Nature is our greatest teacher. By honoring the cycles in the natural world around us, we can begin to observe – and respect – those same cycles within us.
Here at Hale Pule, we invite the sattvic power of nature into our lives through daily work on Durga Farms. Guests who attend our intensives and immersions get to share this experience by working with the Hawaiian soil and enjoying the freshly harvested food at every meal. Guests leave inspired by the healing power of nature and are often ready to start their own gardens at home. But it’s not necessary to have acres of land to become a gardener – you can start with something small, such as a window box with a few fresh herbs.
Having fresh herbs on hand allows you to cultivate a deeper relationship with the food you cook. Using the principle, “like increases like and the opposite brings balance,” you can select the herbs based on their Ayurvedic properties and rasa that will address your needs that day. For instance, to balance kapha, use a bit of fresh dill, which is pungent and extractive (in the fresh form it’s good for pitta, too). To warm up vata, add fresh basil to your meal. If you are in need of a cleansing, bitter herb, snip a few leaves of parsley.
To inspire you to plant your own herbs and connect to your body, we’re sharing a recipe this month of simple sautéed asparagus with fresh herbs. You can make this dish with any vegetable and any herb you grow. As you experiment with different combinations, let this recipe be your guide to connect to nature, your body and your true self.
Simple herbed asparagus
3 cups asparagus, cut or broken into one-inch pieces
3 Tbsp. sunflower oil or ghee
½ tsp. mineral salt
1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
¾ tsp. chopped fresh herb of your choice
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat the oil and simmer the ginger, black pepper and salt until the aroma comes up. Add the asparagus and stir to coat with the oil and spices. Add a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes (some people like to add the more tender asparagus tips in after the stalk has cooked a bit). When the asparagus is bright green, but still firm, remove the pan from the burner and add the fresh herb. Let the dish sit 2 to 5 minutes with the lid on to allow the tastes to become friends.
If you want to learn more about how nature can guide your cooking, apply to attend our Ayurvedic chef training, this June 6-19 on Kaua’i.