capsicum

vegetable bath

5th September 2020

We first made this dish with Ganapathi Aarya in the Jivana Yoga Programme, after that I made it once or twice, and then it got tucked away forgotten. It was only when Lior made it one Wednesday after practice that I remembered how delicious it is. Now, it is a dish I make on a weekly basis. I cook the dal and rice separately to keep them fluffy and whole. This does mean you are using three pans for cooking; one for the rice, one for the dal, and then one for the vegetables. If wanting to keep it simple, soak the whole moong dal overnight and cook it with the rice the following day, as in the original recipe.

For serving, grated beetroot and carrot salad with a ginger-lemon-sweet dressing, and raita with dill and a finely sliced cucumber. Use a mandoline for grating the carrot and beetroot and for slicing the cucumber finely. A mandoline is such a useful tool to have in the kitchen, especially for putting together a quick salad. So much so that my son has asked to take one back with him to university!

Vegetable Bath is suitable for all constitutions – it is simple, nourishing and balancing.

Niyamas

“One of the niyamas is santoṣa – “contentment”. Many people are confused when trying to differentiate between contentment and happiness. Contentment is a feeling of satisfaction or completeness. Contentment arises from inside of us. It tends to have a lasting or enduring quality. Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or lightness that tends to be a result of some external reason and is usually fleeting.”

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois

vegetable bath

Preparation 45 minutes

Serves 3

All spice measurements are heaped unless otherwise stated.

ingredients 

¼ cup/50g whole moong dāl + 2 cups water

¾ cup/150g white basmati rice + 1¾ cups water

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

1½ – 2 heaped tsp sambar powder (moderately spiced)

flat tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp ghee

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

3 cups/350g beans, carrot, capsicum

¾ cup water

½ flat tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  In a small saucepan, rinse the dāl, add 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, set aside.

2.  In a large-sized pan, wash the rice, drain, add 1¾ cups water, bring up to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until water evaporates and the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. Cover, set aside for 10 minutes. Add the cooked dāl.

3. Cut vegetables into small uniform pieces and measure remaining ingredients.

voggarane

4.  In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, add vegetables – mix well.

5.  Add water and ½ tsp salt, simmer uncovered until vegetables soften – 8 minutes, stir once or twice.

6.  To the rice and dal, add the vegetables, coconut, sambar powder, remaining salt, ghee and coriander. Combine well and serve.

serve

Twice a week, as a morning or midday meal, across all seasons.

variation

Using a pressure cooker; combine all ingredients including the vegetables, alongside the separately fried voggarane with 2 cups water. Cook for 3 whistles – set aside until the pressure has subsided.

tofu capsicum subzi

2nd February 2010

It has been a dull week in the kitchen, mostly doing everything on auto-pilot without much inspiration and enthusiasm.  Usually when this happens, afterwards I explode into an enthusiastic, creative burst of new ideas and newfound courage to try different things in the kitchen.  This curry was the result.  I have also been taking the time just to sit in the garden, not working in it, not seeing what needs to be done.  Just sitting and admiring its beauty in contemplative silence.

The tofu I use is home-made, but you can use store-bought as well. The recipe from where the inspiration came used paneer and cream.  You can experiment with this dish in many ways.  Make the gravy richer by adding soaked cashews ground to a paste, or use different coloured peppers to add a splash of colour.

The other big secret is to obtain the freshest of freshest garam masala powder.  You could try in an Indian store or ideally make your own, here. If you don’t have garam masala, replace with rasam powder.

tofu capsicum subzi

Serves 2

Recipe inspired from here.

ingredients 

1 cup tofu/panner – cut into 1 cm cubes

3 Tbsp ghee/oil – divided

½ full tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

1 big capsicum (green or red bell pepper) – chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 medium tomato, finely chopped

2 medium tomato, pureed/2 Tbsp tomato paste mixed with ¼ cup water

¼ cup water/ cream (optional)

¼ – ½ tsp red chilli powder or less, depending on your level of spice

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp coriander powder

½ full tsp home-made garam masala powder (can replace with 1 full tsp rasam powder)

1 tsp salt

preparation 

1.  Heat 2 tablespoon ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the tofu and brown lightly on all sides – set aside on a paper towel.

2.  Heat the remaining ghee and add cumin and asafoetida, when the cumin seeds start to darken, add the capsicum and tomato, cover and allow the mixture cook until tender, but not overcooked.  Keep stirring in between, to avoid charring.

3.  Add the tomato puree and mix well – bring to boil.

4.  Pour in the water/cream (if needed) and add chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, salt and tofu*, stir well – simmer for 5 minutes more on low heat.

Serve with rice, chapati and a simple yellow dal with green beans and cabbage.

*If using paneer, do not cook for more than 5 minutes, otherwise it will become hard.

Goodness shared by Stacey

Added note from Donna:  I made this last night.  Very tasty, Stace.  As I like my dishes leaning towards the milder version of spicy, I would only add ½ tsp of chilli powder next time.  Now, that I am back home and settled into a routine, I will post the next dish. 

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