The Vedic Chef: 3 Ayurvedic Recipes that Balance All 6 Tastes

balance all 6 tastes

In Ayurveda, there are six tastes that you can include in every meal: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Meals with all six tastes are great opportunities to help balance flavors and nutrition for better health for everyone in your family (or whoever you are serving).

The following three recipes are built from many small dishes and include all six tastes to help nourish all of the tissues in your body.

6-Taste Wild Rice Bowl

This wild rice bowl with mashed roasted beets, avocado, beet green salad, baked broccoli, walnut pate, and French mustard/ginger dressing is sure to balance all of your six tastes.

Ingredients

  • 3 small broccoli, stalks peeled
  • A sprinkling of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 2 3/4 cups filtered water
  • 1 purple beet, baked whole
  • 1 golden beet, baked whole
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut amino acids
  • beet greens or green lettuce, shredded
  • sunflower sprouts for decoration
  • slices of avocado

Walnut Pate

  • 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted CCF (cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds), partially ground
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fine chopped cilantro
  • pinch fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons CCF mix
  • 1 teaspoon coconut amino acids
  • pinch of salt

Directions for the Walnut Pate

Place the walnuts in a blender, then add olive oil, sundried tomatoes, CCF mix, sage leaves, some black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Blend to a rough paste.

Directions for the Dressing

Mix all the dressing ingredients well with a whisk and leave on one side in a bowl.

Directions for the Wild Rice Bowl

Bake the broccoli for 40 minutes, then add a sprinkling of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt/fresh ground black pepper.

Add both types of rice to a saucepan and cover with 2.75 cups filtered water. Bring to a boil, add salt, then simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan, and keep warm.

Peel and mash the cooked beets and add black pepper, coconut aminos, dried basil, lemon juice, and seasoning (Himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper).

Place portions of the rice, beets, broccoli, avocado, walnut pate, and greens in a wide bowl. Drizzle the dressing over it, then garnish with some sunflower sprouts and serve.

6-Taste Thai Curry Bowl

Thai cooking is resplendent with sauces, coconut, and spices like lemongrass, galangal, cardamom, and ginger. It’s similar to Indian cooking and yet quite unique. This dish is extremely suitable to Ayurvedic treatment.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soaked split mung bean dhal
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-grated turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon Chef Johnny’s Vata (may substitute Pitta or Kapha) seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon CCF mix (cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds), partially ground
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 medium purple sweet potato, cut up in chunks
  • 2 to 3 bok choy, sliced in half

Bitter Melons

  • 7 bitter melon slices
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • CCF mix
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of salt

Saffron Rice

  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed
  • 2 tablespoons red lentils, washed
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 pinch of salt

Almond and Coconut Cream

  • 12 blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut manna
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom powder
  • 1 cup water

Yellow Curry Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon grated galangal root
  • 2 tablespoons leeks, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemongrass, crushed and chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon toasted CCF mix (cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds), partially ground
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoons tomato puree
  • meat from a young coconut, sliced into four pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Mango Chutney

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped fine

Pumpkin Seed Masala

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon Chef Johnny’s vata (substitute pitta or kapha) seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Ginger/Mustard dressing (see above)
  • Some green lettuce

Directions for Saffron Rice

In a saucepan, add rice, red lentils, filtered water, saffron, and salt.

Simmer for about 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid.

Directions for Split Mung Bean Dhal, Potatoes, and Bok Choy

Mix split mung bean dhal with filtered water in a large saucepan. Heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, adding extra water if it gets too thick. Add fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, vata seasoning, CCF mix, lemon juice, and season with black pepper and salt. Add chopped cilantro at the end. When cooked to a thick porridge-like consistency, put on one side with a lid on.

In a separate pot, steam the purple potatoes for about 20 minutes, adding the bok choy for the last five minutes. Steam until both are tender.

Directions for Bitter Melons

Slice the bitter melon and remove seeds. Lightly fry in coconut oil with CCF mix, ginger, lemon, and sesame seeds. Cook until slightly crispy and golden in color, then add black pepper, salt, and a sprinkling of cilantro. Alternatively, slice the bitter melon and serve it raw.

Directions for Almond and Coconut Cream

Mix and then blend all ingredients into a cream.

Directions for Yellow Curry Sauce

In a medium size stainless steel frying pan, heat a little olive oil or ghee and add freshly grated ginger and freshly grated turmeric, grated galangal, chopped leek, and lemongrass.

Stir for two to three minutes, then add toasted CCF mix and lime juice. Keep stirring. Add 1.5 cups almond and coconut cream.

Stir well and then add mustard, coconut aminos, molasses, and tomato puree. Add coconut meat in large pieces, then the cilantro. Let it simmer gently for two minutes and then turn off the heat.

Directions for Mango Chutney

Peel and remove stone from the mangoes. Chop into small pieces. Add lime juice, fresh ginger, raisins, cinnamon, and cardamom. Add mint and a little honey. Stir or mash well. Put on one side.

Directions for Pumpkin Seed Masala

Mix all ingredients together so that it is a smooth consistently.

Directions for the Thai Curry Bowl

Serve the purple potatoes in slices or halves, bok choy, and spoon over the coconut curry sauce with fresh coconut. Then add a serving of wild rice, mango chutney, mung bean dhal, bitter melon, and pumpkin seed masala.

Drizzle dressing over rice and bitter melon. Garnish with black sesame seeds and chopped fresh cilantro.

6-Taste Chickpea Soup

Soups are nourishing and soothing as well as easy to digest. Chickpeas are astringent and therefore a wonderful food for pitta and kapha types. Here is a great soup recipe that is sure to whet your appetite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of soaked chickpeas, boiled until tender
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons leeks, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup beet greens, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon CCF mix (cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds), toasted and partially ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • A pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • A sprinking of cress
  • A sprinkling of sunflower sprouts

Directions

Place all of the ingredients (including the liquids, but except for the coconut milk and cilantro) in a large stainless-steel sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 50 minutes.

Add the coconut milk with seasoning (Himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper), stir well, and continue to simmer for five minutes (add extra water or stock if necessary).

Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Serve hot with a sprinkling of sunflower sprouts and cress in each bowl.


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About the Author

Chef Johnny Brannigan

Ayurvedic Chef
Chef Johnny Brannigan is an international Ayurvedic vegetarian and vegan chef with a deep knowledge base in Vedic wisdom and holistic medicine, and a lifelong love of food and cooking. Trained in Ayurveda and as a teacher of meditation by the Maharishi in Switzerland and Thailand, he has cooked and taught in over 33 countries, writing new recipes along the way. He co-founded The Organic Snack Company in 1998 in the U.K. and then travelled to the United States, where he cooked at The Raj, the top Ayurvedic spa in the country, and wrote The Global Vegetarian , his first cookbook. He’s also the chef/co-author of the seven-award-winning cookbook,...Read more