In The Kitchen With Jaypore: Hearty, Happy, Healing!

With quarantine fatigue hitting its peak, one thing is clear, there’s a Masterchef in all of us, and cooking seems to have become almost a lockdown rite of passage. Don’t get us wrong, we love banana bread as much as the next person, but this time has also given us an opportunity to really embrace and experiment with local ingredients and Indian recipes (for the most part). Guided by the principles of Ayurveda we decided to dig up recipes for healing, natural foods, for an edit that is high on nostalgia, comfort, and wholesome goodness. We hope you like them!

MASALA CHAI

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When it comes to a quick pick-me-up, nothing is quite as effective as a piping hot cup of chai. The magic elixir that’s not only a balm for the body but also the soul. With over a thousand varieties, and countless more ways to make it (we swear, our masala chai recipe is the best!), the possibilities, as they say, are endless.
Here’s a quick, mood and immunity-boosting recipe that’s equal parts spicy, warming and comforting!

Ingredients
1 whole cinnamon stick
6-8 green cardamom pods
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3-4 whole cloves
600 ml water
12 g grated ginger (for less intense ginger flavor, slice instead of grate)
18 g loose leaf black tea (or 3-4 black tea bags)
480 ml milk of choice
Sweetener of choice to taste


Crush cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves into a grainy paste. In a saucepan, add the crushed spices, water, and grated (or sliced) ginger and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat slightly to medium/medium-low and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until it reduces by about one-third. (Trust us, this is where the flavors really come through). Add tea (loose-leaf or bags) and milk of choice and lower heat. Cover and let it simmer for 5. Turn off the heat, keep covered and let steep for 5 more minutes (longer, if you want it more ‘kadak’). Strain through a sieve, add sweetener of choice and enjoy!

NO-BAKE SPICED CHAI BALLS

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In Ayurveda, Ojas is known as the life force- a product of all that we breathe in and let out- which helps boost immunity and increase vitality and strength. If you’re in need of an Ojas boost or just looking for a quick mid-day snack, might we recommend these delightful No-Bake Spiced Chai Balls?

The perfect mix of sweet, savory, and crunchy, these healthy (but you wouldn’t know it) treats are the perfect way to get you through your late afternoon slump. Best of all? Easy to find ingredients, minimal effort, and Ayurveda approved…we’d say it’s worth it!

And of course, if you do make these, share your creations with us, we’d love to see.

Ingredients
1/2 Cup Almonds (peeled & soaked)
4 Dates (finely chopped)
2 Tsp. Ginger (grated, or chopped)
2 Tsp. Chia Seeds
4 Tbsp. Tahini (or toasted sesame seed paste)
1/2 Tsp. Chai Masala Powder
A Splash of Honey
2 Tbsp. Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds

Put all the ingredients, except toasted sesame seeds in a blender and pulse till it forms a semi-solid consistency (should not be watery). Remove from blender, form into balls, drag through sesame seeds, and of course, enjoy!
Tip: You can also make variations based on what you have at home. Craving chocolate? Add cacao! Dreaming of a tropical getaway? Just add chopped pineapples and/or desiccated coconut, the possibilities are endless.

KHICHDI

Few things in life are as satisfying and soothing as a big, steaming bowl of khichdi goodness.
Considered one of the most healing meals in Ayurveda, it is nourishing, easy-to-digest and tri-doshic in nature, that is, balancing all three doshas- kapha, pitta and vata, but if balancing doshas is not your thing, we still recommend it as the perfect late-afternoon lunch; hearty, warming and absolutely delicious!
Craving a bowl? Try our favorite recipe below and tell us what you think!


Ingredients
1 Cup Moong Dal (split mung beans) or urad dal.
1/2 Cup Basmati Rice, rinsed
About 1 Tbsp. of Oil or Ghee
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds, crushed
1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tsp. Ground Turmeric
1 Tsp. Ground Coriander
1 Tsp. Fennel Seeds
A large Piece of Ginger, grated
1 1/2 Cup Mix Veggies
5 cups Water
Salt to taste
Coriander and chili powder for garnish

Heat the oil in medium pot and add the cumin, coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds. Cook over medium heat until the spices become fragrant. Add the ginger, turmeric, rice, lentil, mixed veggies, and water. Bring this mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and porridge like, and the rice cooked. Season with salt and serve with a handful of coriander and chili for garnish, and a dollop of ghee if you’re feeling indulgent.

HUMMUS 5 WAYS

Hummus, the creamy, dreamy and oh-so-versatile avatar of the humble channa is perhaps the easiest way to elevate absolutely anything. Simple carrot sticks? Dip in hummus! Days old bread? Dunk into hummus. Boring, boiled eggs? You guessed it, JUST ADD HUMMUS! And while there’s nothing wrong with the plain old olive oil drizzled version, sometimes a little innovation doesn’t hurt. Here are 5 of our favorites!

Basic Hummus

Ingredients
200 gm chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1/4 tsp baking soda (for creamier texture // optional)
3 cloves garlic (crushed + skins removed)
2 tbsp Tahini (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, or basil // optional)


Add cooked chickpeas to blender along with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, and olive oil (or water). Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.


