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Bean Bourguignon

  • 300 g red kidney beans (dried)
  • 2 large onions, chopped finely
  • 300 g mushroom, washed and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 bottle red wine (no plonk please…)
  • 2 carrots, diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped very finely (optional)
  • Salt, pepper and thyme to taste

Serves 6

Soak the beans overnight, changing the water at leastonce.
Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy bottom pot, fry the onions onmedium heat until golden brown. Add the chopped mushrooms, the garlic,the carrot and the  spices. Keep cooking, stirring constantly,until the mushrooms are soft. Add the wine, the beans and enough waterto cover the beans. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer,cover and cook for 90 minutes are until the beans are soft. 

Rice pulao

Fast food at its best! A handy mealin one go.

Serves 6 

  • 1 lb white basmati rice

  • 1 onion

  • 1 lb of chopped mixed vegetable (carrots, peas,french beans, broccoli, sweet corn, etc…)
  • 1 tablespoon black cardamom

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • a pinch of whole black pepper

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil

Get the cardamon seeds out of theirshell and grind them coarsely with the black peper corn and the cuminseeds. Measure the volume of rice and prepare twice that volume ofboiling water.
Heat up the ghee or oil in a heavybottom pan and add the onion, spice mix and cook for two minute onmedium eat. Add the other vegetables, and cook for another minute, thenadd the rice and stir fry for a minute or two . Add the water and thebay leaves, give on last stir, then cover and cook  on lowheat until the rice has absorbed all the water (about 15 mn). 

Stuffed  courgettes, South Indian style

Delicious, colourful and very easyto prepare

Serves 6

  • 3 large courgettes

  • 100 g grated coconut

  • 2 tablespoons chick pea flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 pinch ground cumin

  • 1 pinch turmeric

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 or 2 small chilli peppers, finely chopped(optional, omit for Pitta)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 piece of ginger, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 cup organic yoghurt

Split the courgette and spoon outthe soft flesh. Put aside.
Mix all the other ingredients with the flesh spooned out of thecourgettes and stuff the courgettes. Steam the courgettes for 20minutes. Serve with rice.

AlooGobi (potato and cauliflower curry)

A classic Indian dish.

Serves 6 – 8

  • 2 lb potatoes, diced

  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into smallflowerettes the same size as the potato pieces

  • 1 onion

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1 piece of ginger, finely chopped

  • 1 pinch ground coriander

  • 1 small pinch chilli powder (optional, omit forPitta)

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil

Heat up the ghee or oil in a heavybottom pan and add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds startpopping, add the onion and the ginger and stir fry for a minute onmedium heat. Add the potatoes stir fry for five minutes, then add thecauliflower, 1 glass of water and the remaining spices andstir. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally.until the potatoes are soft (about 25 minutes). Serve with rice orchapatis.

Upma/Uppittri (serves 15)

  • 750grams white semolina

  • 2cups urid dahl and yellow split peas

  • afew mustard seeds

  • 2cups of cashew nuts

  • 1cup of dried coconut

  • 6carrots, grated

  • 6onions, chopped finely

  • 5tomatoes, diced

  • 10green chillies

  • 1tspn turmeric

  • 6/7tspns salt crystals

  • 4tspns sugar


Toastdry semolina in dry pan for taste and to dry out. Wait until smellstoasted and becomes crystallised. (Organic may be more floury thannon-organic.) Spread out to cool. In a dry pan add at least 4tablespoons (200ml) of vegetable oil. Add a few mustard seeds untilthey pop, when they do add the split peas and dahl. Add chillies andonions after a couple of minutes. Then add cashew nuts.(Don’t allow the onion to brown – if it does, add alittle water). When onions are translucent add the chopped tomatoes andcook until paste-like, then add the grated carrots.
Add water (3 parts water to 1 part semolina). Add salt to taste. Whensalt is dissolved add the coconut. (Can be served at this stage assoup, perhaps with added vegetables). When it comes to the boil againadd the semolina. Stir constantly until it becomes solid.
Other vegetables can be added to this recipe. Garden peas areparticularly good. Just be aware that they may release water and changethe consistency.


  • 1½kilos rice flour (half brown, half white)

  • 30-50gcumin seeds

  • saltto taste (approx 4 teaspoons were used here)

  • 8red chillies chopped small

  • freshcoriander leaves to add at the end (si c’est pour Christophepas de coriander!!!)

