Chapter 12 of The Hipster Handbook: Harnessing The Wisdom of The East

The deliciously long title of this particular post was created by my buddy @Fensterdj who tweeted it at me last week in reply to my update about going for a consultation at the Ayurveda Centre on Stephen Street in Dublin 2.

It’s true.  I do have hipster tendencies – buying glasses from Specsavers Mens Department, going to Billy Ocean concerts “ironically” etc.  But it wasn’t these tendencies that brought me to the Ayurveda Centre.  Rather, it was the gift of a consultation voucher combined with the cloud of lethargy that has been following me around for say, forever.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system, which focuses on how you can eat your way to better physical and emotional health.  In fairness, could it be any more perfect for a food blogger?

The advice given by the spectacularly lovely Dr Brennan – a GP turned Ayurvedic counsellor – is nothing that you don’t know already.  I mean, you really know it.  Eat bigger meals during the day and smaller meals at night, don’t over eat, exercise, drink nice digestive teas, cut down on stuff that’s bad for you…

But, the act of going to the bother of making an appointment and talking to someone about these things should not be underestimated – it can often kick start that oh-so-often elusive inner motivation to get healthy.

Head to the Ayurveda website to see if you think it’s for you, but also to get some of the basic tips about the Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the three basic personality elements, and how when one or more of these qualities goes out of balance, it can be reflected in your health.

Personally, I’ve found it a motivating exercise in helping me towards eating more healthily and in a more balanced way.  I’m very good at eating fruit and vegetables, but I’m equally as excellent at eating Pringles.  And there lies my imbalance :)

One of the interesting parts of Ayurveda is that the consultation includes a dietary plan for you.  You’re given a list of foods and ingredients which help to bring your Vata, Pitta and/or Kapha back into balance.

Since it’s my Kapha that is out of balance – hence my lethargy – I’m in need of things like Fennel, Moong lentils, Kale, and loads more.   I should be staying away from not only junk food, but things like tomatoes, avocados and some pulses.  Interesting!

As it suits my work schedule at the moment, I’ve been having my main meal during the day, as recommended to balance my Kapha.  Daal is a great one to make the night before and take into work, as you can make hoige batches of it and in fact, it can taste better the day after you cook it.  Win!

What you need for a lovely Daal for 2 to 4 people

About 150g of moong lentils

Enough vegetable stock to cover lentils in pot – 300ml or so

Another 300 ml of hot water ready to pour in throughout 20 minutes if needs be

1 tbsp of fresh ginger, finely diced

1 white or red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cinammon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Start by rinsing your lentils in cold water.

Heat a bit of oil in a pot and start frying your onions.  Once they’ve softened, after 4 minutes or so, add the chopped ginger and garlic then fry for a further 3 minutes.

Now you can add the vegetable stock, followed by the lentils and spices.  Mix everything around, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.  Let the Daal simmer for 20 minutes or so, until it has thickened up beautifully.  Stir it from time to time and top it with your hot water as and when it needs to be.  It should be a lovely thick soupy texture.

I served it up with some Basmati rice, with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a bit of chopped coriander sprinkled over the top.


If you want any more information about Ayurveda, why not pop into their centre of Stephen’s Street, between Capitol Bar and Bia Bar.  They have loads of lovely herbs, spices and teas on sale there too, so definitely stop by.


Any excuse for a bit of Daler Mendhi’s Tunak Tunak Tun. Amazeballs!

Categories: Dinner, Lunch


  1. Oh this is so interesting. I am totally out of sorts and need a complete overhaul diet-wise. I know there is plenty that I shouldn’t be eating but can’t quite seem to stop myself. And I love the vid :)

    • The vid is enough inspiration in itself to make one want to change one’s diet so as to embrace happiness like Daler Mendhi.

      Diets and detoxes and nutritionists and holistic medicine don’t mean anything until a person decides to really commit to sorting out their health. I’ve been lagging for ages, and found my visit to the Ayurveda centre really helpful. What’s amazing is that I didn’t really go looking for it – it was rather handed to me. And it has helped me so far to kick start an awareness of eating.

      So basically…if you sort of metaphorically stretch a bit, you’ll probably find a really useful source on your doorstep that can help you feel better about what you’re eating!

      Give me a shout if you want any more info on my Ayurveda experience :)

  2. Funny how much food and how we eat it affects our emotional health. I recently adopted trying to eat mindfully and with purpose, which means no television, no computer, etc. and putting my fork/knife/sandwich down after every bite. Now that I pay attention to what I eat vs. just trying to eat as much as possible, I’m automatically leaning toward fresher foods. The other day I took a long, slow bite of non-fat vanilla yogurt (one that I always eat) and realized how artifical the sweetness was. I tossed it after one bite. Anyway it’s been a real revelation! I feel much happier…

    • Food is the shizzle! Of course it affects how we feel – just sometimes we forget that. I am definitely an advocate of eating without newspapers, TV, and iPhone/Twitter, although I usually do exactly the opposite. I do love a good brekkie with the newspaper. Tis nice.

      Funny how once you start going down a path of better food, you can’t go back. It’s the same way I felt after I made my own pasta sauce. You can never go back to jar bought stuff after making your own. Not through snobbishness – purely because you really start to taste everything that’s in it. And the most pronounced taste in jar sauce is sugar and preservatives. Gross.

      Hope your food happiness continues!

  3. Hi it’s delicious foods!!! Best wishes from eatstar, a internet portal in Germany, where you can order your foods easily online.

  4. Ooh, this sounds (and looks) amazing. That’s my work lunches sorted for the next week.

    I’m four weeks into my latest weight watchers foray and it’s definitely helping me reconsider any unwelcome foodie habits. I have a serious sweet tooth but am now sating any sugar cravings with fruit rather than the bould stuff. And I’m eating a lot more fish and shellfish, and veggie food. So far, so good!