Sometimes it gets all so confusing for my body when I wake up feeling dry in the throat and slightly warm and feverish, then a few hours later find myself trembling to not-so-environmentally-friendly temperatures in some of the air-conditioned areas within the university. Am I feeling colder than my usual Vata self? Am I getting sick and if I am which is it — a cold, or am I turning feverish instead? The way our environments tend to oscillate so quickly between hot and cold sometimes worry me especially now as I’ve become more intuitively aware of my own symptoms of imbalance. I did a Chakra test today which showed my lower chakras to be comparatively weaker.
One way to stimulate the root chakra, which I am weakest in, is through eating root vegetables. Given my confusing symptoms today, I decided to play it somewhere in the middle, choosing to grate the vegetables rather than chop, making them lighter and more Yin. I didn’t want to lose the warmth either so in went a modest sprinkling of ajwain and coriander seeds. Ajwain imparts a similar taste to cumin but more robust and earthy in flavor. A little goes a looooong way. Coriander seeds adds a bright citrus like note as well as nuttiness when tempered. After sauteing, I found adding a bit of tang with apple cider vinegar seemed to round off all the flavors, and just as well since I’ve now got all the best flavors for Vata covered — sweet (root vegetables), salty and sour! This is a rather mild dish with hints of ajwain and coriander, slightly spicy, nutty and tangy, so makes for a pleasant dish for those not accustomed to having spices in their diet.
Carrot, Beet and Purple Cabbage Saute (3-4 servings)
- 1 small or medium beet (I just used half of a large one)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/4 small head of purple cabbage
- 1 green chilli
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- pinch of asafoetida (optional, but good for vata. Alleviates flatulence and improves digestion)
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
Grate all the vegetables or julienne thinly. You should have about the same amount of each vegetable, about 1 cup. Slice onion and finely chop green chilli and garlic. On high heat, temper ajwain and coriander seeds. Also add asafoetida. Once spices are cook, add garlic and green chilli. Saute a while before adding onions. Saute until onions turn translucent, then add all the vegetables and turmeric. If it is too much to handle, add one vegetable at a time, sauteing just until it has wilted and shrunk in volume, enough to continue adding the other vegetables. Add salt and saute on medium high heat until cooked, they should retain a slight crunchiness. Now sprinkle over the vinegar, mix and taste to see if it needs more salt or vinegar. Also add fresh ground black pepper if liked. Plate and drizzle EVOO. This adds more flavor and gives a nice sheen. Vatas can also do with the oil for lubrication to counteract dryness. If available, place avocado sliced on top with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkling of salt and black pepper. This makes a nice garnish although entirely optional.