Seven Pots of Tea: An Ayurvedic Approach to Sips and Nosh

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SEVEN POTS OF TEA: AN AYURVEDIC APPROACH TO SIPS & NOSH
Review by Linda Kissam “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva”

There is something so gentle and inspiring about tea. I love the smell of it. I love the act of making it. I love taking time to really savor it as it glides effortlessly over my palate and down my throat. I fully understand why it is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water.

I’ve read many, many books on tea. But a new one, SEVEN POTS OF TEA: AN AYURVEDIC APPROACH TO SIPS & NOSH  just out by Nandita Godbole, takes a holistic, health-centered lifestyle approach (Ayurveda) to enjoying and understanding this charmed drink and has caught my attention to such a degree that I wanted to share it with you.

The actual word and concept of Ayurveda is derived from ancient Indian texts. Its premise is simple. It offers guidelines for a holistic, health-centered lifestyle – including food and beverages. It’s basically listening to what your body needs and helping it through the right foods and self-care. Seasonal eating, staying in the moment, and mindfulness seem to be the keys to the Ayurveda existence. Seven Pots of Tea is the first cookbook of its kind allowing readers to explore Ayurveda through tea by way of dozens of simple recipes for the contemporary kitchen. It’s a thoughtful approach to “taking tea”.

There’s a bit of history, holistic wisdom, and health goals found in this book. It’s presented in an easy, approachable format with lots of wonderful photos to guide the way. It highlights dozens of easy herbal teas, tisanes, brews and recipes to integrate into your regiment. The photos seem carefully chosen to engage and inform the reader.

The first part of the book is an informative reference book chocked full of practical tips. It explains India’s historical relationship to medicinal beverages and its relationship to tea and chai; a primer on the principles of Ayurveda; and detailed notes on the Ayurvedic considerations of cooking with nearly a hundred fruits, herbs, and spices. It also includes a very important section on the concept of Rasa, the six essential flavors (sweet, sour, spicy, salty, bitter, and astringent) encouraging readers to explore the recipes through the transformative lens of flavor. The last half is full of fantastical recipes.  The book is appropriate for beginners and aficionados, but especially for those looking for a substantive collection of Ayurvedic teas, brews, tisanes, and healthy snacks to pair with their cherished brews.

In my tea-stained opinion, the recipes are the rock star of the book. Readers enjoy recipes for several dozen brews and tisanes along with many kinds of chai from India, as well as several dozen nosh recipes. Recipes are vegetarian. As a cookbook, it is designed to broaden a tea enthusiast’s appreciation beyond the tea leaves. It makes a great addition to any cookbook enthusiasts’ collection.

For a very special treat for yourself or a friend, explore the author’s website, https://www.currycravingskitchen.com/, to purchase both the book (Retail: $45.00, EBook : $35.00 ) and a unique individual-sized ceramic teapot ($35)

Nandita Godbole is a native of India, an internationally known author, teacher, speaker, and entrepreneur. Nandita’s work is popular among global audiences because they offer technical know-how within a tangible tapestry of culinary knowledge and oral histories, delighting readers who welcome her illustrative style, photography and poignant narration. Her writing reflects her passion for sharing an immersive experience, telling a story while honoring her audience, and crafting holistic nourishment for both mind and body.

She not only writes but also does all the photography as well, taking great pride in her no-gimmicks food styling and shooting preparations as they appear in an effect to encourage her loyal readers and suggest achievable results. She also does the publication design for each book, assembling skills learned in her past careers as a botanist, a lecturer, a landscape architect, and graphic designer to create singularly unique, and stunningly photographed cookbooks. She is an indie author with readers scattered across more than 30 countries.

Nandita holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture, a Bachelor’s & Masters’ in Botany, and is a lifelong student of Ayurveda (presently a student of the American Vedic Institute). She resides in a suburb of Metro Atlanta, Georgia with her small family. When she isn’t a full-time parent, is not writing, cooking, or photographing her books – she may be painting, or dreaming of being at the beach.


Recipe: Sulaimani Chai (Page 157)
Makes: 2 cups
Cook Time: 5-8 minutes

A regional tea favored by the Muslim community in Southern India, this rich and fragrant tea combines the earthy flavors of black tea, cinnamon, and ginger, with delicate flavors from cardamom and saffron. It is aromatherapy in a cup.

 

Ingredients
2 cup water
2 tsp black tea leaves
1 green cardamom pod
1” cinnamon stick
¼ tsp ginger, finely crushed
2 tsp palm sugar, to taste
½ tbsp lemon juice, optional
3-4 strands saffron, optional

Method
Add the water to a small saucepan with the tea leaves and all the spices except saffron and palm sugar, bring to a boil. Stir in the palm sugar and lemon juice, if using, until the palm sugar dissolves. Strain into desired cups, add a few saffron strands to the beverage, and serve immediately.

Tea, black: astringent, warming, increases Vata & Pitta, decreases Kapha
Cardamom, green: sweet, pungent >> pungent, warming, increases Pitta**, decreases Vata & Kapha
Cinnamon: astringent, sweet, pungent >> sweet, warming, increases Kapha, decreases Vata & Pitta
Ginger, fresh: pungent, sweet >> sweet, warming, increases Pitta, decreases Kapha & Vata
Lemon fruit: sour >> sour, warming, increases Pitta & Kapha, decreases Vata
Sugar, raw: sweet >> sweet, cooling, increases Kapha, decreases Vata & Pitta
Saffron: sweet, astringent, bitter>> sweet, warming, increases Pitta**, decreases Vata & Kapha
** when used in excess

Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit www.AllInGoodTaste.info

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About the Author:

Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits

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