Ayurvedic eat­ing is the an­cient Eastern phi­los­o­phy that’s feed­ing into the Western diet. Ex­clu­sively for WH, Jas­mine Hem­s­ley shares some favourite recipes from her brand new book

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS - words NIKKI OS­MAN pho­tog­ra­phy NICK HOP­PER

Jas­mine Hem­s­ley shares her favourite Ayurvedic recipes from her brand new book

Eat­ing for your dosha. Bal­anc­ing your el­e­ments. Nour­ish­ing your di­ges­tive fire. What the hell are we talk­ing about? Ayurveda – the an­cient Eastern phi­los­o­phy that’s tak­ing healthy eat­ing by storm (or wa­ter, to use the cor­rect el­e­ment). If you still think pitta is just a type of bread, help is at hand, in the form of Jas­mine Hem­s­ley (pic­tured). No fam­ily name has be­come quite so syn­ony­mous with well­ness since Jas­mine and her sis­ter Melissa pub­lished their first best-sell­ing cook­book in 2014. (Re­cently over­heard in the WH of­fice: ‘I’m feel­ing so Hem­s­ley to­day.) Now, Jas­mine’s fly­ing solo with new book East By West: Sim­ple Ayurvedic Recipes For Ul­ti­mate Mind-body Bal­ance. ‘I dis­cov­ered Ayurveda 15 years ago on a trip to In­dia,’ she tells WH. ‘Since then, I’ve been ab­sorb­ing more and more of it. So much of the Hem­s­ley + Hem­s­ley phi­los­o­phy – eat­ing at cer­tain times of the day, choos­ing cooked food over raw food – is rooted in Ayurveda.’ First up, the lingo. There are five el­e­ments – air, space, earth, fire and wa­ter. Those el­e­ments are split into three doshas – kapha, pitta and vata – which are like per­son­al­ity types, but are also as­cribed to time of the day, sea­sons and life stages. ‘The main thing to take from the book, with­out know­ing the doshas or any­thing else, is to look after your di­ges­tive fire,’ Hem­s­ley ex­plains. ‘This is what we in the West re­fer to as your me­tab­o­lism. It’s a real emo­tional cen­tre and it’s so im­por­tant to take care of it.’ So what does eat­ing for your di­ges­tive fire look like? For starters, it’s eat­ing your big­gest meal of the day at lunch, when your me­tab­o­lism is work­ing the hard­est. This is also the time to eat an­i­mal pro­tein or raw food, both of which are harder to di­gest. ‘When I first looked into Ayurveda, I thought I could never live this way,’ Hem­s­ley adds. ‘But the beauty of it is it isn’t a diet or a strict set of rules. It’s about lis­ten­ing to your body and fol­low­ing your in­stincts. I like to think of it as a dance; if you’re feel­ing like this, you prob­a­bly need a bit of that.’ Ex­clu­sively for WH, she shares five hearty Ayurvedic recipes – and not a pitta bread in sight…

Parsnips aren’t only for roasts – they make a beau­ti­ful creamy base for spices. Cour­gettes add a lovely crunch to their sweet heav­i­ness.


2 tbsp flaked al­monds • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp mus­tard seeds • 1 large onion, finely sliced • 1 large mild green chilli, sliced • 2 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped • 1cm fresh gin­ger, grated • 1 cin­na­mon stick • 3 medi­um­large parsnips, peeled and cut into 3cm

chunks • 1 tsp ground turmeric • ½ tsp chilli pow­der • 2 large toma­toes, skinned, de­seeded and chopped • 1 ½ tsp tamarind paste mixed with 1 tbsp boil­ing wa­ter or 1 tbsp pre­pared tamarind • 250ml wa­ter • 2 medium cour­gettes, cut into chunks • 400ml tin of full-fat co­conut milk • sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per • 50g chard or spinach leaves, washed • hand­ful of fresh co­rian­der, finely chopped (op­tional)

For the cau­li­flower ‘rice’: 2 large cauliflow­ers • 1 tsp ghee or co­conut oil • 4 tbsp wa­ter • sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per


Heat a pan and dry toast the flaked al­monds un­til lightly browned at the edges. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, toast the cumin and mus­tard seeds un­til fra­grant.

