What’s in your Salt?

Thousands of years ago the Vedic Rishis (enlightened sages or seers of ancient India), from which all Ayurvedic knowledge and wisdom was derived, identified and confirmed the existence of six tastes. Lavana, or salty taste is an important one, very commonly used, but the least understood. It contains a unique combination of both soma and agni, or in SVA terms, its properties are primarily nurturing (soma) and transformation (agni).  Rock Salt
According to the SVA or Shakha Vansiya Ayurveda lineage, the entire universe, nature, as well as our physiology thrives on prana, our life force.  Prana’s three components; soma, agni, and marut are vibrational energies that occur in our natural environment.  Soma is characterized as nurturing energy that carries lunar energy vibrations.  Soma provides our bodies with stability, aids in lubrication, and supports optimum absorption of what we eat and drink.  Agni aides in the transformation process including digestions (of both food and emotions), and carries the vibrational energies of the sun.  Marut is associated with the air and space elements, and supports all movement in nature.
Ayurveda places great importance on the six rasas or the six tastes as they have a profound effect on the way we digest our food as well as how they affect our internal organs.  Balancing the six tastes in our diets is a key principle for optimum health and wellness.  The six rasa / tastes are:
Sweet – madhur
Sour – amla
Salty – lavana
Pungent – katu
Bitter  – tikta
Astringent – kashaya
The salty (lavana) taste encompasses all foods that have a healthy salty taste to them.  Today, salt often refers only to sodium chloride (NaCl.), yet salt is so much more than that.  Based partly on observing the qualities of the salty taste, the Vedic Rishis understood that in addition to improving the flavor of foods, healthy and clean salt aids digestion and circulation, lubricates the stomach lining, enhances absorption, and helps open up blocked channels.  The rishis also recognized that in excess or with improper use, the salty taste will cause imbalances.  The rishis observed that salt exhibits the gunas or qualities of heaviness (guru), unctuousness (snaihika), and warmth (ushna).

Benefits of proper salt usage:
The Charak Samhita, the main Ayurvedic text and sutras of holistic medicine contains the laws of nature and guiding medical principles.  This life manual provides us with beautiful verses of the actions of the salty taste on our body including:

Effects of Too Much Salt Use:
The Charak Samhita as documented by the vedic rishis also provides us with awareness about the misuse or overuse of salt.  The following table lists complications and health problems that may be caused by excess or misuse of the salty taste.

Screenshot 2015-01-20 10.00.48
What is Soma Salt?

Soma salt is a cooling rock salt, as the name “soma” suggests.  Soma salt is a high grade salt extracted from the Himalayas in the historic land of Sindh.  Soma salt undergoes a proprietary purification process, a technique that has been passed down in the Shakha Vansiya Ayurvedic lineage.  Salt that originate from the Himalayas develop as large rock and cluster deposits that contain agni (heating) minerals such as lead, sulphur, zinc, cadmium etc.  The SVA salt purification process removes the agni metals and minerals producing an end result that is balanced, cooling and nurturing.  Organic materials are used during the cleaning process, and no anti-caking agents or free-flowing agents are added.
In comparison to many other edible salts that are heating in nature, Soma salt is cooling as it carries lunar (cooling) soma intelligence thus providing a more nurturing effect on the body.   Soma salt provides a more subtle salty taste, which draws out the flavor in foods without dominating them.
The Charak Samhita lists eight edible and beneficial kinds of salt coming from the Himalayas.  It names the best among them as Soma Lavan, or Soma salt.  This cooling variety of salt is said to give numerous benefits.  Soma salt is described in Chapter 27, Verse 300 as: rochanam (tasty), deepanam (increasing the digestive fire, which supports all seven tissues), vrishyam (supporting shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue), chakchushya (supporting the longevity of the eyes by cooling the liver), avidahi cha (not creating a digestive imbalance due to excess heating quality, and not causing retention of toxins as other salts do), tridoshagnam (pacifying all three doshas and having a somewhat sweet taste), lavanottamam (the best of all salts). soma_saltb__76389__68336.1340580089.1280.1280
Soma salt also contains very little iodine.  Iodine is a chemical element essential for the production of thyroid hormones that regular growth and metabolism.   There is often a misconception that salt should be fortified with iodine to support the body.  However, there are many foods that are naturally high in Iodine such as; dried seaweed, fish, potato peel, milk, shrimp, turkey, navy beans, and eggs.  These natural sources are more bioavailable, which means the iodine can be absorbed and used by the body more intelligently without the risk of overdose or deficiency.    NOTE: Please consult your Physician if you are low in iodine or have an iodine-related disease.
Soma salt also contains very little sodium chloride, whereas most table salt is over 95% sodium chloride.  Sodium chloride has a heating effect on the body, which may cause various doshic imbalances.
A Salt Mineral Analysis: SVA vs. Standard Himalayan Salt:
Below is a spectral analysis of SVA Soma salt, which has gone through a purification process to remove heating minerals and metals, compared to a typical Himalayan salt.
The results below show the content per 100 g of each product.

