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April 2015 NOVA Magazine
too many fermented, sour or salty foods.
They do well with a mixture of cooked
and raw foods prepared with cooling
herbs and spices like coriander, fennel and
mint, and a little good quality, cooling
oil like coconut oil and ghee. The tastes
that pacify Pitta are sweet, bitter and
astringent. Pittas can handle more raw
foods and plenty of bitter salad greens
due to their strong digestion and need for
constant cooling. The most important
thing for Pittas is to make sure they eat on
time – a hungry Pitta is a scary Pitta!
Kapha people are drawn out of
balance by eating foods and drinks that
are too cold, heavy and dense, or stodgy.
They need to favour predominantly
cooked, light, dishes prepared with
warming spices and just a little oil
(not too much). They are the one
constitution that actually benefits from
the judicious application of stimulants
(medicinal doses!). The tastes that most
pacify Kaphas are pungent, bitter and
astringent. Raw food and salad greens
are too cooling so these tastes are best
acquired through the generous use
of spices (virtually all spices decrease
Kapha). Kaphas do particularly well on
a vegetarian diet and can happily handle
being vegan. Skipping meals won’t be an
issue for them either.
Best ever kicharee!
2 tbsp ghee
cumin seeds (whole)
1 bunch fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaved rough chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of asafoetida powder/hing
1/2 cup Yellow Split Mung Daal (or Chilka – Split Moong with the skins still on)
1/2 cup Mung Sprouts (optional)
1/2 cup Basmati Rice
salt to taste
half a lemon squeezed over the top
Optional extras: several cherry tomatoes, halved , a handful of small mushrooms
(add to the roasted veggies), a handful of black olives, halved
Soak the Mung Daal and Rice in a bowl for 30mins–2hrs. In a medium-large pan, heat up the
ghee on a moderate heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry them until they begin to pop.
Take the pan off the heat and add the curry leaves, cumin seeds, ginger and coriander stalks.
Fry for a few seconds then add the mung sprouts (optional!). Put the pan back on the heat
and fry for a minute or so.
Drain and rinse the soaked mung/rice in a sieve and then add to the pot. Stir through for a
minute or so then add enough boiling water to cover the rice and daal plus about an inch
more. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat to medium-low and half cover with a lid.
After about 5–10mins, check the kicharee. If needs be, add more water, stir through, cover with
a lid and turn the heat down to very low for another 10-15 mins. The kicharee is cooked when
the split yellow mung daal has broken down and the rice is nicely cooked. Turn off the heat.
Let it rest, covered for a few minutes then add the coriander leaves and lemon juice and stir
through. Serve hot with condiments.
Serves 2, Gluten Free
Youtube link to video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdCOIoS_d0o
Meals for dual constitutions
How do you feed dual constitutions or a
family of different constitutions?
If you are Vata/Pitta, Pitta/Kapha
or Vata/Kapha or if everyone in your
family has a different constitution,
things can start to get rather confusing!
But there is a way of eating that will
keep all body types happy. Simply
favour three qualities: warm, light
and slightly oily. These qualities won’t
aggravate any constitution and they
will also support a balanced digestive
fire. To make things even more specific
for different body types, simply adding
condiments and side dishes is the way
For example, if you make a kicharee
for dinner (see recipe), you can serve
it up with ghee, salt, lemon, warming
chutney and a side salad of rocket and
baby spinach. The Vata members of the
family can add extra ghee, lemon, salt
and chutney, the Kapha members can
avoid the ghee and salt and just add
the chutney and a little salad while the
Pittas can add a little ghee and loads of
salad. This way you don’t have to make
different meals for everyone. Just have
different condiments on hand to make
the meal more balancing and even
If you want to know more about the warm, light, slightly oily approach to
cooking and what that means in practice, check out Nadia’s written course
on Ayurvedic nutrition, ‘LIVING AYURVEDA: A Practical Guide to Ayurvedic
Nutrition and Deeply Nourishing Your Body and Mind’ available from their
website at www.muditainstitute.com.
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