Yogi Salad

Sunday night yoga party! I love parties. Whether with yogis or otherwise.. but you know how it is with shared interests.. energy levels of a shared interest take the conversation to an entirely new level.. and so it was with my yoga group. People take themselves lightly.. and laugh & smile a lot.

I thought of making a salad. I wanted it to be fresh, nourishing and pretty to look at. At the same time this is a yogi salad. I wanted it to be light and filling, so that anyone tasting it would be satisfied and yet feel light & easy in their belly 🙂

As with all things an apsara makes, there is a bit of preparation time.. since apsaras don’t eat out of cans, if they can help it 🙂 nor do they serve canned food. Soaking of black eyed peas is that task. Takes a few hours in cold water, and in hot just 1 hour.

1 cup dry black eyed beans, washed (lobia in hindi)
¼ cup baby cucumber, washed, peeled and diced
¼ cup carrots, washed, peeled and diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
Spice Mix
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsps dry dessicated coconut
1 tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp curry leaves
2 dry red chilies
½ tsp urad dal
Pinch hing
Salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil

• Wash black eyed beans thoroughly several times in water. Soak in 2 cups water. I soaked it Sunday morning for the evening dinner. In the evening wash and rinse lentils again. If you want to make this salad last minute, just soak the beans in hot water for about 1 hour and then rinse.

• Cook till soft. I cook in my pressure cooker anytime there are lentils or beans to be cooked. They get done in minutes. Set aside to cool. Drain water when cooled down.

• Lightly steam washed and cubed carrots so they are still crisp.

• In pan, heat oil. Add hing, mustard seeds. When they splutter, add urad dal, curry leaves, dry red chili(I used 2 but you can use just 1). Apsara tip-lower chili heat by using whole & not breaking it up before sautéing. Then sauté ginger. Toss in cooked carrots. Take pan off heat.

• Add the cubed cucumber. I used baby cukes, but any variety works. I’ll share later in a video tip my apsara secret on how to reduce bitterness of cukes.

• Add in the dry dessicated coconut. This is the only shortcut I indulge in. Years ago I’d buy fresh coconut, break it open with a hammer and then grate chunks in the food processor. Now this work is already done & grocery stores carry this miracle already grated so I use that instead. Just be sure to get the unsweetened one as this is not a dessert dish, but If you do want to make it one, then that’s a different recipe for another time.

• Stir in lime juice(I use fresh green lime, but lemons work just fine).

• Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

• Yogi salad is ready!

The fragrance wafting in my kitchen. Wish I could bottle it. And even the splutter of mustard seeds, it just makes my senses so happy to see, smell, touch, hear and taste.. hope to get some video tips so you’ll get to experience a full sensory experience of my recipes. If you have any tips to video tape using a smart phone, please send them along. I still haven’t figured out how to make the phone point at the pan while I’m cooking at the same time. I want the phone to record hands-free so my attention is on the cooking & narration of the recipe and health tips.

I shared this pix with my facebook friends. There was an instant reaction.. Recipe please pleaded my friend. So in honour of this friend and the fact that I’ve now published 100 blogs.. Yes, wordpress just congratulated me on my 100th blog. Also since my previous post made over 100 hits, I’ve decided to post yoga tips and recipes all week long. Hope you enjoyed yogi salad.

Here are 3 purities around food you may want to think about.. from an ancient yoga text chap 17 verse 10 bhagavad geeta interpretation from a great master. sathya sai baba

yâta-yâmam gata-rasam
pûti paryushitam ca yat
ucchishtham api câmedhyam
bhojanam tâmasa-priyam

Listen. There are three ‘purities’ to be observed; purity of the provisions; purity of the vessels in which food is prepared; and purity of the persons who serve the prepared food.

1. It is not enough if the provisions are pure and of good quality. They should have been procured by fair means; no unfair, unjust, untrue earnings should be used for one’s maintenance. Apsara tipThat means, hopefully that we didn’t cheat anyone while earning our paychecks 🙂

2. The vessel must be clean, free from tarnish. Try using cast iron, and stainless steel pots.

3. The person who serves must not only be clean in dress, but also clean in habits, character and conduct. He should be free from hate, anger, worry while serving; let him be cheerful, fresh, humble and full of love. While attending on those who are dining, he should not allow his mind to dwell on elsewhere. Mere physical cleanliness, professional excellence or charm is no compensation -don’t let that fool you Examine carefully their habits and character. Phew! While this looks like a long list & hard to manage in a restaurant where you have no idea of staff 🙂 its helpful to maybe start with yourself. Try entering the kitchen to cook as a relaxing experience.

The food you eat is such an important constituent of the physical and mental stuff of life. Purity of the mind can be and has to be supplemented by the purity of the body as well as purity in its important function, speech. That is the real tapas(penance); physical, mental and vocal.” 

This salad was a huge hit.. people kept coming back for seconds, and I didn’t have to take any leftovers home. I can’t emphasize enough the value in eating fresh, and that’s why i shared the quote from the bhagavad gita. Maybe try incorporating elements of this ancient wisdom bit by bit. Best way to eat, right! fresh & nourishing!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. rathodpurvi says:

    nice post.. i have a question .. in some cultures women aren’t allowed to cook during menstrual cycle (although only few families still believe in this). Does it have anything to do with purity or impurity with for matter?

    1. CharuYoga says:

      thanks for asking. I believe its much like anything else. most disciplines and rules started from a logical & scientific reason. Along the way people forgot the reason & made it into something else. Same thing during a woman’s menstrual cycle, we are encouraged to rest and not be active. Activity of any kind is upward energy, while the cycle is about eliminating body fluids in a downward manner. that’s why strenuous activity or standing for too long is discouraged during our monthly cycles. A slower pace during this time is best, allowing the body to eliminate naturally without strain & pressure. Its also a time for relaxation for most women, as we are too busy rest of the time 🙂 hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s