Celebrate the Season – SVA Casserole with Sauce & Gravy – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter Dec 23, 2022 – #48, Vol 11

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Made from real rosewood with a beautiful metal clutch, this spice box makes a great gift for your kitchen counter or a friend’s! Nine cubicles that can be removed, where you can store SVA spice blends or single spices. The lid is made of glass and easy to clean. Re-discover bliss and balance through Vaidya’s delicious spice blends this holiday season!

Festive sacred celebrations are also primarily feasting celebrations – we come together to prepare and eat dishes and create memories that are handed down along with the secrets of the recipe! But did you know that in the ayurvedic tradition the act of eating is also a “yagya” – a divine yogic experience that can bestow the highest happiness? Of course, some conditions apply: the meal has to consist of freshly prepared local, clean (no synthetic toxins), ayurvedically balancing ingredients, and consumed on time and with full attention.

This holiday season let us come together not just to celebrate the holy days and share festive meals, but to re-align ourselves with our yogic destiny.

Let us remember to take care of each other, and ourselves, by ayurvedically tending to the fire in our stomachs so that we can re-ignite the cosmic fire of our souls.



Need a tested festive holiday meal recipe? Here is the

The Fredeen Family’s

Holiday Crusted SVA Casserole

~ back by popular request! ~

Growing up on Vaidya Mishra’s Shaka Vanshiya Ayurveda (SVA) protocols, we always had to get creative in the kitchen. Finding recipes was sometimes tricky, and even when we did find one, we had to substitute most of the ingredients anyways! Thanksgiving and Christmas was no exception. When everyone around us was eating turkey and mashed potatoes, we had to find something else that felt special, but also worked with the SVA diet.
My Mom found a recipe in the vegetarian cookbook “Heaven’s Banquet” by Miriam Hospodar, called Nut Paté en Croûte. What was so unique about the recipe was that the filling was encased in a pastry. My Mom used the original recipe as a guideline, but ended up changing most of the filling ingredients, and our holiday dish was born!
This recipe has so many memories attached to it because we usually make it as a family. There are so many different parts of the dish, that each family member has claimed one as their expertise. My Dad is in charge of cracking walnuts, my sister makes the pastry, while my Mom and I tackle the filling. We aren’t often in the kitchen all together, so that makes the memories even more precious.

This recipe has gone through multiple iterations, with one version actually setting the oven on fire from the amount of oil we had added that year. We made sure to not make the same mistake again the next time. However, the pastry was particularly well cooked that year!
This version is just one of many possibilities, and it’s a recipe that can be altered to your own preferences. We hope you enjoy it and can create your own memories with this very special recipe!
-Ashia Fredeen

Step One – Pastry (any double crust pie pastry recipe can be used)
Version One
1 ⅓ cup spelt flour
⅔ cup oat flour
¼ tsp Soma Salt
4 tsp cold ghee
¾ cup cold water
Version Two (Less Gluten)
1 cup buckwheat flour
½ cup barley flour
½ cup oat flour
¼ tsp Soma Salt
4 tsp cold ghee
⅔ cup cold water

Step Two – Rice and Quinoa
3 tbsp organic basmati rice
3 tbsp organic quinoa
2 cardamom pods or ground cardamom
¼ tsp Soma Salt
3 cups water
Step Three – Paneer (Fresh Cheese)
2 litres of whole milk
2 limes – juiced
Step Four – Vegetables
1 carrot – grated
1 small zucchini – grated
1 small broccoli – grated
1 tsp ghee
⅛ tsp turmeric
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp Mom’s Masala
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 green thai chilis – finely chopped (or replace Mom’s Masala with Spicy Mom’s Masala)
½ tsp Soma Salt
½ pound crumbled paneer approx. (see previous step)
¼ cup hot water
Step Five – Nuts
⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Step Six – Herbs
¼ cup fresh chopped basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary or 1 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp ghee
Step Seven – Assemble
½ tsp Soma Salt
½ tsp Mom’s Masala

Instructions – 3 hours approx.
Step One – Pastry
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Add the ghee.
Add cold water slowly and mix until it forms a ball of dough. Add a little extra water if the dough feels too hard.
Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to keep cool.

Step Two – Rice and Quinoa
Rinse the rice and quinoa before adding to a pot.
Add the water, cardamom and salt.
Cook over a medium heat for approximately 15 minutes until cooked.
Strain out the excess water and set to the side.

