Yoga, Dinner and a Movie
By Acharya Sri Khadi Madama & Srimati Bela Banerjee
Harvey: Bela’s Pookha Puffy Rice Snack: Your Own Inner Calm Scene
Don’t you just wish you had a big fluffy, good humored 6 ft rabbit to pal around with ? One that is always available to help you to remember to be kind, to offer a solution, to talk to when the chips are down or to tag along on all of your adventures, just for fun? Harvey is based on an old Persian legend about a mythical creature called a Pookha. An invisible friend who just happens to be in the form of a rabbit. In our story, Harvey, an oversized white rabbit, is invisible to everyone except our star, played by actor Jimmy Stewart, who is a suit-wearing sort of guru at times. Visiting the local bar to help alleviate peoples’ loneliness and inviting an array of characters with him home for dinners. This behavior drives his aunt (played by the same delightful aunt who played Aunt Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace), batty! All kinds of antics occur with the usual happy ending and there is a lesson for all of us in this fun romp. This is a no-miss movie sure to pick up your spirits. You’ll need a really great snack worthy of a hard-working mythical rabbit so just follow the rabbit tracks below.
This recipe is well-known in the Maidan of Calcutta and on Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai. Served also from street vendors, it is served on leaves that can be tossed away when finished. Serve it on lettuce leaves and let Pookha eat them!
1 lb of puffed white rice or rice krispies
1 large boiled potato, peeled and diced into 1” cubes
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 green chilies
2 tablespoons chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little water if it is too thick.
4 tablespoons thick tamarind sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon black salt or regular table salt
Put all ingredients in a small bowl and blend together until smooth.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the puffed rice, potato, onion and coriander leaves.
2. When you are ready to serve, add the chutneys, (enough to coat the rice puffs) to the rice mixture and serve immediately.
Your Own Inner Calm Scene
Creating your own inner landscape when you need a quiet rest, or to sooth an overworked mind, can be very beneficial. Here’s how to do it: First, think of a place that, in your mind, is the most calming place for you to be. It can be a place where you once visited or one of your creation. The only stipulation is that no one, not even your favorite pet can be in the Calm Scene with you. It must be a place that evokes nothing but calm. Be careful that it is not a place where you have gone when in deep sadness or anger. You don’t want your Calm Scene associated with any difficult time in your life. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. Next, begin by placing yourself in the middle of your Calm Scene. Make it very personal so it becomes a very real inner place for you. Make sure to try to visualize every color, sound, smell. Use your Calm Scene everyday to visualize that you are well, attractive, successful and relaxed. It will clear out stresses, fears and angers because you are focusing on a completely different direction. Mentally repeat that you are well, calm, loved. The Calm Scene works well with the Deep Relaxation Pose. (The Calm Scene technique is something that I learned from Dr. Francis Cheek as part of a Behavioral training course.)
Happy Yoga, Happy Eating,
Khadi & Bela
For more information about Yoga and Indian Cuisine, please visit us on the web