Mixed Fruit Rasayana

Yesterday was a wintry wonderland with white frosted trees and brisk air that marked my cheeks a rosy hue. Today, however was filled with slush and intermittent raindrops. A day that left me in a shade of grey. I left work in the rain and came home to a mug of tea, mail and more emails. I discarded my work clothes for some yoga ones and headed out the door in hopes of some restoration!  Great news…yoga was very relevant today taking on the form of back-bending and twisting. These asanas help open the chest and release any negative emotions which perked me up enough to head home to the kitchen!
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A Million Miles…

A Journey…

I think it’s something about a new feeling or an experience that allows me to learn more about who I am that entices me…or as a friend of mine once said “lights a fire inside.”  When I travel I feel a renewed sense of vigor that resonates throughout my body and my eyes are as open as they’ll ever be.  Why is it that sometimes it feels as if you have to be a million miles away to reintroduce yourself to those sensations?

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Semiya Payasam

Semiya-  vermicelli

Payasam- with milk

This is a very old and revered recipe that is an essential part of the South Indian meal.  Payasam is especially prepared during festivals or on auspicious days and is eaten before any of the other foods.  Consisting of minimal ingredients payasam instills a ‘homey’ feeling from the very first bite.

It is a sweet dish that may be consumed hot or cold.  I would describe the consistency to be like a rice pudding or porridge.  Payasam is most often made with rice but may also be made with vermicelli, like it is here.
There are several types of payasam and different versions all throughout India.  For example, in Northern India payasam is called kheer and is considered as a holy food, reserved for occasions such as weddings.

I made my first Payasam on the day I received my new cookbook, Mysore Style Cooking by V. Sandhya in the mail.  It was very simple to make and the ingredients are not difficult to come by.  I felt almost child-like and comforted by this sweet dish and just had to share!

Semiya Payasam


3 cups Milk (I use whole)

2 Tbs. Ghee

3 Tbs Cashew Nuts, halved

3 Tbs Raisins

1 cup Semiya (vermicelli)

1/2 cup Jaggery

10 Cardamom Pods, crushed, discard the husks

10-20 Almonds, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Saffron, soaked in 1/2 cup hot milk (I use the milk from the pot)


1. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pot and keep over a moderate heat, uncovered, until it is reduced .  Now lower the heat and allow to simmer.

2. Heat the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the cashews and raisins and fry until the cashew nuts turn to golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.

3. In the same pan, fry the vermicelli until it turns golden brown.  Once browned add the vermicelli to the simmering milk, along with the ghee and cook over a low heat for 15 minuted until it becomes soft and the payasa begins to thicken.

4. Stir in the jaggery, cashew nuts, raisins, cardamom, almonds and the soaked saffron along with the milk, and mix well.

Remove from heat. Serve hot or cold

A Rejuvenating Tonic

It was Monday night and I was beginning to awaken my limbs out of Savasana.  I rolled over to my chosen side and blossomed up into Anjali mudra; opening my heart while offering my thanks and gratitude in the form of Namaste.  On this particular night my yoga instructor parted ways by offering up a recipe.  She said “C C F this is all you need to remember: 1 Tablespoon fennel, 1 Tablespoon coriander and 1 Tablespoon cumin.”  Simmer the spices in water, drink and enjoy the benefits of this Ayurvedic recipe.

CCF tea brings our bodies and minds into balance of our natural state.  It helps aid the digestive system and supports the absorption of nutrients in the body.  Great before or after meals.

CCF Tea Recipe

1 Tablespoon whole fennel seeds

1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

6 cups water

Boil the water in a pot.  Add the spices and simmer at least 10  minutes.  Strain into your favorite mug or thermos and enjoy!

(I have not tried this myself but hear that CCF tea is great iced during the warmer months.)