Screenshot 2015-01-20 10.00.58

As the chart above indicates, Soma Salt has less Sodium and more potassium which are highly desirable results. On the other hand, it is lower in calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper, as these elements are lost during the aluminum purification process – research has confirmed that aluminum is a highly toxic element unfit for human consumption.
Using Soma Salt:
Below are just a few ways to use Soma salt.
Cooking:  Sauté Soma salt with other spices in ghee before adding your vegetables or protein.  Mix Soma salt with Mum”s Masala, lime juice and some olive oil for a delicious dip or drizzle on salad as a healthy dressing.
Baking:  Soma salt enhances the taste of sugar and aids in the proper absorption of the sweet taste.  Please do not use Soma salt with milk or cream.
Sprinkling on food:  Simply sprinkle Soma salt to taste over your food.
Improve appetite:  Sprinkle a little Soma salt on a slice of ginger, add a squeeze of lime and eat.  This will help un-cloud the kledaka kapha subdosha and increase the appetite.
Addressing salt cravings:  Sprinkle a little Soma salt on a slice of lime and suck on it.  Note: this should not follow a tequila shot!
Addressing dehydration:  There are a number of SVA rehydration drink recipes to balance doshas and support the digestion system.  Rehydration drink recipes can be found at: http://www.chandika.com/downloads/SVA-Summer-Protocol_Vaidya-Mishra_Aug2010.pdf

Recipes using Soma Salt:

The SVA Cooking team has prepared a multitude of tasty recipes using Soma salt.  Happy browsing and cooking! 

Customer Testimonials:
There are thousands of happy users of Soma salt and here are a few of their testimonials:
Food Enhanced with Soma Salt (Posted on chandika.com by Mary McCoy on 23rd Oct 2009) “Soma salt has a ‘softer’ quality compared to other salts, so there isn’t any sharp edge. Food flavors seem to be enhanced from the inside making them taste fuller, more nourishing and more like the natural ingedient itself. That it helps calm my pitta is an extra bonus.
Great salt! (Posted on chandika.com by Laura – NYC on 2nd Sep 2009): “I have a high pitta constitution that tends to throw off my vata dosha which then makes me crave more salt then that throws off my pitta dosha more and so on! Soma Salt has been a life saver in this sense. It satisfies my vata without aggravating my pitta and putting me in an endless loop of one dosha aggravating the next. Plus I do not retain any toxins with this salt, being a woman, cellulite can be an issue for me! Thank you Vaidya for an amazing product and all the knowledge to help heal us!”
Delicious! (Posted on chandika.com by Greg – WI on 2nd Sep 2009): “Tastes really great. Salty taste but no biting sharpness. lovely after effect feeling. Thanks.”
and some more recent ones:

“I got used to Soma Salt but ran out one day and by the time I got it back I had to use regular table salt. My chronic problems (joint and ankle pain) came back immediately, and I knew it was the salt because I had not changed anything else in my diet or routine. Now I never run out of it!” (SR – SoCal)

“I started to use Soma Salt because I liked its taste, not to sharp yet salty enough. But with time I noticed how it made me feel lighter. Vaidya explains that my body likes to retain water and we know salt retains water. Having Soma Salt has been a boon for me, as I could now consume my salt without running the risk of feeling heavy, bloated, and gaining weight. I love this salt.” Melanie K. (CA)

“While on a trip I had taken precautions to minimize and avoid the use of regular table salt, requesting fresh meals to be made without salt whenever possible. However, on a couple of occasions I had to submit and eat what was available. My body had an immediate response to the regular table salt. My feet became swollen and painful. The doctors could not see/understand anything. After a diet with regular Soma Salt everything is back to normal again. This salt is magical. More people should know about it…”
Raymond M., Canada

Charak Samhita

Iodine Excess and Hyperthyroidism.   Elio Roti and Ettore Degli Uberti and. Thyroid. May 2001, 11(5): 493-500. doi:10.1089/105072501300176453. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396708

Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient information Center. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/iodine/

Fresenius Journal  of Analytical Chemistry. Trace Elements — Analytical Methods. Iodine in different food articles and standard reference materials. M. Dermelj, Z. Šlejkovec, A. R. Byrne, P. Stegnar, V. Stibilj and M. Rossbach. http://www.springerlink.com/content/n4645956642x7357/

