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Ayurvedic Vegetable Recipes: For Taste and Health

All about ayurvedic vegetable recipes for taste and health

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Vegetable Recipes

Vegetables are neutral in taste and energy combining well with most other foods as well as being generally sattvic. Vegetables are a great source of many vitamins and nutrients as well as fiber when eaten in whole forms.  Cooked vegetables are better for Vata and Kapha; raw vegetable recipes in moderation are better for Pitta.  Fresh vegetable recipes are far superior to canned (most tamasic or damaging) or frozen (better than canned but still depleting in some of their energy).

  • Root vegetables: are heavier and more nutritive and are particularly balancing to Vata but can aggravate Kapha
  • Leafy or green vegetables: lighter and usually drying contain important vitamins and minerals.  Are better for Kapha and Pitta but should be used in moderation for Vata so as not to be aggravating.
  • Pungent vegetable recipes: are rajasic or irritating in their properties and will aggravate Pitta with their hot nature.  These include onions, garlic and chilies.
  • Nightshades: such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, can provoke food allergies in both Vata and Pitta constitutions and also create more acidity in the body.

Simple Vegetable Saute

I love vegetables.

And there are very few that I don’t like so you would think it would be a breeze to incorporate them into my daily menus. To a certain degree, you’re right.

But I get tired of the same tastes and am always looking for new flavorings, especially for my family and picky son!

This week I tried this simple vegetable mix, lightly spiced, with just enough flavor to enhance the natural tastes of the vegetables but lift it up from mundane to yummy.


  • 1 bunch broccoli florets, trimmed and cut into smallish pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red pepper, large diced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 rounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Warm oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper, broccoli and red pepper; sauté for about 5 minutes. Add in the zucchini and cook for another minute. Add in the asparagus and peas, cooking for another 3 minutes or until all vegetables are soft to your taste.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter, salt, pepper, parsley and chives. Serve immediately.

Simple Simmered Greens

Leafy greens are a wonderful source of nutrients and one of the most under-utilized foods.  And while greens are healthy and good, different types of greens are going to affect the doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha – in different ways.  So first look at the table below of which greens are best for each of the doshas then use this simple but tasty recipe to enjoy them on a regular basis.

Vata Balancing Greens
Vata does best with cooked greens.  Also, greens by nature tend to be bitter, pungent or astringent which are not the best for vata so eat these greens in moderation:

  •     Mustard greens
  •     Swiss chard
  •     Spinach

Pitta Balancing Green vegetable recipes
Pitta is balanced by the sweet and bitter tastes but not by pungent or spicy.  Favor these greens:

  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Spinach, cooked in small amounts

Kapha Balancing Greens
Kapha is balanced by pungent, bitter and astringent tastes so does well with all the greens and can have them regularly!

  • Beet greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens

Mix your greens in whatever way you choose, using about 2 cups per person.  Rinse, slice off the stems of larger greens (kale, chard, mustard), and coarsely chop the leaves.

In a large saucepan heat 1 tsp. ghee or olive oil and 1 Tbsp. vegetable stock.  If using the stockier stems, cook these first for 5 minutes then add the green leaves and a pinch of pepper.  Saute until they are slightly wilted but still maintain a vibrant green color.  Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

Vaidyagram Recipe: Carrot-Beet Poriyal

This simple vegetable dish is used as a side dish for lunch or dinner.  I made it recently with pongal which is similar to a kitchari.  Because in Ayurveda a healthy meal is considered to be that has all six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent – having different side dishes helps achieve this balance and blend.  This dish is considered sweet in taste and is nourishing and strengthening.


  • 1/2 beet
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1/3 c. water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 curry leaf (found at Indian grocery stores)


  1. Boil water in a pot and add chopped vegetables with salt and pepper.
  2. Allow the vegetable to cook until tender and water mostly drained, cook with a lid so water boils off. The recipe calls for the curry leaf to be used as a garnish, crushed on top. I simply cooked my with the vegetable for flavor then removed it, like a bay leaf.

Cilantro Chutney Vegetable Recipes


  • 8 oz chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp soma or sea salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 oz raisins
  • 1 tsp Mum’s Masala (available at Ayurveda Wellness) or garam masala (found at Indian groceries)


  1. Blend ingredients together.
  2. Optional: add a small handful of cashews before blending.
  3. Serve with fresh, lightly steamed vegetables, whole-grain crackers or as an accompaniment to lentils.

