Ancient belief inspires book

The Yogic Kitchen, by Jody Vassallo, published by HarperCollins Australia, RRP$.
The Yogic Kitchen, by Jody Vassallo, published by HarperCollins Australia, RRP$.
Discovering the concepts of the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda has affected all aspects of the life of Australian food writer, stylist and yoga teacher Jody Vassallo.

So much so, she has written a recipe book on the traditional Indian ''science of life'', which teaches that if you are not eating well, the body will show symptoms of illness and disease.

In The Yogic Kitchen, Vassallo, who once wrote, styled and tested recipes for Donna Hay, describes the five elements which form the basis of Ayurveda and the three ''doshas'' they make up - Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

For those interested in the ''science'', she explains how it works, provides guides to finding out what ''dosha'' a person is and what that means.

The book is broken up into recipes which suit each dosha. In this extract she provides some recipes for ''Vata'' treats.

Sesame seeds are sweet and warming and are considered to be healing for Vata types and are considered beneficial for bones and teeth.


Black sesame, salt and choc chunk cookies

Makes 12

1 cup (250g) black tahini
⅔ cup (160g) coconut sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
rough sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180degC. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Place the tahini, sugar and egg in a bowl and mix until mixture comes away from the side of the bowl and forms a ball similar to a dough consistency.

Shape tablespoons of the tahini mixture into balls, place on the prepared tray and flatten slightly. Top with the chopped chocolate and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Black sesame porridge

Serves 4

1 cup steel cut oats (160g), soaked overnight in cold water
2 Tbsp black tahini
pinch sea salt
1½ cups (375ml) unhomogenised organic milk or coconut milk
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp finely sliced ginger

To serve
2 Tbsp goji berries
1 tsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 Tbsp ghee

Rinse and drain the oats and place in a pan with the black tahini, salt and milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the oats are soft.

Stir in the sugar and ginger to combine.

Serve bowls of the porridge topped with the goji, seeds and ghee.

Black sesame greens

1 bunch of broccolini
300g green beans, trimmed
1 cup (200g) frozen shelled edamame or baby peas
2 Tbsp black tahini
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp tamari
2 tsp organic sesame oil

Steam the greens in a steamer or colander set over a saucepan of simmering water until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes.

Place the tahini, sesame seeds, tamari, sesame oil and half a cup of water in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, until warmed through.

If the mixture is too thick, add more water. You want it to be a pouring consistency.

Pour the black sesame mixture over the vegetables and gently toss to combine.

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