European Journal of Endocrinology. Correction of iodine deficiency: benefits and possible side effects. http://www.eje.org/content/132/5/542.short

Nutrition Reviews: Too Much Versus Too Little: The Implications of Current Iodine Intake in the United States. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.1999.tb06940.x/abstract

Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt. http://www.saltnews.com/chemical-analysis-natural-himalayan-pink-salt/

Chyawanprash; 52 Herbs for daily detox and rejuvenation

The Rishi and The Princess
The intriguing story of Rishi Chyawan is documented in the ancient epic tale of India, the Mahabharata. Rishi Chyawan was a great seer. He was fully enlightened and thus carried no desires in his heart, except for union with the cosmic divine. It is said that he sat immobile, his senses fully retracted into the silent self-referral bliss of meditation, for numerous years, until one day, Sukanya, the young and beautiful daughter of King Sharyati, found him and accidentally awoke him from his yogic trance. The aging rishi and the young princess were soon wed. However, their conjugal bliss was overshadowed by the rishi’s old ascetic body.
It is then told that the celestial twin physicians, the Ashvinis, came to the rishi’s help.Physicians to the gods, they had garnered the entirety of Ayurvedic knowledge for the benefit of mankind and the celestial realm. They prepared a mixture that contained the best of what Mother Nature offered in terms of divine healing, balancing, and rejuvenating altogether 52 herbs, and presented it to Rishi Chyawan. Rishi Chyawan ate it, and it restored his body to its original youthful glow and functionality in no time! And the rishi and the princess lived happily ever after….
  The recipe became known as Chyawan’s Prash, or the herbal mixture of Chyawan, renown for its tonic and rejuvenative powers.
Vaidya’s Story
“The sweet taste and rich aroma of home-made chyawanprash infuses my early childhood memories spent in the village of Vaidyachak (“Vaidya’s village”) in Jharkand, NorthEast India. My father used to prepare Chyawanprash for our family members, as well as his patients, from scratch. I used to watch him select the herbs, prep them, and, finally cook them.


Years later, when I studied Ayurveda formally and learnt of the countless benefits of all the herbs that go into the Chyawanprash formula, I had the desire to share it with all my ayurvedic patients, specially after moving to the West. That’s how, several years ago, I initiated the process of sourcing and gathering the best quality wild-crafted herbs that would go into the preparation. I wanted to make sure that I incorporated every single ingredient that was mentioned in the original formula without compromise of quality.
Finally, a few months ago, everything came together, and I put together this “avaleha,” or “liquid preserve,” just the way my father used to make it! I am very happy to say It smells and tastes just as good as I remember it!
How does it work?
Chyawanprash is Ayurveda’s gift to us. It brings together the best of all the “divyaushadhi,” or divine herbs, in a recipe that is not only balancing, but is a delicious addition to daily diet. It’s no accident that it is considered India’s national tonic!
The preparation of these 52 herbs and plants involves seven stages and is complex because the herbs that are used have different properties that need to be prepared in distinct separate steps before being combined together, in order to get the full benefit. The original creators of this formula, the Ashwin Gods, taught the way of infusing the different groups of herbs together, based on how they can be categorized property-wise. The herbs that go into the mixture can be grouped into three:
  • rasayana or rejuvenative herbs
  • detoxifying and cleansing herbs
  • immuno-modulatory herbs
Deriving the lipid and water soluble fractions of these herbs, while infusing their balancing properties into the base of the alma berry paste (amalaki) is thus a challenging process that has to go through different time-sensitive steps. But when it is done properly, when the powerful molecules have been duly prepared and mixed in with the organic sugar and honey, the formulation is fully potent and active, benefiting the body as soon as it touches the oral mucosa. Once in the stomach, it detoxifies traveling through the gaps of the tissues and nourishing all the aspects of the physiology.


Chyawanprash is a daily tonic that is good for all age groups all the time – except infants and children age 5 and under. The original formula contains ghee, cane sugar, and honey. Please note that the addition of ghee, honey, and sugar is  necessary as they help coat the herbal molecules and deliver them to the deeper tissues. They are added as balancing ingredients because the original formula is very potent with its concentrated content of herbs and amla. They are not flavoring agents. And since they are consumed in conjunction with the dozens of herbs that are in the formula, they body is able to process and metabolize them fully. You will not make ama from the ghee, the sugar, or the honey – no one should experience discomfort or imbalance from the sugar and fat content. However, if you have fat and sugar sensitivities or prefer to avoid consuming either or both, I have put together a Chyawanprash Syrup that contains no added fat (ghee) and no added sugar (honey or raw can sugar). For those who have concerns consuming fat and/or sugar, this will be the ideal way to get the rejuvenative benefit of all the rasayana and other herbs that are part of the original formula.

