Ayurveda Cooking with Susan Weis-Bohlen

Ayurveda Cooking with Susan Weis-Bohlen

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The transition from summer to fall is just around the corner. With that comes switch not only in fashion, but in the foods we eat. We hosted Ayurveda educator, Susan Weis-Bohlen, who is the founder of Susan’s Kitchen and Breathe Ayurveda. Susan taught our Esthiology and Ayurveda students how to make three different Ayurveda dishes that are best for the season as well as our doshas. Below are recipes from Susan’s Kitchen:

Cilantro Chutney

3 cups fresh cilantro

1 cup water

1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

1/2 small green chili, chopped

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine

1 tablespoon ghee

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 pinch hing

4 curry leaves, fresh or dried

1/2 fresh lime

1/4 teaspoon salt

Wash the cilantro leaves and remove the stems. Put it in a blender along with the water, coconut, chili and ginger. Blend at a high speed until well mixed and a finely ground paste. It may be necessary to stir it down several times. Heat a saucepan on medium and add the ghee, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Cook until the seeds pop. Cool and mix well into the cilantro paste. Squeeze in the juice of the lime, add the salt and stir gently. Eat a dab with each bite of food.

*This recipe is balancing for tridosha. Pitta mgiht want to decrease the chili, salt and mustard seeds even though the cilantro is very cooling.

Potato Subji

3 medium potatoes

3 tablespoons safflower oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon ajwan seeds

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch hing

1 pinch cayenne

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil the potatoes in their skin until they are soft. Drain and cool the potatoes, then skin and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat a frying pan on medium and add the oil, then the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ajwan and hing. Let the seeds pop. Put in the turmeric, cilantro and cayenne. Stir and add the salt and potatoes. Carefully mix the potatoes, coating them with the spices, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

*Vata can eat this occasionally. Pitta should go easy on the cayenne, ajwan and mustard seeds. Otherwise tridoshic.

Mung Dal Kitchari Tridoshic

1/2 cup mung dal (split yellow mung beans),
1/2 cup white basmati rice
4-6 cups water
1-2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)** (available at the Indian Store or through Susan’s Kitchen)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 black cardamom pods (use green if you don’t have black)
1 small yellow or red onion, finely diced
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cilantro, for garnish

  1. Combine themung dal, rice, and water in a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart (or larger) stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until all the ingredients soften and blend together and the mixture has a porridge-like consistency. A light film may form during the cooking process – just skim it off the top and discard. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to cool slightly while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  3. To make the vagar: In a saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the ghee. Add the black mustard seeds. When they pop, add: cumin seeds, ajwan, turmeric, and cardamom and cook for 40 seconds, until the cumin seeds sizzle and turn reddish brown.
  4. Add the onion, ginger, garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, until the mixture is slightly browned. Remove from the heat. Add chopped veggies such as carrots, celery, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, at this point, if you like. You can also have the dish with no veggies at all.
  5. Transfer the contents of the saute pan to the stockpot containing the dal, add the salt and stir well. Remove and discard the cardamom pods.
  6. Transfer the mixture into individual serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.


You can also substitute 1/2 cup quinoa for 1/2 cup of the rice for added protein.

*Vata can add more ghee;  Kapha can add hotter spices like chilis or cayenne pepper

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