All Ayurvedic recipes are geared towards balancing the doshas. As previously discussed in our earlier article Ayurveda whata? each person has a body constitution or dosha which Ayurvedic practitioners will balance through various treatments.
Certain foods and diets can assist the dosha to balance out and therefore help to balance the health of mind and body. Ayurvedic advocates believe that by consistently choosing foods based on your body constitution, you can take control of your health and prevent or reduce illness.
Before we let you in on the ingredients you should be adding to your weekly shopping list, why don’t you take a quick questionnaire to see which dosha you need to feed!
Vata Dosha Shopping List
Those with a Vata dosha are advised away from raw foods, large amounts of dry foods and cold liquids. Instead, whole grains such as oats, Basmati rice, and wheat should be incorporated along with fruits such as apricots, avocado, bananas, berries and other sweet fresh fruits which have a balancing effect. Cooked fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, green beans, sweet potato, onion, and zucchini are also ideal balancing foods
Try also to include almonds, flax seeds, red lentils cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, coconut, rosemary into your dishes and use olive, sesame or nut oils to cook with and butter, whole milk and cream when required.
Pitta Dosha Shopping List
Many recipes for Pitta doshas involve cooking with ghee (a vegetarian fat) and include a variety of cooling vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, green beans, leafy greens and mushrooms. They also involve grains such as Basmati rice, barley, cooked oats and all beans (excluding black and red lentils). Nuts such as almonds, Brazil, cashews, flax, peanuts and sesame are all aggravating and should be avoided. Sweet fruits like avocado, rapes, figs and raisins bring balance to the fiery dosha as well as spices such as mint, coriander and dill. Adding a dash of maple syrup and moderate intake of soft cheese is recommended but honey and other dairy products such as yoghurt and hard cheese should be avoided.
Kapha Dosha Shopping List
Those with a Kapha dosha are known to be “heavier” and as such much emphasis is placed on fruits and vegetables to balance the dosha. Only the use of diluted milk and small amounts of olive oil is recommended along with vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, and spinach. Sweet, juicy vegetables are said to be aggravating. A Kapha diet also includes grains such as buckwheat, corn, Basmati rice and Granola but cooked oats and wheat ought to be excluded along side the likes of walnuts, tofu, kidney beans and coconut. Sweet fruits such as bananas and dates are aggravating, as are sour fruits such as lemons, sour oranges and grapefruit so go for neutral fruits such as pears, cranberries and pomegranates.
Whichever dosha you are why not try cooking Kicharee (India’s version of chicken soup for the soul) – with lentils, Basmati rice (easily digestible and nourishing) and ghee, this powerful combination has a “tri-dosha” balancing effect and is suitable for anyone and everyone. You can tweak it for your specific dosha by adding some of your key ingredients or spices to the following recipe.
1/4 cup split mung dahl (yellow lentils)
1/2 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 to 6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick kombu (a type of dried seaweed) (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
3 cups diced fresh vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, and summer squash (pick according to your dosha)
Wash the beans and rice until the water runs clear. Warm the ghee in a medium saucepan; add the cumin, bay leaves, coriander, and oregano. Brown slightly until their aroma is released. Stir in turmeric, rice, and dahl. Add water, salt, and ginger. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for about 1 hour, or until the beans and rice are soft. Add vegetables and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until tender. Top off with fresh coriander leaves.
Give this recipe a whirl or share some of your favorite recipes below!