Recipes for Healing with Onions, Garlic, and Ginger Root
By Sat Jivan Kaur
It is 1971 and Yogi Bhajan said eat onions, garlic, and ginger.He taught us that these three foods would help us stay healthy, detoxify our internal organs, feed our glandular system, regenerate our creative and sexual energy, stimulate our immune system, and help clean and rebuild our brain function and entire nervous system.
At Guru Ram Das Ashram in Brooklyn we took his advice seriously and embarked on a devoted path of eating at least one bulb of garlic, one whole onion, and three inches of ginger for each person in the ashram each and every day! Armed with cold showers, a full morning sadhana, gallons of Yogi Tea, fresh fruits, a huge variety of fresh seasonal vegetables, homemade yogurt, and ten pound jars of ghee (clarified butter), we spent hours working in the kitchen and were an extremely energetic, healthy, and committed group.
We fasted one day a week on cooked wheat berries and Golden Milk. We ate together every morning, cooked and prepped food every evening, and rose super early to pack lunches for everyone to take with them to work. Guru Ram Das Ashram in Brooklyn continued the onion, garlic, and ginger routine for a full eighteen years and now the tradition of healthy eating continues in our individual homes and with our children and grandchildren.
How can you incorporate a hefty dose of the Trinity Roots into your diet and begin to gain the incredible benefits that come by eating the three foods that Yogi Bhajan glorified?
The first step begins with your commitment to yourself and a healthier lifestyle that will enhance your Kundalini Yoga and meditation practice and morning sadhana. The second step is to bring substantial amounts of onions, garlic, and ginger into your kitchen. The third step begins with trying these simple recipes and building on the concepts and ideas presented here to seriously increase your intake, and reap the energetic and health giving rewards that the Trinity Roots can bring to your life!
Garlic Big Macs
- Whole grain or sour dough bread sliced and lightly toasted with a thin layer of ghee applied to the toast
- 8-10 cloves of thinly sliced fresh garlic per slice of bread, pile the garlic on in layers
- One slice of cheese (anything you like is great—soy, almond, goat, sheep, or cow’s milk cheese); Jarlsberg is great
Make six to eight slices at a time, place on a cookie sheet and melt the cheese in a pre-heated oven at 425° for approximately 7 minutes (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn). These can be eaten as soon as they cool off a little and when fully cooled they can be stored and taken for lunch or snack the next day or two. Make lots—you can enjoy them reheated or at room temperature.
Ginger Big Macs
Prepare everything the same as above except instead of using garlic, take a large amount of fresh ginger, peel it and grate it finely in a food processor or by hand, discarding any knots of fiber. Lightly sauté the grated ginger in a non-stick frying pan in ghee, almond oil, or sesame oil until it softens and starts to stick. To make it lighter, use less oil and add water in small amounts and let the water cook away, and then add more water. Pile the toast up with ½ cup of cooked ginger, cover with a slice of cheese and cook in the oven as above just until the cheese melts.
You could also skip the cheese and instead cover the ginger on the toast with powdered cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey and enjoy ginger/cinnamon toast! If you peel and process a big batch of ginger it can be refrigerated and later used for toast, mixed with rice or cooked vegetables, or it is delicious piled onto a cooked sweet potato with cinnamon and a little Bragg’s Aminos, toasted almond slices, or a touch of maple syrup. If you add the cooked ginger to cooked Basmati Rice, add in a dash of turmeric, salt, and pepper, and serve with yogurt, steamed vegetables, and a side salad for a delicious dinner.
Slice 8-10 medium yellow onions very thin and open the slices into individual rings and place them layer over layer on one or two non-stick cookie sheets until they are overlapping and layered thickly. Sprinkle red chili flakes, or diced jalapeno peppers over the top of the onions, add dried or fresh green herbs like basil, oregano, and/or parsley generously over the onions, sprinkle with salt and black pepper (caraway seeds are nice too), lightly cover with your favorite dairy or vegan cheese, and pop in a pre-heated oven at 350° - 400° until the onions cook down and the cheese melts—about 25-30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with a side of quinoa, basmati rice, and/or baked tofu and a side salad.
Onion, Garlic, and Ginger Soup and Healing Broth
Slowly simmer in a covered soup pot one pound each of onion, garlic, and ginger in 1 ½ gallons of water for at least an hour. Use this broth to make any other soup, your favorite mung beans and rice recipe, or use it to cook plain basmati rice or quinoa, or drink as a healing broth for a day of fasting or a day of eating lightly. The broth can be refrigerated and used a day or two later and can be used with the onions, garlic, and ginger left in or strained out.
