Outlined below are some of the most commonly used Ayurvedic condiments, which when used in cooking, not only enhance the taste of the meal, but also make it nutritious and balancing:
Ginger (Adrak): An irreplacable condiment in any kitchen, Ginger brings flavor and pungency to food and is used widely as a digestive. Known as ‘the universal medicine’ for its healing properties, Ginger provides an excellent remedy for respiratory conditions caused by aggravation of Kapha and Vata. Apart from vegetables and lentils, this invigorating spice is also used in herbal tea to treat common cold and cough.
Cumin (Jeera): Widely used as a flavoring agent and condiment in curries and lentils, Cumin is known for its aromatic qualities. This spice is used as a stimulant for digestive disorders and even as an antiseptic. It also enhances the functioning of the liver and pancreas, enabling the body to cleanse accumulated toxins and absorb nutrients better.
Turmeric (Haldi): Referred to as the Indian Saffron, Turmeric is bitter, astringent and pungent in taste. It has been known for centuries for its many therapeutic qualities, including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties. Widely regarded as an indispensable part of Indian cuisine, Turmeric enhances metabolism and helps the body to reduce undesirable fatty deposits when used in cooking.
Coriander (Dhania): The coriander seed is truly a cook’s best friend as it aids in the assimilation of other herbs and condiments used during cooking. Known to be gracious to all the doshas, this spice is famous in Ayurveda for its use in balancing the body and mind. Coriander is also beneficial in digestive, respiratory and urinary disorders, as well as treating skin ailments caused by Pitta aggravation.
Fenugreek (Methi): Fenugreek is highly valuable for its healing properties. It is helpful in treating digestive, respiratory, nervous, and menstrual disorders, as well as purifying the skin and facilitating weight loss. Drinking water with Fenugreek seeds soaked overnight helps in reducing blood sugar levels in the body. Bitter-sweet in flavor, this spice is popularly used in Indian cooking for vegetables and dals.