Arusuvai is a Tamil word it means SIX Tastes.
The Sweet taste: Many of us like this taste. Sweet taste is found in starches, sugars and some fats. The sweet taste acts fast in the tongue. It is a cooling taste and helps to build body tissues. It gives immediate energy and promotes growth in babies.
The Sour taste: This taste of sourness adds further taste to foods. The sour taste is found in fermented foods like cheese and yogurt, Idli, and Dosa, acidic fruits like lime, tomatoes, sour mangoes, grapes and plums and of course in tamarind which forms the basis of many chutneys, juices and pastes
The Salty taste: The salt taste is unavoidable and everyone likes it provided is consumed in the right proportions and not in excess. The salty taste is found in sea salt and sea weed. It also found in excess in some vegetables like radish, parsnip, pumpkin, bottle gourd and stalks of some leafy vegetables. Salt aids digestion and circulation.
The Pungent taste: (Hot) This taste stimulates the appetite. The pungent taste comes from the essential oils in spices and herbs. Pungent foods are hot, light and dry. Mostly found in known spices, onions, garlic, ginger and pepper. The volatile oils in spices and herbs in addition to bringing out the aroma also cause tingling sensation to the tongue and promote salivation and increased flow of digestive juices thus stimulating the appetite and help digestion. They also improve metabolism.
The Bitter taste: The bitter taste is not a well appreciated one out of the six tastes; however, it is a more useful taste. It is light, cold and dry. The taste in these foods is due to the alkaloids and glycosides present in them. The bitter taste comes from some herbs like aloe Vera, dandelion, some commonly used spices like coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, garlic and Omam, vegetables like bitter gourd, Aubergines, and Neem flower.
The Astringent taste: People do not show liking or hatred to this taste and it is a very useful taste to the health. The astringent taste is drying and the foods are light, cold and dry. This taste is due to the presence of tannin in them. The dryness of this taste causes reduction of water. These foods and herbs have the property of arresting bleeding. Astringent taste is found in some herbs like sage, St. John's wort, vegetables like beans and ash plantain, lentils, cauliflower, broccoli and potatoes fruits like pomegranate and apples