Spice reminds me that nature is on our side; it's vibrant, colourful, delicious, and it's longing to help us heal and reap all of its medicinal goodness. Spice is our medicine, if you are brave enough to step inside and take a look at how it can help you. These exotic, sometimes strong smelling powders are so alien to our food and culture, but they're really isn't anything to fear. Spice is NOT all intense, mind-blowing chilli heat; spice is subtle, mysterious and can be very gentle to the newcomer. You are the one in control of this medicine, so you can increase the heat if your body requires fire, an injection-booster for your metabolism and digestion, or you can tone it down with sweetness and cooling mellowness.
And the huge benefit of spice as opposed to a chemical drug lies in the way it transforms food into delicious heaven. Spice blends with the vegetables and fruits of our planet to produce a pleasurable mealtime experience while maintaining our bodies in tip-top condition. So why would you not want to experiment with some spice in your life?
"The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices is knowing when to use it."
I use Spice everyday. My breakfast is usually Dahl, an egg, and rice (I bring in the variety by changing up my rice; sometimes red, sometimes brown, other times basmati white, and when I want more sunshine, a tad of turmeric in the cooking water turns the rice a vibrant yellow!) Our recent Spice workshop showed Ranjan cooking a Dahl in his Sri Lankan kitchen, including a special spice powder that he creates to sprinkle on the top at the end of cooking for even more medicinal goodness. I will be releasing the secrets of this blend and how to make it to all our Home Yogi monthly subscribers as well as to the attendees of the workshop.
Go to our website and subscribe to our mailing list if you would like to receive this Sri Lankan spicy secret too!
Ranjan's basic Dahl recipe contains the following spices: turmeric, chilli powder, crushed cinnamon, curry powder, clove, crushed cardamom seed, sea salt, black pepper, curry leaves (and lemon grass!)
Turmeric - anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
Black pepper - the King of Spices, it helps promote weight loss, improve digestion, relieve cold and cough, boosts metabolism and treats skin problems.
Chilli powder - improves digestion and helps temper fever
Cinnamon - removes Ama (toxins) from the body, improves absorption of nutrients from food, promotes digestion and also helps in burning belly fat.
Cardamom - like ginger, it helps counteract digestive problems. It can combat nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite and constipation.
Clove - enhances circulation, digestion and metabolism.
I think you can see a theme here with the health benefits of these spices - and that is improved digestion. According to Ayurveda, good health starts with a healthy digestive system. The moment this system becomes sluggish, it will invariably lead to other problems in the body and mind. Understanding your body-type - vata, pitta or kapha - is the starting point to getting to the bottom of any digestive malfunction - and this can then point you in the right direction for selecting the most effective spices for you.
When you can recognise an imbalance in your dosha (body-type) you will then know when to make the appropriate changes to your Dahl recipe - a little less pepper and chilli if your pitta is aggravated, or add some more cinnamon to pacify your Kapha.
Ranjan grew up with Ayurveda, his father was an Ayurvedic Doctor, which means this knowledge and wisdom has been passed down to him; it is a part of him, just like Nature. It is therefore of no surprise that he has spent most of his life treating and healing people with Ayurveda: Ayurvedic techniques, recipes and remedies, as well as with yoga and meditation.
We are so fortunate to have Ranjan on the Immortelle team to share this natural healing magic with us all.
Grab your health by the hands and book an Ayurvedic Consultation today. You will be given a full report describing your body-type, a daily schedule to help you adapt your lifestyle to suit your dosha, including yoga asanas, meditations and, of course, recipes and spice recommendations, just for you and your unique body.