It is very difficult to write about indian cookery without bumping into Ayurvedic ideas and practices, some may argue it is pure hocus pocus others that it is the word, but all would agree that it is the spirit and the spiritual in all that tastes and does so much good behind the cooking.
I do not suggest that you should adhere to Ayurvedic principles merely that you should bear them in mind as Ayurveda is an ancient \indian medical system dating back to 3000 BC
At its core is the ideal is that we all have a body type or “dosha” of which there are three, they govern our Physical and mental wellbeing
the tree types are are Vata, Pitta or kapha, and are formed from the five elements that make up our universe, and they all tend to be present in all of us to a greater or lesser extent, with some being a little more dominant than others.
Vata governs the three primary doshas and consist of air and space, fire and water govern pitta, while water and earth make up Kapha. The elements of each Dosha along with the specific combination of each within us determines our physical, mental and emotional state.
if you wish to explore this further and find out what your dosha is click here!
I myself have an even balance between Vata & pitta with a slightly weaker Kapha.
It is suggested that ill-health is a direct result of these forces being out of balance, with taste being a core way to stimulate the nervous system and balance the doshas the six tastes that are recognised by Ayurveda are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent ;with pungent salty and sour producing a heating effect on the body while sweet bitter and astringent tastes have the opposite effect and cool the system . It is also wise to remember that how we eat is also very important with lunch being the main meal of the day, you should always eat slowly and calmly in order to aid ones digestion. Although meat is not a no-no in Ayurveda it should always be remembered that veg is better for you…. That said at this point things start to get really complicated and if you do feel that you have a need to find out more than there is a plethora of stuff on the internet to assist so go fill ya boots, buts this cook is finished with the technicalities at this point as the food is the important part for myself whilst giving a respectful nod in the direction of the faith and the ideals!
Finally though Ayurvedic is on the high street big style offering treatments, lotions and potions, under the complimentary medicine banner and like most complimentary medicine they are not without merit, although always be as certain as you can be that the person that you are dealing with at least carries a modicum of qualification before allowing them loose on you or your body, as you should also be aware that there are some very potent practices and substances that are in use and they are not for the uneducated and as such anyone can set up a practice if they so choose there is no legislation to protect you the consumer so check your practitioner out first!