Kapha Diet and Recipes - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Kapha Diet and Recipes

kapha diet

Elements- Water & Earth


  • Heavy
  • Slow
  • Cold
  • Oily
  • Smooth
  • Dense
  • Soft
  • Stable
  • Sticky
  • Cloudy

Season- Later Winter, Early Spring

Time of Life- Birth to puberty

Time of Day- 6-10 AM/PM

Tastes that Balance Kapha- Bitter, Pungent, Astringent

Tastes that Increase Kapha- Sweet, Sour, Salty

In general, pacify Kapha dosha with foods that are heating, light and dry. Kapha dosha is composed of earth and water, and has no fire. It is a cold dosha and should be treated with warm food rather than raw. Consuming raw food will only serve to exacerbate any Kapha conditions. Kapha is known to have a sluggish digestive fire, therefore, the raw food can be quite taxing on the digestive system.

In general, it is best to avoid cold beverages, wheat, meat, dairy, sugar and nuts if you suspect you have a Kapha imbalance. Basically, any comfort foods that go plop on the dinner plate will vitiate Kapha. The good news? Caffeine and alcohol are okay in moderation for Kapha dosha.

Kapha Diet Shopping List

Fruits- Astringent & Tart Fruits, dried fruits

Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Cranberries, Mango, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Pomegranate, Prunes and Raisins.

Vegetables- Pungent & Bitter Vegetables

Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Garlic, Leafy Greens, Lettuce, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes (white), Radishes, Spinach, Sprouts

Grains- Dry, Light Grains (avoid wheat, brown/white rice and cooked oats)

Barley, Corn, Millet, Oats (dry), Rice (basmati), Rye

Animal Proteins- Avoid Beef, Pork, Lamb & Seafood

Chicken, Turkey, Rabbit, Venison, Shrimp

Legumes- All legumes are okay save for Kidney beans and soybeans

Nuts- Avoid nuts

Sweeteners- Honey

Spices- All spices are fair game

Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cumin, Fenugreek, Horseradish, Garlic, Ginger, Mustard Seeds, Turmeric,

Dairy- Ghee & Goatmilk, otherwise no dairy

Oils- Use sparingly, Almond, Corn or Sunflower oil


Kapha Balancing Recipes


Asparagus-Mung Sprouts Salad

Recipe courtesy of Manju Joshi

Note- This refreshing salad can be eaten as a meal by itself or with a khichari, rice pilaf, or quinoa.

Serves 4


  • A bunch of asparagus, cut to desired length
  • Handful of  mung sprouts
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T lemon Juice
  • 1/2 T crushed black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a medium wok, heat coconut oil, add black pepper. Fry for a minute.
  2. Add asparagus and salt. Mix well and cook only for 2 minutes. Asparagus should remain crispy.
  3. Add lemon juice, toss again.
  4. Remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes.
  5. While still warm, Add mung sprouts and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Mix well. Let cool completely.
  7. Serve at room temperature.

Note: Please use organic if possible.

Green Tonic Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Dr. John Douillard 

Makes: 2 (8-ounce) servings


  • 1-2 cups filtered water for steaming
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 whole zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup string beans, ends trimmed and chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley


  • Steam all the vegetables except parsley for about 8 minutes or until bright green, tender but not mushy. Try not to overcook, as over-cooking can start to decrease nutrient value.
  • Combine all the ingredients, including the fresh parsley, in a blender using the remaining steaming water as a thinning agent. Puree until smooth, adding more water as needed to reach your desired consistency. If you have a Vitamix or a similarly powerful blender, you can make the Green Tonic very smooth. A weaker blender or food processor may result in a chunkier, less unified texture.
  • To support digestion, drink the Green Tonic at room temperature, warm, or hot – not cold. After you steam the veggies, they can be blended and taken as a hot soup right away.

Flavor Options:

  • Green Tonic Soup (Warm and Savory): Make it a “soup” by adding garlic, ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Green Tonic Smoothie: Add 1 small beet with a slice of fresh ginger and the juice of ½ a lemon.

