Ayurvedic cooking is a diet that is planned based on the outcome from the food when digested. The positive and nurturing outcome or energy, which helps in boosting the endocrine, nervous, psychological and immune system of an individual, is termed as Ojas. The aim of Ayurvedic cooking is Ojas. On the other hand, consumption of foods that lead to increase of body toxins or Ama is considered as harmful to the body, as they are the root cause of several diseases, and hence such foods are avoided.
Ayurvedic cooking is done taking into consideration the following factors.
- Body Constitution – Ayurvedic cooking is done based on each individuals body constitution and by determining whether his body constitution belongs to the Vata or Pitta or Kapha category. Hence the kind of cooking differs based on the needs. For instance, Vata type individuals require warm, heavy and oily foods, while Pitta type benefit from cool foods and Kapha types require foods that are light and dry.
- Six Tastes – Ayurvedic cooking is based on the principle that taste makes an impact on the body systems, as each taste has a specific impact on the body. Hence Ayurvedic cooking involves preparing a balanced meal that includes all six tastes, namely, Sour, Salty, Sweet, Astringent, Pungent and Bitter.
- Weather conditions – Ayurvedic way of cooking takes into consideration the weather conditions and change of seasons. For instance, Pitta tends to increase during summer, and hence to nullify pitta imbalances, salads, fruits and cool, light foods are recommended. Winter is considered as the Vata season making individuals with vata constitution more vulnerable to Arthritis, Rheumatism and Cold and hence warm, oily and hearty meals such as meat, whole grains and beans are recommended. Spring is likely to bring about an imbalance of Kapha dosha and hence Ayurveda recommends including greens, millet and honey as a part of regular diet.
- Only organic fresh vegetables are used – Ayurveda believes in using only fresh, tender and crisp vegetables that are organically grown in addition to nuts, whole grains, and good spices, as they impart good health and youthfulness. Special attention is paid to grains and greens, as they lock in suns energy.
Ayurvedic foods are thus both nutritious and appetizing when served in an inspiring atmosphere. Ayurvedic way of cooking involves a harmonious combination of wholesome fresh ingredients which could feast all the senses of an individual with an array of colors, senses, texture, aromas and flavours that brings about a perfect balance of body, mind, senses and soul of an individual. Ayurvedic cooking is thus an art put together with science at the same time.