On a yoga retreat at El Encanto, on the Riviera Nayarit in sunny Mexico, the discussion meandered towards body types. Not yoga body types, Ayurvedic body types. Apparently the key to health is in understanding our own personal body type. There are three basic ones: Vata, “air”, Pitta, “fire” and Kapha, the “water” type. Each of us has some of the characteristics of all three.
Find out your body type by taking the Ayurvedic Questionnaire. You’ll have all kinds of new adjectives to contemplate when describing yourself. Are you sensitive, cheerful, adaptable, craving excitement and stimulation? Are you bright, intense, intelligent, practical and ambitious? Or are you the loving, compassionate, caring, home-loving type? An 8-Vata, 5-Pitta 3-Kapha score makes me a Vata-Pitta.
Back to food. This recipe has a secret ingredient, which will no longer be secret once you’ve read on. The secret ingredient smells like the most flavourful Indian curry, but has no curry in the ingredients. Surprised? So was I. Just 1 teaspoon of this aromatic powder makes this recipe perfect.
Jumbo Shrimp with Shrimp Spice Ingredients
- 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled with tail tip on, sprayed with a bit of olive oil
- 1-2 dry shallots, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 t Crousset Shrimp Spice from La Poisonnerie du Marché at Atwater Market
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- zest of 1 lemon, another lemon quartered
- 1/4 c parsley, chopped as garnish
Coat the shrimp in shrimp spice, salt, pepper and zest. Sauté the dry shallot, garlic and scallion in olive oil for several minutes until softened, add the shrimp and cook 4 minutes, flipping, just until they turn pink.
To flavour rice as a side dish, deglaze the pan with a little olive oil, and sauté a few vegetables: scallion, celery, mushroom, coloured peppers. Toss with the cooked rice. Garnish with parsley and quartered lemon.
- La Poissonerie du Marché is my new favorite fish store. Anyone who carries a spice mix this amazing deserves patronage.
- Things you should know about the El Encanto retreat: Jim Vitale is your host. The resort is a work of art in progress — eco-friendly, rustic, good for independent travellers who are self-sufficient. Bring your own yoga instructor and group for a great retreat type vacation. You may visit the waterfall, Secret Beach, petroglyphs, take a bird-crocodile watching boat ride along the mangroves, fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean…all that while escaping winter wonderlands up north.
- Thank you to Marvin for tasting and liking this recipe. It is another keeper!