IYI-Food Blog with Emmanuelle


Dear IYI community and friends,

I am happy to share with you   SFIYI recipes and pictures  which will be posted on  Swami Ramananda’s blog  twice a month as a  menu format.

I have been a yoga student at IYI for   20 years  and   in 2002  I  decided to use my passion for cooking and joined the IYI kitchen as a karma yogi.  I have always loved the wonderful aromas and lovely collective energy coming from the kitchen meandering throughout the house up to the temple.   I would imagine Swami Satchidananda  ‘s home with all the wonderful meals, good vibration and people serving in the kitchen since it opened its door in the 1970’s. 

Before becoming a cook at IYI I was challenged by the vegetarian and vegan diet because of  my lack of experience and knowledge. I was under the impression that vegan diet lacked  protein and it was not a  well balanced . Was I wrong!  I slowly began to learn how to replace animal  ingredients with plant base ingredients and became a very avid lover of IYI kitchen and its food. Over a decade I learnt to cook a very wide array of recipes which were carefully researched by all the great,  kitchen managers who served at IYI and shared their individual skills and dedication to the community. 

We live in a time when the stigma of vegan and  vegetarianism  is no longer considered  boring food.With skills and exposure to wonderful ingredients one can eat a very rich and diverse diet which is satisfying , healthy and sustainable for the planet. 

I grew up in Belgium where heavy meats and dairy were part of my daily diet but after moving to California I began to slowly change my eating habits . Being a cook at  IYI  kitchen gave me the confidence  to embrace vegan diet a part of my life. 

Over the years the SF IYI sanga  has shared so many nice meals during the weekly lunches, retreats,  holiday potlucks and celebrations for the Guru. 

Many of us at IYI have talked with great enthusiasm about sharing our love for the delicious meals coming out of the dedication , gratitude and great vibration of IYI kitchen. 

I would like to start this blog with sharing the recipes that were compiled over the years into a Teacher Training Cookbook. There is a compilation of  classic favorites recipes that have been prepared  during retreats and in the  SF IYI kitchen during Teacher Training where trainees  have been  introduced to vegan cooking. 

I hope you enjoy the recipes and will be inspired to cook them at home!

Happy cooking! 

Emmanuelle Taijmans

Menu 1: Indian delight

Vegetable Korma 

serves 4-6

For the blender:1 c raw cashew nuts soaked

½ c mashed silken tofu

1 c coconut, grated  soaked in warm water


1 c cauliflower and or broccoli  cut into florets

1 c peas, hulled

1 c string beans cut ½ inch lengths

1 lg carrots, sliced into rounds

1 lg potatoes and or a sweet potato, cubed

1 white or yellow onion, diced

4-6 roma tomatoes pureed

Spices:Vegetable oil

4  cloves

1 cinnamon  stick

1 t or 4 pods cardamom, ground

1 t turmeric

1 t ground coriander

1 t ground cumin


Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

First prepare the vegetables and then proceed with the steps below.  

The Coconut Blend: 

  1. Soak the coconut in boiling water ~ 15 min. Save this water, for later use.
  2. In a food processor, blend the cashews with a bit of the coconut water (about ¼ Cups), the coconut and tofu.

 Heat Vegetables (except the tomatoes and onion)

  1. Put them in a large heavy skillet, and pour in just enough water to simmer.  
  2. Simmer until they are soft.  
  3. Remove strain, and set aside.

 Cook the Spices:  (except the cilantro)

  1. Sauté the onion, oil and spices until golden  
  2. Add the tomatoes and stir .  
  3. Cook for about five more minutes

 Put in all together:

  1. Add Vegetables, Coconut Blend to the Spices.
  2. Add ½ of the coriander (cilantro)
  3. Stir until vegetables are coated with the sauce and cook for another five minutes.
  4. Remove and serve with cilantro and basmat coconuti rice.


Tasty Chickpeas 

serves 6

1½ cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight2½ cups water

2 T sunflower oil

½ t black mustard seeds

1 ripe tomato, cut into ½” pieces

1 t mild curry powder2 T sesame seeds

1 t sea salt

1 t ground coriander

2 t turmeric

Soak the chickpeas overnight, changing the water at least once, drain and rinse . If you have time you can sprout the chickpeas which will help you  digest better.

Place in saucepan and add 2½ cups fresh water. Bring chickpeas and water to a boil, and then cook at medium heat for 50 minutes or until quite soft.  Or prepare chickpeas using a pressure cooker following the manufacturers directions. 13 min is usually sufficient. Drain and put aside.

When chickpeas are cooked  heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add mustard seeds when oil is hot and wait until the  seeds pop, add chopped tomato and curry powder, turmeric and coriander.. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add sesame seeds, chickpeas and salt Mix well. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.
Green Bean Bhaji 

serves 5

Adapted from Laurel’s Kitchen, p. 222

4 cups fresh green beans, washed & cut into 1″ pieces1 T sunflower oil

½ t black mustard seeds

1/8 t hing

1 t turmeric

2-8 T water½ t sea salt

1 inch ginger root, chopped

1 pinch dried pepper flakes

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut

Heat oil in a  large heavy pan with a lid. Add mustard seeds and wait until they pop. Add turmeric and hing . Stir well. Put in the chopped green beans and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water- (you may need even more water if you multiply it). Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender (approx. 15 minutes, more time may be needed if you multiply the recipe.)

Put the remaining water and remaining ingredients: salt, ginger, pepper flakes, chopped cilantro, coconut in a blender and puree- adding more water if needed to blend, though mixture should not be watery.

Pour mixture over cooked beans and mix well. Simmer for a couple of minutes or until flavors are well incorporated.

Coconut Sesame Rice 

serves 5

Adapted from Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners

1 1/2 c white or brown basmati rice, rinsed & drained3 T coconut oil

3 c water for white rice and 4 for brown rice

1 t sea salt¼ c sesame seeds

¼ c unsweetened coconut

1/2 c cilantro leaves chopped

Heat  1Tsp  of coconut oil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and stir to coat Add water and sea salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook over  low heat until done, about 15 minutes,   30 to 40 min for brown basmati. When rice is done remove from heat. In separate pan heat  2 T of coconut oil, stir sesame seeds and coconut continuously until they brown slightly. Pour immediately into rice and toss until mixed. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Raisin Chutney 

makes approximately 1 cup, about 4 servings

1 cup organic raisins, plumped in a little hot water for 10 minutes

1 T chopped fresh ginger

1/8 to 1/4  t cayenne pepper

½ t sea salt

¼ cup of water from soaked raisins

Juice of ½ a lemon

Drain raisins and save 1/4c of its water.. In a blender or food processor blend raisins, ginger, cayenne, salt and lemon juice to form a coarse paste, adding water a little bit at a time to incorporate (you may not need to use all of the water). Adjust seasoning as needed. If the chutney is too spicy, add a touch more salt or lemon juice to “tone it down.”  Add more water only as a last resort; adding water will significantly thin the chutney.

2016-10-15T01:45:41+00:00 November 13th, 2014|Comments Off on IYI-Food Blog with Emmanuelle