Sukham Ayu ~ Cookbook Review, Interview and Book Offer

Sukham Ayu Cookbook

In every person’s life, there will be several exceptional “aha” moments. You would be trying to solve a problem for several days and suddenly at an unexpected moment, you would find a solution. In the field of software it always happens to me. I’d want to learn something new and interesting but I wouldn’t be able to spend hundreds of hours reading thousands of pages. I’d suddenly, somewhere, somehow find a small few-page article that would give me all the information I needed. And, that would be my “aha” moment. “I got it, I understood it and I know what to do now.” I feel more knowledgeable.

One such “aha” moment happened to me when I read the book “Sukham Ayu” by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain. From outside it looked like any other coffee table cookbook, but when I started reading, it answered many of the questions I had about ayurveda and food, and with a beautiful narration of many mouth watering recipes. I realized that by reading the book I could quickly know what ayurveda is, incorporate it into regular cooking, and clearly understand what kind of effect a food ingredient will have on my body if I eat it.

You see, that was an eye opening “aha” moment. It was like finding the user’s manual for a complex system you are required to work with. If you don’t have a user’s manual, you cannot fully utilize the system. You’d be always working on trial and error basis, learning about it as you go, but never be able to utilize full potential of the system. That is what we generally do with our bodies and food. Our body is a complex system and food is the input we give to it without knowing what kind of effects it would have on our body.

The book “Sukham Ayu” is like a manual that helps to understand the nature of body and food, and the relation between them.

The knowledge I have gained from Sukham Ayu is:

1. Basic terminology in ayurveda
2. Different body types and how to determine a body type
3. Details about many food ingredients in ayurveda perspective
4. Plan for meals based on a body type
5. Over sixty good vegetarian recipes
6. A detailed meal planner
7. A food guide based on body constitution

If you are interested in learning ayurvedic concept of food, this is a must have book. If you are not interested in ayurveda part of it, you can just enjoy the recipe part, a set of homely vegetarian recipes that were tried for several generations before and will continue for several more generations in the future. Anyway you see, “Sukham Ayu” is a good cookbook to have in your library collection.

double_curve.gif

I wanted to know more about the inspiration behind the book. Authors Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain responded immediately to my questions. Here is my interview with the Sukham Ayu authors.

Sukham Ayu Cookbook Authors
Pratibha Jain and Jigyasa Giri with Dr. Prakash Kalmadi at KARE, Pune

You have written an excellent book exploring the Ayurveda roots of everyday food. What was your inspiration? What prompted you to choose this subject?

Thank you for liking the book. As we wrote in the introduction of Sukham Ayu, our tryst with “Pedatha” led us unconsciously to another realm of Indian tradition…Ayurveda. But in all honesty, we’d like to say that we did not choose the subject, rather, strangely we were chosen by it. It so happened that at the first launch of “Cooking at home with Pedatha”, we were introduced to Dr. Prakash Kalmadi who is the founder of KARE, an impressive ayurvedic rejuvenation establishment situated in the idyllic town of Mulshi near Pune. He liked our book very much and wanted us to write a book of Ayurvedic recipes from their kitchen. With this in mind, he invited us to his establishment. Once there, we were extremely inspired to take on the project, and thus KARE became the starting point of our research for this book.

It appears that you did dedicated research on Ayurveda and food. With your knowledge in the subject, I feel you could have written elaborately. But you chose to write a coffee table kind of cookbook. Are there any specific reasons?

A coffee table cookbook such as ‘Sukham Ayu’ is our attempt to make the great tenets of Ayurveda easily comprehensible to laypersons in the field, such as ourselves:). To answer the question, the book is divided into sections of recipes, and each section is preceded by a short chapter of Ayurvedic insights. We started out thinking of just a book of recipes, but soon realized that the point was not to make a book of 60, 70, 80 recipes, but to include insights that can then be applied by the reader to create unlimited wholesome food. Our own first questions soon became an endless inquiry, and in every recipe, with the insight of each answer, came yet another question. Thus our learning of concepts was interspersed with the process of recipe writing. And having enjoyed this methodology of learning, it made sense to share it in a similar rhythm with our readers by interspersing nuggets of information on ingredients, short chapters of Ayurvedic insights and the recipes. This way they all co-exist in balance through out the book and exude a friendly format, so we believe.

What is the best way to get the most out of Sukham Ayu?

First try a few recipes at random to see for yourself that healthy food can be tasty food too. That’s exactly what happened to us during our first visit to KARE.
Next, get curious about your prakriti or constitution, identify it (pg 17), and start reading the chapters on Ayurvedic insights – how we are connected to the elements, the seasons, the essences of food, what makes food compatible to each one of us and so on.

Use the orange box on each recipe page to increase your knowledge about food substances and their effects on the body. The food guide on page 108-109 will eventually help you to choose the right foods for your constitution.

Above all, this is a book about Cooking at Home, which is mostly a family. Hence the recipes are tridoshik, which means they are balanced to suit all doshas. As we have explained on page 9, “When you select a menu from this book for your family, all you have to do is identify who can eat more or less of each dish, based on the main ingredients.”

