Ginger-braised Fennel & Sweet Potato

Light and nutritious, this side dish is also easy to make and tastes great! Serve with couscous, quinoa or fish. This is suitable for summer and fall and is ideal for pitta and vata; kapha can eat in moderation with the addition of some cayenne pepper.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free /Serves 2

1 cup ginger broth (boil 1 cup water with 2 teaspoons chopped ginger for 10 minutes; strain)
2 teaspoons ghee (or butter or olive oil)
1 cup fresh fennel bulb (sliced ¼ inch thick)
1 cup sweet potato (peeled, sliced ¼ inch thick)
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint (julienned)

Melt the ghee in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the ghee is almost brown, add the fennel and sweet potato; arrange in a single layer on the bottom of the pan with a minimum of overlapping (a little bit is fine, as the vegetables will shrink as they cook). Sprinkle with salt.

Cook without stirring until the bottoms are browned (~3 – 4 minutes). Use tongs to flip and cook other sides until lightly brown (~2 minutes).  Add 2/3 cup of the ginger broth; immediately cover the pan. Simmer until the liquid has almost completely evaporated (~ 2- 3 minutes).

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice and toss to combine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer to serving platter or individual bowls. Drizzle with broth from pan and garnish with mint.

VPK: This dish is ideal for vata or pitta. Kapha can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to their serving; vata can serve with extra ginger broth if desired.

About: Fresh fennel bulb has a smell of licorice, but after cooking, the flavor mellows. Ayurveda says fennel is soothing for the digestive system with a sweet post-digestive effect. The sweet potatoes and ginger broth add some grounding to the dish making it suitable for fall, but not too heavy for summer.

For more great recipes, check out “The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook“.

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