Beet Hummus

Ingredients
2 medium beets (cooked)
200 gms chickpeas
2 tbsp Tahini (optional)
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water


Spinach Basil Hummus

Ingredients
200 gm chickpeas (soaked overnight)
½ cup cooked spinach, excess water removed
¼ cup packed basil leaves
2 tbsp Tahini (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients
200 gm chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1 roasted red pepper (place pepper on its side on med-low heat. Turn every 15 – 20 minutes. Cool and peel skin)
2 tbsp Tahini (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water


Turmeric and Garlic Hummus

Ingredients
200 gm chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
3 cloves garlic (crushed + skins removed)
2 tbsp Tahini (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water

Place all ingredients in a blender, pulse until smooth; can add additional olive oil or water (if needed.)

IMMUNITY BOOSTING JUICES

With the days of the week one big blur, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep track of what day we’re on, and listening to the new didn’t help, neither did that faint rumble in our stomachs, which got us thinking of ways to a. pass the time b. satiate our hunger, and c. improve our immunity, and we’re really delighted with this little kitchen experiment. Read on to try our two favorite immunity-boosting, hunger-blasting juice recipes!

Ingredients
3 carrots chopped into ¼” pieces
1 stalk of celery chopped into ¼” pieces
1 apple chopped into ¼” pieces
½ cucumber chopped into ¼” pieces
½ beet with the greens, beet chopped into ¼” pieces
½ handful of parsley

Put the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Do not strain, serve immediately.

Garlic Guard
6 carrots chopped into ¼” pieces
1 apple chopped into ¼” pieces
2 stalks of celery chopped into ¼” pieces
handful of parsley
2 cloves of garlic

Put the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Do not strain, serve immediately.

PICKLED AMLA SABZI

Recommend by Ayurveda for its antioxidant properties, the Indian Gooseberry, also known as amla is a powerhouse of good-for-you nutrients and an overall immunity booster. You’ve probably had amla juice, and murabbas and pickles (picture here), but have you ever had pickled amla ki sabzi? Here’s a quick and easy recipe to make your Saturday lockdown just a little better.

Ingredients
10 Amla (Nellikai/ Gooseberry) , cut into bite sized cubes
3 Green Chilis , cut into 1 inch
1 tablespoon Achari masala 1 teaspoon Red Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 tablespoon Achari masala
2 teaspoons Jaggery
Salt (to taste)

To Temper
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Saunf)
1 teaspoon Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Sunflower Oil
1 pinch Asafoetida (hing)


Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add amla and green chilis along with achari masala, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Add about 1/4 cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles and turn heat off. Allow pressure to release naturally.

Open the lid and turn the heat on, add jaggery and keep cooking until the dish looks dry. Turn heat off.

In a separate pan add oil, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds, cook till they start crackling.  Add a pinch of hing and pour mixture over the amla. Serve hot.

KASHAYAM

As we spend extended time in lockdown, the temptation to romanticize the “good old days” (pre-Covid era) seems harder than ever. Looking back, for as long as we can remember, Sundays have always been about rituals; of self-care, wellness, and togetherness-family time in all its glory. Somewhere along the way, these evolved into packed schedules, over stimulation, and perhaps even apathy. Lucky then that this period of isolation has allowed us to revive certain routines that were once such an inherent part of our lives, like the age-old practice of Kashayam- a cure-all concoction that was at once terrifying and fascinating.

According to Ayurveda, Kashayam is a generic concoction of herbs and blends meant to fortify the system and boost immunity (and most certainly an acquired taste). Who doesn’t remember the weekly administration of a dark, incredibly bitter brew? Many families believed in a weekly herbal concoction as an insurance policy against the demands of the week. Each had their own unique blend, and each thought theirs was the one to beat! Effective or not, it was certainly comforting- in its routine, and in the way of knowing that there was someone to care enough to force it down your throat.
And if, like us, you’re also taking extended strolls down memory lane, then here’s a simple Kashayam to improve immunity and jolt you back into good health.

Ingredients
1 cup – Water
1/2 tsp – Black pepper powder (add more, if needed)
1/2 tsp – Coriander-cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp – Sugar
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)

Pour water in a small bowl. Add pepper, coriander-cumin powder, sugar, and basil leaves and mix. Bring concoction to a boil, turn off heat. Strain and serve hot.

SPICY TULSI CHAI

Ayurveda highly recommends the use of Tulsi, also known as holy basil for a host of health issues. Considered to be an adaptogenic herb, it is said to boost energy and help the body fight stress. In alternative medicine, tulsi is typically used to treat asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, colds, and the flu. Although limited studies have been done on its efficacy, however preliminary research says it can help with numerous ailments. Read on to see an easy and delicious way to incorporate this wonder herb into your wellness routine!

