#8 – Ayurveda and Spices



Spices and Cooking the Ayurvedic Way

Spices are revered in Ayurveda for their concentrated form of intelligence.  Spices help with digestion, asssimilation, cleansing and healing.  Spices are always cooked in oil or ghee and added to the grain or vegetable.  Spices can be used in preparing teas or in the morning in stewed apples or oatmeal.

Spices to add to your cooking include:

Warming spices:

cardamom, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, black pepper, sea salt, ginger, cayenne, saffron, mustard seeds and asafetida

Cooling spices:

coriander, turmeric, fennel

Spices have a shelf-life of about 6 months. Becuase they are potent in medicinal and flavor properties, you want to use fresh and organic spices.  Store them in stainless steel containers so they have minimal exposure to light and air.

Mantras for Empowering Spices

The process of cooking is very much one of  imparting prana or energy into the food.  The three forms of the goddess; Durga, Kali and Saraswati represent the three elements of air, fire, and water, and Vata, Pitta, and Kapha respectively.  So this mantra begins with the bija or seed mantra for each.

OM A-eem Hreem Kleem Chamundayai swaha

or if you prefer

OM A-eem Hreem Kleem Chamundayai namaha

You can start with OM or not as you like.

Aparna Khanolkar is an Ayurvedic lifestyle and culinary coach in Santa Barbara and travels throughout the LA region to teach workshops. She offers Vedic cooking classes in Santa Barbara and is always available for phone consultations.  Contact her at 805-698-5630 or aparna@themistressofspice.com.
Aparna’s new cookbook, Happy Belly, Happy Soul is available here.