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feels like home ayurvedic kitchari recipe life curator

It's been a while since your heart had a home

Belong, Joshua Radin

I am seven weeks into my adventure from Australia to Bali to North America – I’m currently traveling along the West Coast (San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Portland, Seattle, Eugene and the Oregon woods) before heading to the Mid West. For all my constant movement, I have been eating remarkably well on the road, but find that I am craving Ayurvedic Indian food the most. Enter stage left: Kitchari – a simple, grounding and satisfying bowl of mung daal, brown rice, seasonal greens, coriander and a medley of fragrant spices that makes me feel like I am home (not that I am at home, more on that later).

When I arrive to a new place and my body is aching for a massage, I make kitchari. When I am tired and want a hot bath with candles, I make kitchari. When my heart is bursting with the love for the people I have met, I make kitchari. When my spirit is sad from another goodbye, I make kitchari. When my soul craves delicious comfort food, I make kitchari. When I remember that home is not a place but a state of being, I make kitchari.

I cook this recipe the most – for my family in Perth, a large sharehouse in San Francisco, a small cabin in Oregon – it’s a one pot wonder to feed a group of merry friends or as an easy meal for one lasting several days. I also make Kitchari when I need a gentle digestive cleanse, like after going a little too crazy at Pacific Northwest farmers markets (Peaches! Huckleberries! Purple potatoes! Blackberries!) or when I notice I have slipped backed into a niggling sugar pattern.

Kitchari is to India, what Grandma’s chicken soup is to the West. It is a food-as-medicine remedy for an upset stomach, the first signs of a cold or flu, and a rundown body. Traditionally in Ayurveda, this dish is prepared mindfully and not in a hurry (I like to listen to Iron & Wine). It is deceivingly simple to make and wholesome for the soul. In India, Kitchari is typically prepared fresh and not reheated. On the contrary, I always make a big nourishing pot and leave leftovers for lunch the next day. The flavours really develop overnight and it is the perfect meal to keep me feeling light and bright. My colleagues would often swarm around my lunch, and it’s a nice idea to bring an extra serving for someone in the office who is feeling a little down or for the person who has perfected the coffee-and-cookie lunch.

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Be it no concern, point of no return, go forward in reverse

Setting Forth, Eddie Vedder

It’s hard to ignore a burning in your heart so strong it wakes you up in the middle of the night. Five weeks ago I left the place I am from to find a new home. I had every reason to stay (two jobs, amazing friends, close family, year-long sunshine, the best cat in the world) but a faint whisper turned into a murmur and grew into an internal scream that would catch me off guard at the most random times. Waiting for the kettle to boil, sitting at traffic lights, the moments just before falling asleep at night – a conversation would begin with my current and future self: Holy shit, If I was every going to ever do this is had to be now or never.

I could not ignore the call anymore – the call that says “Go – go while you are young.” It was an invitation to live.

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Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

Sometimes you gotta start clean, you gotta begin not begin again

Happiness, The Weepies

A playlist for anyone in a constant state of craving – for liberation, for solitude, for fun, for adventure, for nature, for exhilaration, and for wonder.

I have made many attempts to resist, fight and shoosh these cravings. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and the feelings of an unfulfilled life can take over leaving you with the only option you knew you had  – to liberate yourself from the suffocating atmosphere of hesitation and indecision, drop everything and throw yourself into what you were always meant to do.

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Life Changing Loaf of Bread

I rest inside the hope of odds to come

In Harmony, Ásgeir

Lately my quarter life stirrings have reached an all time high. Maybe my Saturn return has arrived (two years early!) or maybe the Universe is running me through a series of tests. Whatever it is, I’ve been yearning for a change – and all at once excited and terrified by what the great unknown can bring. So I decided to stop playing small and I applied for a U.S B-2 Travel Visa (three months of flirting with the idea, a $220 fee and a 112-question application form later). In the nerve-wrecking lead up to my U.S Consulate visa interview of late nights and obsessive Googling I was hardly able to enjoy any food.

When my visa was approved – I simultaneously rejoiced and made Sarah Britton’s ‘life-changing’ recipe to celebrate my life-changing news! The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread sounds like a bold name for a baked medley of nuts and seeds but it really does deliver on the promise. This gluten free, vegan, paleo, high fibre and yeast free wonder bread is easy to make, highly nutritious and outrageously delicious.

