Eat, Pray, Live
The Morning Standard|November 14, 2021
As a personal choice and business opportunity, sattvic food is here to stay
MANJU LATHA KALANIDHI and AYESHA SINGH

Take a loaf of ciabatta. Choose and wash some basil and arugula leaves, and cashew nuts. Take a tablespoon of virgin olive oil. Grill fresh broccoli and chunks of bell pepper in all colours. Make the pesto with clean basil leaves, cashews and salt, while emulsifying with olive oil. Cut the ciabatta in half, slather the pesto on the slices, add the washed arugula leaves and grilled vegetables. Drizzle olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sounds Italian? It is a sattvic sandwich.

India's 21st century began with the Discovery of the World. Manmohanomics opened up the economy and borders, middle-class Indians grew rich and travelled overseas, exploring the tables of Italy and Japan, France and America, and Thailand. Their taste buds brought home memories of alien, pleasing flavors and fragrances and India witnessed a global food boom.

Oriental and continental food penetrated even the small towns and cities, and pasta no longer rhymed with nashta and a nacho wasn't a TV show.

Then came organic eating, eating local and conscience consumption. More recently a new food trend is obsessing Indians. Sattvic cuisine.

It is strictly vegetarian; in extreme cases even vegan.

Its soul is Ayurveda.

Many recipes are derived from Vedic practices.

What is a sattvic diet? It is pure vegetarian. It must include seasonal fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole grain, pulses, sprouts, dried nuts, seeds, honey, fresh herbs, milk and dairy-free of animal enzymes.

Shailvi Shah Soni, a public health nutritionist who was an Assistant Manager with the Research and Advocacy

Department of Akshaya Patra, a nutritious mid-day meal programme in government schools in India, defines it as cuisine that is light, healthy, gives energy (sattva) and is soothing to the mind. It is vegetarian but has specific food ingredients. It is a balanced meal that soothes the body and keeps the mind in control. Soni is certain that slowly, but surely the shift towards sattvic food is happening though it is more a hunch than based on hard stats. But the global trend of adopting, adapting, and allowing foods to generate recipes global in taste and local in nature includes sattvic food in the modern wellness concept.

Sattvic appeals to many primarily for the simple reason that it is pure food. The word 'sattvic' comes from the Sanskrit word sattva, which means purity and wisdom constituting one of the three gunas of Sankhya philosophy. Sattvic food is said to carry strong positive energy. It is the food of the gods. Even the Bhagavad Gita extols its benefits as it influences your mental well-being and cleanses the body and mind. In the Bhagavad Gita, for instance, Lord Krishna advises Arjuna on how to live a happy life by paying attention to his health. An entire chapter in the holy scripture is dedicated to what, when and how to eat to maintain bodily vigour and mental stability, says Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda, Faridabad, Haryana. People often confuse sattvic with vegetarian or vegan food. This is far from the truth, according to Chauhan. If you have spicy food, indulge frequently in fired and fatty dishes, or consume sugary foods and beverages, it is not sattvic despite being vegetarian, he adds.

FEEL IT IN THE GUT

Yoga categorises three types of foods with three different qualities and health effects: sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic.

The second includes sweet foods that are supposed to charge in the body and makes it hyperactive. Tamasic diet is mainly non-vegetarian and spicy. Sattvic foods are rich in pranas, or life force. Some vegetables with negative pranas are brinjal, onion and garlic which are reputed to disrupt concentration. No fried or greasy food, excess sweets, mixing grains with different enzymes; to steer clear from extremes, do not consume food that is too salty, too sweet, too sour, too overcooked. Sattvic food's USP is that it is good for gut health because of its high fiber content. Energy levels and immunity goes up with sattvic food. Given that India is predominantly non-vegetarian—a recent Pew Research Center survey polled 39 percent of Indians as vegetarians—can sattvic food be popularised?

Before the pandemic, the market size of sattvic food was limited as a sattvic diet was considered to be a yogic diet and hence preferred by selected people only. “However, after it, more people are conscious of how our diet affects our health and immunity. A sattvic diet has provided multiple benefits since it incorporates healthy and naturally available ingredients. The ability of the sattvic diet to include a broader range of dishes to suit modern-day food preferences while staying true to its roots is encouraging more people to shift to a sattvic diet, says Shrawan Daga, Founder, Krishna's Herbal & Ayurveda, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Ravindranath Amingad got initiated into ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in the year 2000 and identifies himself as Ramananda Kanai Das since then. A Cost Accountant from Hyderabad who now lives in Oman, Muscat, Das has been an ardent Krishna devotee since he was four. Embracing the sattvic lifestyle came easy to him. His wife Anuradha says they as a family embraced sattvic food once he did. It was a practical thing to do. In fact, cooking without onion, garlic or other such accompaniments is easy as it means fewer ingredients to procure.

