Guest Blog Post: The below post is from my friend, Melissa Biber.
While I have always been interested in Ayurvedic Medicine, it was not until this past Spring when I spent time at an Ashram becoming certified in Ayurvedic nutrition that I began to incorporate Ayurvedic principles into my daily life. The term Ayurveda derives from the Sanskrit words “ayus,” which means life, and “veda” which can translate to knowledge or science. Thus, Ayurveda literally translates to “Knowledge or Science of Life.”
While Ayurvedic principles span across all aspects of life, I am particularly intrigued by its’ nutritional guidelines. According to Ayurveda, each person in the universe has a unique biological energy, referred to as a “dosha” which governs all of ones’ physical and mental processes. When ones’ doshas are aligned, they are said to be in a state of true health, both physical and emotional. If ones’doshas are misaligned, they are said to be in a state of disease, or “lacking of ease.” Depending upon your dosha, there are specific foods and spices that are known to provide balance/alignment, whereby supporting a state of true health.
While I encourage everyone to explore further into learning about their personal dosha, the below recipe is one that is doshic balancing for all. All of the ingredients and spices are known to provide balance no matter what ones’ doshic constitution may be. I hope you all enjoy the below recipe as much as I do, and I encourage you to explore and experiment with other spices that may be best suited for your personal dosha as well!
- 1 head cauliflower
- 4 tablespoons of sunflower or safflower oil (I prefer safflower oil as it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and retains its molecular composure in high heat)
- 2-3 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon asafetida* (optional; best for vata dosha)
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional; best for vata dosha)
*Note: Asafetida is also (and perhaps more commonly) known as hing, and is used in primarily in Indian dishes. It is said to aid digestion, stagnation in the GI tract, and aid with intestinal colic as well as improve stagnation. Little random fact, it was used to fight flu in WW2 given its’ natural anti-viral properties
- Wash, remove core and leaves, trim, and coarsely chop the cauliflower
- Note: If there are any brown/black spots, please remove with a paring knife
- There are 2 options for creating the “rice”
- Food Processor: If you have a food processor or blender, place the chopped up cauliflower and pulse until the cauliflower has a rice-like consistency
- Hand Grater: If you’re old fashioned (like me), take the cauliflower and grate it against the largest grater setting you have
- ** It is very important to not process the cauliflower too much! If you are unsure, it is better to be cautious and keep the “rice” larger
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat
- Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, after a minute or so, add all of the other spices, lowering the heat if necessary to ensure that the spices/oil are not burning
- Once the spices and oil have “married,” add in the cauliflower
- Cook approximately 6-8 minutes until the cauliflower is of desired consistency
- Note if you add a touch of water, you will make more of a softer/comfort food type consistency, or, if preferred, leave on a bit longer for more of a “fried rice” dish
- Serve over salad or as a side dish to tofu, seitan, tempeh, or chicken if you’re a carnivore!
The principles of Ayurvedic nutrition are not only centered on the foods we ingest, but focus heavily on the preparation and consumption as well. So take some time out from the day, prepare your food, turn on some good music and try to remain present throughout the process.
Click here to learn more about Ayurvedic nutrition.
Melissa completed her studies in Ayurvedic Nutrition at The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, and is also a certified Pilates instructor. She currently works full time as a healthcare consultant and part time as a Pilates instructor at Epic Yoga. She earned her MHA from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis. While she is continually refining her passion by learning from the experiences of each day, she hopes to pursue opportunities that integrate both traditional and holistic medicine.