I noticed that you have begun every section of recipes with a home-style recipe. It is very interesting, do shed light on how that came about.

After every chapter that journeys through an Ayurvedic tenet or insight, we decided to gently guide our readers ‘back home to their present’ with a home-style recipe before they could move on to more specific recipes. The home-style recipes are absolutely basic recipes of daily Indian cooking with suggestions of how to incorporate different food substances using the basic recipe. By the time the readers go through the entire section of recipes, they would be ready for yet another chapter, yet another journey through another realm of Ayurveda, before getting back home to cooking, with a little more knowledge gained in the process.

Would you recommend any additional resources to those who would want to explore more on Ayurveda and food?

Ayurveda is a vast science. There are many elaborate books written on the subject by experts in the field of Ayurveda. Some of the primary sources that we researched from and recommend are: ‘Charaka Samhita’ by Maharishi Charaka, ‘Ashtanga Hridaya’ by Maharishi Vagbhata, ‘Bhavaprakasha’ by Acharya Bhava Mishra and ‘Kshema Kutuhalam’ by Acharya Kshema Sharma. We also like reading contemporary writers in the field such as Ms. Amadea Morningstar, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Dr. Scott Gerson and Dr. Vasant Lad.

You have entered into food blogging world with Pedatha.com. What is your feel of food blogging and food blog followers?

We are amazed at that world out there, and although we are not active bloggers, we enjoy the process of blogging and visiting other blogs. In fact, when we look at the availability of recipes with excellent photos on blogs, we always wonder what makes books sell :) .

We know so many friends and so many young people who depend on the blogs a lot to cook their own food. They are great forums for self-expression and sharing views. It is like a good bridge between one’s private space and the external world. We are glad to be part of this wonderful community.

ISBN:819029931x
Book website: Pritya.com
Recommend “Sukham Ayu” to your local library.

double_curve.gif

We are offering few copies of “Sukham Ayu” at a special price for interested readers. Please click on the Buy Now button to purchase. Thank you.

Buying Options

26 Comments

  • By trupti, April 3, 2009 @ 5:06 am

    This is going on my ‘must have’ list for my library…..Ayurveda is a wonderful way of life, I am so much better for it ever since I’ve started to adapt it a year ago. Thank you for the review!

  • By trupti, April 3, 2009 @ 5:11 am

    Just ordered it, thank you!! :)

    Thank you, Trupti! I think you are going to enjoy cooking from this book.
    -Indira

  • By Sudha, April 3, 2009 @ 7:14 am

    Great book Indira garu…Thanks alot

  • By Miri, April 3, 2009 @ 9:55 am

    I think its a misnomer to call it a coffee table book since it tends to put people off thinking that it must be all gloss and no substance, with a hefty price tag to boot. I certainly thought so when I first read about it, only to be pleasantly surprised at the content and the price!

    Thank you for the interview and background to this book…

  • By Bhuvana, April 3, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    Indira

    I wonder how you came across useful cookbooks of this kind. I just ordered one for myself. I also bought “Cooking at home with Pedatha” couple years back after reading your review. I am so very happy with that book and have cooked plenty of recipes from it.

    Thanks for the interview and review of the book.
    Can’t wait for my order to arrive.

  • By Bhuvana, April 3, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    I actually visited your site today to see if you had any Ram Navami posts, and ended up with a surprise Cookbook review.

    Happy RamNavami to you.

    My daughter has a RamNavami carnival tomorrow at her Balavihar class. Looking forward to it.

  • By Anu, April 3, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    Hey, Thanks for the review. I ordered a copy a few minutes ago, given the experience with Pedatha, I’m really excited about it :)

    - Anu

  • By Pavani, April 3, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

    My parents bought the book and are enjoying it thoroughly. Interesting to read the author’s insite on how to use the book and how the book came about. Thanks for the interview Indira.

  • By Madhavi, April 3, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    These authors’ first book, “Cooking at Home with Pedatha”, is one of the treasures I would preserve forever. I purchased that book when you had a sale through your website. I’m excited to see another creation from the same authors. Thank you for bringing the book review and also making the book available here. I can’t wait to get mine :)

  • By Linda, April 3, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    Hi Indira, thank you for sharing your interview and insight on this book — I too, had an ‘a ha!’ moment reading it :)

  • By elise, April 4, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    After the beautiful and so well concepted “cooking at home with Pedatha”,i am very happy to order this new opus about the indian culture through its food and medicine.Ayurveda is not well known in France and i will be able to give some explanation very soon.Thanks for your great work!

  • By Kay, April 4, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

    Indira, The book sounds very interesting! Do you plan to review a recipe from the book sometime? I’m curious to learn more about the book.

  • By Siri, April 5, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    Hello Indira,

    Hope you are doing good. Thanks for such a wonderful review about the book. I was always interested to know more about the goodness of Ayurveda, but was baffled about the huge content to read and understand it. I hope this book would be a nice starting point and have the same ‘aha’ effect on me too! Just ordered a copy of my own. :)

    Best,
    Siri

  • By Indira, April 6, 2009 @ 9:11 am

    Trupti,
    The book is on its way and should arrive there in few days.

