Ayurvedic Cooking

Cooking is an essential part of the foods. How we cook the food generally decides that how our body will respond to the taken food. There are certain scientific reasons and explanations behind all this and Ayurveda is the only medical science which talks about the cooking aspect of the food, reason is very clear – because Ayurveda is not merely a “boring” science with some principles and theories, Ayurveda is a way of living and managing the lifestyle in optimum state to stay healthy. Secondly, Ayurveda is the only medical stream, which concerns about foods too much.

Once you talk about the concepts of “foods as medicines” you should have information about – how to use the foods. Right way of using foods is primary and use of food as a medicine is always secondary. Generally patients or some inquisitors ask a question- Allopath was also founded on the same approach as Ayurveda and other natural sciences, approaches like- “Thy food thy medicine”, but how and why they diverted this much away from their basic approach? My first reaction is- Cooking! Because they never give an ear to Ayurveda that how Ayurveda recommend cooking the food and this is cooking which widens the approach of using the foods as medicines.

 For few of us today cooking means to boil the vegetables or to bake these? But these are only part of the cooking not the complete cooking. Cooking is different from Ayurvedic prospective and that is the reason why we say Ayurvedic Cooking.

Cooking is a part of eating the food, so rule is you should not eat uncooked food, surely there are some exceptions. What about Raw food eaters in name of Ayurveda and followers of nature? This is wrong and causative factor for many diseases. This is the point which tells the importance of cooking in Ayurveda.

Cooking is a process which is known as ‘Samskara” – this is a process of exchange of the properties and for enhancement of the properties of the foods. Because foods are just strangers for our body, so it is important to acclimatise the foods, before allowing these enter in the body. Without this, body will not be able to cop-up with the food ingested.

This enhancement and exchange of the properties is done by cooking. This is the reason of using the spices, cooking medium for the cooking of the food. We all know the spices we cook with the food are full of medicine values so when these cooked with the food, these “exchange”, “share” with the food stuff we cook. It is not advisable to have these spices in a tea spoon, twice or thrice daily.

Best is the example of the turmeric, curcuma longa- one of the most important ingredients of the Indian food systems. Turmeric is loaded with the properties like- antibacterial, healer, anti Inflammatory, blood purifier skin soother, good for eyes and even antic cancerous these you can have when you use the turmeric as a spice in food and use it for cooking. Some modern date people can say that it is okay to extract curcumin from the Turmeric and take it as a pill or who are somewhat natural till the date will ask to use turmeric capsules twice daily! These can be of some use but cannot be like, as Ayurveda has told this it to be useful. Main reason- from cooking prospective is that when this is used with the oil/ghee used in cooking its excessive dryness will be controlled otherwise the same dryness won’t let the same turmeric proper results. This is dryness of the turmeric why it is used either with a mix of milk and ghee or in the cooking!

So this is a simple reason why Ayurveda prefers cooking.

Secondly, cooking helps in easy digestion. Yes! Cooking and digestion are one and same processes because both stands for “Disintegration” of the heavier food chains into smaller ones. When we boil, fry (don’t read it as deep fry for happiness of your tongue) and process with the spices- this disintegrates the food and make it easy for our intestines to work on this food easily.