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Recipe Of The Month (November): Autumnal BRMHANA BONE BROTH Stew

Bolster body and bone and boost immunity with Faith's BRMHANA (strengthening) bone broth

All good things eventually come back in fashion

That's right! Bone broth is making a come back! With unrivalled interest in paleo/keto diets and unprecedented prevalence of leaky gut syndrome in recent years, the age-old bone broth is back on the menu! Being rich in amino-acids, omega 3 and 6, B vitamins, iron and much more, bone broth is a grounding, nourishing, anti-inflammatory, immunity-boosting winter warmer.

But what has Ayurveda got to say about it? Well, to start with, we did it first! That is to say, although bone broth may be 'on-trend' right now (as science uncovers its supportive benefits in muscular-skeletal disorders and gut inflammation), it's actually been used as a medicine for thousands of years in traditional systems like Ayurveda. The only difference between contemporary usage and classical Ayurvedic usage is context. Modern science (and indeed diets like keto) take one huge thing for granted: one size does not fit all. Not all foods heal all. Everyone has different metabolisms, digestions and nutrient needs. This is where Ayurveda takes the trophy on using food as medicine - it's truly personalised medicine.

One size does not fit all, one broth does not heal all

So what do we mean by context? Well those already using Ayurvedic concepts in their healing may have already guessed it - we mean your Dosha, Dhatu, Agni. In English - your functional bio-elements, the strength and quality of your tissues and your digestive strength. Without proper consideration of these, even bone broth is (for want of a better word) poison. When these are well considered, however, bone broth is a nectar - a well-spring of goodness for whole-body nutrition. How to get the full benefits? First, work out if its right for you and then pair it with the right spices and vegetables to suit you, uniquely.

  1. So - let's start with dosha. In Ayurveda, bone broths and meat soups (asthi or mamsa rasa) and other stews, brews and broths from bone, vegetables and spices have long been considered a nourishing (brmhana) treatment for those suffering VATA and PITTA disorders. As a hot, spicy bone-broth brings the qualities of heat, heaviness, gooiness, oiliness and smoothness to the body and mind, those suffering with increased Vata - and, thus, increased coldness, dryness, roughness and spaciness - bone broth is a fantastic medicine. For those suffering from increased Pitta/elevated metabolic acidity and mineral loss, bone broth is highly restorative. On the other hand, if your mind-body is heavy, low, slow and dominated by Kapha, bone-broth is not going to be a good healer, you're better reaching for the mung dhal.

  2. Next, let's take a look to Dhatu - your body tissues. If your weight is low, you have muscle wasting, emaciation, osteoarthritis, joint and muscle weakness, nerve disorders, weakened/ageing skin, hair and nails or low immunity, bone broth is a BOON. On the other hand, if you're overweight, have strong, healthy joints and are just looking for something a bit lighter in winter, bone-broth/meat soups may not be not the way to go.

  3. Finally, let's think about Agni. In Ayurveda, your Agni is your digestive capacity or your digestive fire. This needs to be functioning reasonably well if your putting bone broth on the menu. Although being soft and liquid, meat soups, bone broth and other animal product-based stews may look like an easy eat however the liquified cartilage, fats and proteins can actually be quite difficult to breakdown so consideration needs to be given to this when planning what's going in the pan. We have made sure to include a list of dosha suitable spices to the recipes to make sure your broth is easily digested but if you are really struggling with gastric symptoms, we recommend choosing kitchari for a gut reset.

Want the good stuff? Get the good stuff

We are what we put in. If we want to use bone broths and meat soups as medicine, we have to ensure we get the good stuff. We are not talking about that 'fancy looking corn-fed chicken' at Tesco, no - we are talking organic, free-range, cruelty-free meat, as close to farm fresh as money can buy. We use Riverford Organic Farms but there are many others out there. Really, it's worth it for everyone's sake to source your meat well. Nobody wants a side order of misery, antibiotics, growth hormones or preservatives with their 'medical food'.

A side note on the spiritual

Before we get into the recipe it's also important that we mention the spiritual implications of meat. With Ayurveda being a sister science to yoga, it's important to note that consumption of meat is considered himsa or 'harm to another living being' which is not conducive to spiritual pursuits. Meat is considered Tamasic/Rajasic and reduces the Satwa (pure, spiritual aspect of mind) which is a key ingredient in the search for spiritual enlightenment. That said, Ayurveda also recognises that meat is highly nutritious (when sourced well) and promotes the ojas (immunity) so we leave the deeply personal choice of whether to add meat to your diet down to the individual.

If you decide meat isn't for you, don't panic! We have a black lentil dhal coming next month that's similar in quality to meat, equally delicious but without the himsa!

