Healthier Foods from Navadarshanam

June 2011: Update to Health Foods Information

We have now developed more than 40 health food items. We have formed a separate organization called the Navadarshanam Trust Self-Help Group, under whose aegis all the health food work is carried out. This ‘Self-Help’ group consists of 28 persons, 21 of them women, drawn from the Ganganahally hamlet next door to us, and also the three families resident at Navadarshanam – those of Swami, Lama and Kanta. All our recipes have been passed on to this Self-Help group, who make these items which we help to market in the Bangalore area, but the proceeds from these sales goes directly to members of the Self-Help group. The input ingredients for these items are mostly sourced from nearby farms, only a small percentage is grown at Navadarshanam.

Monthly sales are conducted directly by the Self Help group at Jayangar, Malleswaram and Whitefield. Many of the items (though not all) are also stocked at selected outlets in the city, including all the Namdhari stores.

It is necessary to point out that not all ingredients in the items made by the Self Help Group are organic. While every attempt is made to source organic produce, it is not always possible to do so. Unless specifically mentioned on the label, it should not be assumed that anything supplied by the Self Help Group is organic.

It should be noted that everything grown at Navadarshanam is purely organic.

In pursuit of the goal of alternative life-styles that take into account ecological and spiritual perspectives, we at Navadarshanam have imbibed the principles of food and health as taught at the nearby Atheetha Ashram, and have developed food items keeping in mind these principles. Our aim is to make food items healthy as well as tasty. Among these items, a few are made by our village workers on a larger scale and supplied by us to our friends in Bangalore who think along similar lines and wish to incorporate these ideas in their lives.

Foods are available at various locations in Bangalore, including all "Namdhari's Fresh" stores, Mother Earth outlets and few other outlets like Shop for a Cause in Jayanagar. Click here to find out more about where to purchase them. For the latest price list, please send an e-mail to Please note that this will open a new window and will require Acrobat Reader for viewing the direct sale price list.

Items currently available are:

  1. Unpolished rice: Red in colour, it is made from a highly nutritious variety of dry land paddy, which is traditionally grown. Advantages: (a) polish has not been removed, so the really healthy part of the rice has been retained, unlike in the usual white rice we eat (b) this rice variety absorbs a lot of water, so less quantity is required for making a meal, hence it is economical (c)the seed is of the traditional, indigenous variety, not the modern, hybrid ones, so the rice is more natural and healthy.
  2. Herbal Tea: Made according to an ancient ayurvedic recipe using selected herbs – lemon grass, brahmi, cardamom, saunf, tulasi, cloves, ginger, lavang, pepper, rose petals, mulaithi, arjun bark, ashwagandha, cinnamon and green tea – this herbal tea has medicinal properties and is useful in tackling disorders relating to digestion, respiration, blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis etc. A 100 gms. bottle makes 100-150 cups of tea, also available in smaller pack of 50 gms
  3. Sprouted, Roasted Dalia: Broken wheat (labshi) made on a stone grinder after sprouting wheat of superior quality. This ensures higher nutritional value because (a) there is no appreciable rise in temperature during processing, thus preserving the wheat’s vitamins and minerals (b) sprouting adds proteins and others nutrients. The dalia has also been roasted, to enhance taste as well as shelf life.
  4. Peanut Butter: Made by hand, with no artificial inputs, using organically grown peanuts. Advantages: (a) no chemicals and harmful preservatives – processed peanut butter available in the market generally contains hydrogenated oils, which is harmful (b) good quality peanuts used.
  5. Sprouted, Roasted Rava: Made on a stone grinder after sprouting wheat. This ensures higher nutritional value because (a) there is little temperature rise during processing, thus preserving the wheat’s vitamins and minerals (b) sprouting adds nutrients. The rava has also been roasted, to enhance taste as well as shelf life.
  6. Tomato Sauce with dry fruits: Made from tomatoes, raisins, and dates, this thick sauce is tastier and healthier than those generally available in the market. No preservatives or chemicals added.
  7. Mango Pickles: Made from organically grown mangoes in the North Indian style
  8. Mango Pickle without oil: Made from organically grown mangoes, using salt and hing as preservatives.
  9. Avakai: Andhra style pickle made with organically grown mangoes.
  10. Chundha: Sweet mango pickle made by sun-cooking organically grown mangoes.
  11. Lemon Pickles: Made according to an ancient recipe involving sun drying of lemons, is totally free of oil and has medicinal properties - useful in cold, cough and sinus problems.
  12. Readymade Idly Mix: A readymade mix using traditionally grown unpolished rice of the red variety. No grinding needed, the mix has to be dissolved in water and allowed to rise. Gives delicious idlis which are healthier than those available in market as rice used is more nutritious, and no preservatives or chemicals are added. A separate Dosa Mix is also available at same price.
  13. Non-detergent soap: This soap (supplied to us by a friend) is made without using detergent. Being biodegradable unlike most soaps sold in the market, it is ecologically friendly (effluents from this soap will not harm plants) and also better for the skin and health. Available in two sizes.
  14. Organic jaggery: This jaggery is made by friends using sugarcane that was grown organically and then processed into jaggery without adding any masalas. Advantages: (a) no chemicals used (b) no artificial colouring (c) no mud particles.
  15. Lemon Juice Concentrate:
    Made by sun-cooking lemons and sugar. Adding 2 spoons of this concentrate to water makes a delicious, healthy drink.
  16. Chyavanprash: Made according to an ayurvedic specialist’s recipe using amla, 52 carefully selected herbs and pure ghee.
  17. Health Sweets: Laddus made from sprouted wheat flour (wheat is first sprouted, dried, dry roasted and then ground) and jaggery, with a little peanut and til  or cardamom added. Advantages: (a) no oil or ghee used, so not fatty (b) sprouting increases food value (c) jaggery used instead of sugar (d) very tasty!
  18. Stone-ground atta: Made using a stone-grinder which does not allow the temperature to rise. It has the following advantages over the usual atta from the mills: (a) the nutrients and vitamins in the wheat germ - B1, niacin, B2, iron and zinc - are not destroyed, because there is no significant rise in temperature during processing (b) the bran is also retained, so fiber content is higher.
  19. Dry Fruits & Nuts delight: A sugar-free sweet made using dates, figs, almonds and other nuts.
  20. Honey: Collected from the Reserve forest, this honey is pure and has medicinal properties.
  21. Narthangai  Pickle: made from organically grown bitter lemons having special nutritional value.
  22. Dried Lemon Grass: Converts tea into healthy and economical drink.
  23. Turmeric Powder:  Organically grown, pure turmeric powder.
  24. Chilli Powder: Organically grown, pure chilli powder.
  25. Ragi Hittu: From traditionally grown ragi.
  26. Ragi Huri Hittu: From traditionally grown ragi.
  27. Rice Atta: From dry land, high-nutrition paddy.
  28. Baby food for up to 1 year olds: Made using the traditional Indian recipes by sprouting traditionally grown ragi.
  29. Kids food for those over one year: Made using traditional Indian recipe by sprouting ragi+wheat+moong dal, and adding badam in powder form.
  30. Tamarind: Organically grown, thoroughly cleaned after removing seeds.
  31. Sambar Powder: Special, extremely tasty, made from a recipe consisting of several unique ingredients. Can also be used to make pulao and khichdi.
  32. Green Tea: Has anti-oxidant medicinal properties. 
  33. Healthy Mixture: Made by dry roasting poha (flattened rice) and other items. A tasty yet healthy snack.
  34. Guava Jelly: Made from organically grown guavas.
  35. Guava Toffee: Special sweet made from organically grown guavas.