What do Charak Samhita Sutra-s say about Chyawanprash?
According to the Charak Samhita, verses 70-74, Chyawanprash has countless health benefits!
Verse 70 says that:

Chyawanprash is a  great tonic for the lungs, it can take care of chronic cough, and helps alleviate breathing trouble. It supports and helps older physiologies, helps reverse aging, and it nourishes the growth of children and young adults.

Verse 71 says:

Chyawanprash supports the vocal chords; nurtures all seven tissues; nourishes the heart; pacifies Vata dosha;  nourishes the blood; takes care of excessive thirst. It helps the urinary tract; nourishes the reproductive fluid, and pacifies the aggravated dosha-s in the urinary tract.
Verse 72 says:

It can be consumed as a food item, as a dessert, after your midday meal. Do not eat at night as it can be too energizing and may interfere with sleep. Consuming chyawanprash as part of your daily diet will rejuvenate all age groups, making the old young again, and the young stronger!
Verse 73 says:

Increases intelligence; boosts memory; enhances glow and complexion of the skin; keeps the body disease-free; lengthens the life-span; strengthens all five senses. Chyawanprash supports and promotes marital or conjugal bliss, strengthening both male and female physiologies! It also supports the digestive metabolic fire; increases overall radiance; pacifies apana vata.
Verse 74 says:

This verse tells us that chyawanprash could also be used as part of the “kayakalpa” protocol. “Kayakalpa” literally means restoring youth to the body inside and out! There are two kinds of kayakalpa mentioned the Charak Samhita. One is called “Kuti praveshik” which is a protocol that is carried out indoors, under strict supervision. The other is “vaat tapik” or outdoors. The indoors protocol is more efficient, and the consumption of Chyawanprash is recommended for this protocol. This verse says that whoever uses Chyawanprash as a rasayana for the reversal of aging, will get all the benefits of kayakalpa – removal of old age, rejuvenation, reclaiming beauty, strength, youthful skin, etc. This verse confirms that Chyawanprash can be used on a daily basis, safely and effectively, for daily rejuvenation; or as a clinical preparation taken under supervision with specific dosage requirements when conducting “kayakalpa” treatments for the ultimate cleansing and renewing protocol that Ayurveda can offer.

Why do you get sick in “ritu sandhi” – when the season shifts from Summer to Autumn?

