The Kritanna Varga

Now we shall fully deal with the properties of cooked and prepared food (Kritannas). A gruel (Manda) of fried paddy seasoned with powdered Pippali and Nagara proves a wholesome diet to a patient after the exhibition of purgatives and emetics, inasmuch as it is digestant appetising and agreeable, and tends to restore the bodily Vayu to its normal condition. Peya is diaphoretic, appetising, light of digestion, diuretic (lit : bladder-cleanser). It allays thirst and hunger, and tends to remove the sense of fatigue and exhaustion. It serves to rekindle an impaired appetite and restore (lit: soothes down) the deranged Vayu to its normal condition. Vilepi acts as an emulcent food and soothes the entire organism. It is tonic, and imparts strength and rotundity to the frame. It is light, astringent, appetising, agreeable, quenches thirst and satisfies hunger. The Yavagu, when cooked with meat, potherbs and fruit, is hard to digest. It is otherwise agreeable, soothing, spermatopoietic, tissue-building, and tonic. Manda is prepared by carefully excluding all the residuary shreds of its component substances, while Peya is cooked without any such exclusion. A gruel, which abounds with such seedy shreds, is called Vilepi, while the variety, which is slightly fluid and extremely seedy in its consistency, is named Yavagu. The preparation known as the Payasa (a sort of porridge cooked by boiling rice with milk and sugar) is long retained in the stomach in an undigested state and is heavy of digestion, though it tends to impart strength to the body, and generates fat and Kapham in the organism.

The dish called Krishara (a gruel cooked by boiling rice with flesh and sesamum) generates the Kapham and Pittam, imparts strength to the body, and subdues the Vayu. A meal consisting of white coloured, well threshed, sweet smelling rice, which has been washed with care and properly boiled, and well strained afterwards, is digested with ease and in the shortest space of time, in the event of it being eaten hot or warm. On the contrary, a meal consisting of uncleansed and unwashed rice improperly boiled and taken cold without having been properly strained takes a longer time to be digested. Fried rice is light and aromatic, and generates the Kapham. Rice boiled and cooked with clarified butter or any such fatty substance, as well as with meat, acid fruits, or with any kind of pulse, forms a rich and heavy food which helps to build up new tissues, and imparts strength and rotundity to the body. Rice boiled and cooked with milk (in a manner other than that of preparing the Payasa) acquires properties similar to those of the preceding one. A soup made of any sort of fried pulse (such as the Mudga, etc.) without its husks is light and wholesome. Similarly, potherbs (Shakas) well boiled and well squeezed and subsquently cooked with oil or any ohter lardaceous substance are wholesome, while those which are cooked in a different manner should be considered as possessed of contrary virtues.

Meat is naturally spermatopoietic and imparts gloss and strength to the system. Moreover, that which has been cooked and prepared with clarified butter, curd, sour gruel (Kanjika), acid fruits (as the pomegranate etc.) pungent and some aromatic condiment, (as black pepper, etc.) should be considered as a very wholesome diet, though heavy of digestion. It is possessed of relishing, strength-giving and tissue-building properties.

The condensed soup or extract of the afore said meat, thickened with milk curd and clarified butter, and seasoned and cooked with such aromatic condiments (as black pepper, asafoetida, etc.), tends to aggravate the Pittam and Kapham, and acts as an appetising, constructive tonic. The meat, which has been several times fried with clarified butter and then boiled in warm water and afterwards prepared dry with such condiments as Jiraka, etc. (so as to have all the butter and seasonings fully absorbed in its body - Parishushka-Mansa) should be considered as a toothsome, exhilarating, emulcent food, though heavy of digestion. It imparts firmness to the limbs and increases a relish for food, improves the appetite and intellect, builds up fresh tissues, gives rotundity to the frame, and produces an increased quantity of semen and (ojas) albumen in the organism. Tue meat cooked and prepared in the foregoing manner, when minced and made into cakes, is called Ullupta-Mansam, which resembles the above-said Parishushka-Mansam in its properties, though it is lighter than the latter owing to the fact of its having been cooked over a charcoal fire. The same meat, cooked on an iron rod over a charcoal fire, becomes a little heavier as far as digestion is concerned, inasmuch as it is roasted with clarified butter, etc.

The varieties of cooked meat such as, the Ullupta (minced meat), the Bharjita (fried), the Pishta (made into balls or cakes), the Pratapta (roasted with clarified butter over a charcoal fire), the Kandupachita (dipped in mustard oil and powdered aromatic condiments and roasted and done to a honey colour over a charcoal fire), the Parishuska and the Pradigdha go by the general name of Shulyam (cabob). Of the varieties of Shulyam, those which are boiled with oil should be considered as heat-making in their potency, heavy of digestion and as generating the Pittam, while those, which have been fried with clarified butter, should be regarded as light, appetising, agreeable, relishing, beneficial to the eyes, and cooling in their potency. They also subdue the Pittam and are pleasant to the taste.* A thin meat soup is a pleasant tonic, and proves beneficial in cases of dyspnoea, cough, and consumption. It subdues the Pittam and Kapham, destroys the Vayu, and has an agreeable taste. It is wholesome to persons of weak memory and reduced semen, as well as to those suffering from cachexia peculiar to chronic fever, from general emaciation of the body, from ulcerative endocarditis (Urakshata), or from diseases affecting the voice or the albumen (ojas). It is known to bring about an adhesion and reduction of fractured and dislocated bones, and increases the quantity of semen and oja (albumen) in subjects found wanting in those two important principles of life. Meat-soup, prepared with the juice of the Dadima, etc., and seasoned with pungent condiments, increases the quantity of semen and tends to subdue the action of all the three deranged humours of the body.