Sukaham Ayu – Cooking at Home With Ayurvedic Insights, is the second book authored by Jigyasa Giri and Prathiba Jain. As you may recollect, we prepared the Gujarati Dal from this book for Indian Cooking Challenge [ICC] and I was lucky enough to win this very book in the ICC contest!
This book was awarded the 2nd place in the Best Heath and Nutrition Cookbook in the World category in the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards 2009!
With such a fame, I was eager to go through this book and once I received it I was hooked on to it.Read on to see why.
This is one of those books that give you a great detail of knowledge about the food you cook apart from making the healthy food appealing ,appetizing and very effortless to prepare as a part of the everyday meal..And there are not many books that cater to these conditions.This is a gem!
Sukham Ayu is not just for recipes. Of course,there are recipes but the thing I loved in this book is how the authors have explained the Ayurveda dietetic principles in such simple terms that even a layman is bound to understand every sentence.
The recipes in this book have been researched at KARE -Kerala Ayurvedic Research and Rejuvination Establishment and the references for this book is from the very ancient and important Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Astanga Hridaya , Bhavaprakasha, Kshema Kutuhalam etc.
The book starts with the authors note, table of content.Then comes a very interesting chapter called ‘Who Am I?” which talks about each body type namely – Vata, Pitta, Kapha. A page is dedicated to each of these Doshas. Here you can read about things like how to balance the doshas, what are the situations that aggravate a dosha, the foods that are acceptable / avoided for a particular dosha, what must to be done to treat the condition.
Then comes a couple of pages with a self test chart to find out which body type you belong to so that you can select / avoid ingredients based on your dosha.
The recipe section has 8 sub divisions with more than 60 recipes
- Sweet platter – 8 recipes
- Ladle of Soopa – 6 recipes
- Vegetable Medley – 11 recipes
- Pulses of health – 7 recipes
- Indian Bread Basket – 6 recipes
- Rice Bowl – 7 recipes
- Snack Time – 7 recipes
- Chutneys, Salads and Beverages – 5 chutneys , a salad spread page, juices page, 3 beverage recipes.
Each chapter has a home style basic recipe of the group that is simple yet nourishing.
The colorful photos for each recipe is really very tempting with a neat presentation. There are pages which have a delicious display of all the dishes present in the book that really motivates and tempts you to try out the recipes!
In each recipe page there is a small section that enlightens us about the ingredient, method of preparation and how it is suited for a specific dosha or if it can be taken by people of any dosha type etc.
Before the start of the recipes in each section, there is a page dedicated to Ayurvedic insights like – Self and elements, The Essence of Food, Food and the seasons, Food compatibility, Food and the Mind, Eat with Ayurvedic insights.There are a few pages dedicated for the basic recipes where you can find the basic masalas, ghee, yogurt, pickle and post meal digestive recipes.
After the recipe section, there is a section with a menu plan and a food guide follows which is a chart where you can choose foods that must be taken regularly / occasionally/ sparingly based on your body constitution. So it is really easy to plan a menu with these two guides.
The book closes with a colorful glossary with the names of the ingredients used in the book with the English, Hindi and Sanskrit names.
So in this book we have a step by step procedure to prepare a dish, we get to know its ayurvedic properties, learn about the Ayurvedic principles and we are totally bowled over by the clicks. What more can we ask!!
Here are some of the dishes I love from this book.[I have tried most of these listed here and the rest are sure to be prepared soon]. These recipes are quite different from the usual dishes we prepare with the regular ingredients.
- Khoya Poli which is a yummy variation to the regular Puran poli,stuffed here with khoya[Mawa].
- Milky vegetable soup that has vegetables cooked in milk.Very healthy and defiantely tasty.
- Sprouts with Yam– I have never even though of combining these two ingredients!Bean sprouts and fenugreek sprots are used here to make it a wholesome meal when paired with Rotla / roti.
- My favorite bittergourd in the Bittergourd dal recipe
- Delicious Red pumpkin Poori fried in cow’s ghee is something you can indulge once in a while.
- Aromatic Briyani which uses a whole array of spices.The click itself makes me drool.
- Coriander Wadi with a cup of tea.
- I have used spinach in a number of ways but never in a chutney. Loved the Spinach chutney from this book.I will be posting this recipe tomorrow.
- I enjoyed sipping the spiced buttermilk this summer. Very refreshing and soothing.
With the world going in for fast foods and ready to eat meals, and people finding less time to cook a proper meal,this books shows us the easy and effortless way to incorporate a healthy lifestyle and prepare nutritious recipes at home.Aptly named Sukham Ayu meaning “Happy Longevity”, this book will have you reaching out for these delicious recipes often.So if you are looking for a good book to cook the right meal for your family, this is the best one.
Sukham Ayu is a book a prized possession in my library not only because I won it in a contest,but also because of the treasure trove of information and those simple and healthy recipes.I have tried out quite a few recipes from this book and I am really impressed with the outcome. Usually I tend to alter the ingredients/ recipe to suit my taste but here I have followed every step religiously and the result is excellent..
Are eager to get your hands on this book? Order through the authors’ site here and enter into the healthy world of Ayurvedic cooking….
Disclaimer : Please note that I have not been paid to write this review. I am really impressed with the contents and that prompted me to write this post.