A Holistic Approach to Well-Being
Anju Virmani
THE AYURVEDIC KITCHEN: ANCIENT WISDOM TO BALANCE BODY, MIND AND SOUL by Sonal Chowdhary and Dr Asghar Westland Books, 2021, 205 pp., 399.00
March 2023, volume 47, No 3

In The Ayurvedic Kitchen, Sonal Chowdhary and Dr Asghar discuss how Ayurveda approaches food, rather well-being. They emphasize the practical aspects by giving actual recipes. Our ancients looked at systems holistically and approached problems with combination solutions, not single molecules to target a single issue.

The book builds up these concepts: the need to recognize the body type of each individual—is it the prakriti vata, pitta, kapha, or a combination?—their metabolic rates and therefore dietary needs differ; the importance of eating only when hungry and stopping before being full; the need to eat mindfully and slowly; the preference for fresh food, for seasonal, local foods; the preference for combining foods which are complementary;  the desirability of including all six rasas: sweet, salt, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent, and making sure there is healthy fat in each meal. They explain which tastes are most appropriate for which prakriti type, and how to balance the diet in different seasons. The authors briefly talk of various aspects like fasting and sleep, water, various types of salt, sugar, fruits, and incompatible foods, finally winding up with cooking styles and vessels.

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