Onion, Garlic, and Ginger Juices and Salad Dressings
Add raw ginger or garlic or onion juice or all three to fresh squeezed juices. Ginger is great with fruits. Garlic and onions are great with veggies and all three together can make some fantastic Vegetable 16 formulas: add any mix of veggies you like plus the onion, garlic, and ginger juice. Add jalapeños if you like it spicy. Add onions, garlic, and ginger to fresh homemade salad dressings. Don’t be afraid to experiment and let your creativity flow. Try fresh ginger or ginger juice with mangos, peaches, or nectarines for an unusually tasty salad dressing.
Yogi Bhajan’s Five Oil Salad Dressing
Yogi Bhajan gave a wonderfully powerful dressing that had as much as you wanted to add of raw onions, garlic, ginger, 5 parts fresh lemon juice, one part olive oil, one part sesame oil, one part mustard oil, one part almond oil, one part linseed oil, black pepper, and a little salt. This is a potent and restorative salad dressing and he recommended that you dress the salad with it and let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes before eating the salad.
- ¼ c of each of the 5 oils listed above for a total 1 ¼ cups of oil
- 1 ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled
- 4 inches of ginger root, peeled and cut into smaller chunks
- 1 onion cut in a large dice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until well-mixed and even-textured. This dressing is best stored in a glass container and keeps well for about a week.
Peel and slice 2 cups of fresh ginger and simmer in a gallon and a half of water with the lid on so the water doesn’t evaporate, for about 45 minutes. Let the mixture sit until it is room temperature and then strain out the ginger. Ginger tea can be served with any kind of milk and honey or maple syrup to taste. This is great for the days before and during a woman’s menstrual cycle, or when you have a sore throat or your digestion is overloaded, or if you feel chilled or have a fever.
Put extra ginger in your Yogi Tea. In New York we have always called our version of ‘heavy on the ginger’ Yogi Tea, ‘New York Yogi Tea.’ My goal when I started making it this way was to get the cleansing heat of the ginger in the throat on the first sip of Yogi Tea. I knew I had gone too far when I got the delicious throat burn and the hiccups!
Weary and still have one more meditation to do? Take three slices of raw ginger and chew them up for a few minutes (swallow the juicy part and discard the fiber) and get an instant stimulating wake up to your taste buds and your nervous system! Your meditation time will fly by. This trick is a good pick up when you are driving or studying for exams too. Try adding an ounce or two of fresh ginger juice to your morning orange juice, you’ll fly through your day and give your immune system a boost as you go through the seasonal change of fall to winter.
The Three Day Garlic Fast
Eat at least three cloves of raw garlic for breakfast, again for lunch, and again for dinner for three days. Drink plenty of water, rest when needed (this is a good diet for a three-day weekend when the weather is warm, you don’t have too much to do, and when your garlicky self won’t be breathing directly on your fellow workers). Exercise lightly and drink plain Yogi Tea without milk or sweeteners. Use a gentle bowel stimulant tea to keep things moving through your body.
Break the fast with fruit for breakfast the fourth morning, steamed green veggies for lunch, and well-cooked mung beans and rice for dinner. Meditate every day and be aware of what your mind thinks about during this fast, and contemplate your eating habits. Try keeping a journal about what you are learning as you begin practicing eating healthier during and after the three days it takes to complete this fast and the days following.
If you can find Breath Assure you might want to take this parsley oil supplement to help counter the garlic smell. Don’t be surprised if your sweat, tongue, armpits, skin, and breath smell of garlic; this is natural and the garlic is actually pushing toxins out through all of your eliminating systems. You will feel cleaned out and detoxified from this powerful fast. I believe this was the earliest diet Yogi Bhajan encouraged his students to do. He said it separated the yogis from the phonies! Don’t give this diet to anyone else until you have done it yourself at least once. If you have eaten poorly most of your life, or been a heavy recreational drug or alcohol user, proceed with caution.
Yogi Bhajan said, “Keep up and you will be kept up!” Try these recipes and learn to feed yourself the foods that will literally give you the super-charged yogic vitality to Keep Up no matter what, and to live the 3HO, Healthy, Happy, Holy life of a Kundalini Yogi!
Sat Jivan Kaur Khalsa is the Founder of Kundalini Yoga East in New York, New York. She was the co-director of Guru Ram Das Ashram in Brooklyn, New York, from 1971-1998. One of Yogi Bhajan’s personal chefs, she was in charge of kitchens and cooking at many Summer Solstices, Women’s Camps, Khalsa Youth Camps, and other events. She is also a KRI Teacher Trainer. Visit www.kundaliniyogaeast.com or contact her at [email protected].
Many of these recipes contain potent herbs, botanicals and naturally occurring ingredients which have traditionally been used to support the structure and function of the human body. Nothing in this text should be construed as medical advice. Always check with your personal physician or licensed health care practitioner before making any significant modification in your diet, and before using any of these recipes, to insure that the recipes and ingredients are appropriate for your personal health condition and consistent with any medication you may be taking.
 Daily spiritual practice