Ayurvedic Cooking Ingredients & Organic Spices
Ayurvedic cooking offers a healthy approach to eating that deeply nourishes and supports the vitality of the body. And if you’re looking for a guide to a clean diet, or in Ayurvedic terms, a sattvic diet, Ayurveda offers a unique approach to cooking with healthy ingredients and Ayurvedic spices.
What Is Ayurvedic Cooking?
Have you ever considered the “energetics” or the qualities of your food? For example, a cucumber is cold, rough, maybe a little bitter, and is typically eaten raw, whereas a sweet potato can only be eaten after it’s been cooked, and is usually warm, heavy, and dense, especially when adding a little butter or ghee. It leaves us feeling satisfied and satiated. After eating a cucumber, we might still be hungry and crave something more substantial.
This is one way we look at Ayurvedic nutrition—by the qualities of our food and how they influence the doshas. There are also specific meals that are considered Ayurvedic, thanks to their nourishing benefits and long tradition of use in Ayurveda’s history.
Kitchari is a great example. This simple and easy-to-digest meal of basmati rice, mung dal, and spices is an Ayurvedic go-to, especially during an Ayurvedic cleanse or when focusing on healthy digestion.
While many of these traditional Ayurvedic meals have their origins in Indian cooking techniques, Ayurvedic principles apply to all types of cuisine. All food can be used in Ayurveda—cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients, healthy spices, and a little knowledge will lead to beautiful Ayurvedic meals coming from your kitchen in no time.
When conjuring an image of an Ayurvedic kitchen, the first thing that may come to mind is a cupboard full of Ayurvedic spices. What are Ayurvedic spices exactly? Pretty much any flavorful plant that is used for cooking to give our cuisine that extra something special.
Ayurvedically speaking, they also add the qualities we may need to bring our bodies and minds back into balance. They may be warming herbs like cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger or cooling like fennel, coriander, and cumin. They may be pungent spice blends like trikatu or bitter herbs like turmeric.
Our bodies need all of these tastes and different qualities; however, depending on our special constitution, we may need more of one over another. Spices are a fun and easy way to create healthy meals, dinner, and side dishes according to our body’s unique needs.
Is Ayurvedic Cooking Vegetarian?
Whether vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, any diet can be adapted to follow Ayurvedic principles. The most important thing to keep in mind when incorporating Ayurvedic cooking into your life is that there’s no right and wrong—only what’s right for you and your body.
Again, it comes back to the different qualities inherent in foods and spices, and which of those qualities will bring you closer to a state of healthy balance. This will always depend on you and your Ayurvedic dosha.
For example, vata dosha is balanced by the tastes of sour, sweet, and salty, whereas the other three tastes—pungent, bitter, and astringent—exacerbates or elevates vata dosha. Some spices that are good for vata dosha are: allspice, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, garlic, and ginger. For a more complete list, look at our Vata-Pacifying Foods page.
Pitta dosha is balanced by sweet, bitter, and astringent. Some balancing herbs for pitta dosha include: fresh basil, coriander, cumin, fennel, mint, neem, parsley, and peppermint. A complete list can be found on the Pitta-Pacifying Foods page.
Kapha dosha is balanced by pungent, bitter, and astringent. Among some of the best spices for kapha are: anise, black pepper, cayenne, cloves, fenugreek, mustard seeds, nutmeg, and oregano, and a complete list is on our Kapha-Pacifying Foods page.
For over 20 years Banyan has been committed to offering the finest quality Ayurvedic herbs and supplements. With a high standard to excellence and living our values, we can assure you that all our herbs must pass all third-party testing for microbials and heavy metals before receiving a stamp of organic certification. We offer a 90-Day Return policy. If, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with your purchase, within 90 days we will gladly refund you for the price of the item. We apologize in advance that we are not able to refund shipping costs. However, free shipping is offered on orders of $60 or more.