Brmhana Bone Broth - Ingredients

Choose your meat - 500g bones or 1.5kg if using a whole bird makes 10 portions of broth

Best meats for Vata types:

Beef, Buffalo, Chicken (dark), Chicken (white)

Duck, Turkey (dark), lamb (occasionally)

Best meats for Pitta types:

Buffalo, Chicken (white), Turkey (white)


If you're a Kapha type and you think you need it, the best meats are:

Chicken (white), Rabbit, Turkey (white), Venison

Choose your Agni-boosting, warming spices - 1/2 to 1 tsp of each for 10 portions of broth

Herbs and spices for Vata types

Ajwain, allspice, anise, asafoetida (hing), basil, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, marjoram, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, orange peel, oregano, paprika, parsley, peppermint, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, salt, spearmint, tarragon, thyme, turmeric.

Herbs and spices for pitta - slightly more cooling

Basil (fresh), caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, ginger (fresh), mint, parsley, saffron, spearmint, tarragon, turmeric, vanilla.

Herbs and spices for kapha (if you are sure it's right for you!) - slightly spicier and hot

Ajwain, allspice, anise, asafoetida (hing), bay leaf, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cumin,coriander, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, orange peel, oregano, paprika, parsley, peppermint, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, salt, spearmint, tarragon, thyme, turmeric.

Don't forget to add some delicious seasonal vegetables - 50-100g of each is sufficient for 10 portions

Vegetables for Vata types in Autumn

Cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, courgette, fennel, green beans, leafy greens, leeks, okra, onions, pumpkin, peas (cooked), sweet potato, spinach, squash.

Vegetables for Pitta types in Autumn

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celeriac, coriander leaves, fennel, green beans, kale, leafy greens, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, olives (black), peas, potatoes (sweet), pumpkin, radishes, sprouts, watercress.

Vegetables for Kapha types in Autumn

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celeriac, corn, fennel, green beans, green chillies, horseradish Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leafy greens, leeks, mustard greens, onions, peas, peppers, potato (white), radish, spinach, swedes, squash, tomatoes , turnip greens, turnips.

Preserving ingredients

Apple cider vinegar

Lemon juice


Brmhana Bone Broth - Instructions

  1. Put the bones/whole chicken/turkey to the crock pot with 10 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Leave for 30 minutes (this will help the minerals release from the meat).

  2. Next, add the spices to the pot. We highly recommend 2 square cm of fresh ginger, 1 square cm fresh turmeric, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon each of fennel, coriander, fenugreek, brown mustard, cumin seed, 8 black peppercorns, 3 bay leaves and 2 sprigs of rosemary. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 1 hour, or for 20 minutes in an instant pot.

  3. If using chicken or turkey, after 1 hour (or 20 minutes if using an instant pot), remove the meat and carcass and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled, discard the skin, remove the meat from the carcass and set aside into a bowel. Break the bones into small pieces and add back to the broth with your choice of vegetables.

  4. Cook for between 60 minutes and 6 hours (or 1-2 hours in in the instant pot) or until the bones easily disintegrate.

  5. Once cooked, strain the broth to remove bones and cartilage, add fresh lemon juice and salt, and then pour into glass mason jars to cool before storing. Once cooled, if there is a lot of fat on top this can be scraped off. When stored well, the broth will last up to a week.

  6. To make a delicious bone broth stew, add 2 cups (makes 2 servings) back to the pan with your choice of chopped veggies (we highly recommend carrot, celery, kale, cabbage and squash) and any meat you wish to add, then simmer for another 30-45 minutes on a low heat.

  7. Pour into a small to medium bowel, add salt and pepper to taste, serve and enjoy!

Also, if you want to play around with your bone broth, you can add it to other soups and dhal such as Thai coconut soup, Italian tomato soup, Mexican Spicy Bean Soup and anything you are having that week!

Have fun, stay warm and feel well.

Much seasonal love,

Faith x

Loving this and want to learn more?

EATING Ayurveda: 🎃Need inspiration on what to cook in Autumn? Check out our Autumn Recipes here

Not sure where to start with organic? Check out the amazing, incredible RIVERFORD FARM - they stole my heart many years ago for being a beautiful, authentic, ethical, democratically-run business with the best interest of the planet and farming at heart.

Living Ayurveda: 🎃Do you want to know how to stay healthy and well this Autumn? Check out our Autumn Lifestyle tips here

LEARNING Ayurveda: Do you want to learn more about Ayurveda? Want to know about your mind body type and imbalances, your Agni (digestive fire) type, your mind type, how to detox and the best daily and seasonal routines for you? Join our next Introduction to Ayurveda for Self-Healing Course.

GROWING with Ayurveda: 🤝 Do you want a whole unique meal-plan created just for you with foods specific to you, your Agni and your dosha? Or, could you really do with some 1-2-1 support on diet or a health related issue?

NEWS: 📰Want our blogs straight to your inbox at the end of every month? Subscribe to our mailing list and we'll make sure you never miss a thing!


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