  • sunfloweroil (2 teaspoons approx)

  • 8medium size onions chopped small

  • lukewarm water – add depending on texture

Method: Mix allthe dry ingredients then add water gradually and work into a paste(wetter than dough) then make up a ball per rotti. The pastewon’t keep long so roll the balls immediately.
Use a banana leaf, plastic sheet or greaseproof paper cut in a disc therequired size as support, oil it slightly then put the ball on andspread the rotti mix by patting it, making sure there are no holes andit is of even thickness.
Oil the top of the rotti, oil the heated pan and put it down, after afew seconds remove the sheet of paper carefully. Once the colour iseven turn it over. Once both side are done, put to one side with alittle butter on top to avoid it sticking to the next one.

Potato Curry/Aalu palya

  •  6tsp Vegetable Oil

  • Blackmustard seeds, just a few

  • 6Onions, chopped finely

  • 7-8chillies, chopped small

  • 1cup of yellow split peas

  • 1cup of urid dahl

  • 1teaspoon turmeric

  • 1teaspoon red chilli powder

  • 1/3teaspoon garam masala

  • 2kg potatoes, cubed and pre-cooked

  • 6tomatoes

  • 1½ teaspoons salt

  • 1teaspoon of sugar

 Heatup the oil and throw in a few mustard seeds.
Once they pop, this means the oil temperature is correct and you canadd the yellow split peas and urid dahl, and fry till they are slightlybrown.
Add the onions and chillies once the peas/lentils are coloured but notbrown.
Add the turmeric. Fry for a while.
Add the tomatoes, garam masala and red chilli powder.
Add the potatoes and salt.
Add water depending on the consistency.
Add the sugar and fresh coriander.

Eat!You could add pine nuts in just before serving, or fresh monkey nuts(peanuts) at the same time as the dahl and peas.

Thanksfo YogacharyaVenkatesh, from Mysore, for the three previous recipes.


A very easily digested mix of riceand dhal recommended by ayurveda for all digestive complains. It is acomplete meal in itself. There are many recipes for Kichari, this onewas given to me by Sri O.P. Tewari, of the Kaivalaydham yoga centre.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup rice (washed 7 times in cold water)

  • 1 cup mung dhal (washed)

  • 2 carrots, washed and diced

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 piece of ginger, finely chopped

  • 1 very small pinch of asafoetida (if you don’tlike the very strong smell, and taste of asafoetida, or can’t find itin an Indian store nearby, you can use garlic instead)

  • 1 pinch ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil

Heat up the ghee or oil in a heavybottom pan and add the cumin and ginger. Fry for a minute on mediumheat. Add the rice and mung dhal, stir for a few seconds then add 4cups boiling water and the remaining spices. Cook until all water isabsorbed (about 15 minutes).

Broken Wheatand Vegetables (Serves 2)

  • 1 Cup broken wheat
  • 1/2 cup each of carrots/cauliflower/peas. Chop the carrots and cauliflower in small bits
  • 2 1/2 Cup water
  • Salt, pepper, and ground cumin or chilli

In a thick bottomed pan roast the broken wheat on slowflame with a spoon of oil till it starts turning brown.  Inanother pan (non-stick), lightly stir fry the vegetables with a smallspoonful of oil for 5 minutes.
When the wheat starts turning brown add the water, stir and cover thepan and leave to cook on a slow flame for 3 minutes.  Then addthe vegetables, salt, pepper and a pinch of red chilli pepper or cuminif you like.
Stir, cover and continue cooking on a slow flame till the water driesup but dish should be moist.
Serve hot.

Indian Fried Rice (VagharaloBhat)

  • 1-2 cups cooked white or brown rice (basmati is tastyin this, leftover rice can be used)
  • 1 tbsp of ghee(see recipe below) or sunflower oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon broken in half
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • cooked lentils for extra protein (optional)
  • fresh coriander

In a frying pan heat ghee or oil until hot, but notsmoking.  To test if  oil is hot enough drop in onecumin seed if it is ready the seed will pop.  Add cumin seedsand cinnamon.  Cook till fragrant  (about oneminute).  Add onion and cook gently until onion begins tobrown (if using garlic slices, cook gently for a few minutes, but donot let garlic brown).  Add ground coriander, cumin andturmeric – cook until fragrant about 3 minutes.  Add cookedrice and salt and cayenne to taste and mix thoroughly.  Therice will go a lovely yellow colour.  We would eat this with asaucy veggie dish and yogurt.

Thanks to Priya Patel, from Dublin for thisrecipe

KeralaVegetable stew

  • 2 large cups of chopped vegetables (carrots, beans,potatoes, zucchinis, marrows, onions, peas, but no vegetable with astrong colour as this would ruin the appearance of the dish)
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut or sunflower oil
  • 1 pod black cardamom
  • 3 pods green cardamom
  • a few peppercorns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves, slightly crushed
  • 1 large piece of ginger cut into thin stripes

Parboil the vegetables and retain the stock.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add all spices, including the bayleaves and stir fry for a minute or so. Then add the ginger andcontinue frying for a few more minutes. Add the vegetables andsauté for 2-3 minutes. Add two cups vegetable stock and onecup coconut milk and cook on high flame for 10 minutes, then lower theheat and simmer until the vegetables are done.
Pour into a serving bowl and add a cup of  undiluted coconutmilk. Serve hot with doshas, rice or bread.

