lemon rice recipe 1

The Healing Chef

South India


Dear Rita,

We have just come back from our ayurvedic cure in Kerala and feel completed rested, restored and rejuvenated; Peter’s gout condition seems to have improved radically without any allopathic medicine. We are really happy. If you and Tom will ever need to go for a cure, you should choose Kalari Rasayana, CGH Earth’s newly opened ayurvedic retreat in Kollam, not far from Thiruvananthapuram. The quality of the treatments and the hospitality there are impeccable. But the highlight of our stay was meeting chef Narayanan Nair again, after more than a decade. Earlier, we used to meet him at the Marari Beach Resort, a delightful place to spend the winter holidays at the beach under coconut trees. The children used to love it. Now we are recovering from the stressful urban life the ayurvedic way.

Chef Narayanan Nair is a man with a purpose. He wishes to contribute to the patients’ healing process by serving them wholesome, curative, vegetarian food. It all started for him when he was diagnosed with a nasty ulcer that needed to be operated upon. Narayanankutty, as dear ones and his friends call him, would rather die than be cut open. He had the intuition that by changing his food habits he could heal his condition and so it was. He plunged himself into the ancient knowledge of life, Ayurveda, that lists the properties of all the ailments and for which constitution they are appropriate, and developed a large variety of ayurvedic recipes. When we shared with him our concern about going back home and losing the benefits of his healthy cooking, he very generously invited us to come to his kitchen and learn the basics.

Chef Narayanan Nair only uses organic vegetables and pulses, does not store any food in the refrigerator, abhors artificial flavouring, colouring, as much as white sugar and margarine. In his traditional brass pots, called uruli, he tosses the onions without any oil and then adds the ayurvedic spices and herbs required, often adding freshly grated coconut. We are extremely thankful to him for sharing some of the recipes we have loved while staying at Kalari and I am sure you will be happy to try the few that I am attaching to my message. You will notice how ayurvedic food will contribute not only to your physical well-being but also to your peace of mind. Do let me know about your holidays in St Barth with the boys.


lemon rice recipe 2


3 cups of cooked rice
1 tsp of chopped ginger
½ tsp of turmeric powder
1 tbs salt
1 tab of chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
A few cashew nuts
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of oil

Heat the oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add the cashew nuts and the broken chickpeas. Cook them until they roast then add the rice, the turmeric, the salt and the coriander leaves. Stir well, then sprinkle with lemon juice and asafoetida and serve.

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