A balanced diet involves having six tastes - salty, sour, sweet, astringent, bitter present in every meal or at least have them once everyday.
Taste has an effect on the body systems. Each of the tastes have a specific effect on the individual. An Ayurvedic cook would have studied the various foods and their tastes and their effects.
He woulld then match the tastes to:
1. the individual body type that is made up of the elements - Vata/Air and Ether, Pitta/Fire, Kapha/Earth & Water - It is an Ayurvedic cooks responsibility along with the Ayurvedic physician to educate the individual about the uniqueness of their individual elements/Doshas which can be tweaked with taste to create wellness.
2. the present season - Choosing vegetables and fruits in season is one way to have the right tastes for that season, other ways is to use grains, beans, lentil, spices, herbs and seasonings to get the alchemy of taste right.
Winter - sweet, sour and salty tastes are encouraged.
Summer - foods that are naturally sweet, bitter and astringent are encouraged.
Spring and autumn - pungent, bitter and astringent tastes are encouraged.