Cooking by Sun & Season 

with Authentic Ayurveda

"Let us be together, let us eat together, let us be vital together, let us be radiating truth, radiating the light of life. Never shall we denounce anyone ~ Never entertain negativity."  

Prayer from the Upanishads

Coming Soon ~ Cooking Fundamentals & Recipes from Vaidya Padma Raju

“Don’t miss dal every day and don’t miss rice or wheat and different grains every day, and then milk & lassi—make these every day. Then you will be getting all the proteins. And vegetables also ~ sometimes you can miss the vegetables, but don’t miss the other things and ghee—don’t miss the ghee.”

Vaidya Krishna Raju 

Staple Foods from the Ayurvedic Kitchen

Homemade Ghee (clarified butter) ~

"Ghee brings healing intelligence to every system in the body." Vaidya J.R. Raju. 

Choose from the following two recipes, according to your ability and needs: 

Lassi or Ayurvedic Buttermilk  ~

Lassi from fresh "sweet" yogurt (made daily) is so good for improving digestion it's like medicine for the body. It also balances (reduces) excess pitta (heat) and clears the physical channels. 

Raju Family "Sweet" Yogurt Recipe (make fresh daily for best digestion) ~

Dry Roasted Cumin  ~

Roasted cumin provides great flavor to any dish and is a powerful digestive aid. Dry roast whole, fresh cumin seed in a pan till slightly brown and aromatic. Then grind to a powder in a spice mill or CLEAN coffee grinder. Keep this handy in your kitchen to add to fresh lassi, vegetable dishes, dal, etc. for flavor and improved digestion any time.  

Spice Mix Variations ~

For any savory dish, fry spices in ghee with a little rock salt and add them to dishes towards the end of cooking. Spices can make a real difference for health and digestion, not to mention better flavor. "Cooking with spices saves the good health!" Dr. J.R. Raju 

Dal Recipes ~

Split mung dal is the best nutritionally and for good digestion and easy (quick) cooking. Boil washed dal in water and a little ghee till the grains are soft and fully broken down. You can add fresh coriander leaf, and spices cooked in ghee at the end (spice options: mustard seed (good to "pop" them first, before adding the other spices), cumin seed, curry leaf, grated ginger, a little salt and pepper, and turmeric after the heat is turned off).   

Rice Basics ~

Rice is a very sattvic (pure) food that is easy to digest and brings good strength to the physiology. It's best to boil rice in an open pot so that the "heaviness" gets released and it is easier to digest. Rice cookers are okay because they have steam vents, but a more open lid is preferable. To boil rice, wash it well first (rinsing a few times) then boil it gently, with a little rock salt and ghee, in a generous pot of water till well cooked (should not be undercooked). It's important that you use plenty of water, so the rice grains are not overly crowded in the water....then it's very easy to drain off the water after cooking (in a sieve).  MORE COMING!  

Yogurt Rice ~

Good yogurt rice both calms the stomach if it is a little irritated, and strengthens digestion. Prepare well-cooked, plain rice (no seasoning yet) and while it is cooking, make the herb mix in an open pan (quantities according to your taste and the amount of rice...using more spices is better for digestion than less): 

Kanji ~ Boiled Rice Soup ~

Kanji is a well-cooked rice soup that is very easy to digest when a light meal is required (in the evening, or whenever agni/digestion is low). It is as nutritious as it is digestible and is very useful as a short-term diet to quickly clear undigested food from the system (a day of kanji or even one meal of kanji works wonders after any eating "mistakes"). For full kanji diet instructions see HOME REMEDY RECIPES, below

Soups ~ Sambar and Rasam ~

Sambar and Rasam are light, nutritious soups that are great for dinner or as part of the main, noon meal. 

Home Remedy Recipes

Kanji Diet  ~ 

"Good for anybody for any problem: increases appetite, improves taste, removes ama and toxins, and improves quality of digestion—good for so many things." Vaidya J.R. Raju  

"Do this for one to three days for most digestive problems [only kanji]. For hyperacidity, if you do it for seven days it will be very good. Whenever you are hungry, take the kanji only and then the memory will be completely gone of the hyperacidity. 

'Take kanji with lassi added to it, or start with plain kanji first and after a few days add lassi [made from fresh homemade yogurt, blended well, filtered & mixed with water so the lassi is smooth]. You will not feel faint because it has carbohydrates and will give the energy. Because Kanji is so light you will digest & absorb it well, and then the acids will be less. 

"After doing the kanji diet, go back to eating normal foods gradually and only eat three meals a day (snacks can be fruits or lassi). During the kanji days, good to take shodhana daily and/or use psyllium husk in the kanji [1-2 teaspoons per day, either all at once or in two doses, taken with a full glass of kanji}. It will prevent constipation during the kanji fast and reduces acidity [and indigestion] a LOT." 

Vaidya Krishna Raju  

Curd rice ~ Early morning breakfast for digestive & physical strength, also helpful for weight gain ~

Cumin Tea ~ To help digest & clear ama, blockages from undigested food ~

Ajwain tea ~ To bring up the agni, digestive power ~

Importance of "Samskara" Transformation of Food 

"If you eat the raw rice it will not digest well. Whereas if you cook the rice it will be digested very easily. That is the samskara—we are changing things. The main thing is to digest easily and properly." 

"If you are taking the raw vegetables, the digestion will not be proper. Because of the fiber it looks like you are getting proper digestion, but the nutrients will not be absorbed properly. There is the main agni in the stomach called Pachaka Agni. If you are not cooking outside, Pachaka Agni has to cook it inside [in the stomach] and this puts a big load on the body. Fruits are cooked by the nature, so fruits are already cooked ~ if they are well ripened you can take. Nuts also, you have to soak or roast because nuts are a little heavier."

Vaidya Krishna Raju 

SAMSKARA means transformation of food through cooking to make it more digestible ~ a main tenet of proper, healthy Ayurvedic diet ~

Raw vegetables may be very fresh and full of nutrients but they are not in an easily digestible, absorbable form. The samskara (transforming value) must be there for food to be used well by the body. 

"When foods are raw, certain alkaloids cannot be accepted by the body. Because of that we need cooking. Coriander, mint, basilicum, sage, and vegetables with strong pitta characteristics can be eaten raw in limited quantity. In the beginning [when lots of raw vegetables or "green juices" are eaten] the system starts to digest the ama (blockages) because you are not getting enough nourishment, so it is like fasting. The problems start when the ama is finished and then the body starts to eat the dhatus (tissues). So even though you are taking the food, it is not food for you. In the beginning, because there is the change of the diet you feel better, but in continuing the complications will come." Dr. J.R. Raju

“[Leafy] greens are not good for us raw—even cooked, good not to have too much.” Dr. J.R. Raju  The reason for this is that even when cooked they lead to an increase of erucic acid in the body which aggravates vata (especially in the joints) and is bad for the heart. 

 “Any time you change the diet the body has to work more to adjust, so you feel some increased energy [even if the change was to more raw food or too many [leafy] greens, which are not good for the body]....eventually the negative influence will show” Vaidya Krishna Raju

"Parsley is okay; kale can be okay (have to see the properties). They have to be taken in small quantity (5-15ml total) like the juice or chutney, and have to be warmed up. Adding a littler turmeric will help [for digestibility]." Vaidya Krishna Raju

“Raw vegetables increase the disease, which come mostly from wrong food. If we are eating the healthy, proper food it is increasing and reminding of the health; if you are eating opposite to what you need you are increasing the disease—balanced doshas are the health. Even very healthy food can increase (aggravate) the doshas if overeating. Green vegetables when uncooked are very bad.” 

Vaidya J.R. Raju.

Some cautions from Dr. Raju about juicing, fasting, raw foods & the importance of a steady, suitable diet ~

"The substances we take into our bodies come in three forms ~ medicine, food, and in-between (herbs and spices). The difference for the food is "Ras Pradhana" (having the six tastes). The difference with the herbs is potency and power—they are stronger. For the food you can take large quantity, but medicine has to be small quantity, and same with herbs (1-2 spoons or pinches). 

"Vegetables have to be taken in the cooked form—only after cooking. Certain things should only be used as vegetables and cooked. You are not living in the stone-age. Even in the stone-age they were not eating all the foods raw. Vegetables with pitta characteristics are fine juiced raw, but not the greens [green vegetables]. 

"Any change in the diet will make you feel better for a time. In long fasting, after the [excess] doshas are digested (the ama) then the agni starts to eat the muscles, bones, tissues, and you become weak and give the entrance to the diseases. But if you do for half a day or one day you can [safely] do the liquid diet, and that is better—never more than one day without the vaidya's supervision. 

"On the internet you can find different alkaloids which have the toxins (ama) and with cooking they are balanced and disappear. Vegetables are said [in the Vedic Texts] to be cooked. Raw spinach, for example, chew it and it tastes chalky because it is with erucic acid. With the heat this disappears. Erucic acid is very bad for the heart. Spinach is a good vegetable, but if you take it raw it is bad for the heart. Also, spinach you don't mix with tomato because it brings too much vata [unstable] influence.

"Nothing like this should be done for too long. You should always be on the same diet [not changing to extremes]. The food should be suitable "yogasatya"...means more suitable. This means, the main foods for people in their own countries. Rice is main for people in Andra Pradesh; tomato for Italians; wheat for USA. You can have that which is very yogasatya every day, but other things you have to change. Dal you can have every day; ghee, milk, rice are all okay every day. It comes from many generations of digesting something in a culture, then people become very used to digesting it." Vaidya J.R. Raju

Note that green vegetable juice is fine to take if it is cooked before or after juicing. Only take raw vegetable juice that is made from vegetables with strong pitta characteristics like carrot juice, beet juice, tomato juice. In general, however, juices are not absorbed as well as solid foods because juice goes through the system so quickly the body doesn't have time to absorb the nutrients thoroughly. So it's much better to "Eat your juice."  Vaidya J.R. Raju

BE VERY CAREFUL WITH FASTING: Fasting should not be done for more than one day at a time, and only in regular intervals (same day every week, or month, or year) so the body becomes accustomed to it (irregular fasting is not good ~ confuses the body-clock). 

Never fast on vegetable juice unless you cook it first (strains agni & the physiology to consume that much raw food, even without the pulp it is a strain to digest that much). Fresh fruit juices are best for fasting or pureed foods like pureed soups. It is also fine to fast on liquids during the day and then have a light dinner at night (like soup, kanji, or kitchari). 

The key thing to remember about a nutritious diet is that proper digestion and absorption are more important than super high nutrient value of the raw materials. It is the combined effects of the freshness of the food, proper preparation & cooking, and proper timing of meals so that agni is sufficient to fully digest what you eat. THESE are the key influential factors.

This page is still in development ~ more to come! 

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ~ "The World is My Family"

Maha Upanishads