AYURVEDIC WINTER WARMERS

 
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We are almost in winter and despite the overly warm autumn the temperatures have now most definitely dropped some. Now I know I’m mad for freshly cooked hot food most of the year, but now is time to totally up the ante and make comfort food your best friend. Luckily, I’ve got plenty of yummy, nourishing and balancing recipes for you to sample throughout the season in East by West and meanwhile here are 5 of the most popular from the site — scroll through for some ideas and get that pot on the stove!

QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO KITCHARI

A variation on the classic kitchari, this seasonal bowl is perfect for those Vata moments when you or your environment are feeling cold, dry, fast and rough. Quinoa makes for a beautiful fluffy texture, while the sweet potato provides a little grounding sweetness.

 
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ZANZIBARI COCONUT BAKED BEANS

Baked beans are so many of our comfort foods, but straight out of a tin with all the additives that entails, they are not ideal from a nutrition standpoint. The solution? Making your own, but with a lovely tropical twist. I fell in love with these flavourful beans in Zanzibar this summer and I think you’ll love them, too. Add less of the coconut milk to make this dish more winter-appropriate while still enjoying the flavour it brings to the dish.

 
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SLOW COOKER FIVE-SPICE CHICKEN CONGEE

Congee is a traditional Chinese rice porridge that is endlessly versatile and always comforting. In East by West I make a sweet version with fig, cinnamon and cardamom but here I’ve shared the classic ingredients with shredded chicken and some choice herbs and spices — once you get familiar with it, you can start making up your own delicious combos!

 
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GARY GORROW’S RASTA DAL

A lovely recipe I got from my Vedic meditation teacher Gary Gorrow, who got it from a Rastafarian friend of his, this dal is made with a lovely blend of spices and topped with toasted cashews for added texture. Keep red split lentils on hand so you can whip this up for a quick weekday lunch or supper.

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CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL WITH GRAM DUMPLINGS

The ultimate winter warmer, this chicken soup with all the favourite veggies will make both your soul and your tummy very happy… and if you haven’t tried these puffy herb-scented dumplings yet made from chickpea or gram flour, you are in for an absolute treat!

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MUNG DAL SOUP

This super easy, delicious and easily digestible soup is perfect on a cold winter night, when you need something light yet warming. Get the split mung (mung dal) and you have a super speedy supper. Add chopped seasonal veggies and even broken rice noodles to turn it into a minestrone-style soup.

 
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Jasmine Hemsley