Dinner is a light and gentle meal according to Ayurveda. The dietary rules of Ayurveda say that a healthy individual can have three meals a day.
Among this, dinner or supper should be a small one. The expression ‘Eat supper like a pauper’, can be your guide.
Dinner should be light, easily digestible and small. It should be taken at the early hours of the night, between 6 and 7:30 pm.
What are the best choices for a healthy, homestyle Ayurvedic dinner? Let’s take a look.
Ayurveda Dinner Ideas
1. Steamed Above-Ground Vegetables.
These include non-starchy vegetables like kale, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, and asparagus.
Tubers such as sweet potatoes are acceptable. Avoid potatoes, beets, carrots, and corn. Remember to choose the vegetables according to your dosha.
A Vata person, for example, can have a plate of baked and buttered sweet potatoes and green beans.
A Pitta person can favor asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweetpotatoes, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, green beans, and zucchini. A Kapha person can have sautéed cabbage or diced tomatoes.
2. Seasonal Fruits
A plate of seasonal fruits like apples, pears, apricots, and cherries with a pinch of cinnamon is perfect for Pitta.
Cantaloupe, peaches, dates, and coconut are great for Vata. Mango, peaches, persimmon and dried fruits like figs work well for Kapha.
3. Grains + Lentils
A small bowl of cooked rice (or any other grain) along with lentils chosen for your Dosha is a simple Ayurveda-approved dinner.
For Pittas, have quinoa or basmati white rice. Cooked moong beans with grated coconut are also great for Pitta.
Wheat, all types of rice, quinoa or oats are good for Vata. Oats, millet, quinoa, and basmati work well for Kapha.
A bowl of light soup like black-eyed pea or moong dal is good for Kapha.
Moong daal or toor daal soup is nice for Vata. In the case of Pitta, if given a choice between a soupy, liquid meal and one that is denser and drier, go for the latter. Have cooked or mashed dal rather than soup.
Make sure you eat fewer carbohydrates for dinner. To do this like an Ayurvedist would make the plate half-filled with cooked veggies, a quarter with whole grains and lentils, and a quarter with protein – like eggs, chicken, dal or soy protein.
Avoid red meat since it’s hard and difficult for digestion.
Drink a cup of warm milk with turmeric or saffron before bedtime.
Dinner and a cup of milk should have at least a 45-minute gap. If you have a milk allergy, you can substitute with almond milk or soy milk.
If you’d like to learn more about Ayurveda and nutrition, check out Todd Caldecott’s course on Holistic Nutrition below.
Ayurveda Dinner Recipes
Vata Pacifying Sweet Potato Latkes
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tbsp ghee
Stir together the potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper and set aside.
Heat the ghee in a skillet and pour the latke mixture into the pan with a ladle. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
Transfer to paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm. You can substitute the eggs with 1/4 cup of buttermilk or a commercial egg replacer.
Pitta Pacifying Quinoa Bowl With Veggies
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 tsp black pepper
fresh mint leaves and coriander leaves (small handful)
1/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup broccoli
1 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
one handful of veggies (Pitta-pacifying)
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Warm the seeds until they pop, and then add the veggies.
Sauté until cooked. Add the pepper, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Finally add cooked quinoa. Serve warm.