Friday, September 21, 2001
For the next couple of days, I thought I'd give the Ayurvedic scoop on our four favorite topics of discussion. So today, I'll begin with bread.
The first thing to keep in mind is that we are now entering into Vata season, with increasing cool, windy, dry weather. Yeasted breads, sugar and nutritional yeast can all cause an increase of gas in those with strong vata as part of their constitution. Vata-types seem to do better with warm, cooked grains which help to ground vata's air and space qualities. Especially good for Vata are basmati rice, brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal and wheat. This of course will be modified by your unique condition including the possibility of allergies.
Chappati, tortillas, papadums, unyeasted crackers, matzo and quick breads made with baking soda or powder are often handled well by Vatas, but I suggest some oil or butter or even nut butters (especially almond) to balance dryness.
The following recipe for Rotalis or Chappatis comes from The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar. It helps lower Vata and Pitta, but increases Kapha.
2 Cups whole wheat flour
2 Teaspoons sunflower oil
1 Cup warm water
3/4 Cup whole wheat flour in separate bowl
In a deep bowl, mix flour and oil with your hands,then add water and prepare a dough. (This dough will be softer than other doughs) Cover and let sit for one hour. Add 1 additional teaspoon of oil and mix it in so that it thoroughly penetrates the dough.
Prepare 20 to 25 small balls from the dough. Squeeze and knead between your palms. Cover balls with dry flour and roll with a rolling pin on a wooden board to about 3 to 4 inch circles. Sprinkle with dry flour again, then roll each rotali to its full size of about 6 inches in diameter.
Transfer each rotali to a hot iron pan over medium heat. Turn it over after 1/2 minute or when you see small bubbles. Let it cook another 1/2 minute. Then transfer it to direct flame of stove until it puffs like a balloon. Take it out to a dish and spread ghee on it.
This goes good with rice and soup or any vegetable preparation. It is the classic Indian flat bread. One teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon each of cumin seeds and black peppercorns can also be pressed into the dough for a more pungent flavor that aids digestion. This way, it will be a bit less aggravating to Kapha.
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
sorry i haven't been able to be as regular in posting as usual. i will try to post sporadically over the next week or so, but due to everything that's going on. . .it may be occasional.
the sad effects of the tragic terrorist attack really linger -- i have only intermittent phone service here in brooklyn, which makes getting to the internet difficult sometimes. my job is relocating somewhere, i don't know where yet. since i don't have a car, i hope it's someplace with mass transit and not far-flung new jersey or something. also, painters are still moving from room to room, so i have to pack up things, move 'em around, unpack 'em, repack, move 'em again. . .it's all a nightmare.
so again please forgive me if you don't see quite as much of bread, coffee, chocolate, yoga as you're used to. i promise i will very shortly return to daily posting. better than ever! thanks again for you support, your emails, your visits. . .everything.