Ayurveda teaches that tuning into the seasons, climate, one’s constitution, and current state is the best guide for healthy eating. If you have a Pitta constitution or Pitta imbalance, or are experiencing the warm weather of summer and early fall, now is a good time to focus on Pitta balancing recipes. That said, the Pitta recipes and foods for summer may look (and taste!) a little different than Pitta recipes for winter. This post will explore Pitta recipes for the various times of year.
Pitta Dosha: Light, Hot, and Oily
When thinking about the best recipes for a particular dosha or time of year, it is always good to first recall the predominant qualities of that dosha. Some of the qualities that describe Pitta dosha are: (1)
- Spreading or Mobile
Therefore, cooling, astringent foods, and foods that are a little bit heavy and stable tend to be balancing for Pitta dosha. The sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are good for a Pitta dosha diet.
Pitta Shopping List
Keeping the above attributes in mind, let’s look at a few recipes and food ideas for Pitta dosha. Here are some good items to include on your Pitta shopping list in the summer:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green beans
- Ghruta ghee
- Sunflower seeds
- Mung dal
- Fresh basil
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather some ideas to get you started. When shopping for produce, look for items that are local and organic whenever possible. This will naturally guide you to choices that are in season—and balancing for the dosha that predominates during the time of year. For instance, during mid to late summer where I live in the southeastern USA, kale, green beans, okra, and beets are readily available from my local farmer. It’s no coincidence that these foods are also balancing for Pitta dosha!
Take a look at this comprehensive list of Pitta foods to learn the best foods for balancing Pitta.
Now let’s look at some fun Pitta recipe ideas and ways you can turn these delicious foods into simple, nourishing, balancing meals.
Whether I am in India or the American South, okra is a personal favorite! Okra has a sweet and astringent taste, a cooling energy, and a sweet (nourishing) post-digestive effect. (1) These qualities make it perfect for Pitta dosha and Pitta recipes. There are many different ways to prepare okra. I like to chop it up into small wheels and oven roast with Ghruta ghee, salt, and spices until crispy. This also takes away the slimy quality that many find so unappealing. For spicing, choose from coriander, turmeric, black pepper, caraway, cumin, or try a mild yellow curry powder. You can also garnish with fresh basil or fresh parsley.
Other recipe ideas for Pitta dosha include:
- Kitchari made with cooling, seasonal veggies
- Oatmeal spiced with cardamom and cinnamon
- Seasonal vegetable stirfry with balancing grains and/or beans
- Roasted beets
- Sauteed beet greens
- Avocado toast
Furthermore, ghee and ghruta are great cooking oils for Pitta recipes as ghee is mildly cooling and tridoshic.
Here’s to fully celebrating the delicious foods and recipes for Pitta balancing!
(1) Lad, U., & Lad, V. (1994). Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing. The Ayurvedic Press.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.