Crescent City Ayurveda

Optimizing the health of New Orleanians


Baked fish Indian style

Posted by on February 23, 2018 at 1:20 PM

Today is the second Friday of Lent, and it is of course traditional to eat fish then.  From an Ayurvedic perspective, fish has the tastes of sweet and salty. Freshwater fish is sweet without being salty. This means that saltwater fish it is best for the Vata dosha, since the sweet and salty tastes reduce Vata. Examples of saltwater fish include salmon, tuna, snapper, swordfish, grouper, cod, and hake.

Since salt increases the Pitta and Kapha doshas, freshwater fish is best for them. That doesn't mean all saltwater fish has to be avoided by Pitta and Kapha, since fish is generally healthy for just about everyone; however, Pittas and Kaphas should be careful about how much salt is used. Examples of freshwater fish that are good to eat include catfish, trout, bluegill, crappie, bass, freshwater drum, and walleye.

Fish is also a good source of healthy fats, in particular omega-3 fatty acids, which are also especially good for Vata. Some fish that are the best choices for omega-3's are trout, albacore tuna, and salmon. 

Of course, Ayurveda always recommends that food be well-seasoned (but not firey spicey), and fish is no exception. Last week, I made a recipe for baked fish that used garam masala, turmeric, and paprika to season the fish ( I used a beautiful filet of local black drum from Whole Foods, and it came out absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe and used semolina for the crust. Aria suggested you could also use bread crumbs for a more traditionally Creole style, and place butter (or better yet ghee) on top of the fish to make it even more delicious. This recipe is best for Vata, because black drum is a saltwater fish and the garam masala includes warm spices that are great for Vata. In upcoming posts, we will look at fish recipes for Pitta and Kapha. 

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