3. Add the rest of the in­gre­di­ents – ex­cept the green veg and co­conut milk – and bring to a sim­mer. Cover and cook for 20 mins.

4. Add the cour­gettes and co­conut milk, and sea­son well with salt and pep­per. Cook, stir­ring un­til the mix­ture is sim­mer­ing again, for a fur­ther 15 mins, fold­ing in the spinach or chard 5-10 mins be­fore the end.

5. Mean­while, re­move the cau­li­flower leaves and the tough end of the stalk. Use a food pro­ces­sor or grater to grate the cau­li­flower into rice-sized pieces. Melt the ghee in a wide fry­ing pan, add the cau­li­flower and wa­ter and mix. Cover and steam over a medium heat for 4-5 mins un­til ten­der but with a lit­tle bite. Check after 3-4 mins to make sure there’s still wa­ter in the pan to avoid it catch­ing. Sea­son to taste and serve.

6. Plate up the cau­li­flower rice and serve with a gen­er­ous por­tion of the curry. Scat­ter with the toasted al­monds and the fresh co­rian­der as a gar­nish, if us­ing.

Rice pud­ding can di­vide a room. How­ever, this Ayurvedic ver­sion has ig­nited a new pas­sion for the dish in ev­ery­one who’s tried it. Per­fect for when it’s cold out­side. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 60g bas­mati rice • 300ml whole milk, plus ex­tra, warmed, to serve (op­tional) • 100ml wa­ter • ½ tsp ghee • 1 tbsp chopped med­jool

dates • 10g cur­rants • 10g blanched al­monds or cashews, chopped and

soaked for 1 hr • 5 car­damom pods

(add whole or just use the seeds)

• large pinch of ground turmeric •

2½cm fresh gin­ger, finely chopped

For the top­ping (op­tional): ½ tsp co­conut oil • 1 tsp raw co­conut slices • ½ tsp jag­gery


1. Rinse the rice in a sieve, then drain and place in a saucepan.

Add all the other in­gre­di­ents.

2. Bring the mix­ture slowly to the boil, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Sim­mer for about 20 mins, un­til the rice is soft and the con­sis­tency is thick and creamy.

3. For the op­tional top­ping, add the co­conut oil, co­conut slices and jag­gery to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for

1-2 mins, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til lightly golden and crisp.

4. Di­vide the milk rice into two bowls and add the top­ping, if us­ing. If you like, top with warm milk.

BTW You might find that you feel hot dur­ing and after eat­ing this, and ex­pel some gas in due course – these are both good signs, prom­ise. A real back-to-ba­sics recipe – and per­fect for us­ing up broc­coli stalks. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 250g broc­coli (mostly stalks), chopped • 2 tbsp sliced leek • 240ml wa­ter • 8 whole cashews or 1 heaped tbsp sun­flower seeds, soaked for 1 hr and drained, or 1 tbsp ghee • ½ tsp sea salt • freshly ground black pep­per

To serve: ex­tra-vir­gin olive

oil, for driz­zling • hand­ful of de­husked wa­ter­melon seeds

(I love the brand Mello) • hand­ful of black sesame seeds


1. Sim­mer the veg in the wa­ter un­til ten­der and bright green. Blend with the soaked cashews, sun­flower seeds or ghee, and sea­son with salt and pep­per.

2. Serve with plenty of ex­travir­gin olive oil and a gen­er­ous sprin­kling of wa­ter­melon seeds and black sesame seeds.

