Delectable spice blends for Ayurvedic balance, health & well-being
Bina Mehta is a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant who developed her own line of gourmet Indian spice blends at the request of her cooking class students. In her first cookbook, Turmeric & Spice, Bina shares her creative culinary journey through authentic Indian recipes and invites you to spice up your life!
Bina was raised in an Ayurvedic family in the exuberant city of Mumbai, India. Since moving to the United States, she has loved sharing the Indian culture with its respect for and adoration of food and vibrant living. Her knowledge of Indian cooking and her expertise on Ayurveda philosophy infuse her cookbook, Turmeric & Spice—in which she shares the wisdom she inherited from these ancient traditions—and her line of spice blends.
Immersed in the holistic field for more than 40 years, Bina has always had one goal: to draw out her clients’ true, authentic potential. She is a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and was an assistant teacher in Contemplative Hinduism at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Bina has studied with many experts in their fields, including world-famous yogini Shiva Rea; Silvia Nakkach, yoga of voice instructor; and Ayurveda authority Vasant Lad and his protégé, Maria Garre.
In addition, Bina has explored many alternative healing modalities. She is a certified Universal White Time Healing instructor and assistant teacher and has been studying with Fort Collins-based spiritual teacher Zari Pirasteh since 2004. Bina sees clients at her Fort Collins and Denver offices weekly, as well as offers distance healings and classes upon request.
All of Bina’s passions form a congruent flow of healing knowledge that she combines to help people in many different facets of their lives.
Discover More About Bina
To eat is human; to digest is divine. Take your meals from boring to bountiful with Turmeric & Spice, an Indian cookbook that embraces ancient wisdom for the modern table.
Harness the power and energy of natural, whole foods and feed your body, mind, and spirit. In this book, you’ll find guidance on:
- Cooking with spices, aromatics, and herbs
- Sourcing the freshest ingredients
- Finding the tools you need
- Methods of preparation
- Key techniques and processes
Bina Mehta is a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant who developed her own line of gourmet Indian spice blends at the request of her cooking class students. In her first cookbook, Bina shares her creative culinary journey through authentic Indian recipes and invites you to spice up your life!
Spices: The Soul of Cuisine
Originally used as preservatives and medicines, spices are essential ingredients in every Indian kitchen and part of the whole culinary experience. The East has transformed the palate of the West with spices.
Masala is defined as a mixture of ground spices used in Indian cooking. While there is no rule of thumb for spice combinations, certain masala blends have different names and different uses. For example, garam masala is usually a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, mace, peppercorns, coriander, and cumin, and is found in many dishes. Some recipes in this book call for a specific masala, while others call for specific spices without a masala name. Once you’ve learned the properties of masala and gained experience—which ingredients to use, when, and how much—you can be adventurous and create your own blends.
In an Indian kitchen, you will have at your fingertips nature’s pharmacy because spices have powerful healing qualities. They boost your immune system, detoxify organs and tissues, and optimize your metabolism. Our body heals itself when it is in balance, and the healthy properties in spices help bring the balance that the body needs to do this work.
Recipes for Indian cuisine can include the following: amchur powder, bay leaves, black pepper, cardamom (whole green pods), cinnamon (sticks and powder), cloves (whole and ground), coriander seeds, cumin (seeds and ground), curry leaves, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, garam masala, hing, mustard seeds, paprika, poppy seeds, rasam powder, red chili powder, saffron, salt, sambhar powder, tamarind paste, or turmeric. If you’re not quite ready for a full spice cupboard like this, you can start by using my spice blends. Substitutions of my spice blends are noted with individual recipes.
Turmeric is a frequent ingredient in Indian dishes and a power spice. Turmeric has gained immense popularity for its healing properties and disease prevention and has helped chronic and debilitating diseases with no adverse effects. It contains a compound called curcumin, which is what helps fight and reverse diseases by bringing cellular intelligence in the body.
Bina’s gourmet spice blends include Bombay Masala, Chai Masala, Garam Masala, Maharani Masala, and Roasted Cumin. You can purchase them individually or in a set from our shop.
