gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, soy-free, sugar-free
“You can never have too much curry.”
That was my answer to my measuring-cup-shunning, impulsive “few shakes of this” cook of a boyfriend, when he asked with concern exactly what fraction of a teaspoon to begin with in this particular culinary experiment.
Is there a problem with my given answer? Only that it seems to feed a certain incongruity in our natures: We are both a) lovers of curry and b) tried and true pittas. In conclusion, we are a paradox.
What is a pitta, you ask? Allow a brief moment of schooling:
There is an ancient Indian medical belief system called Ayurveda that is built on the notion that each individual has different dietary needs based on his or her constitutional type or dosha: vata (air), pitta (fire), or kapha (earth). This ideology suggests that a person of a particular dosha should avoid consuming foods of that same dosha, in order to obtain and maintain a balanced health. Key word: Avoid.
Hm. It seems we are failing miserably at that. We are curry lovers who shouldn’t be curry lovers. We are entangled in a forbidden love… between us and curry. Okay, it’s a one-sided love (I don’t believe the curry loves us back), but a forbidden love, nonetheless. So, is it strange that pitta foods – spicy, hot, fiery – are the very foods our fiery pitta selves crave? Isn’t Ayurveda advising us to deprive our bodies of the very fuel it seeks?
Well, that just rubs me the wrong way. I’ve got news for you, Indian medical ideology of old: You’re plain wrong and I ain’t givin’ up curry! I shall eat spicy food, and I shall eat it FOREVER. So there.
Alas… speaking of rubs, here’s the real one: There’s still something that draws me to this belief system. It is beautiful and poetic and simple. I have an inexplicable reverence for it. I also have a theory: Maybe a balanced constitution does not necessarily determine a healthy body and soul. Maybe our natural inclinations towards vata, pitta, or kasha are meant to be embraced and nurtured… cultivated and fortified, even. For me and Scott, “pitta” possibly describes more than just the constitutions of our bodies. It describes our spirits, too. From our tempers to our devotions, we are both fire in every sense of the word.
Perhaps feeding pitta with pitta only strengthens what makes us who we are.
After scraping our bowls with our spoons, I turned to him and asked him to never stop eating pitta. I do not want him to change in any way. He promised he wouldn’t as long as I don’t either. For us, there really is no such thing as too much curry, and there never will be.
Curried Cauliflower Soup (serves 2)
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1 Tbsp soy-free Earth Balance
2 stalks celery
1/2 small yellow onion
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk or regular canned coconut milk
1. Heat Earth Balance in a large sauce pan over low-med heat. Add onions and celery and sauté till fragrant and transparent.
2. Add broth and cauliflower. Bring to a boil.
3. Add salt, curry, cinnamon, cayenne. Stir and reduce to a simmer. Cover for 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is fork tender.
4. Add cannellini beans and coconut milk. Let simmer another 5 minutes, while stirring to break apart cauliflower. (Here you can choose to blend half or all of the soup if you’d prefer it creamier. I prefer having some contrasting textures!)
5. Divide into two generously-sized bowls and serve with your favorite gluten-free, vegan bread. In the photo above, you see a slice of The Whole Life Nutrition’s Sandwich Bread. It’s my favorite basic bread recipe!