Man cannot live without air, water and food. While air and water are available to us in the natural state, food is elected, prepared and eaten by our own choice.
The Gita tells us that food is of three types—Satvic, rajasic and tamasic.
Satvic food gives us just right amount of energy—not too much or too little. But Satvic food is easily digestible, leaving us with sufficient energy balance to devote to our work. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and fibres. Satvic food also calms our senses. It contributes to inner calm and peace of mind. It induces pure thoughts and feelings. It keeps us in a state of emotional poise and equanimity.
You will not be surprised to know that what the ancient Hindu scriptures regarded as Satvic food is now regarded ideal food- although by other names! Experts call it high-fibre, natural, anti-oxidant etc. And we are encouraged to eat more of such foods. As for what the sages called rajasic and tamasic food, the very same foods are now labelled high-fat, high-cholesterol, carcinogenic etc., we are warned to keep them out of our diet to the greatest extent possible!
In the Gita, Sri Krishna urges Arjuna to adhere to a Satvic diet. Such a diet is simple and nutritious; it gives adequate energy and is easily digested. It is wholesome and non-toxic. It affords immense variety and is also pleasing to the eye and palate—as you will find the recipes in this book.
Vegetables are Mother Nature’s marvellous products. Her divine garden truly presents a blaze of brilliant colours with the red and yellow, green and purple, pink, white, brown and mauve of these delicious wonders!
A vegetarian connoisseur will be proud to tell you that you can effortlessly put together a balanced diet just by choosing a bit of each colour!
Besides being a treat to the eye vegetables cater to all tastes and palates—green leafy vegetables; tubers like potatoes, yam and beetroot; soft vegetables like zucchini and pumpkin, popular treats like cabbage, cauliflower, beans, aubergines, tomatoes, garlic, peas, onions; delicious herbs like coriander, basil, parsley etc.
A balanced mix of leaf vegetables, ‘seed’ vegetables and pulses produces a perfect combination in terms of nutrition and energy. Salads are surely everyone’s favourite!
Fruits have been described as the food of the Gods—and also the food of the rishis and yogis. They are nature’s own special delicacies, brought to luscious goodness in the warmth of the sun. Rich in vitamins and Minerals, they also give us plenty of fibre. For example, oranges, grape fruit and lemons are the also rich in a readily digestible form of sugar which gives us instant energy without the harmful efforts of refined sugar.
We in India are lucky to have a choice of such a wide variety of fruits throughout the year—green and black grapes, strawberries from the hills, delicious watermelons and musk melons—the king of fruits, pears, apples, peaches, lichi, papaya, pomegranates, guavas, chikku, berries and at least a hundred varieties of banana!
If you are one of those who think vegetarians lead a miserable life eating lettuce leaves and boiled rice, think again. Far from the popular belief that vegetarianism is boring, it is actually all about great food, good heath and smart living—of a well-balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients.
It is to bring this message to you that we, the ladies wing of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Bangalore, ‘Anokhi Anjali’, decided to put together a 100 percent Vegetarian cookbook complete with over a 100 recipes of lip-smacking salads, soups, main courses and desserts. We promise that the book will not be just another cookbook for you, but will dispel the notion that vegetarianism is boring and introduce you to the whole new world of entertaining the meatless way.
Each of the recipes in this book have been tried, tested, perfected and approved by the members of ‘Anokhi Anjali’, over innumerable potluck lunch sessions. The inspiration, clearly, has been to share with you the ease and variety in vegetarian cooking, the new tastes, and old favourites and hidden culinary secrets.
We would like to thank our respected donors, who have sponsored and helped us realize this project. Most importantly, we would like to thank Dada J.P. Vaswani, without not have been possible. He is Mentor, Guru. Guide and Master to millions of people all over the world, and one of his key teachings is vegetarian living. He is our inspiration, and we hope, through this book, that he will be able to touch your lives, the way he has touched ours.
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