Ayurveda Yellow Rice.
Updated: Apr 25
Postpartum Nourishment and Easy Cooking - Canberra Postpartum Doula Support
AUTHOR: Anna Ward
It’s a well-known practice in traditional Indian culture, although the time period varies, of confinement after the birth of the newborn mother and baby. The saying goes “40 days for 40 years”! As taught to me by my teacher Julia Jones who is an Ayurveda post-partum doula and teacher.
Forty days is roughly six weeks. Lee Reicheneder and I Anna ward Reicheneder, at birthing-individuals.com, want to help you take this time out of the normal routines of daily life. Because this is the time during which you can establish feeding and sleeping patterns. Also, physical healing is supported through our cooking, and stamina is restored for normal day to day life. During these six weeks of care, you will receive from us, food is a big passion of mine and this recipe will be on your menu in some form, minus any intolerance's of course.
There is an Indian saying that ‘the first 40 days of life after birth will impact the next 40 years of the mother’s life. What this refers to is that If a mother is supported during the 6weeks of post-partum through eating the right foods and being held in love and warmth she will flourish, blossom and thrive in her new role.
I am a trained chef, having worked in commercial cookery for 10 years prior to becoming a mother and post-partum doula in Canberra and now a Gold Coast doula. I enjoy eating for supporting my family’s health and would love to share these skills with you and your family.
The Fun Ingredients explained in terms of benefits and contraindications as Holistic Ayurveda Practice.
A powerful tonic; turmeric has been well documented for centuries. Here are four benefits.
It purifies the blood,
Balances skin disorders,
Strengthens intestinal flora
Clearing of the subtle energy channels
The wonderful thing about turmeric is that it is balancing for all doshas.
That’s lovely, I hear you say but what the heck is a dosha? It sounds like a cup of tea.
Understanding Dosha as taken from my teacher’s blog post at newbornmothers.com
Your baby, and every human being has two influences, nature and nurture. Both modern science and ancient Ayurveda agree that the influence of each is about even, children are created of half nature and half nurture. In Ayurveda, these are called prakruti and vikruti.
Prakruti is nature, it’s your fixed metabolic constitution. It’s with you for your whole life and is influenced by several factors including genetics, the health of your parents, uterine environment and your mother’s diet during pregnancy.
"Vatta, Pitta And Kapha,
The Group Of The Three Doshas,
In Their Natural And Disturbed State,
Give Life To The Body And Also Destroy It."
Ashtanga Hridya 1.6
Julia Jones newbornmother.com
When using turmeric, it is best used in moderate amounts in cooking. It can also be mixed with Ghee and other herbs and spices to make healing formulas. But in large amounts (and especially when used in isolation of other herbs or foods), turmeric’s warming qualities will cause imbalance.
Taken from personal experience, one of the members in my family, when I told them of its health benefits, began to take it in a cup of water and in quantities much greater than needed. The result was constipation. No judgment here as I fully understand It’s common to become fixated on food or way of being that promises to heal all ailments and the natural reaction is to overdo it. The belief is that because a little is good; a lot must be better. But as my Grandad said “everything in moderation, including moderation” .
If you consider the benefits alone you may be excited to try it and you’d be forgiven for taking the allopathy approach and thinking by mistake that healing comes from the outside in. When in-fact healing comes from within. Any food or therapy are only aiding this process of balance within all areas of a holistic approach being mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
Turmeric’s supportive nature really comes out most when it is cooked into food. This month’s recipe for Ayurveda Yellow Rice calls for just a ¼ teaspoon of this plant medicine. Just ¼ teaspoon for four people is enough to make the rice a lovely yellow color and bring out turmeric’s bitter, pungent and astringent rasa, or taste.
I invite you to make this recipe your own but don’t give in to the temptation to overdo it. The amount I’ve included is enough to bring healing. I trust that you will soon see how powerful turmeric’s healing properties are.
Rice, Basmati the benefits and contradictions
Look for Aged basmati rice as it has an aroma and flavor that is distinct from standard basmati. Ayurveda recommends avoiding rice that is parboiled, instant or pre-cooked because it has less nutrition and less prana, or life energy, in it. We don’t use a microwave to cook for health. As the microwave kills prana, life force in food.
