April Kitchen Sadhana

In yogi language (Sanskrit) the word sadhana often refers to a conscious spiritual practice, discipline or service.

In the last year I participated in an absolutely divine online course with a local yoga teacher.  Each month we got amazing content including a particular kitchen sadhana – ideas like herbal bitters or kitcharis and other ayurvedic potions.

I’ve carried this ritual of kitchen sadhana into my life as I find it very grounding.

This month I have two particular recipes that I’m really excited about.

The first is one of my absolute favourite foods to make when I need something easy to digest that is also a complete meal and very comforting and nourishing. Kitchari (sometimes spelled kichadi) refers to a stew-like one-pot meal which is a mixture of two grains. Spring is often a time when we are shedding the stagnant, dense energy of winter and the heavier foods we’ve been eating to up-shift to the lighter, more buoyant foods of spring, like dandelion greens and fresh nettle. The great thing about kitchari is that you can use any vegetables you have on hand.

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This particular recipe is with a mix of mung beans and basmati rice and I had butternut squash, spinach and frozen peas on hand so in they went.

Here is the link for the recipe:  http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-recipes/soup-and-salad/khichadi-mung-bean-and-basmat-rice-stew.html

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The next spring kitchen sadhana is a work in progress. It comes from a cookbook I have taken out from the library seven times in the past three years called The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther.

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For me, it is not an everyday kind of cookbook but a fun experimental one. Of particular interest to me is her chapter on fermentation. I love water kefir and kombucha and homeade sodas but usually buy them. I am now 3 days in to creating my own live wild yeast and ginger starter. From this, I can then create my own water kefir and beet kvass or flavoured sodas and the starter keeps living as long as you replenish what you use and keep it fed and/or refrigerated.

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It doesn’t look super delicious now but I love the simplicity of just ginger, water, unrefined sugar and time in the environment and from here the off shoots will be a complex flavour sensation and also great for gut health like ginger lemon water kefir or beet kvass mixed with spring water on a hot afternoon. A great reward for my kitchen sadhana. You can find this cookbook at the Pemberton Library and she also has a website you can check out at https://nourishedkitchen.com/