4 Tasty Sauce Recipes to Flavor All Your Meals
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When it comes to cooking and eating, none of it would be nearly as enjoyable without a variety of flavors and tastes. Different tastes, textures, and colors are what give our meals the satisfying richness that nourishes our heart and soul, along with our physical body.
According to Ayurveda, it’s important to have all six tastes in every meal. The Sanskrit word for taste, rasa, also refers to the sap, the savoring, and the overall harmony of a meal, which directly nourishes rasa dhatu.
When the taste of a particular food enters our bodies it can have an immediate impact. We may experience this when eating something sweet, like chocolate, and we suddenly feel a sense of coziness or satisfaction. Or when we eat something pungent like jalapeno chutney and immediately feel our pulse increase and sweat accumulating on our brow.
Incorporating all six tastes in a meal ensures that all cravings are met and our bodies are not left longing for one taste or another. The correct ratio of those tastes is dependent on one’s dosha or constitutional needs, the season, or any current imbalances.
If you’re cooking for yourself and you know your dosha, Ayurveda offers simple guidelines regarding which tastes are most important for you to include in your diet. But when it comes to feeding a family or group of friends, things can feel a little bit trickier. It may leave you wondering, how does one prepare a meal for many different constitutions?
Generally, rice and most vegetables are rather sattvic, which means they are balancing for multiple constitutions. The beauty of sauces is that you can use the same base recipe and add a different sauce to alter the primary taste.
Zesty, sweet, fresh, light, creamy—there is a taste for every occasion and all the doshas. The following four sauces were created to hit most of our taste cravings and can be added to any simple meal. All you need is a basic serving of veggies and rice, or veggies and a tortilla. These sauces can also be drizzled on soups or salads for extra flavor and flare.
Vegan, gluten free
Makes 1½ cups
- 1 cup silken tofu or sunflower seeds (soaked and blended)
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime zest and 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ½ shallot, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley*
- ¼ cup basil*
- ¼ cup cilantro*
- 2 teaspoons natural mineral salt
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel powder
*Note: you can use dill, mint, fennel, dandelion greens, or any fresh herbs of your choice
In a sauce pan on medium-low heat, sweat the shallots with the salt, coriander, and fennel. Add the tofu, a sprinkle of salt, and the capers until warm. Add this mix to a blender and add the lemon zest and juice, green onion, and fresh herbs. Blend until smooth, adding a small amount of water if needed to help everything blend easily. Great goddess, it’s good!
Increases: sweet and sour tastes
Makes ⅔ cup
- 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons tahini or almond butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon natural mineral salt
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water (if needed)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Dry temper the cumin seed until toasted. Grind in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
Put everything in a sealing jar, then put on your favorite song and shake your sweet tahini. Drizzle and enjoy!
Balances: vata and kapha
Increases: sour and pungent tastes
Qualities: light, mobile, clear, warming, wet
Makes ⅓ cup
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime zest and ¼ cup juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup*
- 1 teaspoon natural mineral salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
*Note: You can tailor this for kapha by using honey instead of maple syrup, and adding a pinch of cayenne or ¼ teaspoon jalapeno.
Blend or shake all ingredients together in jar. Zippity zing!
Balances: vata, but is also tridoshic (balancing for all three doshas)
Increases: salty taste
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 cup soaked raw cashews (or combo of other nuts and seeds like macadamia, almond, sunflower)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon natural mineral salt
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon hingvastak
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
In a blender, add the soaked cashews, and about ¼ cup water*. Dry temper the brown mustard seeds until they pop, then add the hingvastak. After about 30 seconds, add to the cashews. Add the remaining spices and ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more water or lemon juice as needed to support the blending process.
*For warm sauce, simmer the cashews in ¼ water for 2–3 minutes.
This is best enjoyed with your friends alongside vegetables and warm chapati, or by yourself drizzled on a baked sweet potato.