Some people think Ayurveda, being a sister science to Yoga, advocates Vegetarianism. In fact, while it focuses on a whole food, plant based diet, Ayurveda understands that everyone is unique and each individual has unique needs. I know many people who feel they need meat for optimal wellness. We especially see this in the Vata Dosha, where there is a greater need to balance, ground, and strengthen.
With a lot of Vata myself, I often need tonification. Still, I prefer to be Vegetarian, for personal reasons, so when I made this recently for friends, I made a version with halibut, and another version with tofu. As much as tofu has a reputation for being boring, with this sauce it is melt-in-your-mouth divine: tender, silky, sensuous, even sweet – in the Ayurvedic sense of the word, of course!
I found this recipe in the gorgeous, I-could-eat-every-page-of-it, La Cucina Italiana magazine when I was on my way back from Phoebe’s birthday party last year, where 20+ women gathered for an Ayurvedic Weekend Retreat in Como. It was a delicious way to bring some of that heavenly visit back home with me, and by making up a few of the recipes, to share it with my family.
Having said that, it is a recipe from Kerala, home of Ayurveda. So, you can imagine it is perfectly balanced with all six tastes, as well as creamy, nourishing, and a touch exotic. Just what we all need in this Vata season!
Below is my translation. It may not be flawless, but it is sumptuous!
from La Cucina Italiana
September 2012 Issue
1 lb White Fish filleted, or 1 carton Silken Tofu (not extra firm)
3/4 c Coconut Milk
1 small Onion
1 clove Garlic
1 “spicy Green Pepper” (I used jalapeño)
Curry leaves (I used 1 teaspoon curry powder instead)
Cut your fish or tofu into pieces, spread out on a plate and sprinkle with turmeric and salt. Leave to marinade 20 minutes.
Heat 3 tablespoons of peanut oil in a sauce pan and place in it your fish or tofu with the turmeric side down. Saute one minute, then turn and sauté again one minute on the other side. Remove from the oil and place aside.
Put 2 tablespoons oil in a larger sauce pan and heat 1 teaspoon mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add the onion, peeled and sliced, the garlic also peeled and chopped, and a few rounds of ginger, peeled and cut into pieces.
“Sizzle” the onion for 2 minutes, then add the pepper, cut into strips, and the curry (leaves or powder). Allow this to “flavor” for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, cut into pieces and the juice of the lime.
Add the coconut milk, and after another 2 minutes, your fish/tofu and allow it to cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve with basmati rice. I added a side of lightly sautéed, lemony spinach and garnished the Molee with torn pieces of basil for garnish.
How about you? What sort of eating style do you follow and why?
I hope you enjoy this, and let me know if you try it.