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Food & Drink

Ayurvedic Cooking Class

Cook for health at Shiva Centre

By Austen Diamond
Posted // April 3,2012 -

Group chanting begins each Ayurvedic cooking class—an eclectic, enchanting experience. “Vakratunda Mahakaya” is a mantra chanted to the Vedic deity Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. “It’s putting an intention into your cooking,” says co-instructor Brandi Allen.

Ayurveda—the “science of life”—is a 5,000-year-old East Indian system of healing encompassing yoga, meditation, astrology and cooking. The Shiva Centre specializes in each, and, during some yoga classes, it’s normal to hear a smiling instructor say, “You are what you don’t poop.”


Therein lies this system of therapeutic cooking’s basic process of absorption, assimilation and elimination. When more advanced, it is concerned with balancing one’s constitution—dosha—by analysing the elemental properties, tastes, digestive effects, etc. of food, herbs and spices. A little esoteric? It’s essentially about eating fresh, staying disease-free and maintaining internal harmony.

After the mantra, students help prepare the dishes. The seasonal multicourse menu at my class included masala chai, kitcheri—“the most used and digestible Ayurvedic food,” Allen says—sauteed Brussels sprouts with avocado sauce, and roasted pears with nuts and raisins. Each ingredient is powerful. “It’s not just some spice; it’s a wonderful medicine,” co-instructor and Shiva Centre director Andrejs Gailis says.


Over the past year, each of the 10 classes delves into different recipes and a specific lecture/discussion—such as spices, tastes, doshas, incompatible food combining, etc. Allen also suggests visiting or reading Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar.

These classes are an engaging primer, but they don’t preach a dogmatic approach to food. “There are all the sciences to live correctly, then there’s life,” Gailis says.

2065 E. 2100 South
Sunday, April 29

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Posted // April 3,2012 at 10:26

Oh, Krishna. Hope these students enjoy a good dose of "ass smoke" and snake oil.




If shiva center uses ayurvedic medicinals, I hope they take the time to inform their students that they are likely consuming potentially dangerous amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury and other metals commonly used in ayurvedic treatments.



Being that you're ayurvedic adherents, I'm curious why, before this particular class, you are chanting to Ganesh instead of Dhanvantari?



Yoga, as it is practiced today, is only about 100 years old, not five thousand. But hell, what's a few thousand years compared to all of time?



I wonder how these students feel about spending $35 clams to learn to cook rice and mung/lentil dal, brussels sprouts (why brussels sprouts?!?) and roasted pears? Really, guys, you could easily nail this by watching the create channel for a couple hours on Saturday, and that's free.



Beware your Guru!





Posted // April 5,2012 at 17:49 - Oh, Duke. What's the motive for the scathing comment? First, "lead, arsenic, mercury and other metals commonly used in ayurvedic treatment"? Um.... no. I don't know who you're learning from, but perhaps you should beware of that "guru". Oh, K%u1E5B%u1E63%u1E47a... please ask M%u0101y%u0101 to have mercy.