We have just come back from our Ayurvedic cure in Kerala and feel completed rested, restored and rejuvenated; Peter’s gout condition seems to have improved radically without any allopathic medicine. We are really happy.
If you and Tom will ever need to go for a cure, you should choose Kalari Rasayana, CGH Earth’s newly opened Ayurvedic retreat in Kollam, not far from Thiruvantapuram.
The quality of the treatments and the hospitality there are impeccable.
But the highlight of our stay was meeting chef Narayanan Nair again after more than a decade. Back then, we used to meet him at the Marari Beach Resort, a delightful place to spend the winter holidays at the beach under the coconut trees. The children used to love it. Now we are recovering from the stressful urban life the Ayurvedic way.
Chef Narayanan Nair is a man with a purpose. He wishes to contribute to the patients’ healing process by serving them wholesome, curative, vegetarian food.
It all started for him when he was diagnosed with a nasty ulcer that needed to be operated upon.
Narayanankutty, like dear ones and friends call him, would rather die than be cut open.
He had the intuition that by changing his food habits he could heal his condition and so it was. He plunged himself into the ancient knowledge of life, Ayurveda, that lists the properties of all the aliments and for which constitution they are appropriate, and developed a large variety of ayurvedic recipes.
When we shared with him our concern about going back home and loosing the benefits of his healthy cooking, he very generously invited us to come to his kitchen and learn the basics. Chef Narayanan Nair only uses organic vegetables and pulses, does not store any food in the refrigerator, abhors artificial flavouring, colouring, as much as white sugar and margarine.
In his traditional brass pots, called uruli, he tosses the onions without any oil and then adds the ayurvedic spices and herbs required, often adding freshly grated coconut.
We are extremely thankful to him for sharing some of the recipes we have loved while staying at Kalari and I am sure you will be happy to try the few that I am attaching to my message. You will notice how such food will contribute not only to your physical well- being, but also to your peace of mind.
Do let me know about your holidays in St Barth with the boys.
2cup of tomatoes cut in cubes
1 carrot minutely chopped
2 tab cilantro stems, roots and leaves cut small
2 or three cloves of garlic
A piece of ginger (about half an inch) finely chopped
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
6 cups of water
Place the tomatoes, the carrots, the cilantro roots and stems, the garlic and the ginger in a heavy bottom pot. Toss at medium flame for few seconds and add the water. Bring to boil and lower the flame. Cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Finally, put the soup in a blender and serve hot with fresh cilantro leaves as garnish. Chef Narayan Nair loves this soup for its simplicity and flavour.
Half a cup of mung-dal, yellow split lentils
Half a cup of basmati rice (brown rice can also be used)
1 small onion chopped
A piece of ginger (about an inch) finely chopped
1 pinch of cumin seeds
1pinch of mustard seeds
4 cups of water
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of ginger powder
A pinch of coriander powder
A pinch of asafoetida powder
2 small carrots chopped small (optional)
A few green beans chopped small (optional)
A pinch of salt
A tiny bit of ghee
Few leaves of cilantro
In a heavy bottom pot warm the onion rapidly at medium flame with the cumin and mustard seeds and the fresh ginger. Add the washed rice and mung-dal. Add a pinch of turmeric, ginger powder, coriander and asafoetida. Toss and add some water. Add the fresh vegetables and the rest of the water and a pinch of salt. Lower the flame, cover the pot and let it cook for about 15 m. Stirring once in a while. When the Khichree has reached a mushy consistency, it is ready. Shut off the flame; add the tip of a spoon of ghee and the cilantro leaves. This dish is highly digestible and is called in India “the food of the gods”.
3 cups of cooked rice
1tsp of chopped ginger
½tsp of turmeric powder
1tsp of chopped cilantro leaves
1/2tsp asafoetida powder
Few cashew nuts and
1tsp of lemon juice
1tsp of mustard seeds
1/2tsp of cumin seeds
1tsp of oil
Heat the oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle add the cashew nuts and the broken chickpeas. Cook them until they roast then add the rice, the turmeric, the salt and the coriander leaves. Stir well, then sprinkle with lemon juice and asafoetida. The lemon rice is ready to serve. This tasty dish is traditionally carried along by travelling South Indian families.