I hope you enjoy this Ayurvedic take on the classic Moroccan Cooked Carrot Salad. Adjusted to be more digestible, less sharp, and with a special summer addition for pitta pacification. Ideal for a summer "salad" without the gut disturbing presence of raw vegetables.
Taken from my husbands heritage, this salad was a favourite of my father-in-law. Although I have made this salad in our home for many years, I really started thinking more deeply about it after I started studying Ayurvedic nutrition.
A lot of things have changed since my clinical nutrition days which consisted of calculating micro, and macronutrients, and believing that raw salads, and drinking smoothies, were a healthy way to acquire more of them. Again and again I saw individuals taking up a "healthier" diet, but still suffering from gas (maybe even more), bloating, stomach cramps, constipation, skin issues, propensity to colds and infections, and a broken relationship to food, and the body's cues.
The transition wasn't easy, those I worked with still wanted the old framework - the meal plan, the low calorie options, a nutrition prescription. It takes a lot to step out of the box of nutrition based on separate components applied to the population. Inside, we can not separate ourselves into parts, into chemical reactions, into equations. One plus one, does not always equal two, and what is appropriate for one individual, may be detrimental to the next. We are complex systems, interrelating between our various aspects - body, mind, emotion, spirit - within an ever changing environment, and influences.
When I worked at the Eating Disorders Clinic at Toronto General, I wrote a paper about intuitive eating, something which, as concept, was virtually unknown at the time. To me, there was something there, something that broke away from the top down approach. But I was still faced with another issue. The majority of individuals have lost touch with their intuition, especially in relation to food. This is one of the goals of Ayurveda - to reawaken the body's intelligence. Through Ayurveda, we become our own beacon, we become educated in how to apply principles to our basic needs, we open the door to a treasure trove of understanding.
Ayurveda comes to the individual like a balm. It settles all of the inconsistencies and parts of the puzzle that previously wouldn't fit together. It sheds light on what Western medicine is only starting to appreciate, the functional, metabolic, and personalized aspect of our biopsychosocial systems.
This is how a simple cooked salad becomes a profound exploration! When we create a more digestable, appropriate to the season, appropriate to the individual meal, we are not just doing it for now - for the next few hours, or to check off the food group/superfood boxes. We are slowly creating an inner environment. We are supporting something inconceivably important...the ability for the body-mind to be free from a certain layer of additional suffering. Each and every person is that important. To truly flourish and be free from dis-ease. This is every persons birthright.
Moroccan Cooked Carrot Salad
1 lb carrots, whole, peeled, topped and tailed
1 tsp ghee
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
One whole dried red chilli pepper
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
The juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
A splash of olive oil
In a large saucepan, boil the carrots whole until just cooked. Remove from the water and cut into rounds.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp ghee in a small saucepan on medium heat. Once hot, but not smoking, add the garlic, cumin, coriander, and whole chilli. Sizzle for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly and remove from the heat.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients, and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.