Golden Milk

Recipe courtesy of Laura Plumb

Serves 2


  • 2 c fresh Milk
  • 2 t Turmeric powder, or a 2-inch coin of fresh Turmeric root, peeled
  • A dusting of fresh cracked Pepper, or a small pinch of ground Cardamom, or both


  1. Put the ingredients in saucepan.
  2. Whisk the milk gently while bringing to a gentle boil.
  3. Serve and drink warm.

Dairy Free Golden Milk

Serves 2


  • 2 t Turmeric powder or a 2-inch coin of fresh turmeric root, peeled
  • 2 c fresh Almond milk* or Coconut Milk
  • 2 t raw Honey, optional
  • 1 t Ghee or Coconut oil, optional


  1. Add the ingredients to a blender on high speed and mix for a few minutes to heat the drink.
  2. Enjoy it warm.

For Kapha: Add generous shakes of ginger, black pepper and cinnamon

Roasted Pears & Raisins

A delicious dessert for all doshas. With so few choices to satisfy a Kapha sweet tooth, roasted pears offers a rare reprieve. The spices enhance the sweetness and stimulate a sluggish winter metabolism. Cloves directly stimulate blood flow to the extremities, revitalizing the muscles, brightening and moistening the skin.

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Plantain chips: Anytime ‘pick me up snack!’

Recipe courtesy of Manju Joshi 


  • 1 Green plantain, peeled and cut in round pieces according to desired thickness
  • 2 Tbs Coconut oil or ghee
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a medium skillet, add the coconut oil then the cut plantain.
  2. Let cook for a minute
  3. Turn and cook for another minute. Keep turning till both sides are lightly brown or brown if want them a bit crunchy.
  4. Add salt and pepper, toss well
  5. Remove plantain chips from heat and serve warm or cool

Note: if you are allergic to bananas, you may be allergic to plantains

Kale Lemonade with Ginger & Apple (Kalemgin Apple)

When spring weather feels heavy and humid like the tropics, this refeshing juice can help you stay clear-headed and light. In spring, it’s a warm day that makes you sick. Thick, humid air makes you feel swollen, heavy, and stuffy. Your lymph nodes may even swell, indicating a congested liver and blood.

The bitter taste in kale, and sour taste in lemon and apple flush and cleanse the liver by stimulating bile release. Release of bile, a fatty substance, also aids your body yanking winter fats out of the bloodstream. After drinking kale lemonade you may even notice rhythmic contractions of the gall bladder as it pumps bile into the small intestine.

The pungent taste in ginger re-ignites circulation and digestive fire while it dries up a runny nose. As Kale Lemonade is alkalizing and Pitta-reducing, drinking it cools and refreshes the eyes.

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Best Chai Recipe!

Recipe courtesy of Suleyka Montpetit

For 4 cups


  • 6 cups Water
  • 3″ long Fresh Ginger Root, Grated
  • 5 Cinnamon sticks
  • 10 Cardamom pods
  • 5 Cloves
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 3 English Breakfast Tea bags OR Tulsi Tea
  • 2 cups organic cow’s, goat’s or almond milk
  • Honey to taste


Grate the fresh ginger root and put it a pot with the others spices and the water.

Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the tea bags and milk, keep on simmer until hot.

Pour in cups and add honey to taste.Take some time to fully enjoy the fragrance of the spices, the miracle of the honey, the astringent quality of the tea, and the overall wonder of this unique moment.

Kitchari for the American Kitchen

Cleanse Your Body

If your belly feels sluggish after too many treats, Kitchari is an easy way to cleanse your digestion and restore freshness.

Kitchari offers a true delight to both your body and senses. It is a heart warming synergy of beans, basmati rice, and digestive spices that is easy to prepare. This time tested formula, centuries old, is a complete protein, rich in fiber, cleansing to the digestive tract, and will act to bulk up stool for easier elimination.

