It has been an exhausting month and my body is suffering the consequences.
Having spent more time on the road than at home over the past four weeks, eating has been a challenge and I can feel fatigue creeping in. Too much work, too much travel, too much time attending to others—all of that tweaks my soul just a little bit off center.
As a vegetarian, I can always find something on the menu at most restaurants, but it often means not much variety and items of dubious nutritional value. So, finding myself with a long awaited evening at home, my body started nagging me to make something that would bend my soul back into shape. I mostly cook and eat on intuition, without paying a whole lot of attention to content. I believe our bodies send us messages, through cravings, for the nutrients that we most need. So I just shut up and listen.
Nothing brings the soul back in balance better than a good curry. I came up with this recipe a few years ago—in response to an odd craving—and it always gives me a boost.
Improvisation is a vital skill in the kitchen. For me, preparing a meal is as pleasing as eating it when it’s done. I love to chop, slice, dice and mince. Mixing flavors can also be a great adventure—discovering ingredients that complement, contradict, harmonize and balance.
It’s important to have our thoughts and intentions in the right place when cooking. As soon as we start to touch the ingredients, we are transmitting emotion and intention to the food we will eventually eat. So I like to start by creating the environment—burning incense, putting on some energizing music and cleaning up any previous mess from the kitchen. (A clean, uncluttered space is also essential.)
This is what I use to bend my soul back to center:
3 medium potatoes, diced
3 cups of cauliflower, in small pieces
1 can of garbanzos (drained, but save the juice)
½ a medium onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of cashews or other nuts
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. turmeric
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
First, cut up the cauliflower and potatoes into small pieces and steam for about five minutes, to soften them up just a bit. While the cauliflower and potatoes are enjoying their steam bath, chop the onions and garlic and sauté with the toasted sesame oil and a few dashes of soy sauce.
The smell of onions, garlic, sesame and soy is amazingly revitalizing.
After steaming, add the cauliflower and potatoes to the pan, as well as the garbanzos. Stir for a few minutes, until the garlic has a chance to spread its love around thoroughly. Next, add the cashews, curry, cumin, turmeric and a few more dashes of soy sauce. At this point, I like to add in a bit of the garbanzo juice, so that the spices can dissolve more easily in the liquid. The whole creation can be left on medium heat for five minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the flavors are evenly distributed— but not so long that the cauliflower and potatoes get too soft.
Once everything is looking evenly soaked in the curry juice, turn the stove off and cover the pan for ten minutes, so the flavors can blend and balance on their own. This can be served with a bit of brown rice, but it also does just fine on its own.
Before eating, I like to sit at the table for a few minutes and just appreciate.
For special, regenerative meals like this, I like to eat in the ceramic bowl that my sister made for me a few years ago. (I know she made it with mindfulness and love and that, too, does not go unnoticed by the food.) I lower my face to just an inch away and let the aroma sneak into my nose, up to my brain and down through the rest of my body.
The first bite is to be savored for a full minute, identifying the different flavors and admiring how they fit together so perfectly—a seamless puzzle.
After this meal, I could feel the kinks working out of my body and the deliberate realignment of my soul.
The Secret to Curry, & Love.
Author: Peter Schaller
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Author’s own
Read 1 comment and reply