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Vegetarian Cuisine

PUMPKIN TART  –  Makes 2 x 8 inch pies.

This recipe uses freshly cooked pumpkin. The dough is baked blind first before the filling is added and further baked till set.  Makes a spicy satisfying tart for a dessert. A festive dessert for Thanksgiving. Serve with whipped cream or alternative creamy topping.

Ingredients for Filling:
1 medium pumpkin
7 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
4 ounces silken tofu
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground mace or freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 tablespoon soy flour

Ingredients for Pastry Dough:
2 ½ cups wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons wheat germ or sesame seeds
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons corn oil
7 tablespoons chilled sparkling mineral water

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut pumpkin into eighths and remove the seeds and stringy bits. Place pumpkin in a baking tray, cover with foil and bake in oven for 45 to 60 min till soft.
Make dough: Sift flour and salt into large bowl. Stir in the wheat germ or sesame seeds. Blend in the oil until pieces are size of peas. Add the chilled sparkling water, little at a time, until the mixture is moist. Knead dough just enough to hold it together. Divide the dough in half and roll into two balls. Wrap in wax paper and chill 30 minutes.

Make the Filling: Remove pumpkin from the oven and peel it. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, tofu and blend in. Add salt, spices and soy flour and mix in well.
Roll dough out on floured surface and line dough in two 8 inch pie pans with removable bottoms. Use fork to prick holes in dough lining. Bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and fill the pie dough shells with the pumpkin filling. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake pies 45 minutes until filling is set.

This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram, sourced from The Yoga Cookbook: “Food for Body and Mind – Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres” – 1999.

Fasting does help in self-control. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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desire-less action, selfless action. nish: without; kama: desire.

More generally, it means action performed without desiring or fearing the consequences; action performed with indifference to the outcome. It is used to describe the practice of doing actions without any expectation of the fruits (results or reactions or effects).

In the practice of Nishkamya Karma Yoga, there is no loss of effort. There is no harm.” – Swami Sivananda

Nishkama Karma Yoga is another name for Karma Yoga, which is one of the main themes of the Bhagavad Gita. The practice of Nishkamya Karma Yoga destroys sins and impurities of the mind and causes Chitta Suddhi or purity of the Antahkarana. Knowledge of the Self dawns in a pure mind. Knowledge of the Self is the only direct means to freedom.

In the mind there are three Doshas, viz., Mala (impurities like lust, wrath, greed, etc.), Vikshepa (tossing of the mind), and Avarana (veil of ignorance). Mala is removed through Nishkamya Karma Yoga; Vikshepa by means of Upasana (worship); and Avarana by means of study of Vedantic literature and Jnana. Nishkamya Karma Yoga purifies the heart and prepares the mind for the dawn of knowledge (Jnana Udaya).
The following passage records how Sri Ramana Maharshi once demonstrated Nishkama Karma Yoga:
Mr. Rangachari, a Telugu pandit in Voorhees’ College of Vellore, asked about Nishkama Karma. There was no reply. After a time Sri Bhagavan [Ramana] went up the hill and a few followed him, including the pandit. There was a thorny stick lying on the way which Sri Bhagavan picked up; he sat down and began leisurely to work at it [sic]. The thorns were cut off, the knots were made smooth, the whole stick was polished with a rough leaf. The whole operation took about six hours. Everyone was wondering at the fine appearance of the stick made of a spiky material. A shepherd boy put in his appearance on the way as the group moved off. He had lost his stick and was at a loss. Sri Bhagavan immediately gave the new one in his hand to the boy and passed on.

Love all equally. – Sri Swami Sivananda