Satvic Recipes for Spring

May/14/2022 / by Pratika Yashaswi
satvic food

An old way of eating is gaining popularity among Indians. Taking a cue from Lord Krishna’s expostulations in the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, its promises are great. Yoga teachers and alternative medicine practitioners claim that it can improve mental and physical health, boost immunity and promote longevity.

The foods that promote longevity, virtue, strength, health, happiness, and joy are juicy, smooth, substantial, and nutritious. Persons in the mode of goodness like such foods. (Bhagavad Gita 17:8)

Food that enhances longevity, mind, strength, health, happiness and joy, that which is juicy, oily, stable and pleasant, is dear to one who is satvic.”

— Bhagavad Gita

It follows a rigid set of rules and regulations that even strictly vegetarian grandmothers can find a little restrictive—but many of its followers are younger millennials. There are scores of people who swear that it has changed lives, led to jaw-dropping weight loss, and singlehandedly reversed diseases like diabetes, psoriasis, and thyroid disorders in just months.

While much of this evidence is anecdotal, satvic eating is light on the stomach. It promotes whole, fresh, seasonal, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich foods, forbids fried foods, stimulants like caffeine, and white sugar — all great rules to follow. When followed diligently, it truly brings out the flavors and vibrance of vegetables — if only one is alright with skipping meat.

The rules go further than that. Food falls into three categories based on how it’s cooked and eaten and its effect on the body: satvic, rajasic, and tamasic. There are also specific food combinations and eating timings that make something good or bad. One must begin eating only after sunrise and finish meals before sunset.

Satvic food is believed to be pure and promotes everything good for mental and physical health. Rajasic food is overly stimulating, often overspiced, and believed to cause pain and disease. Tamasic foods are often fried or undercooked and believed to increase laziness. Animal protein falls into the last category. Even milk is not recommended unless it comes from a humanely treated cow.

Onions and garlic are barred because they are pungent and fall in the rajasic category. Similarly, other healthful vegetables like broccoli, radishes, mushrooms, and peppers are banned as they are considered overly stimulating.

While Ayurveda promotes a balanced form of eating that incorporates all three categories based on what the body’s needs are, satvic principles insist only on foods that promote sattva, or spiritual purity. It’s why it’s so popular during Navratri and other days of religious significance.

There is some disagreement about what foods are rajasic and tamasic and what are not. For instance, some practitioners insist that the only Satvic lentil is the mung bean and all else is rajasic. This way, it can get very restrictive, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to learn what is best for your diet is to speak with a yoga practitioner or a nutritionist.

A popular way of following the satvic diet for healing purposes is described in the Satvic Movement YouTube channel and The Satvic Food Book by Subah Jain.

We’ve simplified satvic eating through four delightful recipes for spring. They can take you through from a simple smoothie breakfast to a light early evening dinner. Even if you’re not ready to go satvic, why not try it for just a couple of days? The discipline just might be worth it.


Picture Credit: Satvic Movement

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  1. 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  2. 1.5 cups of coconut cream
  3. 3 frozen bananas
  4. 1 tablespoon cacao
  5. 1 coin ginger
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  7. a pinch of salt

For the toppings: Banana, cacao nibs, chopped almonds, and chia seeds. 

Directions: Simply blend the ingredients above, and add the toppings for presentation.

SPINACH CHEELAS —(Source: The Satvic Food Book)

Photo Credit: The Satvic Food book by Subah Jain

Ingredients: Cheelas (Makes 8-10)

  • 1 cup green split moong dal
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 small green chili, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach purée

For the Filling (combine in a bowl or a plate):

  • • 4 carrots, thickly grated
  • • 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • • 1⁄2 cup grated coconut
  • • 1⁄2 cup coriander, chopped
  • • 1 teaspoon rock salt 


  1. Combine the soaked moong dal, salt, and chili in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  2. Add the spinach puree to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Heat a pan, sprinkle a little water on it and wipe it off gently using a muslin cloth. 
  4. Pour a ladle full of the batter on it and spread it in a circular motion to make a thin circle. Cook on a medium flame till it turns brownish-green in color.
  5. Once the cheela is done, fold the filling into the cheela and serve with a Satvic chutney.


Photo and Recipe Credit: Joyful Belly


  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (not strictly Satvic, optional)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil


  1. Grind the rice into powder or use cream of rice.
  2. Add the rice to 5c water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the other ingredients. Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
  4. Cook about 15-20 min until the asparagus and rice are tender.


Photo by May for Unsplash


  • 1/2 head of a small or medium cabbage, shredded
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 3-4 teaspoons avocado oil or cow ghee
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • Mineral salt, to taste
  • Sesame seeds to garnish


  1. Warm the oil or ghee in a large cooking vessel over medium heat. Add in the whole cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Allow them to start sputtering.
  2. Toss in the chopped leek and sauté until it is nice and soft. Add the cabbage and kale.
  3. Cook down both of these until they are soft as well. Remove from heat.
  4. Sprinkle the turmeric powder and salt on top. Mix really well so that all the veggies are coated.
  5. Finally, sprinkle in the sesame seeds.

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