Ayurveda is one of the oldest health systems in the world, and one that’s still practiced around the globe. It is a holistic approach to health, and food plays a very important role in it. With this in mind, Mirjam created some recipes that are Ayurveda-inspired: a unique, warm salad and one of the tastiest curries you’ve ever had.
ROASTED VEGETABLE, PUY LENTIL & HALLOUMI SALAD
According to Ayurveda, it’s better not to eat raw vegetables. They can give you an enormously bloated feeling, especially if you have a weak digestive system. The cold, difficult-to-digest nature of salads can adversely affect how your body breaks things down, which can take a lot of energy. This warm salad filled with grilled vegetables is only lightly cooked, so it keeps its delicious bite.
Recipe for 4 people
Preparation time: 45 minutes
- 200 g green or Puy lentils
- 1 red onion, in rings
- 1 bulb of fennel, with hard part removed and sliced into thin strips
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- (coconut) oil for frying
- 1 ½ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
- 250 g baby carrots, cut length-wise
- 1 tbs dried thyme
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 250 g halloumi, cut in blocks for around 1.5 cm
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package. Do not add salt to the boiling water, because that will cause them to split. Strain them and let them sit in a pan with a lid on top.
- Mix the fennel, red onion and the baby carrots with 3 tbs of olive oil, salt and pepper and divide this over a baking sheet or roasting pan that is covered with baking paper. Bake for around 20-25 minutes until they start to colour and become al dente. Because all ovens are different, I advise you to check on them now and then. They have to keep their bite.
- Mix the lentils with the roasted vegetables and stir the balsamic vinegar, 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and thyme throughout. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a dash of (coconut) oil in a flat pan, then fry the halloumi together with the finely chopped garlic. Make sure you cook the blocks of halloumi on all sides for around a minute, until they start to colour.
- Divide the lentil salad over 4 plates and place the warm halloumi over it. Grind some fresh pepper over them and you’re ready to serve!
STEAMED EGGPLANT, TOMATO & CHICKPEA CURRY
Eggplant is an amazing vegetable, and I feel that it’s often underrated. I have to be honest: it can sometimes come out tough, undone or drowning in fat. Not exactly a success. But if you steam the vegetable first, eggplant develops a delicious satin-soft structure and fits perfectly in this Ayurvedic curry.
Recipe for 4 people
Preparation 40-50 minutes
- 2 eggplants, halved, cut into strips and then blocks of around 2 cm
- 1 green pepper
- 3 tbs sunflower oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 5 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into pieces
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp coriander powder
- 1 tin of tomato blocks
- 1 jar of chickpeas (400 g), strained
- Greek yogurt as garnish
- naan bread
- fresh coriander as garnish
EXTRA: steamer basket (or 2 on top of one another) and a pan that fits exactly underneath it.
- Select a pan that fits exactly underneath the steam basket. Fill this with water and bring it to a boil.
- Divide the eggplant over the steam basket, if needed, use 2 steam baskets. Close and steam the eggplant for around 10 minutes. (They don’t need to be completely done, because they’ll also cook once the tomatoes are added.)
- Heat the oil in a large pot with a thick bottom. Add the onion and stir-fry it for around 5 minutes until they start to colour.
- Add the green pepper, ginger and garlic and stir-fry them for a few minutes until everything gets softer and starts to colour.
- Add the tomato blocks, stir thoroughly and turn the heat lower. Close the lid and let them cook for 10 minutes until done.
- Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander powder. Stir thoroughly, and then stir in the tin of tomato blocks.
- Add the blocks of eggplant and the strained chickpeas to the tomato mixture and stir them in carefully. Cook this for around 10-15 minutes on a low flame under a closed lid. The eggplant should become so soft that it falls apart.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve the curry with naan bread, yogurt and coriander.