Personal Tools for Living at the Highest Levels of You
Three Secrets of Ayurvedic Cooking
by jane arie baldwin
The six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Western diets have a lot of salt, sweet and some sour. But what of the other three tastes? Here in Texas pungent (hot peppers) is very popular but what of bitter and astringent? Bitter (leafy greens) and astringent (beans, potatoes, apples, broccoli) are often found on the fringes of our plates. To make these more interesting to our palates see number two below. Eating all six tastes at every meal alleviates food cravings because all six tastes have been satisfied helping to support weight loss harmonizes the body.
The chaunce – This is one of the greatest concepts in the world and the only reason I can figure we haven’t started doing this in American cooking is because very few people know about it yet. The concept of the chaunce is very similar to the concept of salad dressing. Both are added to food to give flavor and also to enhance the dish. Salad dressings are full of herbs; a chaunce is full of spices, very tasty and also very beneficial to your health. To make the chaunce heat ghee or oil and then add your spice combination – things like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon – whatever combinations the dish calls for. This mixture can be added to steamed vegetables, cooked rice, or a soup on the stove and tastes so much better than steamed vegetables we used to see on the commercials on the plate with the naked chicken breast.
The churna – A churna is a blend of spices and seasonings that help balance your specific body type (more on that later). For someone with poor digestion or with a body that tends to be cold all the time a churna consisting of things like ginger, fenugreek, and tumeric helps to warm and calm the body. Someone running hot with a little bit of heart burn would use a churna with cooling spices like fennel, cardamom and coriander to offset the heat and cool the body. For someone with a lethargic digestive system or overall malaise a stimulating churna with ginger, turmeric, and coriander may help. These can be sprinkled on food or added to soups or snacks.