We love our winter yoga holidays in Southern India. With the wonderful climate, warm sunshine, sea breezes, deserted sandy beaches & blood warm Arabian Sea – its hard very not to! Nor do we ever seem to get tired of the region’s wonderful nourishing food.

Every year we return to the UK armed with lots of new recipe ideas.

However nothing is more comforting in the cold winter months than a good old fashioned no nonsense dal.


  • 3 tbs high heat oil (eg coconut, olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2-inches fresh ginger, peeled & minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4tsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes, (drained)
  • 125g (1 US cup) red split lentils, soaked in water
  • 875ml (3.5 cups) water
  • 280g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños/red chillies chopped


In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Stand back as the oil may splatter, add the cumin ;mustard seeds cook until they start to crackle change color. ( 10-15 seconds)

Add chopped onion, deseeded chopped red peppers/jalapenos, fresh ginger, garlic plus the turmeric, coriander, cayenne sea salt. Stir

Pour in drained chopped tomatoes ;continue to cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes they break down.

Stir in presoaked red lentil with 875ml water ;bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a low boil cook until lentils are soft enough to mash, (approx 30 minutes but maybe longer) Add more hot water as needed until they are thoroughly cooked. Use a spoon or a whisk to mash lentils

Add the spinach cook until it starts to wilt, (5 minutes approx).

Serve warm with whole grain naan, white or brown basmati rice fresh chopped coriander


AUTUMNAL AUBERGINE STEW (vegetarian/vegan/gluten free)

Inspired by our regular yoga holidays in Turkey we often cook this warming dish for our autumn one day rural yoga retreats. I promised that I would produce the recipe which I have scaled down to serve four to six people.


  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 potatoes cut into bite size chunks
  • 2tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 2-3 garlic chopped cloves
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2tbs tomatoes puree
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 2 large aubergines cut into bite size chunks
  • 2 green peppers seeded and cut into bite size chunks
  • Small bunch coriander
  • Small bunch dill
  • Sea salt ground black pepper
Yogamumma Recipes PageTurkish inspired Aubergine Stew



Heat oil in heavy pan or casserole stir in potatoes – soften & brown for 5-6 minutes Stir in crushed coriander seeds & garlic Add tomatoes, puree, sugar followed by aubergines & green peppers. Cover with enough water to surround vegetables & bring to boil. Cover & cook gently for 15-20 minutes. Remove lid & put into oven for a further 10-20 minutes to brown and thicken. Season with salt & pepper & stir in half chopped coriander & dill. Transfers into hot serving dish & top with the remaining herbs. Serve hot with an optional dollop of creamy Turkish or Greek yoghurt, flat bread or rice Heat oil in heavy pan or casserole stir in potatoes – soften & brown for 5-6 minutes Stir in crushed coriander seeds & garlic Add tomatoes, puree, sugar followed by aubergines & green peppers. Cover with enough water to surround vegetables & bring to boil Cover & cook gently for 15-20 minutes. Remove lid & put into oven for a further 10-20 minutes to brown & thicken Season with salt & pepper & stir in half chopped coriander & dill Transfers into hot serving dish & top with the remaining herbs Serve hot with an optional dollop of creamy Turkish or Greek yoghurt, flat bread or rice


(vegetarian for gluten free replace toasted bread with spelt bread )

The humble brussel sprout has come a long way since its annual appearance boiled to death at Christmas! For me its one of the best, inexpensive green veg around & they’re especially good roasted!


Cut brussel sprouts in half & place in a roasting tray, sprinkle with sea salt & black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and mix. Roast in preheated oven for 20/30 mintes until crisp & golden on the outside & firm inside & set aside.

Rince & dry pumpkin & cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds & cut into 2mm slices mix in a bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the remaining two tablespoons in the pan and fry the pumpkin slices in small batches until golden brown on both sides. Drain off excess fat, using a paper towel & set aside.


Finely chop shallots & parsley. Mix the white wine vinegar, lemon juice and honey and add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil & whisk. Add shallots & parsley & set aside.

Place brussel sprouts, pumpkin toasted bread in serving bowl and pour over dressing & gently combine using hands then stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts.

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300g brussel sprouts

1 pumpkin

6 tbs virgin olive oil

For the dressing:

1 small shallot

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp of honey

1/4 cup virgin olive oil

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley

1 handful toasted hazelnuts

125g/1 US cup toasted bread cubes

Sea salt & black pepper

Yogamumma Recipes Page

Autumnal Brussel Sprout & Pumpkin Salad


(Vegetarian, Gluten free)

My brother Peter is a whizz at making the most wonderful food. This is his recipe for his delicious hasselback roast potatoes.


