Updated: Feb 17
I love this recipe because of how simple it is to make, and how it bursts with flavor! In Ayurveda, the sun is a symbol of health, wealth, purpose, abundance, power, joy and your own soul. We follow the rhythms of the sun in Ayurveda's rich daily and seasonal lifestyle to manifest radiant health at every level: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. When you see the sun shining, in the sky, and in the color of this beautiful dish, it is a reminder of the power that lives within you, to overcome obstacles and challenges in your daily life, and to strive towards the ultimate goal of human life: to realize who you are as an eternal soul.
Simple, easily digestible recipes like these promote healthy digestion and connect you with the light of sattva, a spiritual quality of clarity, harmony, balance, purity and wisdom. The true nature of each one of us, even the worst criminal, is sattva. We simply have to return to our true nature of peace. Food serves as a wonderful foundation to help you manifest sattva in your life, in addition to Ayurveda's detailed lifestyle protocols.
This wonderful recipe gives you the opportunity to use the same sauce used to make Quinoa with Golden Sunshine Sauce with cooked chickpeas! What I love to do is make the sauce with quinoa for lunch and then have enough of the sauce to use for this special chickpea dish for dinner. We typically do not advise eating leftover food more than one day old in Ayurveda, as the freshness of your food is what allows it to give you prana, a yogic term for subtle life force. But eating something you make one day for two meals works fine, without compromising on flavor or freshness.
The golden sunshine sauce used for this dish is a dairy free version of the common makhani sauce that's used widely in Indian restaurants with different milk products. In Ayurveda, we recommend cooking with ghee (clarified butter), as it is incredibly good for your digestion. Through the process of applying heat to the butter, you remove the casein (dairy) component from it, which makes ghee technically a dairy-free substance. It's really important to procure your butter from a place that treats cows well. I personally like Vital Farms for ordering this kind of butter to make ghee. They also sell ghee.
There is an entire chapter in the ancient Ayurvedic textbooks outlining the therapeutic benefits of ghee for everything ranging from beautiful, glowing skin to a strong voice, cooling burning heat and acidity in your body and even improving your vision! The underlying reason why ghee is so beneficial is because it is really good for your digestion. And digestion is the key to overall health and immunity, according to Ayurveda.
INGREDIENTS FOR GOLDEN SUNSHINE SAUCE:
2 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 dry bay leaf
1/4 tsp hing
1/2 tsp kalonji seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala*
1 1/2 cup chopped sweet heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup tofu
1/2 tsp pink rock salt
1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
1/2 tsp jaggery or sugar substitute
INGREDIENTS FOR GOLDEN SUNSHINE TIKKA MASALA:
1 golden sunshine sauce
3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can cook chickpeas by soaking them for 4 hours, then cover them with water and use an Instant Pot to pressure cook them for 16 minutes)
1 cup water or plain nondairy milk of your choice (I personally tend to use almond milk or coconut milk)
pink rock salt, to taste
dash of garam masala (for garnish)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (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 wonderful book "What To Eat for How You Feel." It's a way to have black pepper without getting heated by it - it's very effective (have personally verified 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
Heat ghee in large skillet over medium heat. Add cumin and coriander seeds and bay leaf. Add hing, kalonji seeds, turmeric, and garam masala.
Add tomatoes, tofu, salt and 1/4 cup of the almond or coconut milk. Cook until tomatoes are saucy, a couple of minutes. Discard bay leaf and transfer sauce to a blender.
Blend sauce with the rest of the 1/4 cup of almond or coconut milk until it's a nice smooth consistency. Transfer sauce to the skillet. Add fenugreek leaves and jaggery. Stir.
Combine golden sunshine sauce with chickpeas and water (or plain nondairy milk) in a medium size pan over medium heat. Cover and pan and bring the combination to boil, about 5 minutes. Add salt.
Cook for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce and soften the chickpeas.
Garnish with garam masala and cilantro.
Enjoy with cooked white basmati rice or whichever grain you most enjoy (we recommend white basmati rice in Ayurveda as it's considered the easiest to digest).
Before you eat this delicious meal, take a moment to give thanks for the abundance of food that you are about to consume. You can visualize a golden sun within your body in the form of your digestive fire, which gives you the power to digest everything in your life: your food, information, emotions and life experiences. Feel the power and peace that comes with the confidence that you are feeding your soul the nourishing meal before you.
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.