My diet got a summer kickstart when I came back from a short beach vacation in the middle of May. Shifting between 90 degrees and 90% humidity and a drier, high-60s climate was a little jarring on the system, needless to say, and this cooling, fiber-ful dal was just what I needed to keep my vāta doṣa in check.
Part soup, part kitchari, this super simple meal has been on repeat on my meal playlist (sorry T-Swift) ever since, and I expect will stay there throughout the season.Here’s why it’s perfect for the spring-to-summer shift, and can support a balanced pitta doṣa into the summer:
- Predominance of bitter taste, which is balancing to pitta and kapha
- Spices support the downward movement of vāta for healthy elimination and tend toward cooling to balance pitta (which is also balanced through daily elimination of urine and feces)
- Watery vegetables hydrate pitta, which will leave us feeling dry as we sweat, while their diuretic quality encourages the release of built-up water from kapha season
- Filling digestible fiber (from zucchini, celery, and lentils) creates satiety without heaviness on agni, which is decreasing in its power as the sun lengthens its daily arc through the sky moving into summer
- Quick and easy, low-cook process that’s great for a quick, nutritious meal, even when you don’t feel like doing anything
- Customize with fresh herbs from your garden! Basil, lemon balm, and mint would all work well in this recipe.
Zucchini Cucumber Dal
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 celery stalks chopped
- 2 zucchinis chopped
- 1 cucumber chopped (skin on)
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes
- Juice of 1 lime
- Cooked brown lentils and/or white basmati rice
- Ghee or tahini, to serve
- Flaky sea salt, to serve
- Warm the ghee in a large pot over low heat. Add the coriander, turmeric, and onion powder. Stir to coat, and let the spices bloom for about 2 minutes.
- Add the celery, zucchini, and cucumber. Stir to coat in the spices, raise the heat slightly, and cook for about 3 minutes just to brown.
- Add about a 1/2 cup of water (you won't cover the vegetables), cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.
- Remove from heat, and blitz with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Stir in the parsley, dill, coconut flakes, and lime juice.
- Add the prepared rice or lentils to bowls, and spoon the vegetable soup over the top. Drizzle ghee/tahini over each bowl, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Can be eaten warm or at room temperature on especially hot days.