Nutrition & Recipes

The Vedic Chef: 4 Dosha-Specific Recipes

The Vedic Chef: 4 Dosha-Specific Recipes
Doshas are the three energies that define a person’s makeup. Depending on your Dosha, you may be drawn to certain foods. For example, a Vata Dosha might favor sweet, heavy, and warm aromas while a Pitta Dosha responds better to spices that are cooling. Knowing how to eat for your Dosha is one way to keep your body in balance. These recipes were created with each Dosha in mind.

Learn More About the Doshas

Fresh Coconut and Almond Stir Fry – A Vata Recipe

stir-fry.jpgA satisfying way to prepare young Thai coconut meat that’s somewhat reminiscent of calamari with Thai-style spices.

This recipe is vegan if you use sunflower or coconut oil, gluten-free, and great for Vata and Pitta doshas. It will be featured in Chef Johnny’s forthcoming book, Vegetable Soup for the Spirit.


  • Flesh from 2 young coconuts, sliced into thin strips about 2 inches long
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, sunflower oil, or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup smoked almonds or almonds lightly baked in Braggs amino acids or tamari, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped leek
  • 2 green zucchinis, sliced wafer thin
  • 2 carrots, sliced wafer thin
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree or organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Braggs amino acids
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons Chef Johnny’s Vata seasoning
  • 1/2 -1 cup vegetable stock or filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric root, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh fennel fronds or parsley or thyme

Melt the ghee or oil in a saucepan on medium heat; add the leek, ginger, turmeric, and fennel seeds; sauté and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut meat strips and sauté for 5 minutes; then add Vata spices, carrot, and zucchini; and stir. Place a lid on the pan and lower heat.

After 4 minutes, add the almonds, spices and herbs, Braggs, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Keep stirring and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, adding stock in small quantities to keep the dish from becoming dry.

Serve with quinoa, stir fried rice, steamed rice, kitchari, or noodles, and a small salad.

Makes 4 servings

Beet Burgers With Pear and Mint Chutney—A Pitta Recipe

beet-burger.jpgBeetroot, when grated and blended with red lentils, adds a rich red color to the burger patty. Grilling is a better cooking method for Pitta as it uses less oil. Beets are excellent for the blood and liver; they also improve eyesight and skin. In fact, they’re good for all things governed by Pitta in the body. They will energize you—especially the juice, which is an aphrodisiac. They’re rich in iron, vitamin C, and calcium.

Pears and their juice are one of the greatest Pitta-calming fruits of all, soothing inflammation and calming the heart. They’re also a good source of copper and vitamin C.

This recipe is vegan if you substitute oil for ghee, and gluten-free. It will be featured in Chef Johnny’s forthcoming book, Vegetable Soup for the Spirit.


  • 1 pound finely grated beets
  • 3 tablespoons chopped leek
  • 1 cup cooked kitchari made with basmati rice and red lentils
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoons dried basil and marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Chef Johnny’s Pitta seasoning or a mild curry spice mix
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Braggs amino acids
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree or organic ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon herb salt
  • Ghee or organic sunflower oil for grilling and baking
  • Organic rice or oat flour and sesame seeds, mixed together for coating the burgers
Pear Chutney:

  • 3 ripe juicy pears, peeled and cored
  • 1/3 cup soaked raisins or sultanas, chopped coarsely
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom powder, fresh ground is best
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds, lightly roasted
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
Directions for Beet Burgers:

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle a clean, flat surface with flour and sesame seed mix. Shape the burgers a half-inch deep and 3 inches wide making sure they are well coated with seeds and flour.

Heat up the grill part of your oven. Place burgers on a baking tray, sprinkle lightly on both sides with ghee or oil, and grill until the burgers are reddish brown and crispy on both sides. Alternatively, bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400°F. Place on absorbent kitchen paper in a warm place or serve immediately with the pear chutney.

Direction for Pear Chutney:

Mash all ingredients in a bowl, leaving some texture or lumpiness. Do not blend.

Makes 4 servings

Sesame Crusted Extra Flakey Tortilla—A Kapha Recipe

flakey-tortilla.jpgThis is a type of tortilla bread made in the style of parathas from India. They are rich, light, and flakey, and melt-in-the-mouth delicious.

This recipe is vegan if using sesame oil, and gluten-free if you substitute buckwheat flour for wheat.


  • 1 1/2 cups strong white flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons ghee or sesame oil
  • Spring water
  • 6 tablespoons sesame seeds

Mix the dry ingredients together except for the sesame seeds.

Add the ghee or oil and start to mix in the water to form pliable dough; knead for 5-10 minutes. Set aside in a bowl with a cloth cover for 30-40 minutes.

Knead again.

Break dough into small balls and roll flat and thin; spread thinly with ghee or oil. Fold over and spread with ghee again, and then roll out thinly. Repeat one more time (3 times total) and the last time roll in sesame seeds on both sides.

Heat a heavy cast iron frying pan or flat pan and place a spot of ghee or oil in the center.

Place the tortilla in the pan and cook on a medium heat on both sides until golden and brown in places. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on both sides. Raising the heat to high for the last 15 seconds to puff the bread. You can also try pressing a dry cloth onto the tortilla while it’s still on the hot stove.

Baked Eggplant With Mint and Thyme Dip—A Kapha Recipe

Served in the flakey tortilla

mint-thyme-dip.jpgI first tried this dish in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It has a subtle and stunning combination of sweet and full-flavored mint with the soft texture of eggplant—a memorable treat as a starter or main dish. Eggplants are rich in phytonutrients and therefore a free radical scavenger and antioxidant, with anti-cancer properties. They’re an important brain food and alkalizing to the body.

This recipe is vegan if using cashew cream, and gluten-free.


  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in filtered water for 3 hours
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
For the dip:

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • Herb salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or almond oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt or cashew cream

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place the whole eggplants on a tray and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the oven, peel, and chop into bite-size chunks.

While the eggplants are baking, prepare the dip. Place all the ingredients in a blender or magic bullet and blend briefly. Pour into a bowl and cover. Take each tortilla and lay flat; mix a few sundried tomatoes with the eggplant pieces and arrange on one half of each tortilla, spoon over some mint dip, fold, and serve on plates with your choice of side dishes.

Try them with black beans, refried beans, tomato salsa, guacamole, and potatoes with parsley.

Makes 6 servings