Mr. Alborzian has a book out, “The Guru in You” (HarperOne, $25.99), much of which is devoted to the ayurvedic approach to eating. He has high praise for ginger, turmeric, licorice and clarified butter. (“A life without ghee is no life at all!” he writes.) He’s down on cooking in oil, using a microwave and overdosing on icy beverages. At Szechuan Gourmet, he declined the customary glass of water.
“The body doesn’t really need more water,” he said. “What it needs is more lubrication, especially as it’s getting older. Ghee will take care of that.” Now and then Mr. Alborzian drinks a teacup full of ghee, or rubs a dab of it inside his nostrils. “Especially when I’m flying,” he said. “Because I’m sucking in six hours of dry air.” He had kicked off the morning with some hot water, followed by “two or three spoonfuls of full-fat plain yogurt.” A few hours later came “two pieces of dried mango, and then that was it” for breakfast.
When he’s not writing or studying in India, Mr. Alborzian makes house calls, sometimes even moving in with clients to observe their daily routines and guide them toward healthier habits. One of the first things he attends to is the way a person chows down. I figured he could do the same for me. I’d chosen Szechuan Gourmet, one of the city’s shrines to tongue-scorching, because I crave spicy food the way other people might crave, say, a bowl of >>>