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 March 2005

          Greetings to everyone.

The morning air is rapidly becoming crisp and fresh. Have you considered giving yourself and your family a warm and nourishing soup for breakfast? It's not as complicated or time-consuming as it sounds and there are many variations on one simple recipe. The protein content from the lentils will keep you going well into your day. See our recipe below for details.

If you are very sensitive to the cold, or become anxious or irritable when you skip a meal, serve a steaming bowl of oats, well cooked with dates, cinnamon, apples and raisins, to enjoy after your soup.

Our very exciting news this month is that, Dr Nayana and Dr Sreedhar Rao, both fully qualified Ayurvedic doctors, will be available for consultations at our centre from 26th to the 30th March. 

They will also be giving a workshop on Tuesday evening 29th MarchAyurveda - Common and South African herbs, their benefits and use in self-care and treatment . 

This is a rare opportunity for anyone interested in Ayurveda, in herbs, in massage or in health generally, to gain from the wisdom and experience of this couple for the improvement of your own health and well-being or that of your clients. Please see below for more details.

On the subject of food, the Ayurvedic cooking course which we offered was very successful. We are wondering whether those of you who attended have been trying out some of the recipes. Please see below for details of the next one.



  • Cultivating compassion through Sound 
  • Xolisile's breakfast soup 
  • Menu planning 
  • Upcoming activities at our centre:
- Ayurvedic consultations and workshop by Dr Raos
- Practical Ayurveda evening 
- Indian Beach Massage
- Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents
- Ayurvedic cooking

Cultivating compassion through Sound 

Some of the most powerful sounds on this planet are the sounds we can make with our own voices. When the sound is made with a particular intention, this will amplify the power and energy of the sound. "AH" is particularly useful for generating compassion towards oneself and others.

The "AH" sound is a sacred seed syllable-a sacred mantra in many Eastern traditions. It is also a vowel sound-a divinely inspired sound that is considered sacred in many different traditions including Hebrew Kabbalah.

The "AH" sound is found in most of the God and Goddess names on the planet (Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc.), as well as many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, Aum). As a seed syllable, the "AH" is universal and may be utilized differently in different traditions, depending upon its purpose.  

Here is an exercise to try sound an "AH" with the intention of generating the energy of compassion. Start first with yourself, then with someone you love, then with someone you have neutral energy with and finally with someone you have difficulty with. It is this last that provides the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth, since it's easy to send love to someone you love and  much more challenging to give it to someone you don't.

Menu planning 

 A good cook personalizes food, projecting love and nourishment into it, killing it and then bringing it back to  life.  Robert E. Svoboda

 A balanced meal contains something of all six tastes ie. sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent & astringent. When we eat a meal in which all six tastes are represented, we are taking back into our bodies something from each of the five elements which make up this universe, and in this way restoring harmony.

Let's take Xolisile's yellow mung dal breakfast soup as an example of how to introduce the different tastes into a one dish meal:

1 cup yellow mung dal, astringent

Rinse it and soak it overnight in plenty of water. In the morning, drain. Bring to boil in

1 litre water


Pinch asafoetida, pungent

This reduces the wind producing effect of lentils by making them easier to digest.

Simmer for about 30 min, together with

Wakame pieces or salt, salty

Ground black pepper, pungent

Then add


Serve as is, or................



 If you have more time, and would like, add any or several of the following at the beginning of the cooking time:

cm finely chopped lemongrass


1 carrot, finely grated, sweet


butternut, sweet


tomato, finely chopped, sweet & sour


celery, finely chopped, bitter


onion, finely diced, pungent


A little chopped fresh ginger, ginger contains all six tastes


t cumin/jeera, pungent & bitter


And towards the end of the cooking time, add:

Fresh parsley, coriander, finely chopped, spring onion, chives or other fresh herbs


t miso

Reduce the heat so that the miso does not boil.

 When eaten together with a bowl of oats which is sweet, your breakfast is more balancing to air/ether and fire types


Menu samples

It's all very well having the recipes, but how do we put them together into a meal?

Let's look at the recipes we have included so far in our newsletters . You can find them on our website if you look under newsletters or click here Together they make a complete meal if served with a bowl of rice, a roti  or some other starch eg. potatoes :  

-          Red lentil soup or  Xolisile's yellow mung dal breakfast soup

-          Stir-fried veggies in coconut milk,

-          Apple chutney  or  Coriander chutney,

-          Lentil and coconut dal,

-          Mixed raita,  

 -          Digestive seeds to enjoy after your meal


One important aspect of planning the menu is to ask: what is the season and what is seasonal? For example, coriander and coconut are cooling and therefore appropriate for warm weather, while the red lentil soup and the apple chutney are heating. However, it is certainly possible to balance these by increasing the amounts used of certain of the herbs or spices to adjust this heating or cooling effect.  

