Nature provides us with many varieties of seasonal fruits, vegetables and greens. If we eat local and seasonal products, we can never go wrong.
The traditional summer tray consists of curd rice, chutneys, vegetables like bitter gourd, bottle gourd, green leafy vegetables, lady finger, and lentils like moong and masur. Raitas, kachumber (salads), ragi ambali and aamras are common dishes. Jawar, ragi or rice flour rotis are relished. Spicy dahi or buttermilk complement meals.
Ayurveda tells us that Agni or digestive power is lowest in summer. To counter the external heat, the body reduces the digestive fire (Agni) As a result, we lose our appetite and crave fresh, low-spicy food. Ayurveda recommends a pita balancing diet with bitter, astringent and sweet tastes and recommends eating food at room temperature.
He suggests avoiding pungent, hot and pungent tasting foods like ginger, garlic, chili peppers and spices. He advises against salty, acidic, fermented and fatty foods.
Prerana Kumar, the founder of Chaiveda, who studied Ayurveda, suggests including whole or fractional moong dal in the diet. “You can have it as a khichdi with sona masuri rice or thin dal made with salt and black pepper.
She recommends vegetables like bottle gourd, bitter gourd and fine buttermilk seasoned with roasted cumin powder and black salt.