Astringent taste is derived from the air and earth element. It is a flavor of dryness that is generally produced by tannins in the bark, leaves and outer rind of fruits and trees. It causes the mucous membrane in the mouth to contract and results in a dry and puckering feeling in the mouth. It is cooling, drying and heavy.
Its positive emotions are stability, unity, and being grounded. It negative traits are fear, anxiety, sadness, rigidity, resentment and harshness. Its affinity is to the colon. It is located at the back of the tongue in the central region. It tones our tissues, reduces sweating, cools excess heat and the elimination of body waste, such as sweat, faeces and urine. The air movement is inwards.
Anton Chekov, “When asked why do you always wear black?” He answered “I am mourning for my life.”
Virginia Woolf, “Wine has a drastic, an astringent taste. I cannot help wincing as I drink. Ascent of flowers, radiance and heat are distilled here to a fiery yellow liquid. Just behind my shoulder blades some dry thing wide eyed, gently closes, and gradually lulls itself to sleep. This is rapture. This is relief.”
Recipes with an astringent flavor
Spices for astringent taste are coriander, fennel, nutmeg, poppy seeds, and turmeric. Apples, green bananas, pomegranates, cabbage, raw carrots, lettuce and mostly raw vegetables are astringent in taste.
Raw carrot and pomegranate salad
Two cups grated carrots, one cup pomegranate seeds, green coriander leaves, curry leaves, mustard seeds, red chili, lemon juice, peanuts, raisins, asafetida, one teaspoon oil, some grated ginger, sugar and salt.
Heat wok, add teaspoon of oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, one red chili, pinch of asafetida, add peanuts and raisins, let it splutter. Add the mix to the grated carrots and pomegranate seeds. Add lime juice, grated ginger, green coriander, sugar and salt.
Two cups chopped cabbage, curry leaves, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, whole red chili, coconut milk, one tablespoon oil, salt and a pinch of asafetida.
Heat wok, add oil, add mustard seeds (one teaspoon), asafetida, whole red chili (to make it hotter, one can add broken chili), curry leaves (fresh or dried), add turmeric powder, half teaspoon, add chopped cabbage. Cover for five minutes. Add coconut milk, one cup, half cup water. Cook for another five minutes, let the cabbage be crunchy not soggy. Last add one teaspoon lime juice. Salt according to taste.
Eat salad, and curry with white or brown rice.
“A man’s growth and progress will be hindered if he does not have a pure mind and a clean body.” Sam Veda
Eating food with an astringent flavor cleanses our body and mind. Mahatma Gandhi said that ultimately it was the mind which controlled our sense of taste.
Our astringent tongue is to be used for our personal growth and we have to be gentle with our fellow beings not looking at their flaws but at their virtues.
Aim Hrim Klim