For a healthy living, good physical and mental health is pertinent and this is the basis for most of the holistic approach to health. Alternative medicinal systems like Ayurveda places a lot of emphasis on the what and how aspects of our food, while trying to treat any physical condition. Ayurveda explains the body-mind-soul connection and how eating the proper food that is suitable for you (no one-size fits all here) can lead you onto the path to attain the perfect harmony.
Saatvic diet is considered to aid a healthy living, clear the mind and be at peace. It is easy to understand the importance given to diet as every food is said to exihibit a primary quality (guna) and what we eat reflects on the kind of people that we are. The simplest and purest of food are supposed to enhance the spiritual consciousness and lead to a good healthy, wholesome life.
Being a vegetarian, the food I eat is saatvic in general. Among vegetables, garlic and onion are not considered saatvic. Brought up in a tambram household, onion and garlic was not a staple in our die, but these days, I just about add that to everything I make (except the traditional South-Indian fare). This weekend I made a chole (or channa?) that was saatvic and actually quite liked it, didn’t miss the onion or garlic 🙂
I have always wondered what is the difference between Chole and channa masala – are these two different names for the same dish or is there a not-so-subtle difference between these two? If any of you know the difference, please enlighten me 🙂
CHOLE / CHANNA MASALA
2 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight)
2 ripe tomatoes – cut into small cubes
1/2″ ginger – minced
1 Green chilli – minced
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1 star anise
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Pound the spices in a mortar and pestle. Pressure cook the chickpeas with salt, till it is cooked but has a bite (al-dente :)) – I don’t like overcooked, mushy chickpeas. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, add couple of teaspoons of oil, and add the pounded spices, roast them a little. Then add ginger, green chillies and tomatoes in that order, sauteeing the added ingredient well before adding the next one. Let it simmer for about 10 mins, till the tomatoes are well cooked. Add a little bit of salt to the tomato mixture while it is simmering. Add the cooked chickpeas to this and let it boil in the mixture for another 5 mins. No fuss, no grind chole masala is ready.