    Sudha,
    It indeed is a great book. I liked it a lot because it promotes our genuine way of preparing delicious food and eating healthy.

    Miri,
    The price seems little high. But it is worth the cost for the invaluable information it provides about food and ayurveda.

    Bhuvana,
    Thank you for Sri Rama Navami greetings. I wish you the same to you and your family. How did your daughter do in the Ramanavami carnival? Your copy is on its way and should arrive there in few days. I liked the way authors presented our authentic recipes in these two books. They are precise, to the point and do not deviate from our traditions. I believe you’d cherish “sukham ayu” as much as “Cooking at Home with Pedatha”, if not more.

    Anu,
    Thank you for your purchase. I’m sure you’d enjoy this book as much as you enjoyed the first one.

    Pavani,
    Thank you for your note. It has certainly been my pleasure to bring this review and interview to the readers of Mahanandi.

    Madhavi,
    Thank you for your note. Your book is on its way and you should get it in the next few days.

    Linda,
    It was certainly an ‘a ha’ moment. I’m reading this book repeatedly and every time I read it, I am getting to see something new.

    Elise,
    Your copy is on its way and should arrive there in about a week. The book presents great Indian recipes and ayurveda in a beautiful way. Thank you very much for your appreciation and interest.

    Kay,
    Thanks for your interest. I’m planning to do some recipes and present them here this week.

    Siri,
    Your copy will be sent out today and I’m positive that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. The book gives basic ayurveda insights to novices like us in a very precise way. I am sure you will learn little bit about ayurveda and enjoy the delicious recipes. Please let me know what you thought about the book after reading it.

  • By Ami, April 6, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

    Indira,

    I have always read your blog and found it full of extremely useful tidbits of information along with very flavorful recipes. I do not have the book by Pedatha but I am surely not missing a chance to order Sukham Ayu (first for me, then as a present to my daughter who will be setting up house in a few days). Wishing you success with your blog!

  • By Ami, April 14, 2009 @ 11:44 am

    I got the book yesterday and I am very happy with my decision! It is a great book to understand your own body in simple terms and most of the recipes are not complicated. The delivery was in time and very nicely packaged! Thanks for letting interested people know about this book through your website, Indira!

  • By Indira, April 15, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

    Ami,
    I’m very glad to hear that you liked the book. Thank you for leaving a feedback comment here.
    We still have some copies available for sale, I would greatly appreciate if you could please recommend the book to your friends or family members who might be interested.

  • By Kala Narayan, April 16, 2009 @ 9:07 am

    Thanks for your review. After reading it, I am interested in placing an order. I just tried and got this message “PayPal cannot process this transaction because of a problem with the seller’s website. Please contact the seller directly to resolve this problem.”

    Hello Kala Narayan,
    Thank you for your interest in the book and for bringing the issue to my notice. The problem with PayPal setup has been fixed. Please try now and should be able to purchase the book.
    Regards,
    Indira

  • By Kavitha, April 21, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

    Hi Indira,
    Thank you so much for the book and the very sweet note! I felt so happy seeing your handwritten note. The book is great and it is very interesting to learn a lot of things about the nature of my body through this book. It is a treasure !

    Kavitha: Thank you for the feedback. Appreciate the good words and glad that you are enjoying the book.
    -Indira

  • By Priti, April 28, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    Indira,

    I wish to order the book.I live in the UK.Is there anyway I can avail of the special offer.

    Regards

    Priti

  • By Azmina Kassam, April 30, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    Very interested in the healing aspects of this way of eating, preparing and if the book comes from such conscious people then it can only help transform our relationship to food.
    I will definetely get a copy of the book.

  • By Sonu, May 4, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

    Hi Indira, I am silent but frequent reader of your blog. I come to know about this book Sukham Ayu through Siri’s blog. I am interested to buy this book and I tried to order but it shows that all copies are sold out. Is it possible to buy this book anywhere? I live in Melbourne, Australia.
    Thank you.

  • By Indira, May 4, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

    Priti and Sonu,
    Thank you for your interest in this book. We are working with the authors to get some more books for sale and will update you through the website as soon as we get them here. It might be another week or so by the time we get them here. You could also buy the book from http://www.amazon.com.

  • By vijee, May 26, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

    Have you forgotten your old friend Indira?

    I saw this review and was reminded of how well-written yours was!

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/life/2009/05/22/stories/2009052250080300.htm

    Dear Vijaysree,
    How are you my friend? Hope everything is going great and life is treating you well. Looking forward to seeing you at this new website. Keep in touch.
    Best,
    Indira

  • By aruna, April 23, 2010 @ 1:01 am

    The book is great. Already tried a few recipes from the book. The mint rice and carrot soopa are great. A must for those who are interested in cooking keeping traditional wisdom in mind.

  • By Graham copsey, January 26, 2013 @ 2:59 am

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Kudos

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

WordPress Themes