Support for a good night of rest
My Vedic Kitchen
By Monica Kar
According to the texts of ayurveda, there is a relationship between the micronutrients in food and the quality of your sleep. Digestion being a cornerstone of good health, it comes as no surprise that ayurveda considers food to play a significant role in proper sleep. The following tips and foods are considered traditional support for a good night of rest.
- Eat your largest meal at lunch, between 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
- While eating, do not read, talk, listen to music, etc. Eat with awareness. Chew well.
- Allow at least four hours between meals.
- Dinner should be healthy and light, between 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
- Avoid large portions of protein-based foods at night.
- Regularity — waking up, eating, sleeping, all around the same time every day.
- Try to include all six tastes in every meal, dinner included.
- Try to avoid snacking during the day, so you eat a large lunch, and a lighter dinner.
- Avoid spicy or fried foods at night.
- Do not skip dinner, especially if you are Vata.
Foods supporting restful sleep: (For all recipes, favor organic ingredients whenever possible.)
- Soups with a grain and vegetables and greens of your choice. Avoid beans at night.
- Mixed vegetables with chapatis.
- Stir-fried vegetables with Udon buckwheat noodles.
- Kichari with vegetables.
- Perfect Paranthas (Vegetable Stuffed Chapatis) with Celestial Cilantro Chutney.
Monica's Delicious Chapatis
- Chapati flour — available at all Indian stores
- Dry chapati flour
How to prepare
Make a dough by taking 1 fistful of flour per chapati needed in a mixing bowl. Mix water and work the flour into a dough by taking a little water in the "cup" of your working hand and adding it a little at a time to the flour. Keep kneading and adding water until the dough forms a ball and doesn't stick to the bowl. The dough should not be hard — it should have a little "give" to it, without sticking.
Heat an iron griddle until hot. Take a little dough into the palm of your hand and form into a small ball. Press down into the extra, dry flour on both sides. Roll this out with a rolling pin, until thin enough so that it doesn't stick on the surface and is not too thick. You can press this into the dry, extra flour once more, if too sticky, on both sides and keep rolling until you reach the desired thickness.
Carefully, pick this up and spread in your working palm. Invert onto the hot griddle, taking care not to burn your fingers. (You can turn down the heat on the griddle while placing the chapati on the griddle, and raise the heat once you have done so.) When you see little bubbles appear on the surface of the chapati, it is ready to be turned. Turn carefully. Cook on both sides — brown spots on either side of the chapati are good indications — black spots mean you have a "well-done" chapati!!
Take off the griddle. Apply a little organic ghee on one side. Enjoy with cooked vegetables of your choice.
As in all things, practice makes a good chapati. It doesn't matter if your chapati is not a perfect "O" — I have been making these for over 20 years and have never tried to make it a perfect shape. What matters is the love you put into it!
Wishing you restful nights and wonderful, bright days, full of "oorja" or energy,
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.