Sat Nam dear friends!
Thank you for visiting here and exploring the posts and pages throughout the site. I hope you will enjoy, learn, and be inspired to try out many of the recipes and cooking tips you will find here!
From the time I was a small girl growing up in Southern California, I have always loved cooking, trying out new recipes, and creating dishes on my own. When I was 17 I set out on my spiritual path, having prayed for a spiritual teacher and following the answer in my heart. Within five months, barely 18 years old, I began practicing Kundalini Yoga, moved into a yoga ashram in West Hollywood, and shortly thereafter met Yogi Bhajan. A few months later Yogiji invited me to serve in his household as his personal cook, which I did for several years in the early 1970s. He loved cooking too, and would often come into the kitchen to create amazing curries, paranthas, and other foods with his unique yogic flair and natural ayurvedic wisdom. He taught me the secret of yogic cooking, which is that the consciousness with which food is prepared matters more than anything else, and that it was important to be in a state of divine love and to bring that vibration into the food. So I learned to chant in my head as I chopped, “Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat Nam” and chanted aloud and sang much of the day. Somehow, doing so, meals for Yogiji, his staff, family members, and many guests (expected and not) manifested everyday. And those were amazing days, standing by his side at the stove and learning from the master!
In 1979 I self-published my first cookbook, Conscious Cookery, and then in 1989 my second book, From Vegetables with Love was published. Now out of print, these books contained many of the recipes I learned at Yogiji’s side, and also from his wife Bibi Inderjit Kaur. In 2014 I finally completed the long-awaited second edition of From Vegetables with Love with a comprehensive rewrite. I have added many new recipes, done much updating, added anecdotes and stories about life in Yogi Bhajan’s kitchen, and detailed information about yogic diet, the therapeutic qualities of foods, and cooking methods. The new book is scheduled to come out in January 2016, and is called, From Vegetables with Love: Recipes & Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen. I will keep you all posted on its progress right here on this blog.
I started writing this blog to share my food adventures and passions… whether a tale about a trip to the local Indian market or a new restaurant, stories from when I cooked for Yogiji, or a recipe or cooking tip I want to share… I include tried-and-true recipes, but also write about when I have created something on the fly… with ingredients at hand or whatever to suit my mood and craving. Not everyone grows up feeling comfortable and free in a kitchen; I hope that by getting a picture of my process you too will feel more willing to try something new, alter a recipe, or make do without an ingredient. There is no failure, only dirty dishes! Thus, whatever is currently on my mind (or plate) about food you will find here!
I’ll see you in the kitchen!
With love, light, and gratitude,
(Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa)