is nourishing and healing. Ghee is steady and dependable and always supportive of life and living. Ghee brings an excess of goodness wherever and whenever it is appreciated and used. I am thankful for a substance that of all the foods I know is most like a Mother."

(from http://www.amritaveda.com/learning/articles/ghee.asp)

Posted by Kurma on 1/11/12; 11:03:46 AM from the dept.

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All About Ghee

Permanent link to archive for 19/10/12. Friday, October 19, 2012
Kurma's Spring Garden - 'Not Hard Being Chard'

Many people think that these handsome leafy red-stemmed fellows are beet leaves (called beetroot in Australia) but in fact they are rainbow chard, or sometimes called 'silverbeet' in Australia. I have 4 varieties - yellow-, red-, pink- and white-stemmed.

red chard:

I have always found chard very easy to grow, and the more plants I have, the more opportunity I can have for daily picking of outer, large leaves to add some interest, colour and nutrition to whatever I am cooking - whether it be soup, dal, curries, pasta sauce, noodles or in rice. In fact they are fine eating raw in salads as well.

like a rainbow:

The butterflies and snails and caterpillars also enjoy them, so I have to be diligent in keeping my eyes open for the hungry visitors. The parrots are always eyeing-off my fruiting plants like my roma tomatoes, but at least they don't seem to bother about green leaved plants.

my rainbow chard:

Hopefully the parrots won't be eating my broad beans, or else it will be all-out war. I don't feel like surrendering those after waiting 4 months for them to fructify.

Posted by Kurma on 19/10/12; 5:41:03 AM from the dept.

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Kurma's Spring Garden - 'Not Hard Being Chard'

Permanent link to archive for 18/10/12. Thursday, October 18, 2012
Kurma's Spring Garden - 'The Bean Within'


My dwarf heirloom variety of Aquadulce broad beans are maturing nicely. Broad beans, sometimes known as fava beans, are enjoyed in many cultures the world over. They are a labour of love to grow, taking at least 120 days from sowing to fruiting. I have 100 plants in various stages of fruition in different spots in my garden, all sown from scratch - literally a couple of large handfuls of dried beans. The flowers are beautiful, and hopefully each will manifest a bean pod after dropping off.

broad beans:

When small, as some of mine are now, you can eat them whole, and they’re sensational. When mature they are big, puffy pods, much bigger than other beans. These large pods – from six to 10 inches long on average - need to be peeled to get to the beans. Apart from the patience in waiting for them to grow, the last labour of love part is that one can (or should) peel the beans again, a second time to reveal the bright green bean within.

Posted by Kurma on 18/10/12; 5:26:11 AM from the dept.

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Kurma's Spring Garden - 'The Bean Within'

Permanent link to archive for 16/10/12. Tuesday, October 16, 2012
A Right Royal Rollickingly Robust Rajma

Rajma could be described as the North Indian equivalent of Mexican chili. My version is laced with cubes of protein-rich homemade panir cheese It is robust, nutritious, filling and spicy. Rajma is the name of the bean (red kidney) from which this spicy stew is made, and also the finished product.


Ana C from Melbourne writes: "I would like to know if you can give me a good Rajma recipe. I tried it at a friend's place and I totally loved it. Thank you."

Here's my recipe:

Punjabi Red Bean Curry (Rajma)
Although ideal for a winter lunch, Rajma can be served successfully with any bread or rice selection and as a part of almost any menu. Serves 6-8 persons.

For the beans:

2 cups dried red kidney beans,
3 small bay leaves,
1½ teaspoons turmeric,
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.

For the spice paste:

1 tablespoon cumin seeds,
1 teaspoon fennel seeds,
½ teaspoon ajowan seeds,
3 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger,
2 tablespoons coriander powder,
1½ teaspoons garam masala,
1½ teaspoons turmeric,
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper,
2–3 teaspoons salt,
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.

The remaining ingredients:

fresh panir cheese, made from 1.5 litres milk, cut into 1.25cm cubes,
5 tablespoons ghee or oil for frying the panir,
4 medium-sized tomatoes, diced into 1.25cm cubes,
2 tablespoons tomato paste,
1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves.

To prepare the beans:

Soak the beans in ample cold water overnight. Drain.

Place the beans in a large saucepan of ccold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the bay leaves, turmeric and cayenne, reduce the heat and simmer the beans, covered, for 1– 1½ hours, or until the beans are soft and tender, but not broken down. Note that bean cooking time varies immensely for different varieties of kidney beans, so check them carefully. Pour the cooked beans through a colander, being careful to collect all the cooking liquid in a bowl underneath — you’ll need it later. Transfer the beans into a bowl.