This recipe is in­spired by the savoury ut­ta­pams (thick mini pan­cakes) I dis­cov­ered on my first trip to In­dia. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 80g bas­mati rice • 40g urad dal • pinch of fenu­greek seeds • 360ml wa­ter • ¼ tsp salt • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract • 1 tsp ground cin­na­mon, plus ex­tra for sprin­kling • 1 tsp ghee or co­conut oil, plus more if nec­es­sary • 20g raisins • 18 cashews, crushed or roughly chopped


1. First, make the bat­ter – at least 24 hours be­fore you wish to serve. Rinse the rice and place in a bowl with the urad dal, fenu­greek seeds and 180ml wa­ter. Cover and leave to soak for 5-6 hours. Drain the mix­ture and blend in a strong blender with 120ml wa­ter and the salt un­til you get a fine but grainy con­sis­tency.

2. Cover loosely, leav­ing a gap

(you can trans­fer the mix­ture to a bowl if you need the blender jar) and al­low to fer­ment for a min­i­mum of 8 hrs in a warm place such as an air­ing cup­board. This makes enough for 12 pan­cakes. Now, let’s get cook­ing.

3. Mix in the re­main­ing 60ml wa­ter and the maple syrup, vanilla ex­tract and ground cin­na­mon.

4. Melt the ghee in a 25cm non-stick fry­ing pan on a medium–high heat.

5. Pour 2 tbsp of the bat­ter into the hot pan, which should spread to a thick 9cm pan­cake. Work­ing quickly, stud the pan­cake with 5 raisins, a few crushed cashew pieces and a tiny pinch of cin­na­mon. Re­peat, work­ing your way around the pan in the spa­ces (you should fit three in your pan).

6. Fry on a low heat un­til small bub­bles ap­pear on the sur­face, then flip over and cook on the other side un­til crisp and golden. Re­move and re­peat un­til all the bat­ter is used up, adding a lit­tle more oil or ghee if needed.

This has lots of an­tiox­i­dant and nu­tri­ent-rich veg­gies to boost brain­power, plus two po­tent herbs for cog­ni­tion and mem­ory if you can get your hands on them.


1 tbsp ghee • ½ tsp Shankh­pushpi pow­der (op­tional) • ½ tsp Brahmi pow­der (op­tional) • ½ tsp ground turmeric • ¼ tsp asafoetida • ½cm fresh gin­ger, grated • 1 red chilli, finely chopped • sea salt • 200g

baby spinach • 4 vine-ripened toma­toes, skinned, de­seeded and chopped • 350g broc­coli flo­rets •

300g French beans, cut into 2½cm lengths • 115ml dou­ble cream or co­conut milk • juice of ½ lemon • 50g each of skin-on al­monds and wal­nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped • 2 tbsp chopped co­rian­der • cooked bas­mati rice, to serve


1. Gen­tly melt the ghee in a fry­ing pan over a low heat and stir in the Shankh­pushpi and Brahmi pow­ders, if us­ing, with the other ground spices. Add the gin­ger and chilli along with a pinch of sea salt. Heat and stir for 2 mins over a medium heat.

2. Add the spinach grad­u­ally over a medium-high heat and stir un­til wilted. Add the toma­toes, broc­coli and French beans, then place the lid on the pan and sim­mer for 3-4 mins un­til the beans and broc­coli are still bright in colour but suf­fi­ciently ten­der.

3. Stir through the cream and heat for a cou­ple of mins. Re­move from heat. Add salt to taste if needed.

4. Trans­fer to a serv­ing dish, driz­zle with lemon juice and sprin­kle with the al­monds, wal­nuts and fresh co­rian­der. Serve with bas­mati rice.

sat fat 17.5g sugar 23g serves 4 cals 443

sat fat 2.3g sugar 2.5g serves 2 cals 179

sat fat 7g sugar 16.8g serves 2 cals 316

sat fat 2g sugar 8.3g serves 3 cals 192

sat fat 14g sugar 10g serves 4 cals 639

East By West: Sim­ple Ayurvedic Recipes For Ul­ti­mate Mind-body Bal­ance (£25, Bluebird) is out now

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