There's something about winter that makes the nourishing food of Ayurveda even more appealing, and we love how the ancient system is designed to work everyone's individual body, via identifying a dominant dosha (not sure what dosha you are? Here's how to tell). According to internationally renowned Ayurvedic healer and the author of Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy, Acharya Shunya, eating for your dosha can make you feel clear-headed, energetic, and more satiated than just grabbing any old meal. And what better way to get all of these benefits than at breakfast time, when you can set the tone for the rest of your day? We asked Acharya to share the best breakfast for every dosha.
Exactly What Breakfast Will Make YOU Feel Best (Based On Your Ayurvedic Dosha)
Vata Breakfast: Spiced Bananas
If you’re vata dominant, heavy, oily and bulky foods prevent brain fog and fatigue. The spices in my spiced banana recipe aid with digestion and prevent gas. Why banana? Banana is a power source of nutrition. It works as a mild natural laxative, and earth and water elements counterbalance vata's air and space ones. They also ensure good elimination as bananas are oily and add bulk. This is important since vata types are vulnerable to constipation.
This recipe is fast and easy to make. For convenience, pre-blend the spices and keep it in a shaker. These three tastes of sweet, sour and salty are great for the vata dosha. You can also replace banana with (or add) sweet potato, figs, or ripe mangoes.
- 1 large or 2 medium ripe bananas
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon rock salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cilantro, minced
- Peel and dice banana(s) into bite-size pieces.
- Sprinkle cumin, salt, and lemon juice over banana.
- Toss and mix well. Garnish with minced cilantro.
Pitta breakfast: Creamy Semolina
Wheat is perceived as an evil food these days. But for pittas, wheat is sweet, cool and helps soothe excessive vata and pitta in the body. It’s a nutritious food that has been a staple in India and many other countries for centuries. Known for increasing vitality and immunity, wheat flour prevents osteoporosis. In this recipe, both wheat and milk, which are cooling and nourishing, are combined to create my delicious creamy breakfast semolina. Feel free to substitute cow milk for goat or rice milk.
- 1⁄4 cup wheat semolina
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2–3 saffron threads (optional)
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
- Cane sugar, to taste (1–2 teaspoons)
- Dry roast the semolina in a pan until lightly toasted.
- Slowly add milk to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid lump formation.
- Add cardamom and saffron to the milk and wheat mixture. Bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes until a thin porridge-like consistency is achieved. If too thick, add more water.
- Add almonds and raisins.
- Serve immediately. Eat hot.
Kapha breakfast: Mung Bean Pancakes
For Kapha types, mung bean pancakes is the perfect way to start the day. Mung beans are a highly underrated super food. Mung reduces excess fat, mitigates cholesterol, improves immunity, brightens complexion, and generally balances all three doshas. It has a unique composition of both being light and yet satisfying. Personally, these pancakes are a part of my daily breakfast routine. If your family is comprised of different doshas, you’ll want to make it a part of yours, too. All doshas can eat these pancakes every day.
- 1 cup yellow mung beans (soaked 3 hours or overnight)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground, roasted cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon rock salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1⁄8 teaspoon asafoetida
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- Drain soaking liquid from mung beans and place in a blender. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute, adding a small amount of water (about 2 tablespoons) until smooth.
- Add cumin, salt, turmeric, ginger, and asafoetida and blend again briefly in the mixture with enough water so that the batter is a medium-thin consistency similar to wheat-flour pancake batter.
- Heat a small amount of ghee (1⁄2–1 teaspoon) in a skillet or griddle on medium heat.
- Drop a small ladle full of batter (1⁄4 cup) onto griddle and spread in a circle. Cook on first side until edges start to brown and lift, about 5 minutes.
- Flip pancake with spatula and cook on second side until golden brown, about 3–5 minutes.
- Repeat steps 3 through 5 with the rest of the batter and ghee.