Ayurveda, the five thousand-year-old healing tradition from India linked to the development of yoga, is based on the concept that one's physical, mental, and spiritual well-being comes from a number of sources, including a healthful diet based on one's individual constitution. In this vegetarian cookbook, Amrita Sondhi, author of The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook (now in its fourth printing), provides new twists on traditional Ayurvedic recipes that are also inspired by the growing popularity of whole grains (quinoa, spelt, and barley) and raw foods.
The Ayurvedic diet is based on the concept of three "doshas": vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth). Each of us has a primary dosha that we can strive to maintain at a healthy balance, but which can cause problems if excessive. The book includes a questionnaire so readers can determine their own primary dosha and then look for recipes that will help them to maintain or reduce it for optimal health.
Recipes include modern interpretations of Indian cuisine (spicy paneer zucchini kabobs and mango and coconut kulfi), and Ayurvedic spins on vegetarian fare (sprouted barley rainbow pilaf and raw zucchini hummus). The book also includes yoga and breathing exercises that one can easily do at home or at work, full-color recipe photos, and information on sprouting/fermenting techniques and backyard gardening.