Keerai Massiyal – Dal with Spinach. Recipe from the Grande Bay Resort and Spa.

Vegetable Kootu (dal with mixed vegetables) from the Grande Bay Resort and Spa

Kootu is the Tamil word for “add” and it typically refers to a dal dish with a variety of vegetables added. Each region of South India will add their own favourites. Chef Chindi Varadarajulu of Grande Bay Resort in Mamallapuram likes to add any combination of ash gourd, squash, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, broad beans, green …

Coconut buns with candied ginger and citrus peel.

Isha’s Coconut Buns

There is a very pleasant café for visitors at Isha called the Peppervine Eatery. We stopped for a chai break there one day and enjoyed freshly cut wedges from huge rounds of bread stuffed with a coconut filling. Later that afternoon when we were in the Akshaya (kitchen) we watched the baker baking these sweet …

Green-Gram-Sprout-Salad

Isha’s Green Gram Sprout Salad

Sadhguru says that, “when one thinks about food sources, and getting the most bang for your nutritional buck, there’s nothing more concentrated than nuts, legumes and seeds because they contain everything needed to become a healthy, vibrant plant.” The menus at Isha workshops and courses—in India and around the world—are filled with the highest quality …

Sambhar Sadam from the Isha Ashram in Coimbatore.

Isha’s Sāmbhar Sadham

Sāmbhar is found everywhere in South India. It is a vegetable and lentil stew which is usually enjoyed for breakfast with idli or puttu (rice dumplings or rice and coconut cakes). Split pigeon peas (Toor Dal) are the usual lentil and drumsticks (saragavo or moringo) are almost always one of the vegetables. Tamarind and curry …

Okra sliced lengthwise is prepared into a red curry.

Okra Curry

This simple delicious okra curry is inspired by the plethora of fresh vegetables on display at our roadside market stop in Madurai. The recipe is adapted from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen, where eggplant is used instead of okra. Both are equally delicious as prepared here.

Three 2" squares of creamy, nutty cashew coconut fudge sit on a turquoise blue plate stacked in a pile one on top of the other, with garnishes of white shredded coconut, yellow candied ginger strips and raw cashews strewn about on the plate.

Cashew Coconut Ginger Bars

I may not have known until our visit to Tamil Nadu that India grows much of the world’s cashews but, now that I’ve been to South India a few times, I can tell you that along with cashews, you can’t turn around there without bumping into a coconut tree. The same goes for ginger. It …