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Ayurvedic Nutrition

This is second edition of a book I wrote in 1999, Perfect Balance, look below for the preface to this edition and see what is new and changed.

This is the most accessible book on the ancient Indian system of Ayurvedic nutrition and healing from an internationally acclaimed practitioner.


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Ayurvedic diet : an individual approach

Ayurveda has always had an individualized approach to nutrition. Fine out how you structure your diet to fit your constitution. One of the fundamental ideas in Ayurveda is that your body is intelligent and seeks health if you support it through good habits. Additionally, health is defined as a dynamic state – not just the absence of disease as in modern medicine. The idea in Ayurvedic nutrition is that health can be increased not just maintained through right lifestyle and diet. Thus, an Ayurvedic diet is an individualized approach that brings a dynamic state of being.


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Home page > Book Ayurvedic nutrition > How to Prepare Rice

How to Prepare Rice

Rice is basically tridoshic and balancing for all constitutions although in India white rice is considered to have a slight drying quality and can increase vata. White rice may be too light or drying for vata types unless they consume it with oil, ghee or sauce of some kind. Brown rice is more heated than white rice and requires longer cooking to neutralize it; hence it is better for vata types. The longer it is cooked the more it is neutral, thus less heating. In general, the consumption of brown rice is recommended during the colder months and white rice during the summer months. The round rice, or short grained, is slightly sweeter than the long-grain rice; long grain rice tends to be more fragrant.

Preparation of Rice It is advisable to wash the rice before you cook it. Put the quantity of rice necessary in your pot; add water and wash, stirring by hand. Drain the water and repeat several times until the water is clear.

White rice (basmati, thai or other) 1 cup rice 1 cup ½ of water

Pour washed and drained rice in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the water. Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce heat to a minimum. Covered and cook with low heat for about 10 minutes or until total evaporation of water has occured.

Brown Rice 1 cup rice 2 cups of water

Pour rice into a saucepan to preferably thick bottom. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce heat to a minimum. Cover. Let Cook on very soft and covered for about 45 minutes or until total evaporation of the water.

Note: Brown basmati cooks faster, about 30 minutes.

Semi-Brown rice Proceed in the same way as for white rice but add 5 minutes of cooking.

Wild rice Proceed as for Brown rice.

Rice Machine or Rice cooker Nowadays with our busy lives the use of a rice machine can be very handy to cook white rice and semi-complete and some grains like quinoa, millet, rice etc. The same proportions of rice and water are shown in the above recipes rice is added. For cereals, add 2 cups of water for at least 1 cup of cereal. The machine turns off by itself and keeps the rice warm once the water evaporated. However, I do not recommend it for cooking brown rice or cereals like barley or wheat, for example, because these grains require a longer and slower cooking. With the rice cooker, you can focus solely on preparing vegetables.

Kichari Balance the three doshas. Helps detoxify and is very easy to digest.

1 cup white basmati rice ½ cup mung dal (split mung beans without skin) 6 cups hot water 1 tsp of ghi ¼ tsp cumin seeds ¼ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp coriander ground ½ tsp ground turmeric 1 pinch of asafoetida (optional) 2 cm ginger fresh, peeled and finely chopped or grated 1 pinch of salt Fresh coriander chopped or lime

Wash the rice and mung beans together several times. Add the ghee to a saucepan and heat with medium heat. Sauté the cumin seeds in the ghee until they burst or pop. Add the remaining spices and ginger while stirring. Immediately, add the rice and mung beans while stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add the water and salt after removing from the heat. Cover and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat and cook 30 minutes at a low heat until soft; adding water if needed. Kichari is not a dry preparation, it is humid and moist.

Kichari (faster variant) Use the same ingredients, but instead cooking the spices in ghee, put all ingredients directly to in cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Serve with a little bit of ghee.

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Preparation of Rice

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