Cooking for your doshas: An afternoon of Ayurvedic cooking
By popular demand, a new Ayurveda Cooking Class has just be added for Sunday April 23rd 10am to 2 pm at ALNO Kitchens. To register as there is limited space contact: 305-389-2408 954- 554-6731 www.sampoornacollege.com
On a recent Sunday afternoon, I was invited to an interactive, informative Ayurvedic cooking class. I had had Ayurvedic spa treatments years ago. I remembered something about it, but was looking forward to combining a refresher course of my spa experience with an Ayurvedic cooking class. The backdrop of this lively, educational class was Alno Kitchen and Cabinets and was lead by Sabrina Dora Lopez, founder of Vesta Foods and Ann Harrison, a certified Ayurveda therapist.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of natural healing. Ayurveda recognizes that human beings are a part of nature and describes three fundamental energies, I.e. Doshas. The three Doshas are Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth). It is important to determine your dosha or your dominant dosha.
Sabrina and Ann passed out a questionnaire so that we could determine our individual dosha. These questions pertained to our appearance, appetite, physical activity, emotions, etc. It was sort of like taking a Myers-Briggs questionnaire, if you have ever done that. Why bother with finding out your dosha? I learned that when our dosha or energy is out of balance we obviously don't operate at our optimum capacity, either physically or emotionally.
What we prepared...
While sipping Chai tea (a spiced milk tea) we prepared Ghee, sweet lassi, Holiday Dal, Kitcheri, Pineapple-Mint Raita, and Asparagus with Healthy Hollandaise. Ghee is an important ingredient of Ayurvedic cuisine and is used in place of oil. Ghee is essentially simmered down butter. Sweet Lassi is a yogurt or kefir based drink. Ayurveda recommends that you have a warm drink with your meals to help aid digestion. Dal, is a kind of bean soup consisting of mung beans or lentils. In Ayurvedic cooking, soups are most often eaten as part of the main course. Kitcheri is a mixture of mung beans and basmati rice which are cleansing for our bodies. Raitas are and Indian relish made primarily of yogurt that are a tasty accompaniment to your meal. Many of these dishes are made with specific spices or curries depending on your dosha (remember that word!) and the need to balance it.
I love good, fresh food as we all do. With Ayurvedic cooking, I added another layer of education of how foods can affect my health and disposition. Ayurvedic cooking teaches us that our food can be tasty as well as medicinal.
2 tbl ghee or oil
1 cup basmati rice
Mung beans Vata type (1/4 cup), pitta type ( 1/2 cup), Kapha (1 cup)
1/2- 1 tsp cumin
1/4 - 1/2 tsp turmeric
Again different Doshas will add different optional spices:
Vata- pinch of asafoetida & black mustard seeds
Pitta- 1/4 tsp each of fennel and coriander
Kapha- pinch of asafoetida, black pepper, Ginger or cayenne
1. Pick over mung beans to remove stones and rinse with 2 changes of water. Cover with water and soak overnight.
2. Next morning, rinse rice with 2 changes of water and set aside.
3. Sauté cumin, turmeric and optional spices in ghee or oil.
4. Add Ming beans and rice and sauté for 2 minutes
5. Add 7 cups of boiling water and simmer for 1.5 - 2 hrs, or until the grains are completely done. Adjust water as needed.
To learn more about Ayurveda and cooking, visit www.vesta-foods.com for info on organic + natural personal chef and catering.
And follow Sabrina on Facebook for listings of upcoming events and classes.