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Ayurveda meals for Pitta.

Ayurveda, the ancient traditional medicine of India’s Hindus, classifies everyone according to three Doshas (energies or humors). These three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha combine in different ways to make up an individual’s constitution. Whichever two are stronger are said to define a person’s constitution, with the more dominant dosha being the overriding one.

Based on whether someone’s strongest Dosha is Vata, Pitta, or Kapha, for health-preserving she is supposed to follow different guidelines for:

  • Diet
  • Sleeping time
  • Type of Panchakarma (purification treatment)
  • Season for Panchakarma (purification/rejevenation)

Thus, when teaching proper nutrition protocols, knowing the person’s constitution is essential to selecting the right foods. Some foods can strengthen one’s dominant constitution leading to an imbalance or excessive state, which then can lead to disease. Therefore, the key is to choose foods that balance your dominant dosha and take them in the right amounts.

Specifically in regard to Pitta, Pitta is defined by fire and is therefore associated with all the heat elements. A Pitta person is advised to consume milk and ghee (clarified butter).

Clarified butterSo this week I had Cooking for Pitta. In the suggested meal plans, dinner for Pitta in winter and in summer both included a fried dish.

Dinner for Pitta in Winter:

  1. Chapati or Puri
  2. Potato subji
  3. Egg white omelet
  4. Dinner tea

Dinner for Pitta in Summer:

  1. Fried rice or chapati
  2. Mixed vegetable soup
  3. Dinner tea

Number 1 on both meal plans suggests a fried dish: puri and fried rice (though, granted, chapati is not fried). Below is the recipe for puri (featured image). And I think we all know what fried rice is: boil the rice, fry up some oil (or ghee), add spices, then toss in the rice. The rice is fried in oil.

As a side note, in Chinese medicine anything fried is considered hot, and therefore would be ill-advised for someone with a fire constitution, especially in summer.

Puri

  • 4 C wheat flour
  • 2 C water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Coconut oil, enough to deep fry

Mix flour and salt. Slowly add the water, kneading the mixture until a stiff dough forms that doesn’t stick to the hands.

Wait 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 2-inch balls. Using a rolling pin roll out into flat pancake-like of about 4-5 inches.

Heat oil.

Deep fry each puri separately, until golden brown and puffed, turning over on each side.

Remove with slotted spoon and dry on a paper towel.

 

Puri is essentially Indian Fry Bread (like you get at the State Fair), but without all the sugar on top. Not just fried, deep fried.

This seemed too unbelievable to me, so I asked the doctor, how can you include fried foods in a recommended eating plan? She told me some foods are better cooked, coconut oil like coconut is cooling, and, Pitta shouldn’t eat raw foods but is advised to eat a lot of ghee.

Whether you find that answer satisfactory and can comfortably incorporate fried or even deep fried foods into your diet is up to you. But personally, its not a meal plan I’ll be following.

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