 By buying organic foods whenever possible, we are more likely to be eating what is actually in season rather than food that has been stored for long periods. Dominic Davis puts great care into delivering fresh, beautifully presented, fully certified, organic veggie boxes weekly  in the Cape Town area . Contact him  on 083 645 2469.

Make sure you have a variety of colours and textures within your meal eg. rough, soft, dry, moist, smooth foods.

All six tastes, as mentioned above, need to be represented. Chutneys contribute to the overall sweetness, and therefore the nurturing and satisfying effect of the meal. Dals are mostly astringent and provide a moist quality. Grains are mostly sweet. A small amount of yoghurt, present in the raita, ensures better digestion while also balancing the otherwise vata aggravating properties of raw vegetables.

 Take care about indigestible combinations. Milk is a  meal  on its own.  Here the recipes for Warm spicy milk and Mint chai can be used. Eat fruit separately, except in small quantities in a raita or chutney, where cooked spices have been combined with the fruit.

Upcoming activities:

Ayurvedic consultations and workshop by Dr Raos 

consultation costs R 300 and will include all or some of the following:

Constitutional Prakriti Analysis
Imbalance Vikriti Assessment
Ayurvedic treatment for the ailment
Diet & Lifestyle Pathya and Vihara  

Detailed Ayurvedic health  profile
Detox Panchakarma therapies  

Yoga and  meditation techniques

Ayurveda - Common and South African herbs, their benefits and use in self-care and treatment

This  workshop will cover the ayurvedic use of South African herbs in self-care or in your practise.  

Date and time: Tuesday 29th March from 6 - 9.30 pm.  

Cost:  R135 and includes a light meal.  

Please send the attached booking form with proof of payment or contact us before 24th March 2005.

Practical Ayurveda evening  Would you like to enjoy a relaxing evening beginning with Yoga, followed by an ayurvedic meal, a discussion and a  practical experience of Ayurveda related to the theme for the evening. All for just R90, and that includes handouts!

If this sounds appealing to you, please join us Monday 4th April for our  next Practical Ayurveda evening from 5.45 pm until 9.30 pm. Please bring a yoga mat or a towel, and a blanket. Dress warmly and comfortably

Bookings will only be confirmed with payment. Please see the attached booking form for our banking details.

  Indian Beach Massage

Sun 17th April 10am  - 6pm

 We are excited to be hosting this full day worshop by Dr Iqbal Badat who is well known for bringing traditional Indian Head Massage to South Africa. He is a healer, linguistartist and one of India's leading Urdu poets. 

 This ancient form of massage imitates the shapes and patterns found in Nature to activate your body's self-healing intelligence. Traditionally it is enjoyed on a beach in the shade of tall palm trees. As no oils are used and the person receiving the treatment remains fully dressed, this massage can be given anywhere. 

Bookings will only be confirmed with payment. Please see the attached booking form for our banking details.

Guide your children into a life of success and fulfillment 


 Seven Spiritual Laws for Parentsweekend of 8th -10th Apr or Wednesdays 7 - 9.30 pm, from  13 Apr - 1 Jun 2005  

Your facilitator will be Sheryl Paddock-Saunders. Her teachings are based on her life's experience of courses with Dr Deepak Chopra as well as his books. You will learn practically what you can do as a family, on a daily basis, to create abundance and experience the spiritual nature of communion with family.

Cost: R720 for each course each or R1200 for both if paid before 25 March 2005. Please contact us for bookings

Ayurvedic cooking
Saturday 14th May, 10 am to 3 pm. Cost: R135
 Join us for a practical and sensual experience which will cover the following:


  • what makes ayurvedic cooking different
  • some commonly used ingredients of Indian and Ayurvedic cooking
  • basic methods of preparation
  • preparation of soups and dals
  • importance of good digestion and how you can enhance this

Thank you for reading our newsletter, we hope you enjoyed it. 

 Do take extra care to keep warm and eat nourishing foods during this change of seasons.

We are looking forward to welcoming you here or hearing from you soon.

With love,

Margit, Marina,  Sakhumzi, Samantha, Xolisile and Zinhle

 If you wish to read our previous newsletters, please see our website


Welcome to Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre