Cook's Hideout: An Ayurvedic Meal (Thali)

April 11, 2014

An Ayurvedic Meal (Thali)

With the ongoing BM mega marathon, thalis have become quite popular among our BM group. I wish I had more time to make thalis for some of the states. But it is what it is, so I decided to make a thali for Cooking from Cookbook Challenge instead. Today's thali is an Ayurvedic Thali from Sukham Ayu.
An Ayurvedic Meal (Thali)

These are the dishes from the thali:
  • Sprouts Salad
  • Tomato Dal
  • Ivy gourd curry
  • Green Peas Curry
  • Basic Pulao
  • Carrot Kheer
  • Roti
  • Buttermilk - Churn 1cup yogurt with 3cups of water. Add ¼tsp roasted cumin powder and powdered rock salt to taste. Garnish with chopped mint or cilantro leaves.
All the above recipes in the book are very basic and can easily customized with the choice of veggies. All the dishes are simple to make, cooked with ghee, powdered rock salt and are very tasty. I used kosher salt to make these dishes. I'm going to get down to the recipes now:

Sprouts Salad:
Sprouts Salad
Green gram Sprouts - 2cups
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Green Pepper - ¼cup, finely chopped 
Apple - 2~3tbsp, chopped
Cilantro - 1tbsp, finely chopped
Mint leaves - 2tsp, finely chopped
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 2tsp

  • Steam sprouts for 5~7 minutes. I microwaved the sprouts for 2~3 minutes.
  • Heat 1tsp ghee; add the chopped onion and capsicum, cook for 1~2 minutes. Then add the sprouts and cook for 1 minute. Let the mixture cool.
  • Add the apple, cilantro, mint leaves and salt. Serve immediately.
Tomato Dal: Original recipe didn't have tomato in it.
Basic Dal
Moong dal or Toor dal - ½cup
Turmeric - ½tsp
Methi seeds (fenugreek) - ¼tsp
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2, chopped (optional)
Cilantro leaves - for garnish
For Tempering:
Ghee - 1½tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Hing/ Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 5~6
Green Chilies - 2, slit


  • Pressure cook dal along with turmeric and fenugreek in 1½cups of water to a soft consistency. Churn well and set aside.
  • In a small pan, heat ghee and add cumin seeds and once the seeds start to crackle, add hing, curry leaves and chilies. 
  • Add the onions and cook for 2~3 minutes until onions are translucent. Next add the tomatoes and cook till mushy.
  • Add the cooked dal and salt. Add water if the dal seems too thick. Simmer for 5~6 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.
Ivy Gourd Curry: This curry can also be made with beetroot, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, cabbage, pepper, carrots, pumpkin, ridge gourd, radish, spinach or spring onions. Some veggies might take a little longer to cook. If using baby corn, cauliflower, french beans, green peas, plantains or yam, add ½cup water after adding the spice powders. Basically  the same recipe can be used to make curry with any veggie.
Ivy Gourd Curry
Any veggies of choice (see note above) - 4 cups, chopped (I used ivy gourd)
Turmeric - ¼tsp
Red chili powder - ½tsp
Ground Coriander - 1tsp
Powdered Rock Salt - to taste
For Tempering:
Ghee - 1tsp
Mustard seeds - ½tsp
Cumin seeds - ½tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch

  • Heat ghee in a pan; add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter add the chopped veggie and saute for 2~3 minutes. I microwaved ivy gourd until just tender to speed up the cooking process.
  • Add the turmeric, red chili powder, ground coriander and salt. Cook, covered until the veggie is tender. Serve immediately.
Ivy Gourd Curry
Green Peas Curry: I used fresh green peas and I didn't have to boil them before adding to the curry.
Green Peas Curry
Green Peas - 2cups (I used fresh green peas)

Turmeric - ¼tsp
Red chili powder - 1tsp
Ground Cumin - 1tsp
Ground Coriander - 1tsp
Garam Masala - ½tsp
Mint Leaves - 1tbsp, finely chopped
Cilantro - 2tsp, finely chopped for garnish
Powdered Rock Salt - to taste
For Masala Paste:
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Garlic - 2~3 cloves
Ginger - 1" piece
Fresh grated coconut - 2tbsp
Pumpkin or Sunflower seeds - 1tbsp


  • For the Masala Paste: Heat ½tsp ghee in a pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and the seeds and saute for 2~3 minutes. Cool for a little bit and grind into a smooth paste along with the coconut using very little water.
  • Heat 2½tsp ghee, add the masala paste, reduce the flame and cook for 2~3 minutes.
  • Add the turmeric, ground coriander, cumin and chili powders and continue to saute for 2~3 minutes until the ghee separates from the paste.
  • Add the peas, mint leaves, salt and 1cup warm water. Cover and simmer for 4~5 minutes. Turn off the flame and garnish with garam masala and fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
Basic Pulao: Soak 1 cup basmati rice for 10 minutes. Heat 1½tsp ghee in a pressure cooker and add 1 bay leaf, 2" cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 1tsp cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add 1 medium thinly sliced onion and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. Once the onions turn translucent, add 2cups of chopped spinach. Saute for 2 minutes. Next add the drained rice and 2 cups warm water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Serve hot.
Basic Pulao

Carrot Kheer:
Carrot Kheer
Carrot - 1 large, grated
Milk - 4cups
Slivered or whole almonds Almonds - ¼cup
Cloves - 2
Rock Sugar - 1/3cup (adjust as per taste)
Ground Cardamom - ¼tsp

  • Soak almonds for 1 hour.
  • In a thick bottomed pan, bring the milk to a boil, lower the heat and simmer.
  • Steam the grated carrot for 4~% minutes. Set aside to cool. I microwaved the carrot for 1~2 minutes.
  • If using whole almonds, peel them before grinding them to a coarse powder. Add the steamed carrot and grind into a coarse paste.
  • Heat 1tsp ghee and add the cloves. Once they puff up, add the carrot-almond mixture and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the carrot mixture to the simmering milk along with sugar and continue cooking over low flame for 7~8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground cardamom and turn off the flame. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook Challenge: April -- Week 2.'

Also linking to Fabulous Feast Friday# 10 being hosted by Valli & Prachi.


  1. Lovely Pavani! Such a homely meal....Love these simple thalis :)

  2. Oh my gosh Pavani, such a delicious spread you got each of them and so beautifully presented! you know I love thalis..and your plate is so inviting!

  3. Such a beautiful thali, couldnt stop drooling myself here, simple and homely foods.

  4. wow yummy platter pavani garu too good.

  5. too good yummy platter very nice pavani garu

  6. Mast meal ... me too possess that book,,,need to try dishes from it soon

  7. Wow. Love the Thali! I also love the Sukham Ayu cookbook

  8. Simple , homey and comforting ;-))

  9. Awesome very healthy meal pavani garu too good

  10. wow... that shows an lot of hardwork and excellance. Wonderful thali and I am desiring them now :)

  11. Kudos, for whipping up all of these items at once. Wish I get my hands on it, Pavani.

  12. my palate would enjoy everything you presented so well, except maybe the buttermilk. spiced milk is not something I am used to


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