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Guacamole

But for every heartbreak I take I try to keep a little faith

Along The Way, Alex Dezen

Holy guacamole! Avocados are my truly my spirit vegetable. They “get” me – versatile, vibrant, and so easy to tote all around the world. I sing sonnets when I cut open a perfectly ripe avocado. In this recipe avocado meets an unlikely alley. Leeks are the under appreciated cousin of onion – delicate, fresh and oh so comforting. If you want to know what summer in Australia tastes like – it’s pretty much this.

I make this guacamole for picnics, outdoor movies and cheese boards. It is decivenly simple but totally impressive – caramelised burnt leek, hearty mustard seeds, and fresh cooling coriander. The ‘curve ball’ ingredient is the addition of curry powder, making this humble avocado mash a ‘impress people without doing much’ star dish to add to your repertoire.

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It Took A Long Time To Get Back Here - Image

I took the wheel with one hand and drove through the Rockies without a plan

Feast of Hearts, The Damnwells

Whenever I hear the alt-country twang of Ryan Adams, the folksy crooning of Iron & Wine, the introspective lyricism of Sun Kil Moon, the staggering melodies of Sufjan Stevens and the atmospheric symphonies of Bon Iver – I want to quit my job, sell everything I own and go on a road trip across America.

Traveling the US by car feels like the ultimate freedom. I’ve tried to pinpoint my obsession for all things ‘Americana’ but I really can’t say why. I think about the wide open roads, rolling hills, national parks, rugged coastlines, iconic landmarks, familiar neighbourhoods and I feel invigorated. I think about taking a chance on a feeling, following the urge to wander, and finding comfort in uncertainty and I feel alive. I’d wear yoga clothes everyday, visit markets in each state, stay in cabins, eat fries at diners, sleep next to lakes, explore quirky towns, make new friends, marvel at nature, and learn to love the great unknown.

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Pick up the pieces of your life and rearrange

Risk of Change – Holcombe Waller

All that anyone really needs is a good adventure. They say a change is as good as a holiday, but sometimes the change you need is the actual holiday. When the urge to travel hits, it hurts in your bones. At the start of 2015 life brought me to Ubud, Bali in Indonesia – the spiritual and geographical centre of the world.

Yoga, mediation, sound healing, ecstatic dance, raw, organic, vegan, Ayurvedic, cold pressed, fermented – Ubud is the ideal place to fill your days with what feels good in life. Serendipity, solitude, gratitude, rest, relaxation, walking, healing, nature, wonder, music, laughter – when life feels good, great things happen.

When travelling solo, it’s easy to make more plans than hours in a day to keep solitude at bay. But really, spending time alone is a pit stop on the highway of self-actualisation. Learning how to be usefully lonely is scary but incredibly rewarding.

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I Am That I Am

There's beauty in the breakdown

Let Go, Frou Frou

I Am That, I Am is a playlist about travel adventures, spiritual awakenings and soul unravelings.

A soundtrack inspired travels to Ubud, Bali and learning how to love more, be open and let it go.

32 songs about wanderlust, inner knowing, happenstance, morning silence, late night chatter, beautiful strangers, laughing in the rain, trusting the universe, unexpected beauty, saying yes, being present, and breaking open.

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Image - Sweet Mung Bean Coconut Porridge

From the corner of my eye I thought I saw a light shine

Something Beautiful - Alexi Murdoch

Returning from a soul satisfying trip to Indonesia, I had immediate cravings for Bubur Kacang Hijau meaning mung bean porridge or (to me) – Ubud in a bowl.

Made with versatile mung beans, coconut milk, fresh ginger and spices – you’ll taste why this delicious legume has since become my best friend in sweet and savoury dishes. For anyone with a sensitive system, mung beans are relatively easy to digest, high in fibre and nutrients, and are one of the most cherished foods in Ayurveda. This isn’t an everyday breakfast, but when I make it I am transported back to Bali with the first spoonful. As with everything, make it your own with what ingredients you have on hand and what toppings inspire and nourish you.

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