- Kapha: Marinate white meat, freshwater fish, or shrimp; skip the breading and bake, rather than fry. The turbinado sugar can be omitted and the amount of rice reduced to improve heat within the digestive tract; this boosts metabolism. Salt and wheat should be avoided. Energize with a few extra semi-cooked veggies (still crunchy) such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and/or cauliflower.
- Pitta: This type should avoid oily meats and saltwater fish. Alternatives are tofu, tempeh, beans, legumes, white meat, lean red meat, and freshwater fish. For this recipe, consider battering with egg whites, breading, and baking. Lighter cooking oils are preferred, such as coconut or sunflower seed. Salt should be reduced and carbohydrates increased. Limes, mushrooms (cooked), and sprouts (rinsed well & raw) are especially balancing for Pitta.
- Vata: This recipe is for you! Vata types benefit from a diet rich in carbohydrates with a modest amount of animal protein and fats. Add a dollop of full-fat yogurt or cooked sour kraut to aid in digestion.
Best Enjoyed In: Fall & Winter
The healing Properties of Saffron
For Happiness, Reproduction, and Sex:
From the blue crocus flower, the stamen, or male sex organ, is hand-picked and dried to be sold as saffron. One pound of saffron is produced from roughly 75,000 flowers and can be worth up to $5,000! The benefits of this spice go beyond its unmistakable flavor, affecting human mentality and our ability to sexually reproduce.
Saffron is a natural anti-depressant, deemed equivalent to Prozac in the treatment of depression – without the unwanted side effect of sexual dysfunction (Prozac suppresses desire, arousal, and the ability to achieve orgasm). As saffron also shows a promising role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, it’s argued there is an intimate connection between sex and happiness (go figure!), which the spice amplifies.
Ayurveda acknowledges saffron for its reproductive and sexual benefits. The spice is used to promote lactation and menstruation, aid in postpartum difficulties, and improve sexual arousal in both men and women. As a mild diuretic and vasodilator, it’s also used to reduce inflammation and promote tissue healing. Saffron is thought to cool the mind, allowing for clear thoughts and improved ‘eye sight’ – metaphorically and physically.
Saffron is appropriate for all Doshas and can be enjoyed during any season.
Try these Pairings:
- Saffron, almond extract, cinnamon & rosewater – try blended in hot chocolate, yum!
- Saffron, ginger & vanilla – in baked goods
- Saffron, ginger, garlic, chili & yogurt – in stir fries and curries
- Saffron, lemon, mint, coriander, cumin & salt – as a meat rub
- 4-5 chicken thighs and/or legs with bone and skin retained
- 2 farm fresh eggs
- 3/4 cup quinoa (to be semi-cooked)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko or other of your choosing)
- 2 lemons (zest and juice)
- 4-5 pinches saffron
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup APF, amaranth flour, cassava flour, or rice flour
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- freshly milled black pepper
- plenty of sunflower seed oil for frying
- Pat the chicken dry with a towel. Mix the salt, saffron, and lemon zest together in a small dish. Gently massage this mixture into both sides of the chicken until the salt is absorbed. Add lemon juice and let marinate overnight in the fridge.
- The next day: combine the quinoa with 3/4 cup water in a stockpot. Boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for ~10 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed. Let rest and cool.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature (~1 hour) before following the next steps.
- Place three shallow dishes in a row – this is your assembly line for battering and breading.
- From left to right: dish 1 contains your flour and spices, dish 2 has the two eggs, generously whisked, and dish 3, the semi-cooked quinoa and breadcrumbs.
- While working down the line, it’s easiest to delegate one hand for wet ingredients and the other for dry.
- Coat one piece of chicken with the flour/spice mixture. Move this piece to dish 2 and coat with the whisked eggs, allowing for excess to drip off. Transfer to the quinoa/breadcrumb mixture, coat generously, then place aside. Continue this process for all pieces.
- Get started on the curried rice (tab above). Once the rice is nearly cooked, the spice mixture is made, and the veggies are diced, the chicken can be fried. You will want to fry your chicken before cooking the veggies so they can soak up all the flavor from the pan!
- Pour your sunflower seed oil into a frying pan; it should be 1/2-3/4″ deep. Adjust heat to medium and allow the oil temperature to reach 350°F.
- Cook the chicken pieces for at least 15 minutes on each side. Cover with a screen or lid to prevent oil splatter. Once complete, slice the largest one open to make sure all juices are clear. You can also use a thermometer, which should read ~165°F to ensure the meat is fully cooked.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with a towel. Pour any excess oil into a jar to store in the fridge for later use (do be careful – it’s hot!)
- Return the pan to medium heat and add the veggies. Slightly brown them, add the frozen peas, turn the heat to low and cover for a few minutes until they reach the desired tenderness.
- Add the curried rice to your veggies and reheat if necessary. Make sure to incorporate all oil from the edges of the pan. Plate with the chicken and enjoy!
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 cups packed collard greens
- 15-20 asparagus, broken into bitesize pieces
- 1 cup yellow summer squash, diced
- 1/4 cup peas (frozen)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup coconut milk w/ cream
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 1 portion winter curry spice mix (below)
- Optional: lemon/lime wedges, yogurt, or fresh herbs as garnish
Winter Curry Spice Mix:
- 1 Tbsp. fennel seed
- 1 tsp. pink peppercorns
- 1 tsp. turbinado cane sugar
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. coriander
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. sumac
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. dill
- 1/8 scant tsp. cloves
- 15-20 cranks of a black pepper mill
- Optional: 1-3 dried chilis
- In a stock pot, combine 4 cups of water or stock with 2 cups of basmati rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover until all water is absorbed (~15 min).
- If using whole spices (I always use whole fennel seeds and pink peppercorns), gently toast them in a dry skillet over low heat. Transfer to a mortar and grind with the pestle. The turbinado sugar, which is gritty and sharp, will help break down spices in the mortar – add it to your curry regardless.
- Combine all dry spices and set aside. Prepare your vegetables.
- Once the rice is cooked, add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and curry mix. Blend together and put the lid back on to retain heat.
- Continue with the fried chicken (tab above) and enjoy!