Semi-Ayurvedic Saturday: Dosas, Dahl, and Shahid Kapoor

3 Jun

First of all, Anjum Anand is fricking HOT. Like scorching, middle of the Las Vegas Summer hot. Damn. Nigella’s got nothin’ on Anjum. That’s honestly the reason I picked up this book! I know, I’m sin verguenza. I can hear my abuela’s disapproving voice right now!

Anjum’s Eat Right For Your Body Type has nothing to do with the Blood Type Diet (I plead the Fifth on that one) and everything to do with a layman-friendly version of Ayurveda. I enjoyed the pithy explanations, the sections on detox and weight loss and the aesthetics of the book itself. Warning to my veg readers: I do believe this contains some recipes that use meat and dairy, which I of course just ignored. But I am eating a yummy veganized bowl of her Mung Bean detox soup RIGHT NOW:

Adapted from Anjum’s book, here’s an adjusted, vegan-and-Kapha-friendly version of her Mung Bean Detox Soup:

  • 1/2 cup green Mung Beans
  • 4 cups water or veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Soak the Mung beans for a minimum of 4 hours in enough water to cover them up. If you can soak them overnight, it’s only better for your digestion. If beans tend to make you, um, vata-d out, soak them with a piece of kombu seaweed or some sorrel (both reduce gassiness). Discard the water after you’re done soaking and rinse the beans well. Bring the water or broth and beans to a boil, then reduce heat and cook them for about 35 minutes on a low simmer.

Assemble your spices if you want to make this Ayurvedically by simmering the spices in some oil (see explanation below). If you E2’rs out there want to avoid oil, you can add the spices by themselves into the soup at the very end. Usually about 5-10 minutes before the soup is done seems to work well.

For Kapha dosha:

On very, very low heat simmer the following for about two to five minutes. Since we are not using Ghee, which has a really high smoke point, you have to be careful. You can get away with five if you use coconut  (higher smoke point), but straight EB will burn so be careful. Once you’ve simmered it, add it to the soup and cook the soup for another 5-10 minutes before serving (that’s a total of 40-45 minutes cooking time).  This is one of the few times I would suggest sticking to the amounts suggested for the spices exactly. It’s really easy to make this taste terrible if you overpower one spice with another.

  • 1 tbs Earth Balance (my vegan answer to Ghee!), or coconut oil, or Earth Balance coconut spread
  • 1/4 tsp Hing
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder

If you’d like, you can add some finely chopped up veggies to this like cauliflower, chopped green beans, kale or any other Kapha-friendly veggies. I suggest steaming them lightly and then adding them to the oil and spice blend.

Once you’ve simmered the oil blend and/or veggies for the allotted time it, add it to the soup and cook the soup for another 5-10 minutes before serving.  Top it off with 2 rounded tablespoons of minced, fresh cilantro and add 1/2 tsp. salt (optional—I need it, but not E2 compliant).

I also finally got my hands on some Trader Joe’s Masala Dosas. It was like finding the Holy Grail. I had to go to three Trader Joe’s here in Vegas before I found them, but they were totally worth it> Not E2 compliant and probably not good for me Ayurvedically, but Frankly, I don’t give a f@ck. It’s not like I’m eating a bag of Cheetos:

As promised, the cooking oil method explanation–obviously since I am a vegan I don’t eat ghee, but many Yogis do:

“According to ayurveda, the best way to cook vegetables is to sauté them in ghee with spices. By first sautéing the spices in ghee the volatile oils of the spices are drawn out into the Ghee. These spices have therapeutic value. Turmeric, for example, has been found to be an antioxidant, and other spices such as cumin and coriander help with digestion and assimilation. The spices cook into the vegetables and act as carriers, transferring nutrition from the vegetables into the bloodstream as we consume them. They also make the food taste aromatic and delicious.

First gently fry the spices in the ghee, taking care not to burn them. Add the chopped raw vegetables to the spice mixture and stir so that all the spices are mixed with the vegetables. Add a couple of spoonfuls of water to prevent sticking. Cover and cook on low heat until the vegetables are well cooked. Not mushy, but just “fork friendly”. Add salt to taste at the end and some fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.

Ghee is considered a beneficial oil in ayurveda. According to traditional ayurvedic texts, it is a rasayana, good for overall well-being and longevity. Modern research shows that it is an antioxidant and contains beta-carotene. Since the milk solids have been removed, ghee does not spoil easily like vegetable oils do. If you are on a weight loss program, limit your intake of ghee or oil to judicious amounts.” From the Maharishi Ayurveda website, http://www.mapi.com/ayurveda_health_care/newsletters/ayurvedic_cooking.html 

The mapi.com website has lots of easy to understand information about Ayurveda, and they sell some great products like Kapha, Pitta and Vata tea as well as Raja’s Cup. I used to be able to get all of that at my local Whole Foods when I lived in Florida, but I haven’t seen any of it in retail stores since I moved to Vegas, which makes me sad.

And to close my post with some more hotness (and because this delicious food is best eaten with a great movie), I give you my absolute favorite Bollywood leading man—also a Pisces and a vegetarian. My dream man, Shahid Kapoor:

Off I go to work my way through the rest of his movie back catalogue!

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