Updated: Jan 14
Our greatest power is in the present moment, when we are not worried by whatever happened in the past, nor experience anxiety for future occurrences.
Food gives you the perfect opportunity to really cultivate the power of the present moment, as you have to be fully focused on the now while you are cooking. Being present with your food allows you to really savor and thereby enjoy each and every bite of it, which in turn benefits your digestion and overall health. So staying in the present moment is not just a spiritual health prescription; it's also a powerful practice for your overall physical wellbeing.
This recipe is perfect for the late winter season (which starts approximately mid-January, according to Ayurveda's seasonal food wisdom). This is the time of year when you want to eat filling food that nourishes and strengthens your body for the entire year ahead. It is also the perfect time of the year to add bitter green vegetables like spinach to your food, to benefit from the cleansing qualities of greens, which will help us a lot following all the fun of the holiday food season!
1/2 teaspoon kalonji seeds
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
6 small sweet heirloom tomatoes (omit if you have autoimmune issues)
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon hing
1 small package of extra firm tofu
1-2 handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon garam masala*
*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 all the spices. Fry until they are aromatic.
Add tomatoes (if using).
Place heat on high and then lower it to simmer after it boils.
Add coconut milk, followed by spinach, tofu and chickpeas. Cook for several more minutes until it feels done.
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 close your eyes. See if you can keep them closed while you eat, to really savor each and every bite of this meal, and of each moment of your life.
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 February 20th, 2021, 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 Director 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.