Food & Nutrition

Vegetarian Indian Dishes

Cooking in Jadan

preparing-Mahaprashad

In everyone's life nutrition has an important role. The food we consume does not only constitute our body but builds up our psyche as well, determines the way we behave, think and feel. And that is why spiritual aspirants take great care in choosing what we eat because proper sustenance is of great help in spiritual progress, eliminates the obstacles on a devotee's path, makes it smoother. Organic vegetables and grains grown without the use of chemical pesticides and prepared with love, as we have in our Ashram in Jadan, are one of the best possibilities. The reasons for choosing our food, however, are not only nutritional, but also ethical, which means that we choose our food according to the principle of non-violence, compassion for all beings, because of which our Ashram is entirely vegetarian. Furthermore, as the ashram premises are set in rural Rajasthan, we have the great fortune of having the opportunity to taste the local traditional cuisine which is truly one of a kind. To get an even better idea of what it is like, some recipes are enclosed for those who would like to try preparing some of the dishes themselves.

Bengan Bharta (Mashed Eggplant)

Ingredients:

1 big Eggplant 200-250 g
2 Onion cut into small pieces
2 Tomatoes as well
2 tsp. Paste of Ginger, Garlic, and Green Chili
2 tsp. Oil
¼ tsp. Asafoetida
2 tsp. Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt according to taste
2 tbsp. Green Coriander Leaves

Preparation: appr. 60 min.

Wash the eggplant and dry it from outside. After that put it directly on a low flame and turn it side to side by using its stem. Do this about 15 – 20 minutes, turning it around all the time so it gets equally roasted everywhere. Put it aside and let it cool down a little bit. Then peel off all the skin and make a paste out of it. Take a karahi (wide saucepan) and heat the oil. Add cumin and asafoetida. Then put in the paste of ginger, garlic and green chili and stir until it becomes golden. Add tomatoes and let them become very soft, mash them if possible. Put in the mashed eggplant and stir it on a low flame. Add salt and then one by one the rest of the ingredients. Leave it on a low flame for 10 minutes to make it ready. In the end, make a topping out of coriander leaves.

Sabji from Bhindi (Lady's Fingers Vegetable)

Ingredients:

250g Bhindi (Lady’s Fingers)
4 tsp. Oil
½ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
1 tsp. Coriander Powder
1tsp. Red Chili Powder
A little bit of Garam Masala
Salt according to taste

Preparation: appr. 40 min.

Wash the bhindi and dry them completely with a clean cloth. Cut them into small round pieces. Heat oil in a karahi (wide saucepan) and add cumin. Put bhindi inside and fry them on a medium flame. When they are nearly ready, add the rest of the spices. Mix well and cover the karahi (wide saucepan). Leave it for 10 – 15 minutes on a small flame.

Ghatta Sabji (Small Gramflour Dumplings)

Part 1

Ingredients:
100g Chickpeas Flour
1 tsp. Bishop’s Weed
2 tbsp. Yoghurt
3 tbsp. Oil
½ tsp. Red Chili Powder
½ tsp. Fennel
½ tsp. Salt
Oil for frying

Preparation: appr. 30 min.

Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough, which should not stick when you touch. Divide it into 4 equal parts. Roll them into long ropes, about 1 ½ cm thick. Boil some water and put the ropes inside. Leave for 10 minutes on a strong fire. Take out the ropes, but keep the water. Let the ropes cool down a little bit. Then cut them into small round pieces, 1 – 1 ½ cm. Heat oil in a karahi (wide saucepan) and add the ghatta pieces. Fry them until they get golden.

Part 2

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. Oil
½ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Bishop’s Weed
A little bit of Asafoetida
1 tsp. Red Chili Powder
½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
2 cups Yoghurt
Salt according to taste
Water and Ghatta from Part 1

Preparation: appr. 30 min.

Mix the yoghurt until it gets completely liquid. Take half cup of the water and add turmeric and red chili powder. Heat oil in a karahi and put cumin, bishop’s weed and asafoetida inside. Add the prepared water and fry everything a little bit. Carefully add the ghatta and fry for additional 3 minutes, mix slowly. Add yoghurt and salt. Put on a high flame and bring to a boil. Put another half cup of water inside. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes more.

Chutney from Coconut

 Ingredients:

1 fresh Coconut
2 tbsp. roasted Chickpeas
1 tsp. Ginger
2-3 Red Chilli
½ tsp. Mustard Seeds
10-12 Curry Leaves
1 tsp. Oil
3 tbsp. Yoghurt
Salt according to taste

Preparation: appr. 30 min.

Take the white part of the fresh coconut and cut it into small pieces. Then put it together with roasted chickpeas, red chili, ginger, salt and yoghurt into a mixer and make a fine paste. Heat oil in a karahi (wide saucepan), put in mustard seeds and let them pop up. Add curry leaves and the paste, mix well.

Halva (Sweet Dessert)

Ingredients:
 
50g Whole Wheat Flour
25g Sugar
20g Ghee
125 – 150ml Water
Cashews and Raisins according to taste
1 pinch Cardamom, ground

Preparation (appr. 30 min):
 
Heat ghee in a karahi (wide saucepan) and add the flour. Fry properly, about 15 min, allowing the flour to become darker, while you keep stirring. While frying the flour, bring the water to a boil. Add it and cook until it vanishes completely. Then add sugar, cashews and raisins and mix well. Cook for additional 5 minutes. Add cardamom just before taking off the flame. Mix well and serve hot.
 
Note: Improve with any other type of dry fruits or additional spices, for example, black pepper. Try a variation with white flour, you can also use semolina or combine these two.

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