Detoxing Recipes by Dr Shaun Matthews

Dr. Shaun Matthews is an Ayurvedic chef and medical doctor. Here he provides a number of simple detoxing recipes
Shaun Matthews (Dr.)

Shaun Matthews (Dr.)

M.B., B. Ch. (Ireland ), Cert. Ayu Med (Gujarat ,India), Cert. Yoga Teacher Training (Bihar , India, Cert. Somatic Integration, Cert. Astrology (Nature Care, Sydney)


  • ½ cup of basmati rice
  • ½ cup of split mung dahl
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 TB of ghee
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1-2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1-2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 bay leaf or 5 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • Sea salt to taste (start with 1 tsp for autumn time)
  • 3 cm of grated ginger
  • Vegetables chopped into 2 cm cubes or equivalent (pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, beans)
  • More water as required

Thoroughly wash rice and mung dahl. In a large saucepan (or pressure cooker), warm ghee and then add asafoetida, mustard and cumin seeds. Cook til mustard seeds begin to pop and turn grey and cumin seeds turn a darker brown colour. Add fenugreek seeds towards the end of this process and cook til a darker shade of brown. Make sure not to overcook fenugreek seeds which become very bitter and will dominate the dish. Next add fresh spices, leaves and powders and then add rice and mung dahl. Mix well so the ghee coats the grains. Add water and continue to stir, bringing the mixture to a boil. Cook for about 45 minutes on a medium heat and the mixtures gently bubbles. The add vegetables and cook for another 15 – 20 minutes. Add salt towards the end of this process. Finally, squeeze a whole lemon into the kichadi and mix well. Then turn off heat, cover and allow to cool slowly. Garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and freshly chopped coriander.

Kichadi is used in Ayurveda in fasting, in Panchakarma (the five deep cleansing therapies) and in convalescence and helps to stimulate the digestion and circulation. It is very easy to digest and is profoundly nourishing. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices using your intuition as your guide. 

Split Mung Dahl Soup

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 cup of split mung dahl – washed, soaked and drained
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • Basic Tarka (see notes below)
  • 1 lemon or lime

Tarka ingredients:

  • 1TB ghee
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of crushed ginger or garlic

Bring water to boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the spices, salt and dahl. Cover and cook on medium heat for 45 minutes or until dahl is soft and can be mashed easily with a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a ladle or small skillet, heat the ghee. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds and sauté until a darker brown colour. Next add fresh spices and finally powdered spices and sauté until toasted and fragrant. Add Tarka sizzling hot to the dahl and cover immediately with a tight fitting lid. Allow to stand for a few minutes while the flavours blend. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve with chapatti or flat bread.

Semolina Halva

  • 1 cup of coarse semolina
  • 1 TB of ghee
  • 2 – 3 cups of water
  • ½ – 1 cup of rapadura sugar or Sucanat
  • 1 cup of sultanas and chopped apricots
  • ½ cup of almonds – chopped in half
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom

Gently roast the semolina in a large skillet over a low heat, constantly stirring until the colour turns slightly brown and the grain becomes aromatic. Add water to cover the grains and increase the heat to medium. Continue to stir to avoid the mixture becoming lumpy. Add rapadura sugar, nuts, cardamom and dried fruit and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat. Cover the mixture and allow to stand for a further 10 minutes. Semolina halva is easy to digest, extremely cleansing to the digestive tract and very nourishing. Serve with your favourite tea for a great breakfast. 

Cleansing Vegetable Broth

  • 1-2 tsp of sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp of cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 2 TB of urad dahl
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup of another vegetable (squash, asparagus, spinach, beans)
  • 4 cups of water
  • Sea salt to taste

In a large saucepan, warm the oil and when hot add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Next add urad dahl, fresh spices and finally coriander powder. Sauté for a few minutes and add vegetables and stir again. Pour in water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a medium heat and cook for ½ hour or more, if possible. Add salt and serve with chapatis or flat bread. 

The Panacea to Modern Life

Steamed Vegetables with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Potatoes in rounds
  • Carrots, sliced
  • Beans, chopped
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • Spinach, shredded
  • Corn kernels etc .
  • Butter
  • Mixed Herbs (optional)
  • Celtic Sea Salt 

Layer vegetables in a pot according to cooking time, eg. potatoes first through to spinach on top. Add 25-50 ml of water, a few dabs of butter and a sprinkle of mixed herbs and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer with a tight lid on for 10-15 minutes until just tender. 

  • 2 TB roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Grated cheese – optional

Dry roast until brown and popping. When vegetables are cooked, ladle into a serving bowl, pour some cooking liquid over. Sprinkle with the roasted pumpkin seeds while they are hot. Add grated cheese.

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