Four Benefits of Basmati
Rice contributes the sweet taste, according to Ayurveda. It is recommended for post-partum to balance the dosha named vata. After having a baby, it is said that the mother is full of space and air which is called Vata and is grounded by rice’s sweet taste.
It’s a light, soft, smooth and nourishing food. It is cooling in nature.
Basmati rice in Ayurveda is said to be sattvic, or pure; it’s role in health is that it balances all three doshas;
it is nourishing for the body tissues; and it is easy to digest
The contraindications for rice in your post-partum diet are. It may create excess mucus, so rice in excess is not considered ideal for Kapha to balance Vata, eat rice that is cooked well, in plenty of water, and add a dash of ghee to the cooked rice. Desserts made with rice and milk are particularly cooling and balancing for Pitta. Individuals trying to balance Kapha should eat less rice, and dry roast the rice before cooking it in water (mapi.com).
Ghee or clarified butter - A little fat in our diets can be extremely beneficial, In Ayurveda.
I’d recommend having a look at our helpful videos on how easy it is to make clarified butter. As a quick walk through a health food shop looking for Ghee can send you into a panic especially when you see the price. Whereas you can make it effortlessly for the cost of your favorite block of butter.
Five Benefits of Ghee
ghee is also believed to enhance ojas, or "life energy.”
It is beneficial for the digestion of rice as it allows the rice to be broken down more efficiently, by stimulating digestive enzymes.
Aside from adding in digestion It is used to fight free radicals Two of its ingredients—vitamin E and beta-carotene—are known antioxidants.
It boosts the immune system.
It is full of Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Ghee is also lactose-free and contains no salt.
"For centuries, ghee has been considered a Rasayana, which means a healing food that balances both body and mind," says Shubhra Krishan, author of Essential Ayurveda.
However, the quality of it depends on the milk used to make the butter. Always look for the best quality you can afford. As with everything. If you have no dairy allergy then find an organic grass fed cows milk butter.
Also, moderation is key. If your trying to reduce your fat intake avoid taking at nighttime before bed unless prescribed within a healing formulation in combination with other herbs and spices. Generally 1-2 spoons of Ghee per day is said to be ok. Unless you have an intolerance to cows milk products or allergy. Then we can try alternatives like coconut oil a plant-based butter. It all depends on individual preferences and dietary requirements.
Ghee is used in a lot of our recipes, here at Birthing Individuals. We provide homemade meals for supporting the mind and body in our Canberra and Gold Coast Post-Partum Doula care packages. We can deliver home-cooked Ayurveda meals to nourish your body and support your recovery after the arrival of your precious newborn.
Ayurveda Yellow rice
The fun ingredients
1 Cup of aged Basmati Rice
1 tablespoon of ghee
¼ teaspoon turmeric in powdered form
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 cups of Water or replace water for a vegetable broth for enriched rice.
Optional extras, a few saffron threads steeped in ¼ cup of warmed milk of choice. Plant-based homemade Almond is best if not nut allergy is present.
In a medium saucepan place the rice and water or broth. Bring to boil on high heat till boiling then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook till all water is absorbed. Then turn the heat to a low gentle simmer setting and place on the lid. (At this step you can add the saffron milk if desired) Cook for a further 5min. Then turn off the heat. Leave the lid on the rice.
Prepare your other ingredients the ghee, turmeric, and salt. Quickly add all into the hot steaming rice stir vigorously and put the lid back on the rice. Allow to sit for 15 min before serving.
Recipe by Anna Ward Reicheneder (Gold Coast Doula)
A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna is a experienced commercial chef and previously ran cooking classes. In addition, she has 2 children with additional needs, is qualified in a wide range of natural therapies and runs a Neuro-linguistic Kinesiology practice on the Gold Coast in Australia so she is very health conscious. Anna's lives in a no-dairy, no-gluten household and she prefers vegan meals so many of the meals she features on this blog cater to these needs.
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We hope you have found this post informative and make sure you let us know if there is a topic you would like us to cover in our blogs. If you are interested in learning more and finding out about our Canberra Doula Services (ACT & Nearby NSW) including Postpartum Ayurvedic meals or our Travelling Doula Services (wider NSW & QLD) make sure you get in touch for a FREE initial meet
~ Blessings Lee your Canberra Doula, Traveling Doula & Student Energy Healing Practitioner