Summer is a time when even cold dry (Vata) types or cold damp (Kapha) types can have little more raw foods. One of the ways to make raw foods more compatible for cold types with weaker digestive energy (Agni/Spleen Qi) is to have it in small amounts with other foods that stimulate digestion.


Necessity is the mother of invention. Today I was hungry, lazy, and the cupboard was bare. I had some leftover pasta, a tin of sardines, a can of chickpeas, a bunch of scallions and one lone beetroot in my frig. So I made a pasta salad with those ingredinets, with olive oil and vinegar as follows




2 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti, al dente

2 tablespoons cooked chickpeas

2 scallions, chopped

1 small beet, grated

1 tin sardines, drained

2 tbsp California olive oil

1 tbsp or so Balsamic vinegar

a pinch of fresh marjoram from the garden


Mix it all together and serve. I like to mash the sardines a bit so the whole thing coats the noodles.


Ayurvedic Discussion


Whole wheat pasta

I find whole wheat pasta lighter somehow than white pasta. Perhaps the fiber slows down the processing into sugar in the body. Perhaps the texture makes me chew longer, so I eat less. In the event, whole wheat noodles are nourishing and pacifying to both Vata and Pitta. Wheat’s inherently moist,  heavy quality pacifies and grounds and nurtures Vata,  while its naturally cooling property pacifies Pitta. Only Kapha has to avoid wheat for its moistening, cooling effect, but a well balanced Kapha can certainly have some, all the more so in Summer.



are excellent food from the nutritional standpoint, high in Omega 3’s.Like almost all fish they produce heat, so Pitta’s need be careful. But a tin of sardines along with the other ingredients would only have to be avoided by someone with an actual Pitta elevation disorder, like Eczema. Ditto the beetroot.



are super high in anti-oxidants, especially when raw. They are pungent, bitter, sour, and sweet, which makes them fairly tridoshic, but again, they could aggravate Pitta as they are rather pungent. Small amount with pasta should be fine for most pittas. What makes raw beets easy to digest for Vata in this case is grating them so they are small and absorb the other flavors.


What makes this whole salad very digestible is the use of scallions, marjoram, and balsamic vinegar, pungent, sour, astringent, slightly sweet, all flavors that stimulate Agni and digestion, especially when mixed with bitter, sweet and salt.


The Three Doshas: Pacified by


Vata: Sweet, sour, salt, warm, heavy, unctuous,

Pitta: Sweet, bitter, astringent, cool, light,

Kapha: Pungent, bitter, astringent, warm, light, dry,






Overall this dish is warming, grounding, and unctuous, so ideal for a balanced Vatta in summer.  Scallions are quite warm, even stimulating, so conceivable, for an unbalanced Vatta who wants to try this, delete the scallions, or substitute with sweet onion in a small amount.




But this dish is also fairly light and pungent, so quite fine for Kapha, unless there is an issue with wheat. A Kapha might add some black pepper, fresh thyme, or even green chilli.




Finally the foundation for this dish is wheat pasta, which is pacifying to Pitta. So in spite of its overall warm aspect, a balanced Pitta, or someone whose Pitta combines with Vatta should do well here, as there is sweetness and  astringency from the vinegar as well. A Pitta could certainly add some cucumber or cilantro, which would cool it off nicely.


copyright eyton shalom san diego ca july 2012 all rights reserved use with permission

Pin It on Pinterest