Thanks to Tina,of Mysore, for the recipe!

Sri Lankanbeetroot and carrot curry

Serves 4

  • 1 pound carrot
  • 1 pound beetroot
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seed
  • 1 cm off a cinnamon quill
  • 1/2 tsp Sechuan red pepper (optional)
  • a pinch of chili powder
  • a pinch of curry leaves (if you can get them)
  • sunflower oil

Roughly grind all the spices together in a spice grinderor a mortar.
Dice the carrot and the beetroot.
Heat the sunflower in a heavy bottom pan and add the spices. Stir for30 seconds, then add the carrot and beetroot together. Stir for 2minutes, then add a cup of water and the curry leaves, cover and cookon low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with red rice.

Barleywith Shitake mushrooms

Serves 6

  • 1 pound barley
  • 50 g dried Shitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • a bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • Freshly grated ginger to taste
  • 1/4 cup organic soy sauce (Tamari or soyu)

Cook the barley in boiling water for an hour. Drain(keep the water, it makes a lovely soup) and put aside.
Soak the Shitake mushroom in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain (putthe water aside, you’ll need some later, and use the rest for a soup).
In a large wok, heat the sunflower oil and add the spring onions. Stirfor a minute, then add the ginger, the Shitake mushrooms, 1/4 of a cupof water from the Shitake mushrooms and the soy sauce. Cook on mediumheat for 5 minutes, then add the barley, stir well and serveimmediately.

Thaistyle potato curry

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1 tin  coconut milk
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • amchoor (dry mango powder) or if not available, thejuice of 2 limes or lemons
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chillies, chopped  or apinch of chilli powder (optional)
  • one piece of fresh ginger root
  • one onion
  • Fresh lemongrass (if available)

Serves 6

Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them into dices.
Chop the onion finely and fry in sunflower oil on medium heat untilgolden brown. Add the grated ginger, the lemon grass, chopped finelyand the chopped chillies and fry for another minutes, stirringconstantly, then add the potatoes, the coconut milk, the amchoor orlime juice, the tin of tomatoes and if needed water to cover. Bring tothe boil then lower the heat and leave to stew for 35 minutes on lowheat, stirring occasionally. Serve with freshly cooked rice.

Thai style butter beans curry

In the recipe above, the potatoes can be replaced with 1lb butter beans, soaked overnight then cooked for one hour in water.

Green Lentilswith Spinach and Ginger

Bring to a boil in a pan of water with 8 oz greenlentils (Puy lentils preferably), picked over, washed and drained. Cookfor 40 minutes, then strain
In a large wok or pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, put in 2tablespoons of grated ginger and 2 or more squashed cloves of garlicand (if you like it hot) one or two chopped small green chillies.
Stir fry for a few seconds, then add one pound of fresh or frozen leafspinach. Stir and cook until spinach is wilted.
Add lentils and 2 tablespoons of salt and cook gently for 15 to 20minutes. Add black pepper, lemon or lime juice to taste, and serveimmediately on a bed of brown rice.

AubergineStir Fry, Japanese style

  • 2 aubergines (egg plants), peeled, cut in four andsliced
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari (that the best, and mostexpensive type of soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup hijiki ( a special Japanese seaweed, whichtastes like fish and looks like worms. It has to be soaked for half anhour in a cup of warm water. Don’t throw the water away)
  • 2 chopped spring onions
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chillies, chopped (optional)
  • one piece of fresh ginger root or three cloves ofgarlic
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Heat the sunflower oil in the wok, and then throw in, inthis order the chopped spring onions, the grated ginger, theaubergines. Stir for a few minutes, until the aubergines start tosoften, then add the hijiki with its soaking water (there a deliciousvariations with dried shitake mushrooms, used in the same way) and thetamari.
Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionnaly, until the auberginesare tender. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving if you wish.Serve with rice.


  • 3 cups chopped mixed vegetables
  • 1/4 cup grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 table spoons of ghee
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • a generous pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup flour

Steam the chopped mixed vegetables but make sure theystay firm. Blend yogurt and flour with 1 cup of water. Cook the onion,garlic, ginger and spice on low heat in the ghee until golden brown.Stir yogurt and flour mixture and simmer until sauce thickens, then addthe steamed vegetable and cook for one minute. Serve with Basmati rice.



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See also our article on Eating a yogic diet