Ayurvedic food and cooking

Let food be your medicine

According to the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda, the combination of foods that you eat and how they are digested (or not) actually shapes your health and well-being.

Ayurveda defines us as unique beings, and thus our dietary needs are unique as well. We provide great insight about which foods will suit and balance you according to your age, constitution, the season, your environment, and your needs for balance at any given time. Our cuisine is unique for its emphasis on making sure that each dish is cooked and spiced to achieve maximum digestibility and avoid the formation of toxins (AMA), the result of improperly digested food.

Come enjoy a hands-on cooking class, tailored to your individual tastes. Hereís what you will learn:

  • Eating properly for your body type
  • Discovering the "6 tastes"
  • How to make ghee
  • How to cook with Indian Spices
  • How to prepare Khicharióspecial Ayurvedic cleansing diet
  • Preparing Indian vegetable curries and rice dishes
  • Cooking Chutney and Yogurt Raita
  • Making authentic Chai Tea
  • Creating healthy appetizers and desserts
  • Feeling the ingredients and smelling the spices

The six tastes are:

Sweet (Madhur) Sweet is the taste of energy. It is the biggest part of our diets, especially in the western world. Sweet encompasses many foods, including starchy foods (bread, pasta, rice), meat and fats, sugar and honey. This taste is the most soothing and is the one that brings a feeling of satiety. It also builds body mass.

Sour (Amla) When you think sour, think acidic. Acid is the taste of sour. Sour foods include citrus fruits, yogurt, tomatoes, pickles, vinegar, and cheese. The sour taste increases stomach acid. It can enhance appetite but can also irritate those who have issues with heartburn and other gastrointestinal maladies.

Salty (Lavana) Salty is the taste of the ocean. You can find it in fish, salted meats, and the variety of table/cooking salts we use daily. This taste increases appetite, stimulates the digestion, and enhances the other tastes.

Pungent (Katu) This one is my favorite: spicy. Itís found in hot peppers, ginger, radishes, horseradish, mustard, cloves, salsa, and most cooking spices. Pungent foods enhance your appetite and improve digestion. If youíve ever had a little too much wasabi, you know that pungent also does a good job of clearing your sinuses. Pungent can increase metabolism but aggravate other conditions, such as acid reflux.

Bitter (Tikta) Bitter is the taste of many familiar vegetables, including broccoli, kale, sprouts, and celery. Itís the flavor in the green, leafy variety of veggies. The bitter taste detoxifies the system and promotes weight loss but can cause gas and/or indigestion if eaten in excess.

Astringent (Kashya) This is often the hardest taste to identify. You can find it in tea, beans, apples, grape skins, pomegranates, and cauliflower. Astringent foods compact the system.
Ayurveda believes that you should consume each of the six tastes in every meal. If you leave the table feeling unsatisfied, itís because you didnít experience all of the six tastes.
Itís actually not all that difficult to eat all six tastes in every meal. A dinner of pasta with red sauce and a green salad with hot or iced tea covers the gamut: sweet=pasta, sour=tomatoes, salty=salad dressing, pungent=spices in sauce, bitter=salad greens, astringent=tea.

Cooking with Indian spices:

There are a many different types of spices which are being produced for their culinary, medicinal use. Spices are essentially the flavored or aromatic part of a plant used as a preservative or for food flavoring. These spices are cultivated and grown in different parts of the world depending on the climatic conditions, soil requirements etc. The international trade figures of almost all the spices have been rising over the past decade. India is a significant contributor to the world trade in spices and is one of the leading producers of various types of indian spices including pepper, ginger, cardamom etc.

When diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.