Split Mung Bean Soup // Mung Daal

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I grew up with a vegetarian Indian mother who is passionate about health and cooking - so I was lucky to be at the receiving end of her nurturing and high vibration cooking.

Thus, when I think about what my go-to comfort food is, I think what is light on my stomach, nutritious and delicious. Luckily, quite a few foods come to mind. The first that will usually come to mind that is also calming for the mind and body is Mung Daal. Today, I share my mung dal recipe passed down from my mother, to you. 

Mung beans are high in B Vitamins (perhaps this is why it calms my mind? :) and also contain Vitamins C, E and K. Mung beans also contain several minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium. This therefore helps to make Mung Daal a light and nutrient rich recipe that is delicious.

One item my mother always emphasized with me about cooking was to never get fixated on measurements and to experiment with increasing and decreasing ingredients to customize each dish to your palate as well as any dietary preferences. This advice has served me well, giving me creative license to modify foods and I take pride in honing in on the essence of my mother's cooking while making slight adjustments for my more mild American palate. I highly encourage you to apply this advice from my mom.

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THE BASE // THADKA:

The photos above and below are of a good solid base for flavorful Mung Daal. Please note that it is possible to have daal without thadka. Taste your daal both with and without thadka to see if you appreciate the layers and complexity that simple thadka can add, not to mention the added health benefits.

TO MAKE THE THADKA, YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING:

  • 3 tbsp. Ghee (several substitutes are available and I myself use various bases for a variety of reasons...some example substitutes are: coconut oil and vegetable oil)
  • 1 chopped vidalia onion (though any onion will do - experiment and you will learn the nuances in flavor from various onions...)

  • 1 chopped aromatic tomato (don't worry if its not aromatic - I just find the taste to be related to how fragrant the tomato is)
  • 1/4 tsp. shredded ginger
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic (do not skimp out on chopping this yourself vs a store bought pre-shopped garlic- it makes a difference in the taste)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. asafetida powder
  • a pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Begin sautéing the onion in the ghee.

While lightly frying, add in the cumin seeds, salt, pepper, turmeric, asafetida.

Once browned, add in the chopped tomato and continue sautéing until your thadka looks like the photos.

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TO MAKE THE MUNG BEAN BASE, YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING:

  • 1 cup of rinsed mung plit mung beans (tip: split mung beans are yellow, whole mung beans, or mung beans with the outer husk, are green).
  • 1/2 cup of any vegetables you would like to add - in the photos here I have used carrots and green beans. I also like to use leafy greens such as spinach and kale.
  • salt to taste

Rinse the beans in water until the water you wash them in is void of most cloudiness that would come up from stirring the beans in a bowl of water.

Bring the beans to boil in 2 cups of water, adding in veggies according to how dense they are. Meaning, if I am using carrots, I will add them in at the beginning and if working with spinach, I add it in towards the end.

Once the beans come to a boil, reduce heat to medium or low and let cook for another 5-10minutes.

Lastly, combine the thadka into the daal and heat together for a couple minutes. Garnish with Cilantro. Enjoy with rice or roti, or as a soup by itself. I am personally far more satisfied with either rice or roti to provide a complete meal.

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Voila! And there you have it. Mung Daal: Light, healthy, rich in vitamins and minerals!

Enjoy and may you always be blessed to eat well.

Love, Light + Namaste,

Shaffali

Fennel Copper Water

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Simple Luxury:

Infuse water into a copper vessel - mine happens to show the wear and tear of age. If you are discouraged at this point because you down't own a copper vessel - well, you can simply use a glass.

Sprinkle in some fennel seeds.

Voila - you are drinking water that is good for you, your digestive system, breath and brain!

 

Though infusing water in copper is a concept that is thousands of years old, in recent times it has been validated: 

"The latest health claim says that drinking water from a copper cup boosts health by reducing inflammation, bolstering brain functioning, aiding in weight loss, slowing aging, fighting cancer, and acting like an anti- microbial." Source: https://www.today.com/health/drinking-copper-cup-good-health-or-latest-health-fad-t86946

As for fennel, it too has been used for ages as a digestive aid; simply chewing on the seeds - something I love to do and do often - releases vital compounds that help naturally refresh the mouth to freshen breath AND they actually address the real culprit for bad breath: the digestive system.

Love + Light,

Shaffali

Samantha, Summer Camp and Scrub

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Samantha is a fan of Shaffali Skincare. In her words:

"When I use Shaffali Skincare, created with Ayurvedic intent and organic ingredients, I am reminded me to be present and I feel that I am nourishing my skin and myself.

The whole facial is wonderful. Lately I find myself relying on the mask and exfoliant - which has the lovely texture of cake-batter."

Samantha and I met in our 30s at Summer Camp in the Adirondacks...Hosted by WeWork where we both housed our ventures at the time - she at the Soho NYC location and I at Soho West. Thus, aside from past lives, we had never crossed paths before Camp.

We had an instant connection early Saturday morning after the first night at camp, both of us scoping out the kitchen for some fresh lemon to have morning lemon water. I was instantly impressed by how much lemon she used in her lemon water. We quickly came to find many common interests - growing up in New England, beauty, yoga, travel and I almost instantly invited her to try my pineapple + peppermint facial scrub - my thoughts at the time, as well as what quickly became reality were: "I will scrub my face side by side with you right then and there in the cabin bathroom at Summer Camp, dear new friend." 

And that's how a friendship that has lasted 5 years in nyc began. Simple, Lemony, Minty, Scrubby...

Over the course of the past 5 years, I have enjoyed Samantha's company especially when needing to speak to someone who is an artist in every sense of the word - professionally, passionately, academically and practically. After studying Art History and Fine Art at NYU, Fashion at FIT and Interior Design at Parsons, Samantha began Samantha Gore Interiors + Design.

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Samantha's work featuring blue paint imported from Morocco, a special request from a client who wanted the specific blue - Majorelle Blue - he saw in Marrakech.

I ask Samantha what lights her up:

Samantha: What lights me up.. What a great question. Brings to mind what my pleasures and delights. 

Short list - Laughing. Surprise outbursts and deep belly laughs ! 

The sun.

Connecting with new people in inspired ways. 

Flirting. 

Creative collaboration. 

Kundalini yoga. 

My niece. 

Gorgeous color. 

Delightful coincidence. 

Italy

Mythology - how past and stories are interwoven into modern life

Lights me up is different than what keeps me aglow - coming home to my love. being in the nature. being with my family. to name a few.

Check Samantha out at http://goredesigns.com/

Natalia

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Natalia is a fan of Shaffali Skincare. In her words:

"My first experience with Shaffali Skincare has completely changed my approach to my daily routine. I was introduced to it in 2013. The invigorating scent of the products just breath this lovely scent into your well-being and set you up for the day! From the quality ingredients, carefully hand-picked by it’s beautiful founder and CEO Shaffali Miglani you get to experience a true beauty from within while helping your skin to be in it’s healthiest glowing state possible.

The results were evident from the first use of these amazing products for me: my skin responded immediately to the combination of naturally intoxicating aromas mixed in with Ayurvedic ancient wisdom. I fell in love with Shaffali beauty products ever since.

The highlights for me are Lavender + Turmeric Facial Cleanser and Mango +
Lavender Body Scrub.

I absolutely recommend this skincare line to everyone to start their journey to
show off their healthy beautiful skin."