Spring is finally here and I am so excited to be warm without having to bundle up all the time! Seasonal transitions in Ayurveda are considered to be times of reflection and change, and I personally view them as a time to relax and reflect. Taking care of my body to ensure that it is ready for the natural shifts in the environment is key. That’s why these transitional times are great for detoxes and cleanses.
It truly is a time to honor your body and keep it simple. Let your body digest and process all that the previous season had to offer. Celebrate the victories and steps you took to get closer to your goals. This is also a great time to look at life with a fresh set of eyes. Quite literally, you are shedding the excess and starting anew. How wonderful that nature gives us this time of healing four times a year!
With seasonal transitions, work to ensure that you are remaining grounded and keeping your vata in check, as change and transition can quickly take vata out of balance. A great way to do this is by bringing root vegetables into your diet.
In this recipe, we are utilizing sweet potatoes—one of the best vegetables for vata dosha. The sweetness and earthiness are sure to hold you down as you process and detox. The best part? It takes a grand total of 15 minutes to make. Share this recipe with your friends and family, and embrace everything that transitions offer.
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 handfuls of baby spinach (you can chop it if you like, but not necessary)
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1–2 teaspoons mineral salt (or to taste…but don’t overdo!)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 4 ½ teaspoons coriander-cumin powder mix (it is a 1:1 ratio which you can mix yourself or buy it pre-mixed)
- ¼ cup water
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Red chili powder (optional)
In a large pan, warm the oil over medium heat. After about 2–3 minutes, add the mustard and cumin seeds (they should start to sizzle a little as soon as you place them in the pan). Let them warm until they are crackling. Next, add the sweet potatoes and coat them thoroughly with the oil and seeds.
Toss in the turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Keep turning the potatoes so that they do not burn or get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Continue mixing for about 3–4 minutes.
Next, add the water and put a lid on the pan. This allows the steam that was created (from the water added to the heated pan) to finish cooking the potatoes. If you need to add more water to create more steam, do so by adding 2 tablespoons at a time. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the steam do its thing. You can let it cook for about 7–10 minutes.
After 7 minutes, remove the lid, and give it a good stir. You should be able to easily break through a piece of sweet potato with a wooden spoon or fork. If it’s not ready, add a little more water (remember, 2 tablespoons at a time), close the lid, and cook for 3 more minutes.
Add the spinach and stir to completely coat with the mixture. This will also allow it to wilt nicely.
Finally, top off the veggies with the cumin-coriander mix and coat well. This is your main spice taste, so it’s okay to be a little generous. If you are adding the red chili powder, this would be the time to do so as well.
Give it 3 more good turns, turn the heat off, and close the lid for another 4 minutes to allow for all the flavors to incorporate.
Garnish with cilantro. This sabji, or simple vegetable dish, can be enjoyed with rice, a chapatti, or maybe even a tortilla! Enjoy!