Updated: Feb 17
Mangos are an amazing health food, according to Ayurvedic food wisdom.
Ripe mangos are said in the ancient Ayurvedic texts to promote contentment and happiness. They are satisfying, strengthening, good for your heart (physically as well as emotionally) and benefit your skin and digestion.
Contentment is called "santosha" in Sanskrit, the ancient language of Ayurveda. Santosha means being happy and content with life as it is, without any apparent reason.
Children are great role models of santosha. Their ability to get fascinated and be in awe, cry one moment and then jump with joy the next is an amazing thing we would all do well as 'grown ups' to learn from.
The nature of the soul is pure happiness and contentment. Santosha is our true nature and birthright.
When you eat foods that are fresh and close to nature, they bring you closer to your own true nature, of peace, contentment and pure happiness that has no cause.
You can substitute the tofu in this recipe for your favorite seasonal veggies or cooked chickpeas. You would just follow the below instructions for the tofu to prepare the veggies or chickpeas.
You can eat this recipe with ripe mango pulp or blend the mango with some water or coconut milk to create a homemade mango puree for a 'saucier' version. Both are amazing! I love how this recipe combines sweetness with just the right amount of spice.
MARINATED TOFU INGREDIENTS:
1 block (14-oz.) extra firm tofu
2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala* (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon pink rock salt
MANGOLICIOUS CURRY INGREDIENTS:
1 teaspoon kalonji seeds
1/2-1 teaspoon hing
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 fresh coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon pink rock salt
1/2 teaspoon cooling pungent masala** (see recipe below)
3/4 cup ripe mango pulp or puree (you can make the puree by blending 3/4 cup ripe mango pulp with 1/4 cup water or coconut milk; the above photo is how it looks with the puree; the first photo at the top of the recipe is the version using ripe mango pulp)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garam masala* (see recipe below)
cilantro or parsley leaves for garnish
*Garam masala is a richly flavorful spice blend you can make to get the satisfaction of traditional garam masala without the acidity and other heat related issues (like shingles, acne, rashes, etc.) associated with very pungent, hot spices.
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp cooling pungent masala** (see recipe below)
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp cardamom powder or seeds
1 tbsp mace
2 tbsp cloves
**Cooling pungent masala is an amazing recipe from Divya Alter in her book "What To Eat for How You Feel." It's a way to have black pepper without getting heated by it.
4 tsp fennel seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp Sucanat, organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or your favorite sugar substitute
MARINATE THE TOFU: cut tofu into 1/2 inch pieces after draining it of any moisture (you can do this by covering it with a kitchen towel on both sides). Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add tofu and cook until its golden colored, about 4 minutes. Add cinnamon, garam masala and salt. Mix well to coat the tofu. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and then set aside.
MAKE THE MANGOLICIOUS CURRY: add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaves and cloves, followed by kalonji seeds and hing. Then add the coconut milk, mango, salt and vinegar. Mix well. Add tofu and all the spices from marinating it to the saucepan. Add cooling pungent masala.
Mix, cover and cook everything until the sauce starts to boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered until the sauce gets to be the consistency you like (it will thicken as you cook it), approximately 15 minutes.
Serve with cilantro or parsley for garnish, with white basmati rice, roti or tortillas.
As you sit to eat this mangolicious dish, take a moment to close your eyes, with the intention of connecting with the inner contentment that is your true nature. Sometimes smiling for no reason can help you feel more content (as long as you are not suppressing any other emotions in doing so - in that case, it's best to wait to eat until you feel calm). It also greatly helps to appreciate the whole chain of people, including all the farmers and food distributors who have made it possible for you to benefit from the abundance of food before you. Gratitude automatically generates contentment.
To learn more delicious recipes like this, and to learn how to design your own Ayurveda lifestyle, in harmony with the rhythms of nature, join The Ancient Way's Wellness Ambassador Program starting March 26th, 2022, to spread the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in your community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANANTA RIPA AJMERA is founder and CEO of The Ancient Way and Advisor of Ayurveda at THE WELL, a modern wellness club that brings together world-class doctors and master healers for a more balanced you. She is author of The Ayurveda Way, a compilation of 108 simple, doable practices for better sleep, less stress, optimal digestion and more.