In the summer time we are exposed to increased “agni” – the sun’s vicinity to the earth heats up the environment along with our bodies. In response to the heat, our channels dilate and our metabolic “agneya” organs –  liver, spleen, pancreas, stomach – carry and circulate more heat.
But as summer wanes out, and temperatures drop, our channels shrink and slow down. Then the heat accumulated over the summer gets stuck in our physiology, along with all kinds of toxins that were being evacuated freely earlier.
In particular, the already hot or “agneya” organs of the body – the spleen, pancreas, stomach, liver – feel this transition, as they get less support from the environment to process toxins. Being already overheated from the Summer season, they now have to deal with shrunk channels overloaded with toxins. When the processing of nutrients slows down due to reduced environmental agni and high pitta in the physiology, accompanied with the reduced elimination of toxins, our overall transformational agni (in the tissues and organ systems) gets impacted as well, and “apar ojas” or the finest by-product of digestion which maintains our immunity, decreases, and our immunity plummets! When our body’s natural defense is compromised, it is easier for allergens, bacteria, viruses to take over and we may end up contracting the infamous seasonal flu!
Boost your Immunity
Our bodies are exposed to infectious and viral bacteria as well as toxins on an ongoing basis, and immunity is our body’s inherent ability to resist infection by the action of specific antibodies. So the key is and remains in the maintenance and support of your immunity. In Ayurveda, immunity is called “vyadhi kshamatwa” – from vyadi: disease; and kshamat: resistance.
The Charak Samhita explains that there are 3 kinds of “vyadi kshamatwa:”
  • sahaj: innate – some people are born with stronger immunity, while others are not. The point is to take steps to avoid weakening a challenged immunity during “ritu sandhi,” while you also support it and strengthen it.
  •   kaalaj: time-bound immunity indicates that one’s immunity may wear out with the passage of time, i.e., aging, and seasonal changes – even if you have strong immunity, adjusting your diet and routine to ongoing seasonal changes will help keep it stronger;
  •    yuktakrit – addressing immunity through herbs, the adjustment of diet, balanced routine, daily or seasonal detox, etc.
The shastra-s elaborate on all 3 aspects of immunity at length with particular attention on the most challenging aspect the “sahaj” or “beej guna.” Beej guna literally means a property or quality in its seed form from the Sanskrit “beej” – seed. One may be born with great immunity or have genetic predisposition towards low or poor immunity. The shastra-s explain how to support the good predisposition and to disallow poor beej guna immunity from sprouting and taking over. Yukti, or specifically tailored protocols based on individual needs, will help balance your genetic predisposition, whether it is poor or strong: it will help keep the unwanted seeds in seed form so they are not allowed to sprout; it will support a strong “beej guna” to blossom and balance mind, body, and spirit, instead of letting it lay dormant.
The impact of the “ritu sandhi” (seasonal transition) on our immunity is discussed in thecontext of “kalaaj vyadi kshamatwa” – imbalances in the body and mind that result from time bound and seasonal changes, along with specific practical “yukti”-s or protocols that can help.
So what should you do? What “yukti”-s should you follow to avoid a cold this Autumn?
1. Mind your channels channels channels!  If you’ve practiced some SVA, you know the importance that Vaidya Mishra and SVA attribute to the channels. These are not, as some think, just the blood vessels, they are rather the micro and macro channels throughout your body, either physical or vibrational, that carry everything from food and nutrients, toxins, energy, and more. They are the “srota”-s and the “nadi”-s. During the change of season, it is important to address these first. How? Supporting your channels is easy based on following protocols tailo
red to your body’s doshic tendencies, or tendencies towards imbalance. Mind your dosha, and balance it out through daily ayurvedic protocol and diet. See the next paragraph for specific details.
2. Be dosha-wise! One size does not fit all!
You will come across a lot of “one size fits all” recommendations, at this point in time, circulating on social media pages and elsewhere. With Ayurveda, your dosha is your body’s propensity towards a specific type of imbalance. This is the best time to make the most out of this knowledge, to help you keep things under control.
If you are primarily a pitta dosha prone to inflammation, heated emotions, over-activity, and over-the-top perfectionist to your detriment, with a voracious insatiable appetite and tendency to over-eat sweets etc, do the following: keep your channels open and cool, by doing ideally daily but if not then bi-weekly self-massage or “abhyanga” with SVA Pitta Massage oil with Magnesium.
Use Shroto Shudhi Tea and Shroto Shudhi Masala at night with dinner only.
Use Pitta Masala and Pitta Tea during the daytime.
Add Wild Alma tablets to cool off all your pitta sub-doshas and boost your immunity – 1 tablet after breakfast and 1 tablet after lunch.
Add Soma Cal capsule once a day after lunch.
 Add 2 drops of Herbal Memory Fennel drops; 2 drops of Yasad or Zinc drops; 2 drops of Coriander; 1 drop of clove.
If you are primarily a vata dosha prone to dry skin, a creative yet out-of-focus mind, a capricious appetite with an unruly daily schedule and helter-skelter life-style and sleep: 
do daily body massage with Vata oil with Magnesium and Vit D. If you don’t have time to do full body, then do at least daily your limbs – arms and legs. This will make a world of a difference!
Add Shroto Shudhi Masala and Shroto Shudhi tea to your diet for lunch and dinner
Occasionally, have a cup of  Bliss and Bliss tea to keep things warm and running.
Add Wild Amla tablets twice a day – after lunch and dinner
Add the following Herbal Memory drops: 2 drops Yasad

Yasad(Zinc)Bhasma Nectar
Yasad(Zinc)Bhasma Nectar

or Zinc, 2 drops Ashwagandha, 2 drops Calm Mind.

If you are primarily a kapha dosha with the tendency to be slow to get-up and go, slower metabolism, and tendency to be blue and low, and gain weight easily: 

Do daily abhyanga massage with Ashwagandha with Magnesium oil
Cook with Medagni Masala a
t night, but Shroto Shudhi masala during the day,
Sip Shroto Shudhi tea during the day
Add Wild Amla tablets to your diet,
Add the following Herbal Memory drops: 2 drops of Black Pepper, 2 drops of Indian Sarsaparilla, 2 drops of Yasad or Zinc.
Follow a kapha pacifying diet: avoid or minimize grains (rice, wheat, even quinoa, barley), have plenty of vegetables with every meal and some light protein – lentils (masoor, mung, ku
lthi, etc) along with a few cubes of paneer – preferably during daytime, not for dinner.
Notorious Green Protein
Nourishing Green Protein
Nurture yourself – in the summertime, we allow ourselves more “soma” food – heavier, sweeter, colder – because the environment and the season support our digestion and elimination. Delicious sweet fruits high in sugar content, cold treats, desserts, salads, etc. Now is the time to switch over to a lighter balancing diet, until the temperatures really drop fully trapping in the agni in our bodies and increasing our hunger, at which point we can start to have heavier meals again as the winter season gets closer. During “ritu sandhi” it is particularly important to eat to balance your body’s tendency towards imbalance, that is: either a vata, pitta, or kapha balancing diet. Make sure to add Vaidya’s SVA Green Protein Recipe to your diet at this point in time, with extra turmeric sautéed in ghee while preparing it.
3) Mind the Cycles of Time – life is made up of cycles, small and large, hourly, daily,weekly, monthly, yearly. When we align our activities with the cycles of nature, we get the most out of our energy and productivity, plus we get full Nature’s support at every step of the way, no matter what comes our way! A balance between rest and activity is the mantra of SVA! The best way to bring your body and mind back to a balanced routine is to gently coax it through mindful exercises such as yoga and meditation. These are sister sciences of Ayurveda that help us not only stay on track, but get more out of life – more balance, more bliss, more life!
 We wish you more of all that your heart desires – welcome Autumn!  