We love the original flavours of vegetables minus the masalas, she says. Eating any other kind of food is non-negotiable for them. Not even at the office offsite or on long airplane journeys. “We never eat out in Oman. In long distance flights, we either carry food, opt for Jain food or stick to the fruit platter. We just recite the Hare Krishna mantra and eat, the couple shares. Their son Srinath, who lives in Australia, and daughter Taruni, a high schooler in Oman, also eat the same food when they are home. Although pickles are not prohibited, the family has chosen to avoid pickles, also caffeinated beverages.

Food consultant Rennee Saradha who lives in Auroville, Puducherry, thinks so.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the newspaper

MORE STORIES FROM THE MORNING STANDARDView All

Haryana ex-CM Chautala gets 4 years in prison; ₹50 lakh fine

FORMER Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was on Friday sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹50 lakh by a special judge for CBI cases for possessing disproportionate assets.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

BUTTLER-FLY

Opener destroys RCB after Royals' pacers restrict opposition to 157

2 mins read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

Muthoot Finance net up 5.6% to ₹4,031 cr in FY22

MUTHOOT FINANCE has posted a 1.75% decline in its consolidated net profit to ₹1,006 crore for the fourth quarter FY22. Its net profit was ₹1,024 crore in the same quarter last year.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

Adani picks 50% stake in General Aeronautics

This acquisition comes weeks after Adani's joint venture with Israeli firm Elbit Systems was named in the first provisional list of the Indian government's ambitious production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

Lockdown spurs household savings to decadal highs

Savings in physical assets like property and land saw a sharp decline to 10.2% of GNDI from 11.1% while savings in valuables like gold and silver ornaments was flat at 0.2% of GNDI.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

Lower RBI payout to govt for higher provision

In FY22, RBI paid dividend of ₹30,307.45 cr to the govt, which is 69.42% lower than ₹99,122 cr it had paid in FY21

2 mins read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

RUSSIA CLOSES IN ON KEY UKRAINE CITY

Offensive ramped up in Severodonetsk. Pro-Moscow forces claim capture of Lyman in Kyiv-controlled territory

2 mins read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

J&K scam: ED summons Farooq Abdullah in cricket money laundering case

According to ED officials, Abdullah recorded his statement in the case three years ago.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

'Extra-judicial confession can't be basis for conviction'

EXTRA-JUDICIAL confession allegedly by the co-accused loses its significance in the absence of any substantive evidence against the accused and there cannot be any conviction based on such confession, the Supreme Court said on Friday.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022

Previous governments ignored use of technology in governance: Modi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday blamed previous governments for being "indifferent" towards the use of technology, saying efforts were made to project tech development as anti-poor.

1 min read
The Morning Standard
May 28, 2022
RELATED STORIES

Killer Heat Is Here

The record temperatures ravaging India are a warning of global catastrophes to come

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

FOOD FOR Thought

All about food

2 mins read
Reader's Digest US
June 2022

THE TREE OF Life and Fertility

DR. V. RAMAKANTHA shares some insights into the science, history and mythology of the Banyan tree, also known as the Bengal Fig or Indian Fig. The Banyan is one of those mythical trees that has had an important place in the life and history of the people of India since ancient times. It is also home to many species of birds, animals, and epiphytic plants.

7 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
May 2022

East Meets West

KALYANI ADUSUMILLI grew up in a minority group in the United States, straddling cultures, learning how to fit in, and later learning how to accept the traditions of her heritage. Today, she is watching her children going through the same process, shifting their cultural identity, as they head toward adulthood in the melting pot of a multicultural society.

4 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
May 2022

NILANGANA BANERJEE: 2 series The 'Selves' | The Lullaby

The series Selves aims to artistically represent the psychological conflicts we face when we weigh ourselves based on socially determined of what is ideal and where we stand with the distorted and one-size that fits all defined.

6 mins read
Lens Magazine
April 2022

Why We Are Not Responsible Toward the Environment

DR. ICHAK ADIZES is an expert in change management for organizations. Here he shares some of the reasons why companies are not changing their actions in relation to the environment, even though everyone knows we are facing an environmental crisis. He also offers simple solutions that will bring change.

4 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
April 2022

Annadata Suraksha Abhiyaan

A tailor-made insurance initiative to financially secure farmers and growers against farming risks.

2 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
April 2022

The FORCE Behind the FORCE

How George Lucas created Hollywood's most beloved franchise

5 mins read
Maxim
May - June 2022

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED IN MAGNET FISHING

In addition to treasure hunting, magnet fishing has an environmental aspect-it helps to clean up our waterways.

8 mins read
Popular Mechanics
May - June 2022

Sorry, iPhone 6 Plus users, your phone probably can't be repaired anymore

Apple moves two older devices to 'vintage' status.

1 min read
Macworld
April 2022