Fava and Spring Onion Rice Salad

You may have heard that salad is not an encouraged item on the Ayurvedic menu…so, I use the term “salad” loosely here.  Yes, it is true that raw foods are not encouraged on a regular basis in Ayurvedic nutritional science, as they are rough, cold and difficult to digest—all qualities that are increasing to Vata.  So, this is a salad of cooked items, dressed in olive oil with spices.  It features spring onions, fava beans and mint or cilantro—all available in spring time farmer’s markets.

2 cups of freshly cooked basmati rice (brown or white, depending on your digestion) reserved in a large bowl—you could also use quinoa or sorghum for a little variety

¾ cup of fava beans, (how to peel fresh favas)  if you can’t find fresh fava beans, you can use fresh green peas, fresh chopped snap peas or fresh edamame

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Spring onion, diced

Ghee or oil of your choice

½ teaspoon powdered coriander

½ teaspoon powdered cumin

Contents of 1 bag of plain mint tea

½ to 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Juice from one lemon or lime

Fresh cilantro or mint leaves, minced

In a pot that can be covered, but a steaming basket and about ½ inch of water in the bottom of the pan.  Put your beans or peas in the basket, cover the pot and turn on the heat.  Watch for steam escaping from underneath the cover.  As soon as you see the steam, turn off the heat, remove the pot to sit on a pot holder on the counter, but don’t uncover yet—the steam will cook it for a few minutes.  If you are using snap peas or fresh peas, after 2 to 3minutes, uncover them and remove them from the steam basket into a bowl where you can run some cool water over them.  Fava beans or edamame will take a few minutes longer to cook through, with fava beans taking the longest because they are bigger.

In a sauté pan, turn the heat on.  After a few moments, throw in the fennel and cumin seeds, and toast them by stirring constantly until they reach a golden shade.  Immediately remove them from heat and put them in a coffee grinder or other grinding device (blender is good) and grind them to a powder.

Then put the ghee or other oil into your sauté pan and once it is hot, put the spring onions in.  Toss and stir them in the ghee until they start to become translucent.  Add in your ground, roasted spices and toss another few minutes to finish cooking the onions.

Add the onions into the bowl of rice and toss well.  Mix in the steamed beans or peas.

Fix up the dressing by putting the powdered spices, mint tea and salt in the bottom of a glass jar with a top.  Add the olive oil and lemon juice, put the top on the jar and give the mixture a good shaking.  Once the oil and lemon juice are well mixed with the spices and salt, pour this dressing over the rice mixture.  Don’t use all of it at once, add about half, toss the rice mixture well, and then see how it tastes.  If you need more dressing then go ahead and add more.  Stir in the fresh cilantro and or mint.


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