Sanjai Mathur is the Ayurveda chef and teacher of Ayurvedic cooking and dietetics at Vedika Gurukula. Sanjai trains Vedika’s students over a period of three years in developing delicious, healthy and seasonally attuned recipes and meal plans. Sanjai’s recipes and use of traditional cooking methods and spices not only enhances wellbeing but also have capacity to restores balance and health since the recipes are powered by knowledge of foods and nutrition principles from the Ayurvedic science of Life.
Sanjai’s treasure chest includes not only recipes from the age old tradition of Ayurveda, wherein the recipes are archived in ancient texts such as Bhavaparkash, but, also, his own inventions, that are a creative blend from the great Indian culture as well as international flavors. Sanjai’s recipes range from foods exposed to the moonlight as an essential ingredient to using local farm grown organic California produce and cooking them with Ayurveda principles and ingredients.
Sanjai’s passion for cooking developed early in life while growing up in India. He literally fell in love with cooking watching his mother in the kitchen. His mother took great pride in preparing food for her family, and Sanjai fondly recalls watching her in the kitchen literally whip magic day after day. The kitchen was the center of the home. “Great food is great from the love we pour into its preparation,” Sanjai remembers his mother saying, and she taught him how to find and select the best ingredients for their meals at local farms and markets. “I believe it was my mother’s love and passion for cooking nurturing food with balanced tastes, seasonal considerations and beautiful presentation that encouraged me to pursue a career as a professional chef,” he says. Today, Vedika’s kitchen exudes the same warmth and holds the same meaning for Vedika’s Ayurveda students. Those silent lessons in childhood and meals eaten from the labor of motherly love form the basis of Sanjai’s skills and inspiration today.
Sanjai’s fascination with Ayurveda as a source of knowledge of foods, and system of healthy cooking and nutrition grew organically from his marriage to traditional Ayurveda healer and teacher Shunya. Together, they have built a culture of Ayurveda inspired cuisine in their home and community.