We’ve all heard the, “you are what you eat”, but we are not only the result of what we eat but also when, how, and why we eat it.
Ayurveda is a balanced approach that suggests we eat mindfully and with gratitude. The age-old Indian tradition is based on the belief that our food should be fresh, digestible, and prepared with love and care.
According to Ayurvedic doctor, Manaan Gandhi, we should eat a variety of foods and spices that are aromatic, visually appealing, and flavourful. Different ingredients should be added to our daily diets depending upon our doshas. As per Ayurveda, there are three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Dr. Gandhi suggests that the Vatta body type, should include hing in their daily diet, Pitta should ensure that their diet is packed with giloy and Kapha dosha should include dried ginger powder in their daily diet.
The Ayurvedic belief suggests that we have all six tastes in our daily food: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent in order to feel satisfied and digest our food properly.
Based on Ayurvedic principles, we have scoured 5 easy-to-make Ayurvedic food recipes that you can try making at home.
Quinoa salad with tangy tahini sauce
This filling and easy-to-digest salad makes for a great picnic meal, outdoor cookout, or potluck. You can even dress it with some fresh greens like lettuce or steamed kale.
• 1 cup dried chickpeas
• 1 pinch hing
• 1 cup quinoa (a mixture of white and red, if available, for added pizzazz)
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1/2 tsp mineral salt
• 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
• 1/3 cup raisins (optional*), rehydrated in water
• 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped, rehydrated in water (substitution: 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise)
• 2 large handfuls fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
• 2 large handfuls fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/3-1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional*)
• Mineral salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Wash the chickpeas in several changes cold water. Cover with at least 4 inches fresh water and soak overnight.
2. In a separate bowl, wash the quinoa in several changes of cold water, massaging the grain in the process. This removes the sticky coating that can otherwise create digestive distress. For enhanced digestibility, soak the quinoa overnight in a large bowl covered with fresh water.
3. Begin the salad by preparing the chickpeas. Drain the soaking water then cook in a 2-quart pot covered with 4 inches of water along with the pinch of hing. Scrape off any foam that rises to the top during the cooking process. Plan on approximately 45 minutes for the cooking to be done. When chickpeas are soft, drain and rinse. Set aside.
4. While the chickpeas are cooking, drain the quinoa and cook in 2-quart pot with 1 ½ cups water and ½ tsp. salt. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
5. While the chickpeas and quinoa are cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Soak the raisins and sun-dried tomatoes separately in twice their amount of warm water. Chop the fresh herbs.
6. Drain the optional raisins and sun-dried tomatoes. Add them, along with the chick-peas, parsley, mint, cinnamon, and optional crumbled feta cheese to the quinoa. Dress with the tahini sauce and gently toss until the sauce coats all the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning with salt and/or pepper.
Kitchari means mixture, usually of two grains. This kitchari recipe is particularly nourishing and easy to digest.
• 1/2 cup basmati rice
• 1 cup mung dal (split yellow)
• 6 cups (approx.) water
• 1/2 to 1-inch ginger root, chopped or grated
• A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
• 2 tsp. ghee
• 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
• 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
• 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
• 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
• 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
• 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
• Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 1/2 cups assorted vegetables (optional)
1. Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.
2. While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
3. In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the mineral salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
Turmeric smoothie with ginger
Ancient Ayurveda used turmeric for wound healing and as an anti-inflammatory. Here’s a healthy turmeric smoothie recipe with ginger, for days when you’re feeling under the weather or need a pick-me-up.
• 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 tsp turmeric
• A pinch of black pepper
• 1/2 tsp grated ginger
• 1 tsp coconut oil
• 2 tsp honey
1. Mix all the ingredients and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. Variations – you can include your choice of vegetables like carrots, beets, spinach or fruits along with this recipe.
Ayurveda beet soup
Here's a delicious soup recipe that your family will enjoy. Ayurveda emphasises the importance of eating as many fresh, home-cooked meals as possible in order to promote good health and longevity. Here’s one quick meal that will set you on the right track.
Tarvene is a chocolate and chai fiend who is constantly on the hunt for cute cafes. You can catch her baking some Biscoff cheesecakes or binge-watching Netflix shows. She likes filling up her free time painting, listening to music or going on long drives.