Recipe
5 cups water
1 ginger root roughly the size of your hand, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 heaped tbsp green cardamom pods
3-4 whole star anise
1/2 tbsp whole cloves
1/2 tbsp whole allspice
1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
4-5 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup dried tulsi (holy basil)


Add the water and ginger root to a pot and set it aside. Gently crush the remaining spices, they don’t need to be ground but rather bruised enough to start releasing their oils. Once you’ve crushed the whole spices a bit, add them to the pot with the water and ginger root. Set the pot over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the dried tulsi to the water and spices, then cover the pot with a lid. Steep for 30 minutes, and then strain through a sieve. Store the chai concentrate in a clean glass bottle in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you like ginger, you can leave a few chunks in the bottle with the concentrate.
NOTE: To make a cup of chai, combine the concentrate with either water or your favorite milk at a 1:1 ratio. It can be served hot or iced.

SMOOTHIES WE LOVE

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It’s safe to say the lockdown has made a chef out of (almost) all of us, frantic pacing to and from the refrigerator is the new cardio and meal times are pure anarchy (which is to say, there are no set times). All this is, of course, the perfect recipe for weight gain, and dare we say food fatigue? Enter, the one glass wonder, smoothies! Fresh flavors, controlled portions, and endless variations! The perfect antidote for your body and your boredom!


Breakfast In A Flash
Ingredients
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats or quick oats
1 banana — chopped into chunks and frozen
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
Ice — optional, add at the end if you want a thicker smoothie

Place the oats in the bottom of a blender and pulse a few times until finely ground. Add the banana, milk, peanut butter, honey/maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Summer Sunset
Ingredients
2 bananas
2 apples
3 oranges
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tps turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Peel bananas and apples, cut into smaller pieces. Remove seeds from apples. Cut oranges in half and squeeze the juice. Add banana and orange juice to blender and blend until smooth. Then, add apples, spices, and water as needed and blend again. Garnish with orange slices
Detox Daydream

Ingredients
1 mango
2 passion fruit
1 banana
½ Pineapple
1 cup yogurt
Water

Cut your passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds & flesh with a spoon. Wash and peel your mango, banana, and pineapple, then slice it into large chunks and place in blender, together with the passion fruit. Add yogurt and water (start with 1/3 cup) blend into a smooth, but not watery, liquid.
Pour into large glasses and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Tango
Ingredients
1 banana
1 cup milk
1 cup torn spinach
2 tbsp peanut butter
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Wash spinach and peel banana. Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

GHEE CAKE

Remember the time before diets and calories and cholesterol when early morning breakfasts were ghee laden parathas piled sky-high, the extra dollop of love in your daal, or the enticing sensory overload that was the “chonkh,” a brilliant dance of dairy and spices, meeting in a delicious crescendo of flavors? The good news? Ghee is no longer painted as the artery-clogging villain we’ve come to know and fear, don’t you know, it’s the good kind of fat!

In India, ghee has long been revered as not just a condiment, but pure liquid gold. A life force to see you from birth to the beyond, a veritable symbol of prosperity and nourishment, an elixir of the gods. According to a Vedic analogy, ghee is hidden in milk, like the Divine Lord is hidden in creation. In the Vedas it is credited with increasing ‘Dhi’ (intelligence), refining the ‘Buddhi’ (intellect), and improving the ‘Smriti’ (memory).
You already know the usual ways to incorporate ghee into your diet, so today we’re showing you something more exciting.


Ingredients
1 cup Maida
Pinch of salt
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Cream
1/2 cup Ghee
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Cardamom powder
2-3 tbsp Almond Flakes

Preheat oven to 180°C
Sieve the dry ingredients, and set aside
In a separate bowl, cream together the ghee and sugar until the ghee is light and fluffy (about 10-15 minutes) add in the egg and beat it well.
Add a third of the sieved dry ingredients to the ghee, sugar, egg bowl, and fold in. Next, add half of the cream, combine. Keep alternating between the dry ingredients and the cream starting and ending with dry ingredients and mix. Finally, add in the cardamom powder and mix. Once the batter is ready, transfer it to a greased pan, level, and sprinkle almond flakes. Bake for 25-35 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and as they say, “let them eat (ghee) cake!”

COOKING WITH WATERMELON RINDS

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Some things just go together, gin and tonic, ghee and parathas, ice cream and chocolate, and well…summer and watermelons, they just fit. And while we’re sure you’re gorging on the ruby-red deliciousness – juicing, cutting, freezing – have you ever thought about the poor, discarded, unloved rind?
In a bid to be less wasteful and more adventurous (blame the quarantine, perhaps) we decided to see how we could use other parts of the watermelon…read on to find out!

Rind Halwa
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
2 pinches saffron
2 cup watermelon rinds
4 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
1 1/2 cup milk

Place a deep bottomed pan on medium flame and heat ghee in it. Once heated, add the watermelon and cook for about 5 minutes. Then, add sugar, milk, and saffron and cook till everything mixes well. Next, add cardamom powder and stir for a few minutes. Check for softness (halwa consistency) and turn heat off, transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.
Garnish with nuts, if desired.

Rind Chutney
Ingredients
3-4 Cups Watermelon Rinds
1 cup of sugar
½ tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Piece of grated ginger
Red chili powder (optional)

Add all the ingredients to a pan and cook over low heat for 3-4 hours. Remove and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed these recipes, and if you do decide to try them for yourself, remember to tag us on Instagram with #InTheKitchenWithJaypore!

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