Sweet & Spicy broccoli with Protein


8 oz of chopped or sliced broccoliphoto 4

2 oz of cubed paneer (or if you are not vegetarian, boiled/cooked chicken breast pieces)

2 oz of chopped celery

½ teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon ghee (or grape-seed oil)

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Soma salt per tastephoto 3

1 tablespoon of SVA Mango Orange Chutney

6 leaves of sweet basil

1 teaspoon of shredded ginger

1 green chili (optional)

½ teaspoon of Pitta Garcinia Masala (you can also use any masala of your choice – Vata or Kapha Garcinia Masala, or Mum’s Masala, or regular Pitta masala, etc)

photo 6photo 10


Step 1:photo 2

Melt the ghee in your stainless steel pan (if you are using grape-seed oil warm it for a few seconds before adding other ingredients) then add the:


Shredded ginger

Garcinia masala

the Thai chili (if you are using one)

Sauté altogether on medium flame stirring for 3-4 minutes.

photo 1


Step 2:

Add your paneer (or chicken) cubes and coat them with all the spices and sauté for 5-8 minutes.



Step 3:photo 7

Once your protein is well coated with the spices and has cooked some, add your broccoli and celery and mix all the ingredients together well.

Then cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes on medium to low heat. You can add 1 tablespoon water if your base is too dry so as not to burn your mixture.

When your vegetables are a bright green color:

photo 11

Step 4:photo 9


Dilute your tablespoon of the SVA Sweet Orange Mango chutney with a little water in a bowl and add to your dish and mix it in thoroughly. Then add the chopped sweet basil leaves, cover and turn off the heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.


Step 5:

You can sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on top and your dish is ready to serve. You can serve with a side of steamed rice, or quinoa, or Vaidya’s favorite: the mix of 50% rice with 50% quinoa. Enjoy!

photo 12

Cooling Summer Dahl with Toru and Lime Leaf

Be transported and soothed by this delicious recipe with Toru (this is an Indian  squash, very cooling, that has deep dark green ridges on the outside and a soft white inside) and the refreshing hints of lime leaf. It is a great summer-evening dinner dahl to cool off pitta and nurture you with easy-to-digest protein. It will take you 10 minutes to prepare!

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp. ghee (or grapeseed oil)
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 4 crushed green cardamoms
  • ¼ tsp. soma salt
  • 2 green chilies (optional)
  • Toru 1 large or 2 medium sized
  • 1/3 cup mung dahl (to serve for 2 people)
  • 5-6 fresh lime leaves (available at Asian grocery stores)


Peel and slice the Toru into thin small pieces.

 Melt/warm the oil in your pot, then add the turmeric, cardamom pods (and chilies if you are using them), and toast for a 30 seconds or so.

Now add the Toru and keep toasting medium heat for a couple more minutes.

  Add your rinsed yellow mung dahl

Toast for five more minutes until your dahl turn a golden color

Add 3 cups (32 oz.) of water – you can add more water to dilute the consistency

Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes

When your dahl “melts” into a creamy consistency and your Toru is soft and cooked, add 6 lime leaves and cover for 5 minutes. Serve with a side of rice, quinoa, or flatbreads and enjoy!

Introducing a perfectly delicious and healthy potato substitute called: Nagaimo.

Vaidya Mishra: “It is found in almost all Asian grocery stores. A lot of people following the SVA diet are missing potatoes in their cooking. Lorna Cheng, a scientist and SVA healer who follows and recommends the SVA diet in her teachings,  brought the 14760nagaimoNagaimo vegetable to me to check whether I could approve it and add it to the SVA diet. I researched it and tried and tested it myself, and found that it is the perfect healthy substitute for potato. When you peel and boil it,  it tastes and looks 100% like potatoes, but even better than that, it is lighter and easier to digest, because it has a completely different chemical and nutrient make-up.
Here is a breakdown of various nutrients found in nagaimo:
Vitamin C
Vitamin B1
Dietary Fiber
Just touching and looking at nagaimo, you will notice like I did that it has a lot of mucilage – slimy residue. The good news is this is a perfect prebiotic for the body. Asian cuisine loves this vegetable and is aware of its therapeutic properties. I created different recipes, using my new SVA Garcinia Masala blends – they were all very good. I would like to share them with you.
Caution: the peel carries some skin irritating  chemicals, make sure you wrap in a towel or paper towel while peeling  them, or even better, wear some clinical gloves (available at Target’s pharmacy etc) to avoid getting a rash. Do not touch any other body parts after touching the vegetable. If you get a skin irritation, rinse the affected area with fresh water, wipe, and apply a moisturizing cream.images
The overall feeling, after eating nagaimo, is that it is very nurturing even though light, and it readily creates bliss with nourishment. A lot of on-line Japanese recipes are recommending we eat it raw. In my opinion eating this vegetable raw can create ama.  Because of its high content of mucilage, nagaimo will be heavy to digest for certain people in certain situation.  That is why it is best to cook it with Garcinia Masala because this spice blends makes it easier to digest, easy to absorb, and more palatable and flavorful. You will never crave potatoes again!

Spice-coated toasted crunchy Nagaimo
Peel and then chop the naigamo into medium size cubes
Boil in 2 cups of water; do not cook thoroughly only half way so that the nagaimo does not become mushy.
In a pan, add 1 teaspoon of ghee and 1 teaspoon of vata, kapha or pitta garcinia masala -based on your need.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of soma salt, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric.
Sautee these spices altogether for a few minutes.
Add the 2 cups of nagaimo cooked half way and sauté with spices.
you can add 3-4 curry leaves and 1 green chili.
Stir and cook for ten minutes.
Make sure it is thoroughly cooked so that spices are well absorbed.
After cooking garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaf and enjoy!inout

Mashed potato substitute
Peel and boil nagaimo in 2 cups of water. Boil until it is very soft and mushy.
Then in a pan sauté in 1 teaspoon of ghee, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of Garcinia Masala for vata, pitta or kapha, ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of any nuts of choice (like pine nuts, shredded almonds, bits of cashews} toast all together.
Optional ingredients: Add 4 curry leaves and/or green chilies.
Toast altogether and add your boiled Nagaimo.
Mash it well with all spices and stir. Toast everything again together for a few minutes.
Add ½ lime juice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil and Soma Salt to taste.

Nagaimo in a spicy sauce
Peel and cut medium sized cubes of nagaimo.
In 8 oz. of water boil nagaimo half way cooked.inside
Sauté 1 tablespoon of ghee, 2 crushed green cardamoms and 2 crushed black cardamoms, ¼ of crushed cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon of garcinia masala of your choice, ¼ of turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of soma salt
After sautéing spices for a few minutes add the half boiled nagaimo.  Stir and toast everything together.  Toast nicely so it is cooked well.
Add 8 oz of water to the pan. Cover and cook for ten minutes. This is a nice juicy recipe for nagaimo.

Recipe for daily detox with Moringa leaves


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Spring and summer are the season for fresh Moringa leaves. Asian grocery stores carry them on a regular basis, as these are also part of the asian diet. They sell them in big bunches wrapped in plastic.  One bunch will contain many branches with plenty of leaves that can easily last you 2-3 weeks. DSC03565

Take away the amount of leaves that you need to consume for the next few days, and leave the rest on the branches, wrap again in the plastic wrapper and tightly seal to maintain optimal freshness. You can cook your leaves as a stand-alone green vegetable, this will go very well with a side of quinoa or some rotis (indian flat-breads).

Here is a tasty SVA recipe:

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Rinse your moringa leaves nicely with cool water and set aside

  • warm your pan
  • add 1 tsp Mum’s Ghee, or Organic Grapeseed oil (if you are trying to detox your fat tissue and want a lighter lipid base). Grapeseed oil is a very healthy substitute with a high smoke point and a very aromatic flavor.
  • add 1/2 tsp turmeric powderDSC03573
  • add fresh ginger or chilies – if you are not high pitta, these are very good to add to your Moringa as they will help open the channel to support Moringa in reaching deep- tissue residing toxins.
  • Next add your moringa leaves, stir so as to coat nicely with the oil and the turmeric.
  • Lower your flame to a minimum, then add some water to your cooking moringa and let it cook nice and slow to a dark green color. It is important to cook your leaves properly and not consume them raw so you get full benefit of the nutrients and do not make ama or toxins from half cooked Moringa.
  • Let your Moringa cook for 8-10 minutes.
  • DO NOT ADD SALT. You may find that Moringa is salty enough on its own due to its high nutrients’ content. You can decide after the cooking if you would like to add a pinch for your tastebuds. Remember: it is always best to minimize or completely remove salt, even Soma Salt, from your meals when you are trying to detox.

