Indian Art and Science of food-making can be termed as RASOI.
The word Rasoi has a basic similarity with the Indian word
'Rasa' which literally means 'tasty liquid'. It has a relation
with preparation of food, as well as it's consumption.
The preparation of wholesome food requires precise knowledge of the proportion
and processing required. This involves the mixture of several 'rasas'
or various tastes. On the otherhand, the consumption of right food also
involves the reaction from our body in the form of secretion of Saliva
(which is a digestive liquid), as also several complex reactions within
Food For thought:Food is not only necessary for the nourishment
of the body, but knowingly or unknowingly it also influences our mind
and soul. In order to realise this influence of food, one needs to be
competant and patient to analyse the same. All those things which we consume
as food (liquid or solid) will either have a good or bad effect on the
body and mind. One needs to develop the capacity and sensitivity to understand
these effects and use this knowledge to develop immunity and maintain
Cooking is considered as one of the essential arts. Out of the 64 arts
which a human being is supposed to possess, cooking occupies a place of
pride in our society. The various techniques involved (Tantra) are the
methods of cooking.
A pleasant frame of mind, loving thoughts, positive conversations and
pleasing surrounding form the mental frame (Mantra). The use of pure wholesome
ingredients of cooking form the 'Atmosphere' (Vatavaran). All these contribute
to the taste, digestibility and assimilability.
Indian RASOI-GHAR or Kitchen: The kitchen reflects the
health and culture of the people. The Indian kitchen, like
its people, is a happy mixture of the past, present and
future. Here, we want to take you on a journey and bring
to you the best of every age and culture. The kitchen is
a place which not only nourishes the people but also it's
cultures. We may not know when exactly the kitchen came
into existence. But we can estimate that it must have come
into being only after the discovery of "Fire".
Mother's love and her tender fostering care is a very important part of
the welfare and nurturing for the family. The added ingredient of love
which a mother adds to the family meals can only be available in a home
and nowhere else. In earlier times many mothers would be mentally chanting
"japa" prayer, or "mantra" while preparing the meals and going about their
This chanting leads to positive energy in the food she prepares and the
divine vibrations not only nourish the family physically, but mentally,
emotionally and spiritually as well. In keeping with the saying "We are
what we eat", the mother maintains her purity of thoughts while preparing
the meals. It was their love which Shivaji Maharaj received from his mother
since his childhood which moulded him into a physically and spiritually
strong human-being,a jewel among Indian heroes.
Over the centuries a wide variety of food have been evolved in India.
India being a very vast country, different types of food exist over the
various regions. Some people believe that Indian food is too hot and spicy.
This may be partly true in the case of a few old recipes. But these recipes
can be toned down without loosing out on its flavor, aroma and texture
of the food.
Many spices and herbs which are added to the Indian cooking
actually aid digestion. Actually, some of these herbs also form the basis
of science of Indian Ayurvedic medicines. The grandmother of the house
(dadima) was supposed to be a walking repertory of homely remedies and
surefire cures for common ailments.
In order to have the best of Indian cooking the housewife requires the
right combination of experience, knowledge of food, some common sense
and a bit of experimentation to try her combinations. The modern Indian
Housewife realizes, that, to give her family a healthy, balanced, and
nutritive diet ,is, of utmost importance.
traditional Brahmins still continue to do "NAIVEDYAM" and then
eat their food. It is a systematic process of invoking the "Pancha -Pranas"
and then offering it to the body as a temple. The stomach that has the
power to digest food is compared to the Homa-Kunda (or sacrificial fire)
to which we offer food as a matter of divine's offering to our life.
Just as our body is made of the "Pancha Mahabhootas", so also the food
we eat is made of the five basic elements. A little understanding of this
can go a long way in regulating our food and thereby our health. For example:
Water is available in abundance and is valuable for life. The human body
is composed of 70% water. Water is the only substance, which actively
quenches our thirst.
Other beverages will relieve thirst only in proportion of the water they
contain. Most drinks (apart from fresh fruit juices and herbal drinks)
are injurious because of unwholesome substances added to them. Hence water
in its pure form is the best beverage. Through water, nutrients enter
the blood stream and reach the critical areas of the human body, which
need repair and growth.
MATA ANNAPOORNESHWARI is revered traditionally as the provider
of food to humanity. Anna means "food" and poorneshwari means the "Goddess
who gives fullness". In south-India, there is a temple dedicated to Annapoorneshwari.Our
forefathers believed that whatever we eat should be first offered to the
source from where it has come, and then alone should it be eaten. PANCHA
KOSHA Shuddhi: Cleaning our five bodies. Every human being exists
at five levels; or one can say that man has five bodies or "sheaths".
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1) Annamaya Kosha : This is the gross body, including all
the tissues, organs etc. Nourishment to the body in the form of food and
liquids is absorbed directly into this physical level. The purity and
health of this body will determine the health of a person. By eating Indian
health foods, you can increase health, vigor and vitality.
2) Pranamaya Kosha: This is the next subtle body which cannot
be seen but can be experienced.It is energised by the pranic energy.This
energy is also called as Prana-shakti.One of the most efficient method
to cleanse this body is Pranayama.
3) Manomaya Kosha : This is an even more subtle body.It
mainly comprises of all the thoughts and the beliefs which a person carries
in his mind.This body can be cleansed by regular self-study and awareness.
4) Vignanamaya Kosha : This is the seat of understanding.
There are some universal principles which even guide the thoughts in the
mind.The Vignanamaya Kosha can even be called as higher intellect.
5) Anandmaya Kosha : This is the source of all the energies
of the body.One may call it Soul also.It is that essence which his all
energy. Being in touch with it,one experiences total bliss amidst the
apparent duality of the world. By bringing about cleansing in all these
levels, You can be healthy and even grow younger This is also known as
Nutrition and Health: Food and Nutrition are important from an
individual point of view, as well as from the view point of the society
as a whole. Nutrition is intimately related to health. Inadequate, improper
and non-nutritious food adversely affect the mental and physical abilities
of a person and in turn affects the society. Malnutrition
results in ill-health and invites many diseases of the Liver, Heart, Kidney,
Digestive system, etc.
It is likely that social, cultural and/or religious traditions have more
influence on daily diet, ignoring the most important Nutritional aspect.
This leads to misconceptions about diet, nutritional and health. Scientific
research has established various facts regarding nutrition and health.
1)The energy requirements during various stages of life-cycle.
2)Energy requirement for various functions inside the body.
3)Process that the food undergoes from the time we eat till it is converted
into utilizable form by the body.
4)How the body maintains it's own temperature.
5)The diseases due to deficiency or excess of nutrients, etc.
be vegetarian or not? There are many debates going on regarding this
question. If we trace the history of mankind, we find that the early man
was probably omnivorous - eating both wild roots, tubers as well as the
flesh of other animals. Gradually with the discovery of fire and with
cultivation of crops, the culture of cooking food assumed importance.
Man tried to make the food more tasty and soft.
Now, in these modern times, we see the trend of processed foods being
popularised. On the other hand, many people are waking up to the advantages
of natural foods like fruits, vegetables, sprouts and herbs. Even here,
there are two ways of consuming these foods. One method is to have them
raw with minimum processing whereas the other method is to have them cooked.
We are going to discuss at great length the various schools of thoughts
regarding advantages of Vegetarianism, as also the disadvantages of cooking.
The ancient science of Health in India is known as Ayurveda. It
has originated from the ancient veda. This science not only focuses on
diseases, their causes and treatment, but also on the Lifestyle (Dinacharya),
food and nutrition. It also teaches us the natural way of living. It provides
a deep insight into the preventive dimension at the various stages of
India is a country of diversity. It has great socio-cultural variations.
Yet, the undercurrents are common, i.e. spirituality, ethics and food
habits. If we travel the length and breadth of the country, we find the
use of rice, pulses (lentils) and wheat throughout most of the parts.
Quantity:Ayurveda prescribes that one must regulate the intake of
solid food so as to fill 50% of the stomach. 25% of stomach can be filled
with liquids and the remaining 25% is to be kept empty for the free movement
of air within the stomach.
The Quality:In India, we give attention to the physical, emotional,
psychological and behavioral changes as influenced by food and nutrition.
The types of food eaten and the influence it has on the mind have been
systematically studied. The traditional and mythological scriptures also
mention these. The ancient Rishis have classified the food into three
major categories. They are also known as the Trigunas.They are
Rajasic foods:This category of foods makes a person very active
and highly energised. However, they can also arouse strong emotions and
Tamasic foods: Stale or fermented products come under this category
of food. They can make a person dull and lethargic.
Satvic foods: These are the ideal and balanced foods, which are
recommended for having a balanced attitude in life. These foods are, ideally
recommended for those who want to lead a life of creativity and awareness.
Many people have researched into the Architecture of kitchens.
You can study it. You can know the various factors considered by Indians
before they chose the location, design, function and contents of their
kitchens. Our forefathers have made this into a science.
Vaastu is the Indian Science of architecture, which gives rules
for planning every structure. The placement of the kitchen also assumes
great importance. It is from the kitchen that the lady of the house administers
her "Kingdom" (Or Queendom!).
Vaastu is very scientific. For example, it says that the source
of fire (for cooking) should ideally face the east direction. Since the
sun's rays come from the east for a greater part of the day, so it provides
light. Sun's rays are infact now found to have the quality of destroying
several bacteria too. The food, while being prepared, receives added energy.
The cook also, while cooking receives that extra energy needed to do the
cooking with enthusiasm.