Separate ½ cup cooked beans, mash them to a puree and set them aside in a small bowl.

To prepare the spice paste:

Combine the cumin, fennel and ajowan seeds in a coffee mill or mortar and grind them to a powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl. Combine the shredded ginger with ½ cup water in a blender and process to a smooth liquid. Add this ginger liquid to the bowl of powdered spices. Add the coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt and lemon or lime juice, and stir to mix well. The spice paste should have a consistency of thin cream. Add a little water if it is too thick.

To fry the panir cheese:

Place 2 tablespoons ghee or oil in a heavy non-stick frying pan and set it over moderate heat. When the ghee is hot, add the panir cheese and stir-fry for 5–7 minutes, carefully turning the cubes with a spoon to brown them on all sides. Remove the pan from the heat and set the panir cheese aside.

To assemble the dish:

Heat the remaining ghee or oil in a saucepan over moderate heat, and add the spice paste. Fry the paste for 1 or 2 minutes over moderate heat, or until it begins to stick. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to cook the mixture for 5–8 minutes, or until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick paste, and the ghee or oil starts to separate. Add the reserved mashed beans and stir well until they are fully incorporated.

Drop in the cubes of the fried panir cheese, the cooked beans, tomato paste and 1½ cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid, or more if a thinner consistency bean dish is required. Allow the beans to come to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for another 10–15 minutes, or until the panir cheese cubes are soft and juicy. Stir in the chopped coriander leaves, and serve hot.

Posted by Kurma on 16/10/12; 12:59:20 PM from the dept.

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A Right Royal Rollickingly Robust Rajma

Permanent link to archive for 15/10/12. Monday, October 15, 2012
Happy Birthday Kurma Blog

I just found out that:

birthday cake:

My blog is 7 years, 4 months, and 14 days old.

It has received 5,947,043 page reads.

So there you go...

Posted by Kurma on 15/10/12; 8:17:49 AM from the dept.

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Happy Birthday Kurma Blog



Dear readers, I am sorry that my posts are a bit sparce these days.

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." - Mark Twain

By way of segue, here's an interesting link to an article on edible flowers.

Posted by Kurma on 15/10/12; 5:10:40 AM from the dept.

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Permanent link to archive for 1/10/12. Monday, October 1, 2012
'The Most Delicious Cauliflower Curry'

Hello bloggees! Excuse my quietness durung September. A few issues needed addressing on the home front. Here's hoping that October is more productive in Blog Land.

Sarbani Basu of San Francisco, California writes:

"Once I had a cauliflower curry at a friend's home. It was the most delicious cauliflower curry I have ever had. Unfortunately she has not been able to pass me the recipe, but told me that she got it from your book. Would you please email me the recipe. I would really appreciate if you do. Just a hint if you have more than one recipe with cauliflower: this one had tomato and potato, cumin and mustard seeds in it."

My reply: There are more than half a dozen cauliflower dishes in my books. Here's the recipe you tasted, it's from my first cookbook.

potato and cauliflower curry:

North Indian Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes

This is a popular North Indian vegetable dish. Combined with hot Puffed Fried Breads (Pooris) or rice, I could eat this any time of the day and on any occasion.

PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 15 - 20 minutes YIELD: enough for 4 - 5 persons

1/4 cup ghee or oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 hot green chilies, seeded and chopped
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 1/4 cm (1/2-inch) cubes
1 medium cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
2 medium tomatoes blanched, peeled, and diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Heat the ghee or oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When the ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the cumin and saute them until they darken a few shades. Add the ginger and chilies, saute for a few moments, and then add the potato and cauliflower pieces. Stir-fry the vegetables for 4 or 5 minutes or until the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, sugar, and salt.

Mix well, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and, stirring occasionally, cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add water if necessary during this time but don't over-stir the vegetables. When the vegetables are cooked, add the fresh coriander and the lemon juice. Serve hot.

Posted by Kurma on 1/10/12; 9:58:00 AM from the dept.

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'The Most Delicious Cauliflower Curry'

Permanent link to archive for 11/9/12. Tuesday, September 11, 2012
One Thousand Year Old Recipe

I get dozens of recipe requests weekly. Some enquiries are redirected to my recipe page. Others are advised to search my cookbooks.

