Prologue: Yoga, Dinner And A Movie

 

By Acharya Sri Khadi Madama & Srimati Bela Banerjee

 

 

During the time that I  taught Yoga to hundreds of thousands of viewers, who watched my show, Yours Truly, Yoga, my friend and favorite Indian Cuisine Creator, Bela Banerjee was teaching Americans how to cook authentic Bengali food. Bela had been a frequent guest on local TV, including my show, teaching  not only the cooking of India, but the fashion as well. Viewers wanted more, so we decided to create a live presentation that we called, Yoga, Dinner And A Movie. It was a fun and action packed event where I would bring along a classic feature film that I purported to contain Yoga film footage of me that had surreptitiously found it’s way to the cutting room floor, but that I would teach the audience. I’d cue up the movie, add some comments, then defer to Bela at each cooking stage so she could teach the audience each step in the dish she was preparing. Then, back to me with a little more Yoga and more comments on the movie.

 

These events were always fun and eventually wound up in my monthly Yours Truly, Yoga newsletter for my viewers. Julia Child had connections to India through her husband, which is how I wound up with a hand-written recipe of Bombay Duck, jotted down while watching The French Chef on PBS a scadillion years ago and how I learned to love mashed potatoes with toast, after watching a much more gourmet version of it taught by Julia.

 

Julia was a kind of icon for Bela and I, and after watching Julie and Julia, I just had the idea to bring Yoga, Dinner And A Movie back to life and so, here we are in the new world of eTechnology and hoping to bring some fun into your life. 

 

Here’s to Yoga, eating, cooking and classic films, and of course, to Julia.

 

Happy Yoga, Happy Eating

 

Khadi and Bela

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” Julia Child

 

“Spice up your life and cook with love in your heart”  Bela Banerjee

 

“Keep smiling and think lovely thoughts”  Khadi Madama

 

PS:  Remember that if you are under a doctor’s care, to please consult your physician prior to any Yoga practice.

 

 

Copyright 2011

 

 

 

 

Yoga, Dinner And A Movie

 

Episode 1                 

 

Lost Horizon: Pose of the Sun: Rice and Vegetable Pullao Shangri La

 

“Haven’t you ever dreamed of a place, a place like no other. A Shangri La. A place where there are no cares, no war, or sickness? A place hidden, perhaps, in a secret valley high atop the world, above the clouds, beneath a blue enchanted moon?” These are the opening words from the novel “Lost Horizon”, from which the movie was made. I have chosen this as my launch movie because it captures the very essence of what I tried to create for my viewers on the set of Yours Truly, Yoga during its 4 years on cable.


The thing about Lost Horizon the movie, is that it is such a wonderful metaphor for viewing our own journey and the people we meet along the way who can show us where we are stuck in our own development. And, it teaches us through the main character, Robert Conway, how to handle difficult,  seemingly insurmountable circumstances with grace, and yet through it all,  reaching our highest potential.


Robert Conway’s brother is a wonderful teacher for us. Through him we learn about our own lack of faith, our own impatience, lack of self-responsibility, selfishness and a host of other large personality flaws. Here’s George in Shangri La. The most perfect place on Earth. He never has to work again. He gets to wear perfectly tailored oriental clothing, delicious organic food prepared for him every day, to live in beautifully appointed rooms in a palace with servants, and on top of that a beautiful girl who is willing to hand roll cigarettes for him, which smoked, won’t ever age him or make him sick. The kicker is that George still isn’t happy. He sets off to leave paradise and dies in an avalanche buried by the snows of time. I don’t know about any of you, but it sure gave me a lot to think about. And,  it gave me a walloping appetite. As you pop in the DVD to enjoy this time honored venerable movie that changed my life forever, set up the ingredients for this month’s recipe and get ready for some Yoga to help you recover from George’s childish and annoying behavior.


The  Pose of the Sun


Stand, feet together. Inhale through the nostrils as you raise your arms up over your head and interlock your thumbs, fingers extended. Imagine that you are facing the sun, with it shining on your forehead. Keep your posture straight as you continue to breathe deeply, about 5 times. Now, interlace your fingers and move them down to the back of your head. Continue to breathe imagining that the sun is shining on the base of your neck, again for another 5 times. Inhale, open your arms, moving them outward and down with the last exhalation. When weather permits, take your practice of The Pose of the Sun outside where you can actually feel the sun’s powerful energy flowing into your body.


Bela’s Rice and Vegetable Pullao Shangri La


2 cups of Basmati or fine rice, washed and soaked in cold water for 1/2 hour. Drain.

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 stick of salted butter.

3-4 cardamom pods

3-4 cloves

1 stick of cinnamon

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon Chili Seasoning powder

1 10 oz package of frozen mixed vegetables

Salt to taste

3 cups of boiled, hot water.


Heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet on medium heat. Add the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Stir fry for a few seconds. Add the onions, and fry until soft. Add rice, salt, Chili Powder and stir fry for a few more minutes. Add 3 cups of the hot water. Bring to a boil once on high heat. Stir once, cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.
Add the vegetables on top of the rice. Cover and cook another 10-12 minutes. Before serving, fluff rice with a fork to avoid breaking the rice. This way it resembles the fluffy snow of Shangri La where you too, will be transported to the enchanted Valley of the Blue Moon. Sherpas not included.