This season is a time of Kapha, which means that there is a greater sense of heaviness and groundedness due to a predominance of water and earth elements in nature. As such it is the best time of year to rest and rejuvenate, and it is natural to feel the need to slow down and live quietly for the next few months. With that, I can think of nothing better than curling up on the couch with a bowl of rice pudding to soothe the body and mind. This recipe uses cooked rice, though of course you can use dry (just cook it for longer). Otherwise, it is a great way to use up leftovers. Rice and milk are very calming foods, while the nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom are all warming spices that improve the digestive system and increase Agni, the digestive fire. Cardamom in particular stimulates the mind and heart to promote clarity and joy, which I hope you feel when you eat this.

Coconut Cardamom Maple Rice Pudding

1 cup cooked rice (basmati or jasmine works well), mashed
3 cups milk (or your favourite unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
8 whole cardamom pods
2 tbsp coconut flakes
4 tbsp maple syrup
A few tbsp chopped pistachios (as garnish)

Heat everything (except the pistachios) gently in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. If you like, fish out the cardamom pods. Scatter over some chopped pistachios and serve warm, with blankets handy. In the summer, this would be delicious served chilled. Enjoy!

Written and photographed by Adrienne Shum

If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda, Adrienne is hosting her next Ayurvedic workshop at Moksha Yoga Kildonan on Saturday January 19th, 6-7:30 pm. Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is the traditional Indian approach to healing. This workshop will discuss the fundamentals of Ayurvedic philosophy related to diet and encourage you to cultivate mindful eating habits. Please visit Moksha Yoga Kildonan's website or the event's Facebook page for more details.

Adrienne Shum is a yoga instructor, an Ayurvedic lifestyle counsellor, and has a Masters in Food Science. She likes to cook, bake, and plan dinner parties. When she is not in the kitchen, she is sewing leather pouches and journals ( Contact her for Ayurvedic nutrition consultations and upcoming workshop dates at   


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