Ayurvedic, Cumin and Onion Rice

Ayurvedic Recipes for Cumin and Onion Rice

Transform ordinary rice into the perfect side dish for your Ayurvedic meal, delicately flavoured with onions and cumin, and cooked to perfection.

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Cooking time:

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Serves: 4

2 small cups rice

6 cups water, to soak the rice

4 small cups water

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ finely chopped onion

1 tsp oil or ghee

Literally translated from Sanskrit as 'the science of life' Ayurveda was developed by the seers and masters of ancient India over 5,000 years ago. This holistic system of natural healing sees food and medicine as complementary rather than separate, allowing us to harness the benefits of the food we eat every day to help keep us balanced, grounded and happy.

Ayurveda believes that the body is made up of five elements – earth, water, air, fire, space. Any problem in the balance of these elements leads to disease, or dis-ease: lack of ease.

By dividing people into three categories, or doshas – Vata dosha, Pitta dosha, Kapha dosha – Ayurveda helps us to understand what our minds and bodies need and to choose food to suit our own individual constitutions.

But each person is different; their bodies and minds are different, so how can the same food be good for everyone equally? In this recipe, professional chef Katyayani Cunliffe has created delicious tridoshic recipe to suit all constitutions, demonstrating how the Ayurvedic style of cooking shouldn't be confused with hot, spicy, Indian food. In fact any cuisine can follow the principles of Ayurveda to help give you a clearer, better balanced mind and body.

  1. Soak the rice in water for ½ hour. Drain the water and keep the rice aside.
  2. Heat oil/ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Wait till they splutter violently.
  3. Add the chopped onion. Sauté till the onions are pink and translucent.
  4. Add water and let it come to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of salt.
  5. Add the pre-soaked, drained rice. Give it one stir to evenly distribute the spices and onion. Allow to return to the boil and cook uncovered till rice shows through the water, like a porridge. Never stir during cooking.
  6. When the half cooked rice is visible, put a tight fitting lid on the rice. Turn the heat as low as possible and cook for a further 8 mins. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for a further 3 mins.
  7. Uncover and fluff with a fork. The less the rice grains are handled the less sticky it will be.

Katyayani Cunliffe is a professional chef who helps run Jungle Yoga Retreats in India through Yoga Republic (www.yogarepublic.org). She has further trained in Ayurveda and Yoga from The Bihar School of Yoga and Ayurveda Ashrams in Karnataka and Kerala, India. Katyayani is holding classes on the Ayurvedic style of cooking, near Cranbrook, Kent, until the end of December. Classes start at 10.30am with a cup of Indian Chai (which you can learn to make), followed by a talk about Ayurveda, where you will find out your individual constitution, and a cooking demonstration with a complete Ayurvedic menu, topped off with a delicious lunch. Each class will give you a deeper understanding of Ayurveda and your own body and there will be a new menu every class. It is recommended that you do three classes but they need not be on consecutive days.

Each class costs £25. Ingredients, constitution charts and recipes are provided. Just bring yourself and a happy open mind! To book, email katyayanis@hotmail.com

Photographs: David Merewether
Recipes Type: Starters

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