The ‘ONE and ONLY’ Dish Technique

  • 20 minutes

The ‘One and Only’ Dish Technique is a ‘way of cooking’, an Ayurvedic approach that I have developed and have been teaching around the world for decades – once understood, it frees you from the need for recipes and opens up a world of creativity in the kitchen. With a little bag of spices, you can look in (almost) any fridge and cupboard and cook a delicious and nourishing meal (once I opened a fridge where I offered to cook and found only steak and beer – two divorced middle age male musicians. I did need to visit the vegetable market before beginning!).

This technique will produce tasty AND nourishing dishes in all traditional and ethnic styles, not just with the Indian spices. Dishes such as tagines, pasta’s, stir-fry’s etc can be modified and enhanced by this technique. A wise  and observant girlfriend once stated “you just cook the one dish, and yet it always comes out different!” and it is true. So it became known as The One And Only Dish.

If you follow the idea of this, along with understanding the six tastes of Ayurveda, everyone and especially you will love your cooking. I love my cooking and rarely  get tired of it!.

‘If we digest well, we feel well’, Ayurveda states. This sequence (with variations) enhances the digestibility of our produce AND makes it taste great! Food that is good for you should taste great (medicines may not!).

The Principle is a simple enough four (4)  step process. This  the secret of Ayurvedic Cooking.

(step 1) Heat the ghee or oil (coconut) and add wonderful tasty whole seed spices. As they gently roast in the ghee the essential oils (lipids) in the whole seeds seep out and dissolve in the ghee. These oils greatly enhance digestion .

(step 2) Then, whatever we are cooking is tossed to evenly coat them in the tasty digestive ghee. This delicious oil prepares the nutrients and food for digestion, and improves the uptake of the nutrients in the body.

(step 3) Then, we add the liquids and whatever powdered herbs or spices and salt that we are using . Not adding the powders to the hot oil preserves their more delicate nature (than whole seeds) and they dissolve in the liquids. Frying in ghee captures the fat soluble nutrients and then the water or liquid gets the water soluble nutrients.

(step 4) Just before serving is the garnish and finishing of the dish and most importantly adds a little of the missing tastes, mostly the bitter  taste from the green leaves and sometimes some sour from the lime or yoghurt.. Ayurveda states that we will get all the nutrients needed if we include all six tastes in every meal (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent and bitter).

Make a few recipes or watch the video series (to be released soon) to really get the idea. And then let your creativity flow.

And when it is all too much, make ‘The Panacea to Modern Life’ and relax and look at the sky.

Happy Cooking and Cook Happily


  • step 1

    1st STAGE-Spicing the Ghee

    Heat ghee, add whole spices  and seeds and fry gently. When slightly browned and fragrant,   Then…..

  • step 2

    2nd STAGE-Coating the Vegetables

    Mixed Vegetables chopped to different shapes (contrasting colours if more than one type is used). Experiment or just use what is in the fridge.

    Add the vege’s and toss them thru the spiced oil coating them well.   Then……

  • step 3

    3rd STAGE – Adding the Liquids and Powder

    Add the powdered spices with the liquids (not to the hot oil).

    Add liquids and spice powders, stir well, and cook until vegetables are just tender. (about 10-20 minutes).


  • step 4

    4th STAGE – The Finishing and Garnish

    Finishing touches like yoghurt or lime juice or black pepper are added to complete the six tastes. And a green leaf garnish

    Stir in , and allow to rest a little.

    Garnish with fresh leaves.