Ayurvedic Lunch & Dinner Recipes To Support Your Doshas During Late Summer
In the ancient science of ayurveda, it's recommended that people eat different foods throughout the calendar year. According to ayurveda's seasonal approach to eating, mid-July is the start of late summer.
Ancient ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Bhavaprakash, and Ashtanga Hrdayam establish that this time of year is when the vata dosha is peaking in the atmosphere and pitta dosha is building up. In the late summer season, foods that balance vata dosha (the bioforce of movement, made of air and space elements) and pitta dosha (the bioforce of transformation, made of fire and water elements) are important. These include dishes that have sweet, salty, and sour tastes that calm and balance the naturally very aggravated vata dosha. Vata dosha is the most important dosha for your health, as it is the most vulnerable to imbalance, regardless of one's natural dosha constitution.
In ayurveda, the next two months are the most challenging time of year for immunity, so we also need to take extra care to eat simple and easily digestible foods. Ghee (clarified butter) and turmeric are two immune-supporting foods that are great for this time of year. It is also important to avoid eating foods and consuming spices that have a lot of bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes, as these are considered aggravating to vata dosha.
Here are some simple and satisfying ayurvedic recipes for lunch and dinner that can help you stay in balance during the late summer season.
Late Summer Kitchari
Made of cooked green and/or yellow mung dal lentils, white basmati rice and a variety of spices, kitchari (also known as khichadi) is one of ayurveda's classic superfoods. Almost all Indians know kitchari as a traditional healing food that is eaten anytime one feels unwell. Filling yet light, it's also wonderful for yoga practitioners who want to go deeper into their spiritual practices, as it's thought to help bring about a calm mental state (known in Sanskrit as sattva, which means "mental clarity, peace, harmony, and balance").
- ½ cup white basmati rice (or quinoa)
- 1 cup green or yellow mung dal (you can also use ½ cup each, if desired)
- 3 cups water, plus more if needed
- Himalayan pink rock salt
- ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
- 4 tsp. ghee, divided
- ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
- 2½ cups seasonal vegetables (white caramelized onions, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, beets, opo squash, snake gourd, yam, and sweet fresh corn all work well)
- ¼ tsp. mango powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp. pomegranate seed powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp. fennel seeds (optional)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish
- Rinse the rice or quinoa and dal. Add to a medium saucepan with enough water to cover the rice and dal by 1 inch. Soak for 3 to 4 hours if possible (or a minimum of 30 minutes).
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Add the rock salt and turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has a mushy consistency (about 20 to 25 minutes). Add additional water if needed, cooking until it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Place 2 tsp. ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and the mango powder, pomegranate seed powder, and fennel seeds if you are using them. Cook until the seeds start crackling, about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Pour the warmed ghee mixture into the pot of rice and dal.
- Add the vegetables of your choice to a skillet with the remaining ghee and cook until soft. Add to the dal mixture and stir to combine.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.
This asparagus is a simple, cooling, and nourishing soup that is light, refreshing, and easy to digest. The almond powder is a great alternative to the heavy cream you'll find in other soups, and the use of cooling spices like fennel and cumin seeds makes this dish easily digestible and soothing to the stomach.
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups asparagus, chopped
- Pinch of pink rock salt (to taste)
- 2 to 3 tbsp. almond powder
- Cilantro leaves to garnish (optional)
- Add ghee into a pan with cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes. Add water enough to cover everything and a little more.
- Let it cook until soft. Add salt and 2 to 3 tbsp. of almond powder.
- Allow the mixture to cool and blend in a high-powered blender until smooth.
- Serve in a bowl with cilantro leaves for optional garnish if you like.
This recipe comes together easily and is full of soothing ingredients that counteract the heat and intensity of the late summer season.
- 1 tbsp. ghee
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ chopped white onion
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. almond powder
- 2 tbsp. roasted cumin powder
- 1 lb. organic carrots, chopped
- Cilantro, to taste
- Place a pan with 1 tbsp. ghee on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and onion. Sauté carrots for 3 to 5 minutes, then add coconut milk, almond powder, and roasted cumin powder.
- When carrots are soft, pour mixture into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve in bowl, with a sprinkle of cilantro leaves if desired.
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