Santa Barbara Wellness Directory
Ayurvedic Recipes by Aparna Khanolkar, L.Ac

Warming Fenugreek Lentil Soup (Serves 4)

1.5 cups red lentils or moong dal
4 cups water
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp grated ginger
2 bunches fresh fenugreek leaves only tender stems only chopped finely
2 tsp salt

Wash the lentils or moong dal in three changes of water. Place the lentils along with the measured water in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam frequently. In the meanwhile, heat the ghee or oil and add all the spices and sauté for 45 seconds. Now add the fenugreek leaves and stir-fry for about 6-8 minutes. Add the spiced fenugreek to the cooked lentils along with the salt and simmer or about 6-8 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Polenta with Spinach and Goat Cheese

1 cup polenta
2 tsp olive oil
2 bunches spinach washed and chopped coarsely
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¾ cup goat cheese

Cook the polenta according to directions on the package. Grease a baking tray with 1 tsp olive oil and add the cooked polenta. Smooth it with a spatula to form an even layer. In the meanwhile, heat the other tsp of oil and sauté the spinach on high heat along with the salt and pepper only until it wilts. Spread the spinach on the polenta and sprinkle on the goat cheese. Cut into 1 inch squares and serve immediately.

Thai flavored Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp grated ginger
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ cup finely chopped basil
1 tbsp finely chopped mint
11/2 tsp turbinado sugar

Wash the quinoa is three changes of water. Drain completely. Place the washed quinoa is a medium sized pot and add the coconut milk, water, ginger and oil and bring to a boil. Place a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat for about 25-35 minutes or till all the water is absorbed. Allow it to cool and then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well and serve warm.

Sautéed Vegetables

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ginger grated
½ tsp turmeric
2 broccoli crowns cut into bite sized pieces
2 yellow squash cut into one inch pieces
2 zucchini cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper
1/8 cup water

Heat the oil in a wok and sauté the ginger and turmeric for about 1 minute. Then add all the vegetables on high heat for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and coriander powder and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the water and cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 5-7 minutes. Serve with rice and dal.

Basmati Rice

2 cups of Basmati rice
4 cups of water

Wash the rice in three changes of water. Drain completely. Place the rice and 4 cups of water in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Place a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or till all the water is absorbed. Serve with dal.


1 ½ cups red lentils
3-4 cup water

For Seasoning:
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of hing (asafetida)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric
1 Roma tomato chopped coarsely
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
¼ bunch of cilantro chopped finely

Wash the dal in three changes of water. Drain completely and add 5-6 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Cook on high heat and remove any foamy scum that appears on top. It is important to discard this as it causes gas in the digestive tract. The dal will be ready for seasoning in about 15-18 minutes. In the meanwhile, heat the ghee or oil in a small skillet. Add the mustard seeds, cover the skillet and allow it to pop. Then add the hing, cumin seeds and turmeric. Let it sizzle for 30 seconds and then add the tomato. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and cilantro to the cooked dal. Simmer for 4 -5 minutes. Serve as a soup with pita bread or with rice.

About the Author

Aparna Khanolkar is a personal Ayurvedic chef and caterer in Santa BarbaraAparna is a personal chef and caterer in Santa Barbara. She teaches healthy vegetarian and Ayurvedic cooking classes and caters for retreats and yoga events. Aparna supports local farmers and uses only fresh, organic and seasonal produce for her cooking.

Aparna may be contacted at:

Visit Aparna's page in The Santa Barbara Wellness Directory



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