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What are the Ayurvedic principles for Cooking

An ancient text dating back to 5000 years, Ayurveda consists of practical knowledge that even today is relevant and beneficial. The term ‘Knowledge of life’ refers to Ayurveda. The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of health and happiness encompass Ayurvedic fundamentals.

Today, many of us feel that it is complex to follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle. The way of life until a few years back, Ayurvedic cooking, has radically changed into quick, instant and fast meals.

Food today is a mixture of old and modern flavours, with the migration of people, ideas and culture. It is a recipe for sickness when food fusion takes place solely for flavor and avoids the health aspect.

We have come a long way from grinding fresh flour every day to purchasing prepared, ready to eat food. Will we turn back to our roots?


Why Ayurvedic Food?


Ayurveda tells us to eat fresh, local and seasonal, the exact variables stressed for a healthier lifestyle by environmental experts. 

We stay away from pesticide laden food while consuming in-season food. Nutritionally rich food keeps us safe by sustaining and repairing the systems of the body. That kind of food is medicinal. Ayurvedic cooking is simple, realistic and highly feasible, involving simple recipes based on personal and other factors to fit your requirements. 


In three categories, Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic, Ayurveda classifies food and focuses on eating according to the six seasons and tastes.

  • Sattvic foods are balancing food. These include fresh organic fruits and vegetables, most whole grains, legumes and nuts, milk and ghee, beans and lentils, plant-based oils, honey, molasses and spices like mustard, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, ginger and turmeric.
  • Rajasic is a food that is new but hard to digest. These foods can be consumed by people who do a lot of physical activity. These foods are calming and, if over consumed, can cause physical and mental stress. These include herbs that are spicy, coffee, tea, and salt.
  • Tamasic foods are impure, heavy and dead. Eating tamasic foods makes you dull. These include onions and garlic.


How to plan your Ayurvedic form of Diet?

Ayurveda claims that the universal life force is embodied as three distinct forces, namely vata, pitta and kapha, known as doshas. All individuals are a special distinct mixture decided at the time of creation of these doshas.


Any person’s diet depends on his dosha. Mostly, individuals have an abundance of one or two doshas that differ according to age, diet, geography, climate, and seasons. For optimal health, energy and vitality, balancing the doshas is important. While the correct diet plan should be consulted by an Ayurvedic practitioner, generally speaking, sweet, sour, and salty foods pacify vata. Pitta is reduced by sweet, pungent, and bitter foods and kapha is pacified by pungent, bitter, and astringent foods. Ginger, cumin, black pepper, fennel and saffron are among the spices for vata. For Pitta, it is nice to have cinnamon, mint, coriander, turmeric, fennel and cardamom. Kapha benefits from cloves, black pepper, mustard seeds, turmeric, soaked and sprouted fenugreek seeds.


An Ayurvedic menu is Khichadi, pulao lightly tempered with cumin, cloves and cinnamon in ghee, any seasonal cooked vegetable, dal, especially split moong dal, chutneys and buttermilk.


The two essential functions that depend on the time and manner of consumption of meals are eating and assimilation. Hurried or late meals result in imbalance, the root cause of lifestyle diseases, without sparing any thought about the demands of the body.


Recall the taste of cooking with your mother. Why do you enjoy the taste so vividly and remember it? It is because you have been completely absorbed in the experience of food. 


Bless, love food and enjoy it. By appreciating, savouring and being totally present, eat in harmony. Time to go back to our roots and follow the direction of Ayurveda.


Dharana Wellness Centre, a wellness retreat near Mumbai, focuses on holistic health which includes physical, mental and spiritual balance. One of the key ideologies of this eco wellness retreat lies in the holistic approach. As an Ayurvedic healing center in India, Dharana combines the use of an integrative, modern approach for holistic health with Modern diagnostics with traditional practices like Yoga and Ayurveda to ensure a sustainable wellness journey.