Ayurveda is an ancient medical science that originated in India 5,000 years ago. Ayur means “longevity” or “life,” and veda refers to knowledge steeped in the ancient scriptures. It is a living science that changes from day to day and person to person. With today’s focus on holistic health care, the philosophy of Ayurveda has gained tremendous popularity in the West as an alternative healing technique because of its holistic approach.
Ayurveda seeks optimal health by fully “digesting” experiences to balance life. This includes digesting all our life experiences, whether they be food, emotions, careers, or relationships. Remember “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”? Too much is excessive, too little is not enough, but the balance between the two is just right. Ayurveda will help you achieve the balance that is just right for you.
The philosophical principles of Ayurveda state that all aspects of the universe, including living beings, are composed of a unique combination of five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Different combinations of these five elements make up three doshas, or tridosha:
- VATA (ether and air elements) governs the movement of all voluntary and involuntary body functions, such as the nervous system, heartbeat, breathing, energy, and creativity.
- PITTA (fire and water) is responsible for metabolism, enzymes, hormones, digestion, pigmentation, body temperature, hunger, thirst, and courage.
- KAPHA (water and earth) helps with cohesion and lubrication of joints, the strength of the body, and patience.
Your unique biological blueprint or matrix (prakriti) is made up of these elements at the time of your conception. When all elements in your matrix are in balance, you have optimal health, mental clarity, and vitality. When your elements are imbalanced (vikruti), you are in dis-ease, and disease can set in.
At its core, Ayurveda strives to maintain balance within the body according to your unique dosha, which is a combination of the five elements within you, with one or two elements being dominant. Your dosha forms both the physical structure and the function of your body, as well as your mental constitution, which is at the foundation of your choices and urges. In summary, your dosha governs all the biological, psychological, and physio-pathological functions of your body, mind, and constitution.
By understanding your dosha, you gain awareness of what food and lifestyle work for your body type, tendencies, and cravings, helping you make better choices for digesting your emotions and food. This book will guide you in choosing optimal menus for your dosha, preferences, and enjoyment. More than half of the recipes are tridoshic. To discover your dosha, take the Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz on Banyan Botanicals’ website at www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/prakriti-quiz/.
One emphasis in Ayurveda is on the digestive metabolic fire, agni. Agni is our ability to metabolize the food we eat to provide proper nutrition and cellular intelligence to our bodies so that they function optimally. When this digestive metabolic fire is impaired, the toxins produced by undigested food create havoc in our bodies, causing clogging and symptoms of poor health. We may feel sluggish and heavy, or have aching joints and muscles, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, allergies, gas, arthritis, diseases, or poor elimination. If we ignore our internal warning bells and whistles, then the imbalance in the body’s cellular intelligence will allow dis-ease to set in. This is the time to press the reset button and do a detox by following my Ayurveda Menu in Chapter 6.
Nature is constantly and silently offering us choices of lifestyle and foods. The question is, are we listening and observing the precious wisdom that is given? We humans are so obsessed in becoming, wanting, grasping, and achieving that we have forgotten to live in the moment.
Your body can heal itself given the right lifestyle choices, and your food choices are particularly important in this process. The ancient Ayurvedic principles of balance are blended in these menus with exquisite colors, flavors, and aromas that excite the mind, satisfy the spirit, and nourish and heal the body.
Collaborators & Partners
Bina Mehta Spice Blends are a superb gourmet gift for any occasion! For a special touch, our online store exclusively offers beautiful gift wrap, made with vibrant organza fabric and finished with coordinated tassels for a stylish way to present your gift of spice blends. These gift bags were custom-made for us by the Shraddha Charitable Trust, a registered non-profit vocational workshop in Mumbai, India.
Founded in 1998, Shraddha takes a pioneering and creative approach to help young adults with autism and developmental delay gain more self-sufficiency. By handcrafting tastefully designed products, Shraddha provides a means of livelihood and support for those who are often assumed to lead a dependent life.
Three-quarters (75%) of our gift wrap fee goes to supporting the Shraddha Charitable Trust.