Ashram Recipes

- Elizabeth Beeds


Part I: Basics Page

1. Ashram Diet

  • Do
    • Eat only freshly prepared food, not more than three hours old
    • Take cooked /heavy food/grains only twice per day
    • Eat when you are hungry and stop before you are overfull
    • After eating the stomach should be ½ solid food, ¼ liquid & ¼ space
    • Keep meal times routine – same every day
    • Take 1 teaspoon of cow’s ghee regularly
    • CHEW your food properly so it can be digested easily (32 times)
    • Stimulate your appetite before meals with a little salt or ginger
    • SWALLOW the mouthful you are working on before you take the next mouthful
    • Eat slowly and CONCENTRATE on your food
    • Think of your food as the greatest energy from the earth and the universe, and in this sense, food is God for you
  • Don't
    • Don't drink too much before immediately after or during meals: This dilutes the digestive juices, thus 100 ml. is maximum
    • Don't combine milk with fruits
    • Don't eat when your stomach is upset/ when you are sick
    • Avoid processed, refined, frozen, deep-fried, or tinned food
    • Avoid bakery products, caffiene, soft drinks, spicy food, excess sugar or salt and GMO (genetically modified foods)
    • If you want to control your emotions and desires, avoid garlic and onions except when needed for health reasons
    • Avoid talking, reading or watching TV during meals
  • The ideal yogic diet can be summed up as the most natural and simplest to purchase, prepare and digest

2. Yogic/ Ayurvedic Eating
Fats and meats are harder to digest than lighter food such as carbohydrates. This is why a light, vegetarian meal gives more energy and does not create a feeling of fullness or heaviness.
Food is fuel for the digestive fire and therefor must be pure, well combined and in correct quantity.
The amount of food one needs to eat depends on one's digestive power. We must discover our own capacity and set ourselves a standard amount to eat at each meal. Few people however, can stop eating at the point of satisfaction, or a little short of it. Constantly eating beyond this point puts out the digestive fire. Undigested food is worse than no food and becomes a detriment to our health.
3. Yoga for Digestive Health
  • Eating with your hands is beneficial in that you can judge the temperature of your food before putting it in your mouth and it is believed that the energy in your fingertips has positive effects on your food!
  • Sitting cross-legged on the floor while you eat is said to enhance the energies of the abdomen by bringing them up from the legs
  • Sit in Vajrasana for 5-10 minutes after eating to aid digestion
  • Go for a short (100 steps), easy paced walk after sitting for a while
  • If you need to rest after eating, lie on your left side to activate your right nostril, thus enhancing the energies of digestion!
4. Spices

These are some of the basic spices which are used in most of the dishes.
The spices are often kept in small metal cups in a tin so that when you take off the lid all the spices are easy to access with a small spoon that lives in the dish also


Also used are lots of fresh corriander, fresh curry leaves and fresh grated ginger
…and of course, sugar, salt and fresh oil

After dinner, anise seeds can be chewed to aid digestion

5. Basic Spice Mix

The method of preparing spices and the particular spices used are what give the ashram food its distinct flavour and colour. This spice mix is used for almost all of the dishes. Once you learn this basic preparation, all the recipes become easy!
Method and Ingredients (For 1 kg of chopped vegetables)

1. Place 50 grams or less of oil in a big pot and heat over high temperature (Be careful of hot oil! And DO NOT let the oil smoke – it’s unhealthy!)
2. Now start adding the following spices one at a time and fry in the hot oil for about 10 – 30 seconds each
3. Mustard seeds : 1 tsp - fry until they finish cracking
4. Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
5. Curry leaves: 25-50 leaves
6. Fresh ground/ grated ginger: 1 tsp or more if you desire
7. Turmeric: ½ tsp or more!
8. Powders of cumin seed: ½ tsp, dry coriander: ½ tsp and
asofoetida ¼ tsp
9. After this, turn down the heat and add the vegetable: 1kg
Cooking time of vegetable will vary

If you are making this mix for dal, add fresh chopped tomatoes at this point, mashing and cooking them for about 10 minutes, then add the water & 1kg preparation of cooked dal beans. Add salt and sugar or jaggery according to taste.
Later to all dishes you can add fresh coriander and coconut but do not cook them or add to overly hot food!

Amounts of spices and oil vary according to taste and the amount of food you are making. So have fun and experiment




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