November is an exciting month as I’m going to further my cooking skills and education by becoming a certified Ayurvedic chef at Hale Pule in the beautiful landscape of the North Island of New Zealand.
Many of us, myself included, are aware of the power of food and how it has the ability to heal and transform our bodies and minds. When we approach eating from its true, sacred nature, it’s like no other medicine on the planet and when we harness its goodness, it enables us to further improve our health from the inside out.
The last cooking adventure I immersed myself in was a few years ago when I travelled to Kerala in India. It’s where I cooked up the pages and recipes for my Ayurvedic cookbook Eat Right for Your Shape.
This year, I’ll be packing up my bags and joining the lovely folks at Hale Pule on the North Island of New Zealand for the certified Ayurvedic Chef course which runs from November 16th – 29th 2019.
The course is a one hundred-hour program, that teaches you how to incorporate the principles of Ayurveda into personal and commercial kitchens so that you can bring health and wholeness to every body.
Ayurvedic Chef Training is run by Myra Lewin who has been studying, practicing, and teaching Ayurveda and Yoga since the late 1980s. Myra holds a Certificate of Advanced Clinical Study in Ayurveda from Vinayak Ayurveda Chikitsalaya, Nagpur, India. She was grandfathered with Yoga Alliance as one of the first ERYT500s in the US, and is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). Myra is also the host of two podcasts on holistic healing, “Everyday Ayurveda and Yoga at Hale Pule” and “Spark Your Intuition”.
If you’re considering joining the course, the certification is ideal for Ayurvedic health counselors and practitioners who want to better support clients' eating habits or for anyone looking to become a personal Ayurvedic chef, run a catering business, prepare healing food at a spa or wellness center or simply enhance your family’s or client's eating habits.
In the 100-hour certification program, you’ll learn:
- How to apply the principles of Ayurveda, including bhutas, doshas, agni, dhatus, food combining, gurvadi gunas and maha gunas, to every bite.
- The use of Ayurvedic herbs and spices to bring healing, balance and great taste.
- How to lead cooking workshops and one-on-one training for individuals desiring a healthy relationship with what and how they eat.
- How to prepare meals for different needs, including illness recovery, restoring balance and large group settings where people have a range of health issues.
- How to bring sattva into meals by creating a harmonious cooking environment, managing your energy as a chef, applying sustainable cooking practices and understanding the role of prana in food.
- In-depth instruction in meal planning, recipe development, kitchen management, cooking tools and food preparation.
- What it takes to cook with consciousness in a commercial setting, including catering events and professional kitchens.
- How to respond to trends in eating and work with clients based on their unique starting points.
- The many ways you can work as an Ayurvedic chef and tips to start your own business.
For more information you can visit the website here or walk through a typical day on the program here.
And to celebrate I’m sharing my delicious Eggplant Bharta and Dosas recipe from Eat Right for Your Shape for you all to enjoy.
This kapha-balancing shaggy mash that can be eaten cold as a dip is perfect as a side dish or entrée. I encourage you to make a few serves ahead of time and keep it in the fridge to be enjoyed as a snack with batons of raw carrot, celery and cucumber. Note: It is recommended that all doshas eat tomato in moderation.
- 1 large eggplant (aubergine)
- extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ small green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tomato, finely chopped (to yield ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Celtic sea salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve (optional)
Cut three or four slits in the eggplant, then brush the eggplant with a little olive oil. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat, then fry the eggplant for 10 minutes, turning frequently, until it is soft and charred. Remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Mash the flesh and set aside.
Heat the ghee in a clean frying pan over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Cook for 1 minute, then add the onion and cook for another minute. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli, then cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add the tomato and ground turmeric, coriander and cumin, then continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the mashed eggplant, garam masala and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a further
Top with the coriander leaves (if using) and serve with Indian dosas.
Vata and Kapha. To balance pitta, omit the fenugreek
- 110 g (3 3⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) urad dal
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- pinch of Himalayan salt, plus extra to taste
- 210 g (7 1⁄2 oz/1 1⁄2 cups) quinoa flour
- 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water,
- plus extra for soaking ghee, for shallow-frying
Soak the urad dal and fenugreek overnight in a bowl of filtered water with the salt.
Rinse the dal, place in a blender with the flour and blend to a fine paste. Add enough of the water to make a thin batter. Pour into a large heatproof bowl.
Heat the oven on 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off.
Sit the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes or until the batter is slightly bubbly and frothy (this fermenting step is optional – the taste is the same whether you do it or not). Remove from the oven and season with salt.
Heat a frying pan over high heat and add a small amount of ghee. Ladle about 80 ml (21⁄2 fl oz/13 cup) batter into the pan and quickly swirl to spread evenly over the base of the pan.
Add a few drops of ghee. When the edges are looking crisp, fold the dosa in half and remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter.