Common food and its properties in India
The rice boiled with ghee (clarified butter) is heavy for digestion, liked by everyone (hridya), gives satiety, strength and is an aphrodisiac.
Patola soup (Squash or Ribbed Loofah soup)
The soup prepared from leaves of Patola(Luffa Acutangula) and mixed with small amount of ghee and cumin seeds is appetizer and cleansing the channels of transportation (strotas). It is beneficial for fever (jwara) and other pitta disorders.
Khichadi (Cuisine made of rice and lentil mung)
It is a popular recipe. According to individual taste, it can be mixed with small amount of salt, ginger, turmeric and ghee. It gives strength, nourishes the body and also beneficial in disorders of digestion (grahani) and fever (jwara).
Roti (Asian bread)
Roti made from wheat is nourishing and gives satisfaction. It nourishes dhatu, increases semen and is heavy to digest. Roti made from barley (yava) has cleansing (vishada), dry properties. It increases vata and feces, decreases kapha. It is beneficial for patients of Diabetes mellitus(madhumeha).
Angarakoti (litti) (rounded balls)
It is commonly known as bati in Rajasthan. It is usually taken with lentil soup (daala). Simple bati is light, appetizer, gives strength, nourishing, increase semen and is satisfying.
It is commonly known as litti or makuni. It is very tasty, heavy, nourishing, increases heat in the body and purifies the wastes (malashodhaka).
The simple dosa does not alter the dosha equilibrium state, that is why Acharya Priyavrata Sharma named it as adosa. But spicy dosa is just the opposite in nature. It is heavy to digest, hot and acidic in nature (vidahi). It is naturally harmful for the patients of digestive disorders (grahani) hyperacidity (amlapitta) and piles (arsha).
Lentil soup (daala)
Whole lentil (daala) is usually heavy to digest. It is an appetizer, gives strength and can cause constipation (vishtambhi). Uncovered lentil when prepared with sour (tomato, tamarind, unripe mango, etc.) is light to digest. Among the lentils mung (green gram) daal is light and is considered best. Garbanzo bean (Channa daal) increases vata. Pigeon pea or arahar daal is heavy and gives strength. urad daal(black gram, black lentil) diminishes vata dosha.
Rasam (sour soup)
The ingredients for the preparation of rasam are tomato-1/4 Kg, pepper-1 tsp, green chilly-2 nos, ginger-1/2 inch, cumin-1 tsp, garlic-2-3 pods, coriander leaves-few; Rasam is pungent, sour, tikshna(sharp), increase agni, hot, acidic (vidahi), appetizer, increase vata and pitta, decreases kapha and increase semen. Naturopathic physicians consider it a useful remedy for common cold and indigestion.
The sweet chutney is unctuous, gives satiety, nourishes body. The sour chutney is an appetizer, increases agni and vitiates rakta and pitta. Mango and mint chutney increase appetite and vata anulomaka.
Jam/ fruit preserve (murabba)
Raga is sour-sweet in taste, but the one with sour in taste is known as shadava. It is a strong appetizer, hridaya, and light.
The unripe mango, when lightly cooked with molasses and seasoned with crushed cumin seeds, is known as gudamram. It is sweet-sour in taste, diminishes vata and increases kapha and pitta.
A papad (also called papadum) is a thin, crisp, round flatbread. It is typically based on a seasoned dough usually made from peeled black gram flour (urad flour), either fried or cooked with dry heat (usually flipping it over an open flame).Papada when heated with fire it is light, appetizer and increases agni. Normally the urada papada and others when fried with ghee or oil, become heavy.
Vada can be described variously as fritters, cutlets, doughnuts, or dumplings. The urada vada is an appetizer, gives strength, aphrodisiac, nourishing, increase feces, diminishes vata, increase kapha and pitta, and it is beneficial in the disease like ardita. If it is mixed with curd/yogurt, then it turns to light, juicy and very soft in nature.
The vadi which prepared from besana(gram flour) and fried with oil or ghee is an appetizer, gives strength to the body. If it is mixed with kadhi then it increased in size and known as phulauri-it is very tasty, juicy, clears the mala (malashodhaka).
An Indian whole wheat bread formed in flat rounds of dough that puff up when deep fried. Since it is fried with ghee/oil it increases kapha, semen, gives strength, tasty, heavy, oleates body and diminishes vata.
It is similar to poori but is stuffed lentil and seasoning. It is soft, very tasty, appetizer and gives strength to the body.
Ghewar is disc-shaped sweet with a texture that resembles a honeycomb is made with all purpose flour and soaked in sugar syrup. It has nourishing quality, hridaya, aphrodisiac, increase kapha, heavy, and it diminishes vata-pitta.
A sweet deep-fried dumpling, native to the Indian subcontinent, made with suji (semolina) or maida (all purpose flour) stuffed with a mixture of sweetened khoa (milk solids; also called mawa) and dried fruits, and fried in ghee. It is nourishing, aphrodisiac, strengthening the body, sweet in taste, heavy, appetizer, diminishes vata and pitta and is better for a person with strong agni (diptagni).
It is Southeast-Asian sweet dish made from barley flour either fried in ghee or boiled in water, and then dipped in honey. It is heavy, aphrodisiac, sweet, soft, tarpaka (nourishing), and diminishes vata-pitta.
Rice and milk boiled and after proper boiling, sugar, ela and cinnamon are added. It increases kapha and diminishes vata and pitta, appetizer, nourishing, oleates the body, and increases semen.
Vermicelli is usually cooked with milk and sugar- it gives strength, diminishes vata and pitta, heavy and is nourishing.
Sweet dish that orignated in Middle East but is also very popular in Ashian countries. It is prepared from various grains, fruits, nuts and sugar. It is heavy, nourishing, increases semen, diminishes vata-pitta and increases kapha.
It is made from crushed sesame and sugar is hot, heavy, slightly decreases the flow of urine, diminishes vata and increases kapha and pitta.
It is prepared from shali rice. It is light, cold, strengthening body, sweet, decreases mala and mutra and it is effective in Vamana (vomiting) and thirst.
It is spicy Indian rice snack also commonly contains peanuts and spices. It is heavy, increases kapha, gives strength, and it diminishes vata. In boiled form, it is known as poha- rich in fiber, recommended in constipation.
It is made by chana (gram) or mung daal, either in boiled or unboiled state. It is heavy, dry, a stimulant of vata and purgative.
It is prepared from fried chana or paddy rice. Then ground and sieved. Saktu, when taken with salt without ghee, is dry and provokes vata but with ghee and sugar, it diminishes vata and pitta. It is rich in protein. Good energy food and muscle building.
Saktu, when churned with ghee, sugar, and cold-water, is known as mantha. It is effective in the summer season, and it is effective in treating thirst, emaciation, burning sensation. It is often mixed with ice and is considered a very popular beverage.
Rasala is sweet, nourishing, tasty, aphrodisiac, diminishes vata and pitta, unctuous and cold, purgative. It strengthens the body and reduces fatigue.
Sitodakam panaka (sharbata)
Water mixed with sugar and fragrance like chandana, kevada sitodaka is known as sharbata. It is sweet, cold, anulomaka, diminishes vata-pitta, strengthening the body, increase urination, and diminishes burning sensation and thirst.
In the modern society tea is one of the most common beverage. It has pungent rasa, hot in potency, constipating and stimulant. In the text Ayurveda vijshana it is mentioned as shyamaparni, and in shaligrama nighantu, it is called chaya.
Coffee is dry, stimulant, hot in potency, diminishes kapha-vata, increases urination, a good stimulant for heart and causes insomnia.
Laddu (round sweet balls) etc. are heavy to digest, unctuous, increase kapha, nourishing. If taken in excessive quantity, it may lead to disease like obesity (sthaulya), urinary diseases including diabetes (prameha).
Shringataka (kind of pastry) etc. are too heavy to digest and in excess, it vitiates rakta and produces the disease like atisara, etc.