It’s amazing how food plays a major role in one’s health; isn’t it? Unfortunately, many of us today have been misguided about the health facts. Traditional cooking no more remains the gold standard of healthy eating habits. And this is exactly what I am trying to say in these series of write-ups for you. In the last article I had told you about the different fragrances, colors used in food and some other basic facts told in the first chapter of this amazing book called Kshemakutuhalam (the last article if you have missed can be read here https://ayurveda-for-
wellness.com/2019/05/11/kshemakutuhalam-introducing-the-first-chapter called-prathama-utsava-part-1/). So let’s move on to see what other interesting facts are revealed in this chapter.
1. Pomegranate extract– yes. You heard it right. Take pomegranate which is cooked in ghee. Add Buttermilk to it. Cook it. Once cooked, strain through a cloth and this is called as “Pomegranate extract” (Daadima rasa- as called in Sanskrit).
2. Special mix of aromatic spices– Cardomom, clove, camphor, musk (depending on its legal availability), black pepper and cinnamon must be taken in equal quantity and powdered. This powder can be sprinkled on dishes made of milk, sugarcane and also dishes made of rice and vegetables. The use of this powder is not only the fragrance it imparts but also aids in easy digestion and absorption of these heavy preparations. This powder can also be added to meat preparations.
3. Units of measurements used in cooking– There were of course many different units of measurements used in cooking. This may not be very relevant now. The units used then were, Droni,dronaadaka,prastha,kudava,pala,picu etc.
4. Flame for cooking– It is in general told by the author that always low flame must be used for cooking i.e. cooking must never be done in high flame. Further, stressing author tells that milk must never be cooked in high flame unless it is mixed with cooked rice or any liquids.
5. Measurement of water to be used for cooking– it is told that for cooking rice, the grain to water ratio needs to be 1:4. For soups, especially of green gram, one must add 3 times water as that of green gram. In the consequent verse he says, quantification of water is different for different food preparations. Hard grains require more water and soft grains takes less water.
6. Amount of oil required for different dishes-The author gives some examples of food preparations and tells the quantity of oil to be added for its better taste. Eg- Meat preparations need 1/10 of oil to be added. Say, if we are preparing ten measures of meat, one measure of oil is to be used. Similarly, for fish, ¼ of the quantity of oil to be taken.
7. Amount of sugar to be used in sweet drinks– In this context, author quotes two types of sweet drinks called “rasaala” and “paanaka”. He says, For rasaala, one must add, two parts of thick curd to one part of sugar (on top of rasaala). Similarly, paanaka is a drink made of fruits. Here he says that amount of sugar for paanaka depends on the sourness of the fruit from which paanaka is prepared.
Finally, the author ends the first chapter by saying that all measurements and
suggestions given here can be subjected to variations, as, people have varying
tastes. How thoughtful of the author!!!!
Hope you now know how this text goes…..
Second chapter coming soon.