Among the Madhwa Brahmins of Udupi, a temple town in South India’s Karnataka region, sattvik food is the standard fare. Sattvik food implies slow cooking with local ingredients, and the prime function is to heal, nourish, and soothe the gut. Much of South Indian wholesome vegetarian food is considered sattvik, cooked without too much oil, onions, garlic, or an overload of spices — and much of it can be traced to the temple kitchen of the famous mutt or monastery in Udupi. The Udupi Kitchen is a delightful introduction to the homespun wellness wisdom of this tradition, which is strongly influenced by Ayurveda. Fun fact from the book: The globally famous masala dosa was the handiwork of an ingenious Udupi cook, who surreptitiously slipped bits of onion into the folds of the dosa along with palya or potato mash to make it a popular restaurant dish outside the portals of the monastery. The authors, a mother and daughter duo, suggest that cooking must be approached as a joyous activity. Can’t argue with that one.