An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living
"Eat, Taste, Heal," by Dr. Thomas Yarema, M.D., Chef Johnny Brannigan, and Daniel Rhoda, is more that just a cookbook. It is an introduction and educational guide to Ayurveda (which means "Life Knowledge" in Sanskrit.) In the ancient Vedic texts, a balanced life was described in terms of the mind, body, senses, and soul. Naturally it follows that food is a vital part of that balance.
The book's first half describes the concepts of Ayurveda: the different constitutions of each person, tools & techniques, life cycle balances, Yoga, and the medicinal use of food and spices for common ailments.
The second half is a modern gourmet cookbook with uncomplicated recipes. The recipe's effect on each constitution and whether it will aggravate or decrease the condition is clearly indicated. They also show how to modify each recipe slightly to suit each person's condition. I enjoyed the mouth watering pictures of such recipes as: Soft Tacos with Spicy Black Beans & Mango Salsa, Biriyani with Mint Coconut Sauce, Ratatouille, and Trumpet Dosa.
I was surprised to see fish and chicken recipes as I thought Ayurvedic recipes would be strictly vegetarian. There were only a few non-veg items such as: Seared Sesame Trout with Coconut Curry Sauce, Charmoula Bass, and Broiled Salmon with Almond Dill Sauce.There were desserts and beverages too!
For as long as I can remember, my mother and I have enjoyed adding fennel, cardamom, and ginger in the water used for our regular cup of black tea. Many times we drink the water with only the spices, and no black tea, to soothe a stomach or sore throat. I learned from this book that this tea is a good "Vata Tea" for my constitution.
I grew up with family remedies such as turmeric for an inflamed throat, mint tea for sore stomach, and cloves for a cough. The book listed these, among many others, as a good way to use herbs and spices as home remedies for common ailments.
The book's simple food-based recipes for home remedies used in treating acidity, arthritis, PMS, insomnia, and headaches were really interesting and easy to follow. I will be keeping a note regarding those tips in my recipe book for sure!
This modern book based on ancient knowledge is aimed at a western palate. I know my family will enjoy many of the recipes in this book, and I will definitely be trying them out!
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Do you have any home remedies to share? Click on comment and tell me!