Are You Ayurvedic? You Could Be, Easily and Deliciously. Here’s How.
Ayurvedic chef Radhi Devlukia-Shetty shares cleansing dishes and drinks to help you refresh, restore, and renew.
A gentle breeze sends bougainvillea petals scattering across the patio. We’re at the serene home compound of Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, the Ayurvedic cooking and wellness expert, high up in the Hollywood Hills, the iconic sign looking down on us, Lake Hollywood gleaming in the distance below. The aroma of toasting coriander and fennel wafts outside as Radhi prepares kitchari.
Made of stewed lentils and warming spices, it’s a classic dish in Ayurvedic medicine that’s meant to balance, cleanse, and nourish, three principles of the 5,000-year-old practice that Radhi celebrates and shares with her million-plus followers across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and her blog. Today she’s preparing a menu of dishes that are vibrantly colored, boldly seasoned, deeply satisfying (some might say indulgent)—and that just happen to be vegan and very, very good for you.
Born in England, Radhi moved to Los Angeles three years ago after having lived two years in New York, where she was drawn to Ayurveda as a practice and eventually a profession. “New York was perfect for the years I was there but I couldn’t see myself living there long-term,” she says. “But when I visited L.A. on a work trip with my husband, I fell in love with the energy, the pace, and the people. It was so much more my vibe. It also had a lot to do with nature—you can drive an hour here or hour there and there’s so much beauty.”
While some might challenge that perspective on a massive city with more than its fair share of chaos, it’s Radhi’s ability to find the bliss in the everyday that makes her so appealing and accessible. But it doesn’t come without regular and intentional thought and method. Even the most disciplined student of morning routines might have a hard time keeping up with Radhi’s, which involves a 5 a.m. wakeup, stretching, self-massage, and a multi-stage meditation session. (Watch “My 5 am(ish) Morning Routine” on YouTube for a serious case of self-care envy.)
The same thought and intention go into everything she eats, including the recipes below, which have all been chosen to function in the bridge season between winter and spring. “We’re moving out of the cooler season and heading into the warmer season. Because Ayurveda is preventative, you need to get a grip on what’s to come.” The thinking is, spices such as ginger and mustard seeds are warming and help modulate the coolness of winter and detoxify what’s accumulated over the season, while preparing you for the warmer months ahead. Those spices also make for dishes and drinks that are both comforting and invigorating: a ridiculously easy detoxifying CCF tea (that’s short for coriander, cumin, and fennel), a springy minty zucchini soup, super-pretty chocolate Ojas balls loaded with adaptogens. Even if you’re not a practitioner of Ayurveda, the benefits of these dishes are clear: They’re nutrient-rich, stunningly beautiful, in sync with the seasons, and, most of all, undeniably delicious.
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