Step Three – Paneer
Add the milk to a pot on the stove.
Bring to a boil.
Add the juice from half of a lime and stir. The sourness of the lime juice will cause the milk to separate. If it doesn’t, add the juice from another half lime and stir.
If needed, add the juice from another half lime and stir.
What will happen, is the milk will separate into curds and a greenish liquid called whey.
Once this has happened, strain out the liquid using cheese cloth, or a metal strainer.
Set aside.
Step Four – Vegetables
Peel and grate the carrot, zucchini, and broccoli. You should have approximately 2 cups of grated vegetables when finished.
Heat up a pan over medium heat.
Add the ghee.
Once melted, add the turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, Mom’s Masala, black pepper, and chilis.
Saute all of the spices in the ghee until their aroma is released.
Add the crumbled paneer to the hot spices. Mix it all together.
Add the grated vegetables.
Add the salt and stir.
Cover with a lid and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Add the hot water for extra moisture.
Take them off of the heat when they are just softened (they will cook a little more in the oven).
Set aside.
Step Five – Nuts
Chop the nuts into small pieces.
Dry toast them in a pan over medium heat until lightly browned.
Set aside.
Step Six – Herbs
Heat the ghee over medium heat in a small saucepan.
Add the herbs.
Saute the herbs in the ghee for about a minute, or until their aroma is released.
Set aside.

Step Seven – Assemble
Mix the rice/quinoa, vegetables, nuts, and herbs together in a large bowl or pot.
Add Soma Salt and Mom’s Masala to taste.
Set aside.
Section off ¼ of the dough and set aside.
Roll the rest of the dough out into a large circle, ¼ inch (5mm) thick.

Line a large bowl with parchment paper. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to use baking paper, you can use a metal colander instead of the bowl. The holes in it help prevent the pastry from suctioning to the sides)
Place the circle of dough into the bowl.
Using a knife, cut away any excess along the top. You can also cut out any folds in the dough, otherwise those thicker areas won’t bake as well.

Spoon the filling into the crust.

Roll out the smaller ball of dough into a circle, large enough to cover the filling.

Place over the filling and pinch to seal thoroughly to the other crust.
Cut away any excess.

Place the tray upside down over the bowl.
Flip them over together so the pastry falls out of the bowl onto the baking tray.
Remove the bowl and parchment paper.

Punch holes into the top of the pastry to allow air out while baking.
Place into the preheated oven (375F/190C) and bake. If using the buckwheat/oat/barley recipe, bake for approximately 40 minutes. If using the spelt/oat recipe, bake for approximately 55 mins, or until the crust is slightly browned.
Take the casserole out of the oven and brush with ghee before serving.
This recipe serves four people.

now, it’s time for the cranberry sauce & THE gravy
Cranberry Sauce
12 oz cranberries – rinsed
1 tbsp ghee
⅛ tsp turmeric
1 tsp whole cloves or ½ tsp ground cloves
1 large cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger – grated
1 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
⅓ cup organic cane sugar
½ cup hot water
⅛ tsp Soma Salt
Rinse the cranberries.
Heat up a saucepan over medium heat.
Add ghee.
Add turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
Saute the spices in the ghee until their aroma is released into the air.
Add cranberries to the pan and mix together.
Push the cranberries a little to the side of the pan to create a space for the sugar.
Add the sugar and allow it to caramelize slightly on the bottom of the pan before mixing it together with the cranberries.
Add the hot water and salt.
Cover with a lid and put on low heat.
Slowly cook for about 30 minutes, or until desired consistency.

THE Gravy!
Your casserole will not be complete with the gravy. We have 2 versions for your here. One with rice and mung dahl flour; the second with the yuca (cassava) tuber that will give a rich starchy creamy sauce. Colder temperatures at this time of year call for richer foods, and both these recipes will satisfy the appetite without putting out the agni. We love both! See which one you prefer.

Version 1 using Rice Flour & Mung Dahl
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp Mom’s Masala
2 green thai chilis or ¼ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
¼ cup rice flour
2 cups hot water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground Mung daal – toasted (optional but delicious)
¼ tsp Soma Salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat up the ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Add the Mom’s Masala, and chilis/black pepper if desired.
Saute the spices in the ghee until their aroma is released.
Add the rice flour to the spices and toss it in the spices.
Slowly add the hot water, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.
Put on low heat.
Add the bay leaves and ground mung daal (optional) and stir.
Add salt and olive oil.
Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add extra water if needed.
Once you reach your desired consistency, remove from the heat and serve.

Gravy # 2 using Cassava (Yuca tuber)
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp Mom’s Masala
2 bay leaves
2 green thai chilis or ¼ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
¾ cup Yuca – chopped or grated
2 cups hot water
¼ tsp Soma Salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat up the ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Add the Mom’s Masala, bay leaves, and chilis/black pepper if desired.
Saute the spices in the ghee until their aroma is released.
Add Yuca and toss it in the spices.
Add 1 cup of hot water.
Cover with a lid and cook on med/low heat.
After 5 minutes, add 1 more cup of hot water and put on low heat.
Add olive oil and salt.
Cover and keep cooking for approximately 20 minutes until the Yuca melts into a sauce.
Use a whisk or a fork to break up clumps as it cooks.
Add more hot water if necessary.
Once you reach your desired consistency, remove from the heat and serve. ENJOY!

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