10 tips for heartful cooking

Vijay Sahu

Chef VIJAY SAHU has cooked his way from India to Australia, and across Thailand, New York, and now Dallas, TX. Here he shares his thoughts on preparing a very special meal from the heart, and how important it is to fill the food with love.

What is heartful cooking?

In my view, it is to cook food with love, compassion and gratitude; to cook food in remembrance with a balanced mind; and to eat food in a prayerful mood.


Here are 10 tips for heartful cooking:

1. Food needs to be simple, fresh, healthy, and tasty. 

2. Cook with a focused mind by centering yourself, and cook food with love from your heart.

3. Never cook in a rush. 

4. Follow the techniques to create a well-balanced meal.

5. Maintain hygiene in the kitchen and cook in a cleanly manner.

6. Select quality organic ingredients where possible. 

7. Serve food with a loving attitude.

8. Eat in a prayerful mood with gratitude.

9. Cook perfectly – not well or great but perfectly.

10. Never waste food because food is prasad from God.

Pickled beets, poached tomatoes, star fruit, micro nasturtiums

Cook with a focused mind by centering yourself,
and cook food with love from your heart.

Before my visit to Kanha Shanti Vanam earlier this year, I had a strong will to cook a Sufi meal for around 300 of the participants of the 150th birth anniversary of Lalaji. Sufi cuisine is a combination of Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian flavors. I didn’t know how and where I could find people to help me with the cooking as well as serving, so I prayed and received help from one of the well-known culinary institutes in Hyderabad. I didn’t know any of these students, and had never cooked with them. Nor had they heard of Sufi cuisine and they were totally new to this world. But I had strong faith in my Master, which helped me during the event.

Karinyarik, mujadra, garlic sauce, zaatar oil, gulab


With my will and faith in him, I built my confidence in cooking. During the entire evening my focus was only on cooking – how to get authentic flavors and presentation to make everyone happy. Without my Master’s help and support, I don’t think the event would have been successful. I am 100% convinced that it could happen only because of faith and confidence in him. 

Arugula salad, labneh, sour beet jam, sweet mustard drizzle

I have started applying this new technique both in my spiritual and culinary journey. Daaji gave me one piece of advice, which I will remember forever, and that is “Listen to your Heart while cooking.” This is really helping me a lot.

Aush reshteh soup