And some, like this one from Isvari Rani Dasi (from India I think), are answered as a blog entry. Isvari wanted me to share my Tamarind Rice recipe. My recipe looks exactly like the picture below.

tamarind rice:

I don't have the original photos from my cookbooks. They are securely kept in a vault at my publishers. My scanner is not working, so I have used a picture from cookingand me.com.

And here's that delicious recipe, originally given to me by the wife of a South Indian Hare Krishna devotee friend Vijay Gopikesh, many years ago, when I was collecting recipes for my second cookbook Cooking with Kurma.

South Indian Hot, Sweet-and-Sour Tamarind Rice

This is a well-known and favourite rice dish amongst the Iyengars of South India who are followers of the Ramanuja Sampradaya. The recipe is over 1000 years old and is traditionally called puliogre. Makes enough for 4 or 5 persons.

1 walnut-sized ball of seeded tamarind pulp,
½ cup hot water,
3 cups water,
1½ cups basmati rice,
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds,
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns,
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds,
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds,
3 tablespoons dried coconut,
2 teaspoons rasam powder,
1 teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons brown sugar,
3 tablespoons peanut oil,
2 tablespoons raw peanut halves,
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds,
8 - 10 small curry leaves.

Combine the ball of seeded tamarind pulp with the ½ cup hot water and set aside to soak.

Bring to the boil the 3 cups of unsalted water in a small saucepan. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy saucepan and lightly toast the rice.

Add the boiling liquid to the rice. Stir until the water returns to a boil; then reduce the heat to a simmer, put on a tight-fitting lid, and leave undisturbed for 15 or 20 minutes or until the rice is dry and tender. Remove the rice from the heat and set aside, covered.

Squeeze and strain all the pulp from the soaking tamarind with the aid of a seive. Keep all the liquid puree and discard the dry pulp.

Dry-roast the cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek, and sesame seeds in a small, heavy pan over moderately low heat. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes until the sesame seeds become aromatic and the spices darken a few shades.

Remove the seeds and spices from the pan, allow them to cool, and then grind them in a small coffee grinder or blender until they are powdered. Combine them with the coconut, mix well, and place them in a small bowl.

Combine the tamarind puree, rasam powder, salt, and sugar and simmer the mixture over moderate heat in a small saucepan until slightly thickened (about 3 - 5 minutes). Remove from the heat. Add the ground spices, seeds, and coconut mixture into the tamarind syrup and mix well.

Heat the peanut oil in the small pan in which you roasted the spices. Place over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the peanuts and stir-fry them until they are golden brown (about 2 minutes). Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels. Continue heating the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the seeds crackle, pour the contents of the pan into the tamarind syrup and mix well.

Finally carefully fold the peanuts and spicy tamarind syrup into the cooked rice and serve immediately.

Posted by Kurma on 11/9/12; 2:35:52 PM from the dept.

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One Thousand Year Old Recipe

Permanent link to archive for 4/9/12. Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Little Stevia Wonder

Stevia rebaudiana is a South American shrub that grows in semi-arid areas of Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have been used for generations as a sweetener, originally by the Guarani people and more recently throughout South America and Asia.


Already sold as a sweetener in a variety of countries including Brazil, Canada, China and Japan, stevia has not yet been approved for use in the United States or the European Union. Although stevia had been used for decades without any reports of health problems, the FDA labeled it an "unsafe food additive" in 1991 and restricted its use to dietary supplements. Why am I not surprised?

Read more.

Posted by Kurma on 4/9/12; 7:32:09 AM from the dept.

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Little Stevia Wonder

Permanent link to archive for 3/9/12. Monday, September 3, 2012
The Cheaters and the Cheated

the bag:

A great sage remarked that there are only two types of persons in this world - the cheaters, and the cheated.


Posted by Kurma on 3/9/12; 6:54:48 AM from the dept.

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The Cheaters and the Cheated

Permanent link to archive for 31/8/12. Friday, August 31, 2012
Thus Spake George


"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

Posted by Kurma on 31/8/12; 5:07:17 AM from the dept.

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Thus Spake George

Permanent link to archive for 30/8/12. Thursday, August 30, 2012
Homemade Ginger Beer

ginger beer:

An old friend kindly provided me with a link to what appears to be a 'bona-fide' ginger beer recipe.


Click here.

Posted by Kurma on 30/8/12; 8:18:34 AM from the dept.

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Homemade Ginger Beer

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