The Ayurvedic Corner ~ Cucumber Carrot Daikon Raita

This month I present a recipe from our very own Ayurvedic cookbook.  It can be found under the “Vibrant Vegetables” chapter.  This recipe was originally created by former 7 Centers Ayurvedic Chef Kevin Afuso.  I chose to highlight this recipe for July because of it’s cooling nature and also because it is easy to prepare without ever needing to turn on a hot oven!

 

Summer is the best time of year to integrate more cooling and Pitta pacifying tastes such as bitter, astringent, and sweet into the diet.  We visit these tastes in the following recipe by way of cucumber, carrot, and daikon vegetables.  I’ve also included my own variations.  Enjoy!

 

A fantastic side dish for both Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine
Cucumber Carrot Daikon Raita 
This recipe lowers Vata, Pitta, and Kapha as a condiment.

 

Ingredients:
Ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp gound cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup each of cucumber, carrot, and daikon (peeled and grated)
1 ½ cups yogurt (homemade preferred)

 

Warm ghee in a small pan and add the mustard seeds until they pop.  Remove from heat and add a little more ghee.  Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, ground cumin, salt and pepper.  Saute until fragrant.  Be careful not to burn.  Set spices aside to cool.  Mix grated vegetables with yogurt stir in spices and serve at room temperature.

 

Variations~
As sometimes store-bought yogurt can be extra sour, consider using plain coconut yogurt as a replacement.  This will also lend more of the sweet taste to the overall dish.  (And it is also vegan friendly.)  The other option is to dilute store-bought yogurt with water: 1 cup of yogurt and ½ of good quality water.  Also, consider adding 1/3 cup of chopped fresh organic cilantro.  Cilantro and cucumber are two of the most useful summer ingredients.  They are cooling and they go great with other summer dishes such as bitter and astringent salad combinations.  Furthermore, as mentioned in the cookbook, you can do a variety of vegetables here.  Some of my favorites include squash, golden beets, and purple carrots.
 

Melissa Camacho, guest writer, is a licensed acupuncturist and Ayurvedic practitioner in Sedona. To contact her, please email
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