If you do not have access to fresh Moringa leaves, then you can use any of Vaidya Mishra’s formulations with Moringa. SVA Moringa powder mixtures are organic, and originate from India. The Moringa Soup Mix in addition contains spices that are balancing for all doshas, and a delicious mix to your lentils or vegetables.moringasoupmix
The Moringa powder can be added to be cooked with your vegetables at the initial stage when you are warming up the turmeric and the masalas in the oil before adding your protein and your vegetables.
Alternative, you can also use the Moringa tea during the day. It is easy to make and carry and sip on throughout the day.

Roti-s: Plain and Simple!

Sometimes the simplest things in life are hardest to make. Indian flatbreads or Roti-s are made from wheat flour and water, rolled out and then baked on a cast iron skillet (tava), then made to puff over an open flame. But we have all failed miserably at this many times over. However, it can be done! Learn some simple tricks to impress your friends and family, but first and foremost yourself!

For the dough you will need:

  • Good quality fine ground whole wheat flour
  • Water

A clean rolling surface and a good rolling pin. Some extra wheat flour for sprinkling. An iron or regular skillet (not non-stick), a gas stove-top, otherwise if you have an electrical stove-top, then have a small toaster oven ready for the final puffing step. Proportions:

  • for 4 oz of wheat flour (1/2 cup) you will need 4 tablespoons water (or almost 1/4 oz). Add the water slowly and mix with your fingers until you make a smooth dough.
  • This dough will make 6-8 roti of 4-5 inches diameter.
  • It can be refrigerated 2-3 days.

Click here to watch the demonstration with Malvika on youtube.com

Thanksgiving Meal Misgivings!

TMM-img1Celebratory holidays are a social ritual where we come together as a group to mark an event. Most of the time they involve food. Eating is an important part of celebrating not just anniversary events but of celebrating life! In the ancient vedic shastras, eating was considered a yayga – an supreme act of purification. Consuming food with awareness can be an emotionally healing experience: the awareness of what a great gift it is to have good food to consume that will sustain our body, mind, and hearts; the awarness of how our bodies are equipped with all that it takes to break down the food and make it into our own, transforming the nutrients into our tissues, etc (“you are what you eat”!) so that we can go about our business of being in the world and spreading joy for all.
However, sometimes social rituals can have an adverse effect, specially if the menue is not designed to suit our body’s needs properly.

  • Do not delay your dinner time, the later in the evening  the less agni to properly digest your meal and the more chances of making “ama” (toxins from undigested food) and the more chances of causing imbalances resulting in disease
  • Turkey meat is an easy to digest protein, but be careful of the stuffing that can contain many kinds of dressings or ingredients that might be contradictory in nature, or not as fresh
  • Thanksgiving dessert is not what you want to top of your meal with. Dessert is considered heavy in nature as it consists of more “somagenic” ingredients (fat, sugar, flour, fruits). Specially in the Pumpkin pie case, since pumpkins are considered “abishandhi” – clogging to the circulatory channels. This will result in a feeling of heaviness and will cause more ama.
  • Finally, you may want to donate unconsumed food items instead of storing them and eating left-overs! As we know, SVA explains that 4 hours is the cut-off time for prepared meals. After 4 hours, the chemical make-up of cooked meals starts to decompose. Even if this is not yet visible to our eyes and our palates, the chemical dissolution has already started and it will not fare well if we ingest decomposing food.

SVA Kitchen: Quinoa Flakes Upma

159If you crave something savory rather than sweet in the the mornings, here is a light yet nourishing delicious recipe. It has been inspired by a famous South Indian dish that is originally made with wheat called Upma. This recipe is balanced and will be adequate no matter what your dosha!


Step one: in a dry pan (no oil no water) 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeks, 1/2 tsp pine nuts and saute for 2-3 minutes until both are toasted and release their aroma

Step two: add some ghee in your pan, and 1/8tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp Soma Salt a couple of curry leaves (if available), a couple slices fresh ginger and one green (thai) chilli (if your constitution allows you otherwise avoid the chillies and ginger!)

160Step three: Saute the above mixture for 1-2 minutes with flakes then add 3 handfuls of rolled quinoa flakes and mix in with the nuts and the oil



161Step four: add a drizzle of olive oil and mix in well w/olive oil




162Step Five: add a little water just to moisten the mixture not wet it through and mix it well, cook for another minute or so…. w/water



163Step six: rough chop a handfcilantroul of fresh organic cilantro and add to your mixture and mix it gently



164Final step: your quinoa upma is now ready to be served. You may squirt some fresh lime on it for added flavor. Enjoy! final quinoa