VegSource Interactive, Inc. | Mani Chari

Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking
By Mani Chari

Mani Chari

Beans and legumes are excellent ways of obtaining fiber, protein, B-complex vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates. In addition they have no cholesterol and the soluble fiber in beans lowers cholesterol. Beans and legumes are an excellent source of calcium along with green leafy vegetables. As an added benefit to the nutrients and fiber, beans and legumes are also low in fat and calories. They also combine well with all grain and vegetable dishes.

Soaking the beans overnight prior to cooking them helps to break down the starches and make it more easily digestable. Soaking them also decreases cooking time and improves the taste and texture. Also avoid drinking fluids during meals as that will help your digestive system to absorb the increased intake of fiber.

Slowly digested starch in beans, peas and legumes allows for more time for the digestive enzymes to break them into sugars. This in turn allows for a stable release of their natural sugars for energy. Therefore there is no dramatic rise and fall of your blood sugar.

The following recipe is very nutritious and delicious.

Vegetarian Chili


1 cup Kidney Beans
4 cups of Water
1 Large sized Onion (cut them into small pieces)
1 Large clove of Garlic (cut into small pieces)
3 Large Tomatoes (cut into small pieces)
1 small (1") piece of Ginger (mince)
4-6 Black peppercorns (crush the pepper)
Celtic Sea Salt (to taste)
3 Stems of Cilantro (chop)
1 teaspoon of Cold Pressed Olive Oil
Pinch of turmeric


  1. Wash the beans and soak them in 4 cups of purified water overnight.
  2. Next day cook the beans with the 4 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes or cook it in a slow cooker.
  3. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat and when the oil gets hot, add chopped garlic and cook the garlic. Then add the chopped onions, minced ginger and black pepper powder. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the cut tomato pieces and mix it.
  5. Add salt and turmeric. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked beans and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

You can eat this with rice, bread or just by itself. You can make extra and keep it in the refrigerator. Heat only the amount you are going to eat each time.

Enjoy the Chili!!

Mrs. Mani Chari is a professional Indian classical dancer and musician. She introduced Indian vegetarian cooking at a University in Ohio and has taught cooking classes in San Diego and Los Angeles. She offers cooking classes where she teaches the cooking techniques and explains the health benefits of the spices and nutritional benefits of the dishes. Mrs. Chari can be reached at (619) 275-8073 or please visit their website at