• Carol Nace, Bodhi Ayurveda

My Favorite Cookbooks

Updated: Jan 19

I love to cook! Taking a recipe and being inspired to try a new dish, technique or food always brings out my inner chef. Since I started practicing Ayurveda over 12 years ago, much of my cooking is inspired by Indian and Ayurvedic dishes. The aroma of the masala spices throughout the house are a signature sign that Carol is cooking up something delicious and healthy!

So where do I find my inspiration? There are really two cookbooks that I use every week. They are dog tagged, stained with turmeric, loved around the edges and have notes in the margins for my creative modifications. They have become kitchen companions, friends on the journey of using food as medicine.

Book One: Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi

This is my first favorite cookbook! It came into my possession via a trip to an Ashram, Arsha Vidya Gurukulum, in Saylorsburg PA. With a hefty 800+ pages and 500+ recipes, I'm surprised my luggage wasn't overweight as I returned home. Thankfully it did, as I couldn't wait to get it home and start trying all the amazing recipes and techniques.

This book has it all! Traditional breads, dahl, chaat (snacks) and desserts. My one bit of advice is to read through the recipes thoroughly first, as some are quite involved.

It may take me a lifetime to get through this entire book, but I don't mind!

If 500+ recipes is too much for you, there is a "Best of" Book offering 172 recipes from the full version.

Book Two: What to eat for how you feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen by Divya Alter

For more of a modern twist to Ayurvedic dishes, this book is a must have in my opinion! If all Indian cooking all the time isn't your thing, this book has many wonderful options, including a family favorite vegetarian lasagna.

When following an Ayurvedic food plan, seasonal changes are important to maintain balance. Divya's book is broken down by season for you. For each season she gives you starters (soups, snacks), main dishes and sweets. Also, an added bonus is the first section educating you on Ayurveda and Ayurvedic eating.

I'll admit to being a bit biased in my opinion, as Divya and I are both educated in the Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) lineage and our dear teacher, Vaidya RK Mishra. But don't let my bias stop you from adding this book to your collection.

A dream of mine is to plan an Urban Ayurveda retreat to New York City and visit Divya's Kitchen, having a personalized cooking class and special meal at her cafe. How fun would that be?

Of course, no matter which of these books I choose or which recipe get made, for the first time or the 100th time, each dish always comes with an added ingredient of 'love'. Enjoy an lovely dish with your loved ones, especially yourself!

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#cooking #vegetarian #indiancooking #ayurveda #ayurvedic #diet #nutrition

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