Ayurveda classifies foods according to their tastes, and distinguishes six different tastes and three taste nuances. These are:
Rasa: The taste of food as it is perceived by the taste buds. These are the six tastes:
1. Sweet. Nourishing and building foods like grains, dairy, dates, nuts and seeds, meats and fish.
2. Sour. Ferments like alcohol, vinegar, soy sauce, kombucha, yogurt, and sour fruits.
3. Salty. Salt and seaweeds.
4. Pungent. Hot spices, like peppers and ginger.
5. Bitter. A medicinal taste. Green leafy vegetables.
6. Astringent. Constricts tissue. Pomegranates, cranberries, beans, tea (black, green, white).
Virya: The energy of a food. Is it heating or cooling?
Vipak: The post-digestive effect of a food. It is sweet, sour or pungent?
Ayurveda says that we should have all six tastes in our diet on a daily basis. Some tastes are better for Vata, some for Pitta, some for Kapha. To learn which tastes are best for which dosha, look at the pages with recipes for the different seasons.
Rejuvenating Almond Milk
• 10 raw almonds
• 2 cups water
• 20 dark raisins
• 1 tsp ghee
• 1/3 tsp saffron
• 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
• pinch of black pepper
Soak almonds in 1 cup of water overnight. In the morning, drain the almond water and rub the skins off the almonds.
Soak raisins in 1 cup of boiled water overnight.
In a blender, combine the raisins and their soaking water. the peeled almonds, ghee, saffron, cardamom, black pepper. Blend until smooth.
Kitcheree enough for 4 people
Optional spices according to doshas: for Vata, add ginger; for Pitta, add coriander and fennel; for Kapha, add black pepper, ginger and cayenne.
In a glass or cast iron pot, heat the ghee at medium fire.
Add the spices and the garlic chopped into small pieces.
Let it all turn brown-gold, and then add previously boiled water.
CAUTION: Keep your face away from the pot, as it might splash and burn you.
Put the lid on immediately. Wait 1 minute and add all the above ingredient. Let them cook together until well done, at low fire. The rice and beans should be really soft and the consistency should be watery.
Add water if necessary.
Half way through you can add chopped vegetables such as:
Carrots, beets, cauliflower, squashes, zucchini, spinach, kale, burdock, collards, dandelion greens or broccoli. Choose different veggies each day.
Ghee keeps indefinitely without refrigeration.
It is ideal for cooking as it has a high smoking point.
It is very nourishing to the body’s tissues, especially the joints.
It is easy on the digestive system and won’t stick to the tissues.
It also serves as a base for herbal ointments to treat burns, skin rashes, and other such conditions.
Ghee is good for all doshas and specifically for pitta.
For more reading about ghee:
“A Guide to the Royal Oil, Ghee” by Kathryn S. Feldenkrais or visit: