Most Ayurvedic cooking starts with cooking spices in oil. This is for several reasons, some help us to digest our food better and others are anti bacterial, viral and anti inflammatory
Turmeric, mustard seeds and ginger are a good bet for us all. For Kapha other key detoxifying herbs are black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves. For Vata cardamom and cinnamon are perfect. Pittas should be using lots of cooling fennel, mint, basil and parsley. Mustard seeds should be used sparingly as they are good for the digestion but are heating for pitta
Oil is a big part of Ayurveda in food and externally. Many nutrients are fat soluble and even drinking certain types of oil before meals (as we do on our cleanse) can have an amazing cleansing effect.
Ghee (not vegan), coconut oil and sesame oil are three commonly used oils, all can be used in high temperature cooking and ghee is tridoshic.
Kaphas and Vatas do well with warming sesame oil but just use sparingly for Kapha. Pittas should favour cooling coconut oil.
Having some tetra pack or glass jarred coconut milk and cream in your cupboards is also great for adding to curries and as a vegan alternative to dairy.
Pulses and grains
Chickpeas, lentils, rice, quinoa are great staples and can be enjoyed by all doshas. Jarred chickpeas are great for a quick meal and better than the aluminium tinned version
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, ideally raw and unsalted are great for a snack or even to use as protein in a main meal. To make these even more digestible and to improve their bioavailibilty you can soak them, rinse and bake at a low temperature and then store, or you can always buy them pre soaked. Look for 'activated' nuts and seedslike this range which I like - no affiliation. Too many nuts can be heavy for kapha so stick to seeds which are of lighter quality if this is your dosha.
Now it's common knowledge that refined sugar is harmful, many people I speak to are trying to cut out all forms of sweetness from their diet. This is not the Ayurvedic approach. In Ayurveda sweet is one of the six tastes to be incorporated in our diets regularly. This makes sense because we have receptors for sweetness and breast milk, our first food is sweet.
Don't deprive yourself of the sweetness of life! Go for natural sweetness as this doesn't tend to spike your blood sugar or flood your brain with addictive levels of dopamine like refined sugar and artificial sweeteners do.
Raw honey, stevia, maple syrup, coconut syrup and monk fruit sweetener are good options to have on hand in your kitchen. Also always have some medjool dates on hand as these make a nice, quick, caramelly treat as they are or when cut open and filled with nut butter!