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Common Ingredients

Lentils & Beans

Most ingredients can be bought in a supermarket, if not in an Indian or Asian food store. If you cannot get an ingredient don’t worry. You can either substitute it or leave it out. Most of the spices below are used not only for flavor but also to improve digestion of the foods and to prevent gases. Many of them have many other qualities that can be used to treat various health problems.

Ajwain - Owa

Very useful for the digestion plus for any cough or mucus problems. It is useful for asthmatics and for removing spasmodic pains.

Asafoetida - Hing

Improves digestion of beans in particular, especially when put into the pan as the beans are boiling. It has a sulfuric smell and is often used instead of onion and garlic.

Bay Leaves - Tamal Patra

Used in India and also Italian dishes. They are useful for muscular pain as well as arthritis, skin conditions, cough and colds.

Cardamon - Veldoda

Used in both savoury and sweet dishes.
Green cardamom is the most common. Black cardamom should only be used for savoury dishes and only if specified in the recipe.

Chilli - Mirchi

Used in moderation in yogic food. Improves circulation and prevents coughs and colds. Gives strength to the muscles.

Cinnamon - Dalchini

Used for savoury and sweet dishes. Improves the circulation, warms the body and prevents colds.

Cloves - Lavang

Used for sweet and savoury dishes. It warms the body and is useful for tooth ache.

Coconut - Narial

A complete food, used to remove thirst and hunger. Fresh is best but if not available dried
is ok. The water works like saline for the body.

Coriander - Dhane

The seeds, root and leaves are used. The leaves should be put into the food towards or
at the end of cooking to preserve their flavour.
It maintains the temperature of the body.

Cumin - Jeera

Useful for removing heat in the body. They can remove nausea, prevent colds and be used as a general tonic for the body.

Curry Leaves - Kari Limba

Used in basic spicy mix and also blended in drinks and chutney. They are used for nausea and vomiting, for the kidneys and for the hair.

Fennel - Badishop

Used in meals and also eaten after with the benefit of freshening the breath. Improves intelligence.

Fenugreek - Methi

The seeds and leaves are used. Useful for the hair, diabetes as a bitter tonic.

Ginger - Ale

Used in sweet and savoury dishes. It has a warming effect on the body, useful for colds and many digestive problems.

Jaggery/Raw Sugar - Gul

Natural, unprocessed sugar that has a high level of iron. Removes colds.

Mint - Pudina

The leaves are often used in chutneys and can be used in salads and drinks. Mint has a cooling and cleansing effect and is useful for the heart.

Mustard - Moori

Warming and used for pain and respiratory problems. There are yellow, black and brown mustard seeds. Brown and black are normally used in India and are interchangeable. They need to be fried so they pop before eating.

Peanuts - Shengdana

Roasted peanuts or ground peanuts are normally used. Gives protein, oil and extra flavour.

Pepper - Black Kali Miri

Warming and can be added during and after cooking. Whole peppercorns are often used in pulao and the powder or cracked pepper is used for many other dishes.

Salt - Meeth

Improves the taste of foods. Used for rehydration. There is rock salt and sea salt. We use both white salt and black salt, which is a pink colour. The black salt has a sulfuric smell.

Tamarind - Chincha

Used as a souring agent. Soak the tamarind in hot water first. The pulp will separate from the seeds and hard parts. Good source of
Vitamin C.

Turmeric - Halada

Used in cooking but also for skin problems, as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, as well as for liver problems. Bitter in larger doses.

Notes - All recipes, except the drinks serve two people approximately, based on the serving size at the ashram. Drink recipes are for one person for a standard glass or for two small glasses, Indian style.