Basic Roasted Vegetable Recipes

There’s something about roasting vegetables that brings out a whole different flavor.  You can do them in the oven or even on the grill.  Eat them as a side dish, in a pita pocket for a sandwich or on a bed of grains.


  • 2 tsp ghee or olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 3 cups diced vegetables (I used Brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, and Swiss chard)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a shallow baking pan with oil.
  3. Combine the oil, aminos, vinegar, and spices together.
  4. Add in the vegetables that will take the longest to cook and put everything on the pan.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes then add the faster cooking vegetables.
  6. Greens should be added about 5 minutes before the end time.
  7. Total cooking time will be 20-30 minutes depending on the vegetables you choose.

Beets & Caramelized Onions Vegetable Recipes

In the summer Healthy Weight, Healthy You wellness program, a participant shared this wonderful recipe.  I love beets in general but this recipe took my beets to a whole new level that the whole family enjoyed.  Pick up some beets from your local farmer’s market and enjoy yourself!

In Ayurveda, beets are a food that decreases Vata through their sweet taste, slightly warm energy, and heavy grounding quality.  In moderation, they are also fine for Pitta and Kapha but in excess the warmth can over heat Pitta and the sweet taste can imbalance Kapha.  To further reduce Kapha in this recipe, omit the optional feta cheese.


  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3-5 medium scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound beets
  • ¼ c. feta cheese, optional
  • pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub beets and remove greens if attached. Either wrap whole beets in foil or peel, cube and place in a pan. Roast in the oven until soft, approximately 45 minutes for whole or 25 minutes for chopped. When done, cool and if whole, peel. While beets are roasting, go on to the next two steps.
  2. To prepare the dressing, whisk tougher vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Then add 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a slow stream as you continue to whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Caramelize the onions by putting 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat and add the scallions and a little salt. Stir occasionally until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add onions to the dressings and the cooled beets. Gently add in feta cheese if using, and then sprinkle with pine nuts.

Basil Sautéed Zucchini

A great summer recipe when the zucchini plant is bursting with abundance.  Last summer during this time I literally ate a zucchini a day for a couple weeks!

Although zucchini are found on the Kapha avoid or minimize list in food guidelines due to their higher water content, in moderation the vegetable can be enjoyed by all doshas.


  • 1 zucchini, ¼” slices
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp. soma salt


  1. Melt ghee in a sauté pan with the basil and salt and sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the cut zucchini and mix to coat.
  3. Cook on medium-low heat, flipping the zucchini every 3-4 minutes so both sides are evenly cooked. Cook until soft but not mushy.
  4. Can add additional vegetables but I recommend keeping the vegetable selection to no more than three to allow for the pure taste of the individual vegetables.
  5. One combination I enjoy is the zucchini with baby spinach. I cook the zucchini until almost done then add in the spinach for the last two minutes.

Beets & Greens

A yummy natural pairing of beets with their greens – a part that is often left off but so full of nutrients and the astringent and bitter tastes which are needed in our diet.

Beets are considered to have a sweet taste and a slightly warm virya or energetic relating to neutral, hot/warming, or cold/cooling.  They help build the blood, cleanse the bile, and support healthy menstruation.  From a doshic perspective, beets decrease the vata dosha and increase in excess kapha dosha (due to the sweet taste) and pitta dosha (due to the warming nature).

The beet green vegetable recipes energetically are similar to spinach which has a primary astringent taste with a secondary bitter taste.  The greens decrease kapha dosa and pitta dosha as long as not in excess and increase vata dosha.

In moderation, beets and their greens are a lovely addition to the diet for all the doshas.


  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound beets with greens


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub beets and remove greens. Either wrap whole beets in foil or cube and place in a pan. Roast in the oven until soft, approximately 45 minutes for whole or 25 minutes for chopping. When done, cool and if whole, peel. While beets are roasting, go on to the next two steps.
  2. To prepare the dressing, whisk tougher vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Then add 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a slow stream as you continue to whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Wash and chop the beet greens and sauté in a heavy-bottomed large skillet and cook until soft but not mushy or a dull color. When beets are down, mix in the dressing and serve on top of the cooked greens.

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