Greetings From Goa + An Indian Recipe From Mani

Around half way through my time training with Julie Martin and Brahmani Yoga in India, and still learning so much more than I ever expected about all aspects of yoga, not just asana. There’s so much I’m looking forward to putting into classes and workshops, and so much I look forward to bringing into my own practice and daily life too! Missing you all lots….

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmassy time at home and enjoying the festive feasts. Here at the Satsanga retreat center we’re treated to Auyurvedic meals created by the very talented Mani Shivadas. Since I haven’t been able to create healthy vegan recipes for you this month, here’s a few recipes straight from Mani’s cook book Svaadistha! Indian Massala Cooking. ‘Svaadistha’ means means ‘delicious’ in Sankrit.

All recipes use no processed sugar, only honey and jiggery for sweetening. No processed white flour, only wheat, and all fresh ingredients. If you feel like taking a break from the traditional British Christmas food before the big day, then experiment with these recipes which we’ve been gratefully sampling here!

svadistha cook book

Juice: Snack times and dinners are often accompanied by a juice, smoothie or lassie. Here’s a recipe for a sweet and filling Beetroot shake. Beetroot is wonderful for boosting circulation, energy levels and stamina, which is as equally welcome in the hot and humid Indian weather as it is in the cold and windy towns of the UK at the moment.

Mani’s Beetroot Shake Recipe

– 1/2 piece of beetroot

– 5 cashew nuts

– 2 bananas

1 – glass of milk (can also use non dairy milk)


– Skin and chop the beetroot and place it in a blender

– Blend and strain

– Set aside the juice

– Separately, mix together the sliced banana, ground cashew nuts and milk, and blend

– Add the beetroot juice to the rest of the blended ingredients and serve!


Soup: Dinner always starts with a delicious soup. Here’s Mani’s recipe for vegetable soup, which would also work well as part of a quick lunch.

Vegetable Soup Recipe

– 2 carrots

– 100g cabbage

– 1 potato

-100g French green beans

– 1 tomato

– 1 white onion

– 1 index-finger sized piece of ginger

– 3 cloves of garlic

– 1 tsp ground pepper

– 1 pinch salt

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 litre water

HOW TO (4 servings):

– Chop all the veggies and boil for 15 minutes

– Put the vegetables (apart from the garlic, onion, ginger and tomato) in a blender and blend for 30 seconds

– Chop the garlic, onion, tomato and set aside

– In a large sauce pan, heat the oil and saute garlic, onion, ginger and tomato until brown

– Once brown, add pepper and salt

-Place everything into a sauce pan and bring to a boil

-Remove any foam that forms on top and discard

– Let soup simmer for around 5 minutes

– Serve!

Main Course: Each night is full of different types of curry, dhal and rice (especially nice for Winter time!) Here’s a recipe for Mani’s Pumpkin and Dhal Curry.

Pumpkin & Dhal Curry Recie

-200g dhal

– 1/2 kilo pumpkin

– 1 tsp turmeric powder

– 2 cloves garlic

– 1 tsp cumin

– 1 tsp mustard seed

– 3 dried chillies

– 2 tsp oil

– 1 pinch salt

– 250g fresh grated coconut

HOW TO (4 servings):

– Boil dhal in 3 glasses of water for 15 minutes

– Skin and remove seeds from pumpkin and cut into small chunks

– Add pumpkin chunks to boiling dhal

– Add 1 pinch salt and 1 pinch turmeric powder, and boil for another 15 minutes (total 30 minutes boiling time).

– Next, add coconut, cumin garlic and mix in a blender until a paste forms

-Add paste to dhal and pumpkin mixture

– Mash pumpkin chunks using a spoon

-In a large saucepan, heat the oil.

– Saute mustard seeds for 2 minutes

– Next, cut each chilli into 3 pieces, and saute with mustard seeds, again for 2 minutes

– Add pumpkin and dhal to saucepan and stir and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium-low heat

– Serve!

“Mani Shivadas is the beloved chef at Satsanga Retreat in Goa, India. Mani manages the center’s meal planning and preparation, as well as offering Ayurvedic, Indian-vegetarian, and vegetarian cooking classes. Originally from Kerala, Mani grew up in an Ayurvedic household; both her father and brother are Ayurvedic doctors. She has been cooking professionally as a chef for 16 years. In addition to cooking in the Ayurvedic tradition, Mani has vast knowledge about the healing properties of different herbs and spices and how they can be used in medicinal ways to help alleviate many common health ailments”.

Enjoy the recipes. Hope you’re enjoying the festive season at home!

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