To maximize the many benefits your will receive from kitchari, eat it for several meals in a row, such as lunch and dinner on the same day. Once you experience the benefits of kitchari, you’ll see how feeling good again is just a few steps away. It just may become addictive! Those who avoid beans because of digestive difficulties should use mung beans or even green beans, which are easier to digest than chick peas.

Invigorate Your Metabolism

Spices are the difference between a tasty meal and a bland one, and also the difference between healthy and poor circulation. A well-spiced dish can stimulate your circulation, invigorate your metabolism, and clear out toxins. In this recipe, cloves open up your pores and enhance blood flow to the skin, reducing puffiness and lymphatic congestion. Ginger stimulates the heart. Cinnamon warms your metabolism. Reach for these spices with enthusiasm, but remember: Too much spice is harsh and can leave a burning feeling the intestines. Be aware of your body’s reaction to spices. Those with ulcers or inflammation will not benefit from too many spices, but it is helpful for those with sluggish digestion.

About Kitchari

Kitchari is Ayurveda’s perfect food, indicated in times of recovery as well as cleansing. Kitchari can even be the centerpiece of a mono-diet or fast, as it is a simple food that supplements the healing process. As with Grandma’s chicken soup, there are as many ways to make kitchari as there are reasons to consume it. Typical modifications include vegetables such as carrots, greens, zucchini, or potatoes. Spices like cumin, cinnamon, or black pepper can be included, as well as even toasted nuts or coconut. Technically, a kitchari is any dish combining rice and legumes. Traditional kitcharies use mung beans, available at most Asian food stores, because they are an easiest legume to digest.

This kitchari is especially suited to Kapha and Vata dosha.

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Courtesy of Cate Stillman

The most common question I’m asked about thistle is: “How do you get it into your blender without cutting yourself up?”

1. Don gardener gloves. The leather kind work best.

2. Get a shovel.

3. Wear shoes, not sandals.

4. Place the shovel blade at a 45-degree angle to the root, under the thistle leaves.

5. In a shift kick to your shovel, behead the thistle.

Don’t worry – you can’t kill it without chemical warfare.

Thistle is the gift that keeps on giving. Talk to your beheaded thistle plant. Thank it for it’s powerful job restoring nutrients by dredging the deep minerals beneath the disturbed unhappy topsoil.

6. With gloved hands, pick up the thistle, and shake the dirt off.

7. Carry the thistle to garden hose. Spray the dirt off, quickly. Pull off any dead leaves.

8. Keeping your gloves on, bring thistle to the chopping block. In 2 whacks, chop it and put in blender.

Now you’re done with the gloves. Add some water and fruit, and blend into your superweed smoothie.

Wild Superweed Smoothie

  • One small thistle plant (leaves only)
  • Handful of fresh dandelion leaves
  • 3 organic or local apples
  • 3 c. water
  • 1/4 of an organic lemon, derinded

Blend in a high-powered blender. Voila. If you just have a regular blender, blend. Then, strain. Voila.

Freshen up your skin for spring! Spring fever is here and rosy cheeks will soon replace your winter pallor. The warmer temperatures stimulate blood flow, especially to the skin. That’s why on hot humid days your might some notice congestion and swelling of the feet and hands. The swelling is a sign that your winter skin may benefit from some encouragement.

Cilantro Lime Salsa helps prepare your body for the warmer weather ahead by flushing the skin, liver, and digestive tract. By opening the pores, raw onions help cleanse the skin and flush our hands and feet when they are swollen. Raw onions also purge and cleanse the digestive tract. The onions in Cilantro Lime Salsa are marinated in lime to soften the sharpness. The marinade makes the onion more digestible and pleasant on the palate.

Lime, as all sours, stimulates secretion of bile, flushing the gall bladder and cleansing the liver. Cilantro’s cooling nature is well suited to the hot temperatures of late spring. Meanwhile its bitter and pungent qualities continue to purify the blood and stimulate digestion.

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