There's an album in my iTunes called Under the Shiva Moon. I don't expect anyone to know the album, by name or otherwise -- it's over ten years old at this point and besides, it was first published by a little local group that called themselves "Yogi Renegades". Their official band name was Shiva's Garden.
The first time I heard those yogi renegades I was probably ten (how old I actually was is now lost in time). It was a Monday evening. I know that, because we went to the same place every Monday throughout my tween years: a mountain yoga center. Monday night was community night, and we were regulars, at least at that point. There would be music, and candles, and a family-style meal. After Shiva's Garden played live one night, my dad bought their album and for at least a week we listened to it in the car on repeat. I fell for their music then: the meditative rhythms, the slightly exotic sounds of the instruments, the folky feel. It didn't take long before I could sing along with every word.
It was on one of those nights at the ashram that I was gifted a small statue of Ganesha. The ritual, the gift, the giving of the gift... it was all a little over my head. I still don't think I totally know why this gift ended up with me, but I remember the generosity of the girl who gave it to me, and I remember thinking I would never let it go. On the drive home my dad explained that Ganesha was the Remover of Obstacles. I made a spot for him on my bookshelf and on the roughest of days, the days with the most obstacles, I would stare at his golden face and try to come to peace with everything. That was hard, because I was a teenager, and there were hardly ever answers to my questions.
Golden and still, he now stands amongst my plants. Surrounding him are a few tributes: a bundle of unopened incense, an Indian friendship bracelet, a blue topaz stone, and a small copper capsule of water from the Ganges River.
On the roughest of days and the calmest of days alike, I still play Under the Shiva Moon. I still sing along. When I'm home alone I turn the volume up so I can barely hear my soft voice over the chords. Some days I even wonder if my old, golden friend on the shelf remembers the lyrics too. I find sanctuary in making a curry while it plays--warm and spicy like they used to make on community night- and humming as it simmers on the stove.
Serves: 2-3 | Total Time:
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 summer squash, diced
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 cup green beens, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream (optional: use canned coconut cream for vegan or DF)
- Optional: If you’re looking to make this meal a little more hearty, add 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
- Place a medium soup on the stove over medium heat. Add the coconut oil to the pot and heat until it glistens. Then, add the diced onion and cook until translucent.
- Next, add the garlic and ginger. Stir, and cook for several minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the remaining vegetables and stir. Pour broth, curry powder, turmeric, red chili flakes, salt and pepper to the pot. (Add the cooked chicken at this point if you plan on using it). Stir again, and then place lid on pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes and tender and the other vegetables are cooked through.
- Reduce heat and remove lid from pot. Slowly pour cream into soup, stirring as you do. Once cream is added, taste the soup. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve hot.