In Ayurveda, everyone is classified according to their pakruti (dominant constitutionVata, Pitta, Kapha) and should adjust their lifestyle according.  Ayurveda also recommends adjusting according to season and even time of day.

And given that its the peak of summer, besides the outdoor temperature, we probably can feel a difference in our hunger, our taste preferences, and even probably in our digestive system now, as compared to the middle of winter. So maybe Ayurveda does have something right with its seasonal recommendations.

The ayurvedic type Pitta being known as the heat or fire dosha, and of course, summer being the hottest season, Pitta-type people need cold and cooling food and drinks to balance (calm down) their high Pitta dosha. The recommendation for Pitta is to reduce spices and choose cold foods.  Other simple food recommendations for Pitta persons in summer are:

  • Mint: sweet, cold, becomes pungent in digestion (vipaka)
  • Mung dal (green lentils): sweet, astringent, cold, becomes sweet
  • Green bean: sweet, astringent, cold, becomes pungent
  • Onion (cooked): pungent, sweet, hot, becomes sweet.
  • Green chili: pungent, hot, becomes pungent

(I have to say, I’m not sure I agree with having green chili on that list.  But perhaps because it makes the body sweat, it cools the body by inducing the mechanism to self-regulate body temperature.)

1-Day Meal Plan for Pitta in Summer

Breakfast

Wheat Dosha

Ingredients

  • 2 C    Wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 C Water
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee

Prepare

Mix the wheat flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and being to add the water, little by little, stirring vigorously until it becomes a medium thick paste.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour a ladelful of batter in the center and spread evenly like a pancake. When the batter has cooked, dab with ghee and flip it over. Cook until lightly golden.

Mint Chai

  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3      pinches ginger powder
  • 3      pinches ground cardamon
  • 1      stick cinnamon
  • 2      pinches nutmeg powder
  • 1     tsp coriander seeds
  • 1     tsp black tea
  • 1     tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 C fresh mint leaves
  • 3     cloves
  • 3    C water
  • 1    C milk

Preparation

Boil the water with the spices for 2 minutes. Add the tea, milk, and mint leaves.  Simmer for a few minutes. Strain and serve.

Lunch

Mung Dal Kitchari

Ingredients

  • 1 C Yellow mung dal
  • 1 C Basmati rice
  • 1.5″ piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3 Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 C water

Preparation

Wash the mung dal and rice twice. Soak the mung dal for a few hours; then drain.

Put the ginger, coconut, cilantro, and 1/2 cup water into a blender and blend until liquefied. Heat the ghee in a saucepan and add blended items, turmeric, and salt. Stir well.

Mix the rice, mung dal and add 6 cups of water to the mixture and boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes until the dal and rice are tender.

Green Bean Subji

  • 4    C Green beans, chopped
  • 2    Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-in piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1    Tbsp coconut, shredded
  • 2    Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 2    Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1     pinch hing
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preparation

Snap off the ends of the beans and slice into very small pieces, then wash them twice.

Blend the garlic, ginger, coconut, cilantro, and water in a blender until well mixed.

Heat the ghee in medium saucepan. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and hing. When the seeds pop, add the turmeric, masala powder, and chopped onions and stir until the onion becomes slightly brown.

Add the blended mixture, salt and green beans to it. Cover and simmer on low heat until just tender.

Tea

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1      C water

Preparation

Boil the water and add the spices. Turn off heat, cover and leave for 5 minutes.

Mint Chutney

IngredientsClarified butter

  • 3  C fresh mint leaves
  • 1  C water
  • 1  C unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 green chili, chopped
  • 1-in piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1  Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1   pinch HIng
  • 4   curry leaves
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preparation

Wash the mint leaves and discard long stems.

Put the mint, water, coconut, chili, and ginger into a blender and blend on medium until mixed thoroughly.

Heat a saucepan on medium and add the ghee, cumin, seeds, mustard seeds, hing, and curry leaves–cook until the seeds pop.

Cool and add to the mint paste. Add the salt and squeeze the lime.

Dinner

Fried Rice

  • 1      C Basmati rice
  • 2.5 C Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3     Tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1      pinch Hing
  • 1      pinch Turmeric
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 Green chili, chopped
  • 7    Curry leaves
  • 2     Tbsp Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

Wash the rice twice and drain.

Heat a pot on medium; add rice, water, and salt; partially cover and boil gently for 5 minutes. When the water level reaches the same as the rice, turn down the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium. Add ghee, cumin, and mustard seeds.  Stir until the seeds pop. Add the rest of the spices and onion; stir until the onion becomes slightly brown. Add the cooked rice, stir quickly, and serve.

Mixed Vegetable Soup

  • 4   C Mixed vegetables (carrots, green beans, etc)
  • 8   C Water
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 6   Peppercorns
  • 1-in piece Cinnamon stick
  • 10 Cloves
  • 10 Cardamon pods
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Preparation

Wash and cut the veggies into bite-sized pieces. Put the veggies and water into a large soup pot. Cover and cook on medium heat until just tender. Set aside in a bowl.

Meanwhile, grind into a fine powder the cumin seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods, and cloves with a mortar and pestle, or use a blender.

Heat a soup pot on medium heat; add the ghee, then the ground spices. Saute a moment, being careful not to burn them. Add the veggies and 4 cups broth. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and serve.

Tea

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch cardamon
  • 1     C water

Preparation

Boil the water and add the spices. Turn off heat, cover and leave for few minutes. Enjoy.

 

Personally, I don’t really agree with the Ayurveda dietary regimen (and certainly don’t follow it myself).  But if you do, I hope these recipes are helpful.  And if you don’t, perhaps you find fascinating the different dietary recommendations (just like I do).  For example, my first TCM (acupuncture) doctor would not allow me to eat fried rice because of all the oil it is cooked in. And with all the gluten intolerance, I’d never recommend someone to eat a wheat dosha.

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