Bring on the Cucumbers!
Ayurveda’s common-sense dictum is that opposite qualities balance one another—whether in the body, the mind, or the emotions. So, to quell the last of the summer heat, I call for balance and say, “Bring on the cucumbers!”
In this lovely summer soup, the cooling power of cucumber is augmented by coconut milk, cilantro, and mint, all which cool the metabolism even further. Fresh ginger, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and lime all aid digestion besides being richly flavorful. They are also warming foods, which bring balance to the dish for vata and kapha types, who tend to be cold natured.
Ayurveda identifies the healthiest meal as one that provides all six tastes in one sitting. Those six tastes exist in this one very simple dish:
- Sweet: cucumbers, coconut milk, mint
- Pungent: cumin, ginger, mustard seeds
- Astringent: arugula, cilantro
- Bitter: arugula, curry leaves
- Sour: Lime
- Salty: Well, of course, it’s the salt!
A note about cucumbers: They can be hard to digest for vata types, but much easier when they are cooked rather than raw and also when they are seeded. You can eat this soup as a raw dish, if you prefer, but as a proponent of the Ayurvedic way, I propose you try it cooked at least once! I’ve tried it both ways and find the taste is richer and less bitter when cooked.
This is a very light soup, more flavorful than filling, so plan to make it when you serve it alongside a vegetable plate, with veggie burgers, or other entrées that will satisfy your hunger.
Enjoy these last summer days with balanced and cooling Cucumber and Coconut Milk Soup.