1 lbs baby potatoes 3 cloves crushed garlic 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley

1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp lemon

Black pepper Sea Salt

Extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Slice each potato horizontally but without cutting right through.

Dress with honey, lemon, garlic and oil

Roast in the oven until cooked through approx 40 minutes

Garnish with chopped parsley

Carmargue Red Rice Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Smoked Almonds & Cranberries

Red Carmargue rice is a fabulous salad ingredient with its nutty, chewy texture & ability to carry other flavours. This recipe adapted from a combination of recipes we found online , has whole toasted smoked almonds & the sharp burst of cranberries, sour cherries or barberries. This recipe serves 6-8 as a side dish.


  • 250g red Carmargue Rice (available from Waitrose)
  • 2 handfuls of cranberries (barberries or dried sour cherries)
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • juice of half an orange
  • 2tbs runny honey
  • 3tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 large courgette sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large aubergine cut lengthwise
  • 300g roasted red pepers in oil drained & diced
  • Bunch of flat leaf parsley leave picked & chopped
  • Bunch of coriander leaves picked & chopped
  • Toasted smoked almonds or plain toasted almonds
Yogamumma Recipes Page

Red Rice Salad with Grilled Vegetables


Cook rice as per instructions on packet. Rinse well in cold water & drain. Combine rice, cranberries & chopped red onion in a large mixing bowl and coat with olive oil, a generous seasoning of sea salt and black pepper, the orange juice, clear honey & red wine vinegar. Set aside for the rice to absorb the flavours.

Brush the aubergine with a generous amount of olive & cook on each side until tender. Coat courgettes slices wth olive oil & cook in batches on the griddle until the black griddle marks are on each side.

Once cooked roughly chop the grilled vegetables and add with the red peppers, herbs & almonds to the rice & stir well before serving.

(vegetarian/omit feta for vegan )

Colour for me is such an important part of planning our seasonal menus for our retreats. Butternut squash & red jewel like pomegranate seeds never fail to provide a feast for the eyes!


  • 1 small butternut squash cut into bite size cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup spring onions
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Pomegranate molasses
Yogamumma Recipes PageCarmargue Red Rice Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Smoked Almonds & Cranberries


Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet.

Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add quinoa to the pan and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in vegetable stock and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cover the pan; and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid.

Take the pan off the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork.

Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl. Gently fold in roasted butternut squash, cranberries, chopped parsley, spring onions, roasted pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle over pomegranate molasses.


The 50:50 combination of Maris Piper & sweet potato topped with crunchy breadcrumbs provide an autumnal feel to this vegan take on a good old British favourite. This nourishing recipe from Jamie Oliver is always a yoga retreat hit.


  • 600 g Maris Piper potatoes
  • 600 g sweet potatoes
  • 40 g dairy-free margarine
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • olive oil
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
  • 350 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • vegan red wine
  • 100 ml organic vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400 g tin of lentils
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
  • 5 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • 30 g fresh breadcrumbs (for gluten free use spelt breadcrumbs)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Peel & chop all the potatoes into rough 2cm chunks. Place the Maris Pipers into a large pan of cold salted water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, adding the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes. Drain & leave to steam dry with a tea-towel over the pan, add margarine, a pinch of sea salt & black pepper.

Mash until smooth & set aside.

Peel and finely slice the onion, carrots, 2 garlic cloves, trim & finely slice the celery. Crush coriander seeds in a pestle & mortar until fine, then add it all to a medium pan over a medium heat with a good splash of olive oil. Add thyme leaves & cook until softened (around 10 minutes).

While cooking, roughly chop mushrooms & sun-dried tomatoes & add to the pan, with the vinegar & 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil from the jar. Cook for 10 more minutes, before adding a splash of wine. Turn up the heat allow it to bubble away. Stir in the stock, lentils & chickpeas (including juices), then leave it to cook until slightly thickened & reduced. (5 to 10 minutes). Pick & roughly chop the parsley & stir into the pan. Season to taste, then transfer to a baking dish (roughly 25cm x 30cm). Spread the mash over the top. Use the back of a spoon to give the top some texture. Finely slice the remaining garlic clove, then place into a bowl with the rosemary leaves, lemon zest, breadcrumbs & 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well, sprinkle over the mash, then place in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, or until piping hot throughout. Place under the grill for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, serve with seasonal greens or a peppery watercress salad.

Elisa Williams Yoga