How important is our sense of taste? Rasa is a Sanskrit word which defines taste. Rasa has many meanings, experience, enthusiasm, and essence. Rasa is described as the soul of life. Without it there is no elixir and we have no savoring of food. It applies to all aspects of life.
Let us address the taste of salt. The salty taste is created from the elements of water and fire. It causes heat in our body. It is heavy, oily and hot. It is associated with courage, confidence, enthusiasm and interest. Negative emotions are temptation, addiction, attachment, greed, possessiveness and irritability. It is located on the rear edge of the tongue. It affects our kidneys. Its movement is downwards.
The salty taste also makes food appetizing; it moistens and is an expectorant. Its benefits are that it increases salivation and supports digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination. It promotes growth, supports muscle strength, moistens the body and maintains the water-electrolyte balance. It livens the mind. It fights against sadness, dullness, and lack of creativity in our lives. Excess leads to physical imbalance in our system.
Below are given two recipes, both sattvic.
Himalayan rock salt is considered to nurture the spirit, it is a cooling salt. If eaten before a meal with a sprinkling of salt on a slice of ginger, it is considered an appetizer as it stimulates the appetite.
Rock Salt lassi
Take half a cup of yoghurt and whip it in the mixi or with a hand blender. Add half a cup of water, some roasted cumin powder, a pinch of rock salt and crushed mint leaves. A cooling drink which also works on the digestive system.
One cup rice, half cup red masoor lentils, half cup chopped tomatoes, one tablespoon ginger, one teaspoon each of, cumin and mustard seed, one tablespoon oil or ghee, salt one teaspoon, turmeric powder, one teaspoon.
Heat pan, add oil. Add a pinch of asafoetida, cumin, and mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Add the chopped tomatoes, add the turmeric powder. Add the soaked red lentils with one cup water. Stir and then add the soaked rice with the water (rice soaked in two cups water) into the dal. Let it boil, simmer until rice and dal are cooked in a mash. Add salt according to taste. The consistency is like porridge.
Chopped carrots, peas, french beans, cauliflower and potatoes can be added. Stir fry them and add them to the khicheri, so they remain crunchy.
There are other flavors in the khicheri but I want to concentrate on the taste of salt.
Salt uplifts our spirits and cleanses our system. Spiritually salt is the great neutraliser. It can help and balance energy, while repelling negative vibrations. Salt is to be taken in moderation for our benefit.
“People don’t enjoy salt. They enjoy what is salted. We are the salt of the earth. We do not exist for ourselves.” John Piper.
Aim Hrim Klim