Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: November 8, 2023

There is a direct correlation between what manifests in our bodies and what expresses on our skin. A complexion that is clear and radiant starts with balanced nutrition and healthy absorption. “Beautiful skin is a byproduct of healthy digestion,” says Ayurvedic chef and author Divya Alter.

Last week Alter divulged her wisdom on how food has the power to balance, invigorate, and heal. This week she shares her recipe for Sautéed Broccoli Rabe and Beet with Saffron Almonds. This delicious dish is tridoshic, which means it honors and balances all three doshas. “It helps flush sludge from the liver and gallbladder and supports healthy bile production, which in turn helps with optimal digestion,” according to Alter, who adds that the broccoli rabe and beets act as blood purifies and blood builders, and the saffron almonds help to give skin its glow. “Saffron is the number one ayurvedic herb used to enhance overall complexion.” The cultured ghee—one of Alter’s favorite products—moisturizes the skin from within.

“It’s a beautiful ayurvedic recipe, it’s very easy to make, and the ingredients are easy to find,” Alter tells us. Enjoy.


2 teaspoons coriander seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons ghee, sesame oil, or olive oil

½ teaspoon kalonji seeds

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ + 3/4 teaspoons salt

2 small or 1 medium red beet, *peeled and shaved thin into rounds or wedges (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon slivered fresh ginger

1 green Thai chile, seeded and minced (optional to omit this for high Pitta)

1 medium bunch *broccoli rabe with bottom stems discarded, upper stems thinly sliced, leaves chopped into 1-inch strips (about 5 cups)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

fresh lime juice

⅛  teaspoon (a small pinch) saffron threads, crushed

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Grind the coriander, fennel, and cumin seeds to a powder in a spice grinder.

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the ghee and the kalonji seeds and toast for about 5 seconds, until the seeds release their aroma, then add the turmeric, 1 teaspoon of the ground spice blend, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Toast for 5 more seconds, then add the beets. Mix well, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about give minutes, until the beets are soft. If the vegetables begin to brown and stick to the pan, splash in a little water. Transfer the cooked beets to a bowl and set aside, covered.

Wipe clean the same skillet (or use a different pan) and heat 2 teaspoons ghee over medium heat. Add the ginger and chile. Toast for about ten seconds, until the ginger crisps up, then add the remaining ground spice blend and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Fold in the broccoli rabe, cover, and cook for about two­ minutes, until the greens wilt. Continue to cook uncovered, tossing frequently until the broccoli rabe is soft yet still vibrant green, about five minutes.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle both the beets and the rabe with pepper and lime.

To make the saffron almonds garnish: In a small frying pan or a metal measuring cup, heat 1 teaspoon water over medium-low heat. Add the saffron strands and toast for five seconds, until they release their yellow color. Add the slivered almonds and shake and toast for a minute or so, until the water evaporates and the almonds become crisp and golden.

To assemble: Lay the broccoli rabe in a serving dish of your choice, top with the beets, and garnish with the saffron almonds. Or mix the rabe and beets together and garnish with the almonds. Serve immediately

*Alter’s Notes: Broccoli rabe is detoxifying. It is best to avoid if you are pregnant or nursing.

A mandoline or a spiralizer make it very easy to thinly slice vegetables.