I began seeing the wonderful Ayurvedic practitioner, Anita Sharma, here in Montreal to learn how the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda can help me live my best health.
Ayurveda is the oldest known system of healing, dating back more than 5000 years in India. In Sanskrit, “Veda” means science or knowledge, and “Ayus” means life. Fittingly, the word, Ayurveda, means the “science of life”. Acknowledging our interconnectedness with nature, the main premise of Ayurveda is the promotion and maintenance of balance in the body through diet, meditation and physical movement.
I met with Anita and filled out questionnaires to determine my doshas. Perhaps, you have never heard of the term, “dosha”. According to Ayurveda, our body is constituted with 3 doshas, namely Vata (the air element), Pitta (the fire element) and Kapha (the earth element). Illness results from a constitution which is not balanced with these 3 elements. Simply put, we look to foods and physical activities to balance the doshas.
People with Vata as their primary dosha are energetic, creative and active. When this dosha is out of balance, they can feel anxious and nervous.
Having Pitta as your primary dosha means that you are a passionate, decisive and focused leader. A pitta imbalance can cause irritability, restlessness and increased body temperature.
If Kapha is your primary dosha, when balanced, you are affectionate and calm. When out of balance, you feel heavy, lazy and a lack of motivation.
If you are curious about what your primary dosha is, you can get an idea by taking a fun online dosha test.
There are various resources online and books you can purchase to learn how we can use food to help us balance our doshas. One fantastic recipe book I have is called, The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amrita Sondhi. This week, I want to share a delicious vegan Dal recipe made with sprouted mung beans I learned from this book. Sprouting beans increases their nutritional value and digestibility, however, sprouting is optional for preparing this recipe. I served the Dal over rice and garnished with chopped green onion and cilantro (I took the liberty of adding this to Sondhi’s delicious recipe). This recipe is calming for all the doshas.
Enjoy, in joy and in health!
Sprouted Mung Dal
4 cups sprouted mung beans
1 ½ cups water
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 slices fresh ginger
1 fresh green chili
Juice from one lemon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Chopped cilantro and green onion for garnish if desired
Sea salt to taste
1. In a large pot, combine mung beans, water, turmeric, ginger, green chili and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until done, 15-20 minutes.
3. Add a little water as needed if liquid starts to dry out, but be sure than beans do not overcook. When cooked, the green husks will start to come off and the mung will look yellow.
4. Drain and remove ginger slices and chili. Add lemon juice, cayenne and salt. Serve over rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and finely chopped green onion if desired.
“I learned that to be fit and healthy, one has to cook regularly at home, in order to have more control over what goes into our bodies.” ~Amrita Sondhi, The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook