Bhagawati reviews Kaiyum’s cookbook.
Zen in the Kitchen is a unique cook book. Kaiyum was inspired to create it by watching the rather endearing animated film ‘Ratatouille’, and tells an enjoyable story about the process of cooking and maintaining a healthy body. He shows a selection of books on healing with food for suggested reading, and also outlines the importance of Ayurveda.
In his book we find some unusual basic ingredients that Kaiyum finds essential for creating healthy and good food, and a list of items that ought to be in the larder and freezer at all times. Necessarily they represent items that are readily available in Europe, yet similar products are also widely available in many countries.
However, as emphasized also by our other cooks in the caravanserai, the main ingredients are love and a meditative approach: the outcome of a good meal is based on awareness and full attention on the task on hand.
Each one of the recipes comes with photos and a list of ingredients – yet as to quantities and measurements you are on your own! He suggests playing with the ingredients and gradually develop a sense of how much to use, something I usually do as I never seem to have all ingredients needed in any of the recipes I decide to cook with. It works!
His recipes are designed to be quickly cooked and suitable to be consumed over 2-3 days or to be put in the deep-freeze. He doesn’t seem to be a fan of washing up, so he uses as few pots and utensils as possible!
He invites the reader to experiment by trying out some new ingredients and new combinations.
Kaiyum took sannyas at the Osho Academy in Sedona in 1998 and nowadays lives in Eefde, The Netherlands. His current work is based on three primary activities, connected by the common theme of doing things differently. He coaches and trains the art of presentation. He works as a therapist in complementary healing, where he emphasizes restoring the biochemical balance to support self-generation of the physical body. Most recently, together with his beloved Indra, he created ‘De Doorbraak’ (The Breakthrough), a heart-based approach to communication for children of all ages to help them change how they experience their world, putting an end to bullying at school. And then the man also cooks …