This article is by Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Roti and chapati are staple food items of Asian continents especially in India, Pakistan, Bangla, Myamnar, Sri Lanka etc. A day without Roti, Naan or chapati is difficult to assume especially in North India.
It is undoubtedly a very good and nutritious eatable preferred for breakfast, lunch as well as dinner. Ayurvedic literature emphasize the reason behind this particular food items.
Roti or Chapati is having the history of several centuries in India.
This small write up discloses the Ayurvedic aspects of this specific food preparation.
Table of Contents
Classical reference: Bhavaprakasha – Kritanna varga/30 – 32
Method of preparation
How to Make wheat barley roti and Chapati as per Ayurveda?
General method of preparation of Chapati or Roti preparation is explained by using the wheat flour. Even though salt, sugar or ghee are not are not referred in this context, it means that they are usually added in food preparation as per the need and hence they can be added while making the dough.
But specifically after mildly heating the compressed dough, it is once again kept or baked over the burning charcoal. The main intention behind this is to make the Roti or Chapati lighter for digestion.
Where as now days it is baked or cooked/roasted by keeping it over the Tawa, non stick pan, chapatti makers etc and accordingly its quality may be varied as the nature of heat has direct impact over the quality of the food.
Read related: Medu Vada: How to Make? Ayurveda Benefits
Synonyms, qualities, actions
Synonyms: Roti, Rotikha, Rotla, Rota etc. (Chapati – Nan – Kulcha are the varieties of the same.)
Quality: Vatahara(pacifier of vata dosha), Kapahavardhaka(aggravative of Kapha dosha), Durjara(heavy for digestion) etc.
Dhatuvardhaka (tissue nourishing and bulk enhancing) etc.
Qualities – Heavy, nutritive, bulk enhancer, pacifies vata, aggravates kapha, carminative, aphrodisiac
Utility – This is claimed to be useful in cough, cold, breathlessness, emaciating disorders etc.
Qualities – Appetizer, sweet, Vishada (clearance of the channels), light, enhances stool bulk, Shukravardhaka (energizer of the sexual vigor), nutritive, pacifies kapha.
Utility – It is recommended in rhinitis, breathlessness, cough, obesity, urinary disorders,throat disorders etc.
Black gram Roti
Qualities – energizer, dry, aggravates vata, enhances strength etc
Utility – To gain musculature and to build the body this Roti is advised along with ghee and jaggery.
During the intake of black gram Roti sufficient amount of milk and sugar cane juice is advised.
Qualities – dry, pacifies kapha, pitta, raktapittahara, heavy to digest, vishtambhakaraka (blocks the channels), good for eyes.
Utility-This is recommended in bleeding disorders, diarrhea, loose stools etc.
Health benefits of Roti and Chapati:
As this is heavy for digestion, it is more suitable to the individuals who have good digestive capacity. In practice also people who are strong and indulging in outdoor works or heavy work prefer to have it as it is giving instant energy for a prolonged period.
Read related: Papad – Ayurvedic Method Of Making, Health Benefits, Precautions
Further, if ghee is added while making the dough or while baking or heating or during the intake, it will have more Vata – Pitta pacifying properties. As it is heavy for digestion, carminatives like Chutney, Koorma, Soup, or Rasam or varieties of side dishes added with spices are preferred so as to digest the food easily due to their potent digestive properties.
It is the reason while taking the food, if proper side dish is not used, purpose of food will not be served !
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