“The Big Bitter Dose”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 12

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Choose now to expand your consciousness and open your heart to Divine Love’s flow within you. Realize your own Divine Presence. Know God as the Source and Fulfillment of all your good.



I love, love, love Indian food — dal, curry, the chutneys, the spices—mmm, mmm, good! I tried for years and years to make Indian food at home, but it seemed so complicated, so many ingredients, so many steps. I had neither the cooking experience nor the patience to try to figure it out. So, I happily went to Indian restaurants.

Then I found the book The Indian Slow Cooker, by Anupy Singla (http://www.indianasapplepie.com/). Now I’m a pro at cooking Indian food.

Most of the time…

There are several recipes which I make regularly. They are standards in the household. I never screw them up.

…Almost never.

One dish I make is South Indian Lentil Soup. It has red lentils (masoor dal), coconut milk, and curry leaves. I have made this dish dozens of times perfectly.

…Until last week.

I put all the ingredients together, set the slow cooker on high, left for work to let the cooker perform its magic while I was away. When I came back from work, there was one final step: heat some onion, cumin seed, mustard seed, and curry leaves in a bit of oil to add them to the soup. Then, Viola! An amazing dinner was ready.

But that’s not what happened.

Sometimes, very rarely, I tweak these recipes. But I don’t know enough about the spices, proportions, etc., so generally speaking, I follow the recipe. With this particular recipe, though, since I had made it so many times, sometimes with no curry leaves, sometimes with curry leaf powder, sometimes with the fresh curry leaves, I was comfortable not having the fresh leaves (which is what the recipe actually calls for), and using the powder instead.

Boy was that a mistake!

I had no clue, really how much curry leaf powder to use, so I used about 1/8 of a teaspoon. That seems like a tiny amount, right?

Apparently it’s not.

I finished the onion and spices, put it in the soup, stirred it up and served it. When I took the first mouthful, I said, out loud to Tam, “OH, do not even try this. It sucks!”

It did too; it totally sucked. Apparently curry leaf powder is very potent, and 1/8 of a teaspoon turned the entire batch bitter as hell.

That’s no exaggeration. We were both totally disappointed because we’d been looking forward to this for a week. I haven’t yet brought myself to throwing it all away—it’s hard for me to throw food away. But tonight’s the night—2 quarts, in the garbage.

To redeem myself, the next night, I made chickpea curry, which was yummy.

Thank God!

Then, yesterday, I made the soup again. I even used the curry leaf powder again, but this time, just the tiniest pinch.

It was yummy!! Again, thank God!

When I tasted the soup, I could taste the curry leaves, really taste it, but in perfect balance with the other flavors. It was delightful and subtle, just the slightest hint of this bitter spice. It was like all the other times I had made this soup, I had never really tasted it (note what I said above, that sometimes I made the soup without the curry leaves, because… I couldn’t taste the difference).

Sometimes I need a big dose of something bitter in order to understand how it subtly blends with the other flavors. This is a metaphor for what is going on in my life right now. The big dose exposes me to just that ONE flavor, and then I am able to recognize it when it comes along more subtly.

Currently, the one big bitter flavor is what I mentioned on Day 09, “I’ve been at the point of giving up, totally. I am so tired. I’m tired of all this effort. I am tired of trying to figure it all out; tired of having to deal with wave after wave. Maybe the point of all this is to get to a point of total surrender.” I am experiencing things and situations that continue to challenge my surrender, continue to challenge my integrity, challenge me to remain True to my Self.

But I don’t feel like I am getting it.

And since I don’t feel like I am getting it, I am getting more of it– the big bitter dose.

The good news is I’ve made this soup before, perfectly. I can do it again. I have gotten this; I know this stuff; I know I can do it again, and I will.