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Cooking Techniques

Ask a Chef: Yashoda Naidoo

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Yashoda Naidoo, chef and owner of Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., has a devoted following among locals.

An adherent of Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old healing tradition, Naidoo serves food and spice combinations designed to soothe the three prevailing doshas (body constitutions). We asked her how to approach healthful summer cooking from an Ayurvedic perspective. Along with choosing seasonal fresh produce, here are her suggestions:

• The summer months increase heat in the body, which tends to make the liver, the body’??s filter, a bit sluggish. So, it’s best to eat ‘cooling’? foods, such as stir-fries with zucchini and Swiss chard, salads with dandelion greens, and asparagus-and-cilantro soup.

• To counteract summer’??s heat, you’ll want to add these cooling herbs to food: cilantro, lavender, lemon balm, lemongrass, licorice root, marjoram, and mint. And favor these cooling spices: cumin, coriander, and fennel.

• Replenish with beverages that are hydrating and high in vitamins and minerals, such as watermelon juice, coconut water, pear or apple juice with fresh lime juice added, and rice-milk fruit smoothies.