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Dahi’s Trilogy, Chapter 2: Chaas Chaas Chaas!

October 02, 2017
Dal Days
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“Do you want buttermilk?” Guru Ji asked me.

“Yes, sure!” I answered. “What we are talking about!?” I thought.

I’m Italian and I didn’t know what buttermilk was. But I like very much Indian food and in the Ashram it is really great. So I wasn’t worried about tasting this unknown buttermilk….

The typical Indian steel glass appeared under my nose. Inside: a white liquid with small green pieces on the surface. My first Podina Chaas.

After this, I have drunk many Podina Chaas because this is Shree’s favorite.

When you drink a Podina Chaas, you can feel so many tastes!

It’s something like Mathryoshka. The set of Russian dolls of decreasing size, placed one inside the other.

DSC_0014The biggest and external  doll (and the easiest one to guess!) is the Dahi, but not so thick. Hence you can think that it is mixed with water and well whisked.

The second doll is Podina. Mint. It gives such a refreshing sensation in the mouth. And in hot Rahajastani October it is really a gift!

The third doll is the salt. And this was a surprise for me!! Salty! I love salty taste much more than sweet one. When I drink or eat something sweet, I immediately need a little of water, because they make me thirsty. But Chaas is salty!

And the last doll, the smallest but perfect doll is…..

…..Jira. Cumin!

I think that Cumin is one of the my best discoveries of the Indian way of cooking. Some months ago in Italy I went in a spice shop and I bought some grams of Cumin. It lasted for three months, I think. Papu uses that amount of Cumin when he cooks every meal!

So…welcome Cumin in my mouth and brain…even in the Chaas.

Papu explained me how to cook Podina Chaas.


Ingredients for 3 glasses

1 small handful mint leaves

3 scoops Dahi (buttermilk)

3 scoops water

1 small pinch black salt (or Himalayan salt)

1 small pinch cumin powder



  1. Put the Cumin in a pan and roast it for few minutes until it becomes a little brown. Continue to mix during the cooking.
  2. Put the roasted Cumin in a grinder to make the powder.
  3. Wash the leaves of Mint and put them in the mixer.
  4. Add Dahi, water, cumin and salt.
  5. Mix for 1 min.

The Podina Chaas is ready!

It’s better being careful with the quantities of salt and cumin, if they are not enough you can add and mix more.

There is another great Chaas: Jira Chaas. My favorite.

The preparation is the same as Podina One, without mint of course. I like more this one. because I can feel better the salt and the Cumin.

I understood my preference when Papu taught me how to cook both. And he laughed a lot because I was able to drink 1 glass of Podina Chaas and 1 glass of Jira Chaas just before lunch!

What about you? Try both (not in the same time and not just before lunch, as I did!) and then decide if you agree with Shree or with Me…

At Shri Jasnath Ashram, guests will sample a variety of dishes using Dahi as a base. Our Dahi is made with milk from the cows living beside the Ashram and grazing in our cow yard. Stay tuned to our “Dal Days” Blog as we post more Dahi recipes as part of Dahi’s Trilogy! Shri Jasnath  Yogic Lifestyle Workshops throughout the year where participants can sample Dahi, lassi, and other delicious healthy dishes from the traditional local cuisine. To find out more information about the Workshop contact the Ashram at


Luisa Gardin graduated from Shri Jasnath Asan’s Rajasthan Hatha Yoga Institute 200 Hour Course in October 2015 as a certified yoga teacher. In her hometown of Turin, Italy she is an occupational therapist and a self-proclaimed garden-foodie “seeking ways of bringing the ashram cooking to her friends and family”.


cover of cook book

Download a page from our recipe book ‘Aloo Ghobi’

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