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The Vedic Chef- Spanish Tapa Creations You Will Love To Try

The Vedic Chef created Spanish Tapas recipes for the Chopra-Center

Chef Johnny Brannigan, the Vedic Chef created Sweet, Sour, and Salty Spanish Tapas recipes for the Chopra Center and here we can try this creation.

Chef Johnny Brannigan is an international Ayurvedic vegetarian and vegan chef with a deep knowledge base in Vedic wisdom and holistic medicine, and a lifelong love of food and cooking.

Here are some Ayurvedic balancing recipes for our sweet, sour, and salty taste in the three Spanish snacks. The first recipe has panir included which can be replaced by Tofu, seitan, or tempeh.

Have fun trying it out.

The Vedic Chef- Spanish Tapa Creations

The Vedic Chef: Sweet, Sour, and Salty Spanish Tapas

Did you know that tastes can heal you? Ayurveda cooking traditions have long acknowledged the six tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent—for their balancing properties. The goal is to incorporate all tastes into each meal, which can sometimes be challenging. One fun way to make sure you include all tastes is to mix and match snacks. You can incorporate sweet, sour, and salty tastes into your meal with the following three Spanish tapas (snack) recipes.


On average, Americans consume 90 percent sweet foods, which include grains, certain dairy products (milk, cream, and butter), fruits, sweet vegetables, legumes, nuts, and sweeteners. Sweet is kapha in nature; it can nourish and build body tissue, and can heal Vata and Pitta conditions such as anxiety, dry skin, digestive issues, and inflammation.

Panir Kebabs with Mango Sauce

Kebabs originated in the Middle East—they were very popular in Turkey and Greece—back when soldiers used swords to skewer and grill food over a fire.

vedic chef

Ingredients for the Mango Sauce:

  • 3 fresh mangos, peeled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons finely-chopped leek
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely-chopped mint or cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-chopped green capsicum pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Ingredients for the Kebabs:

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons sesame or sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped leek
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 5 tablespoons partially ground fennel seeds
  • 1 pound fresh panir, cut into 1 inch cubes (or substitute with tofu cubes, seitan, or tempeh)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped leek
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/3 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Chef Johnny’s Vata or Pitta Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 cups eggplant, broccoli, and carrot chunks
  • Rosemary stalks or small wooden skewers

Directions for the Mango Sauce:

Place all ingredients (except mint) in a saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally until ingredients combine into a sauce.

Add the mint after about 20 minutes, stir, then pour into a serving bowl.

Directions for the Kebobs:

Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan. Add the ginger and leek and gently sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the fennel seeds, stirring often, then add the panir cubes. Sauté on medium heat until the panir cubes are golden brown on all sides. Sprinkle with lemon juice, basil, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Chef Johnny’s Seasonings, salt, and black pepper.

Cut the vegetables into similar-size pieces, drizzle with oil, and bake in an oven-proof dish at 350 degrees F until tender.

Skewer a piece of panir and one or two vegetable chunks. Serve with mango sauce drizzled or in a separate dish for dipping.

Serves 8


The sour taste comes with fermented foods (i.e., vinegar and sour kraut), certain fruits (i.e., lemons and sour grapes), and ripened or aged foods (i.e., yogurt and cheese). It can help build tissue; increase mineral absorption; sharpen the senses; and stimulate digestion, circulation, and elimination.

Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Roll with Tomato Marjoram Dipping Sauce

The Mediterranean flavors of eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and herbs in this tapas dish are quite irresistible, probably because these combinations have derived from centuries of cooking traditions in Italy, Spain, the Middle Eat, and South America, where eggplants are marinated with oils, herbs, garlic, and pepper. In this original recipe, you can use almond cheese if you’d like the dish to remain vegan, but goat cheese will also work well.

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cashew cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram (or 2 teaspoons dried marjoram)
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the Roll:

  • 1 peeled eggplant, sliced lengthways with a peeler
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced lengthways with a peeler
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • I clove garlic, minced very finely
  • 3 asparagus stalks, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 10 fresh, chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 8 ounces almond cream cheese or goat cheese


Thoroughly mix all sauce ingredients together in a blender and move to one side.

Sauté the eggplant and zucchini strips in a stainless steel or griddle pan.

Alternatively, fry strips by heating a pan, adding oil, spraying with Braggs Liquid Aminos, and frying until soft and golden brown on both sides. When done, place the strips on a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

In the same pan, gently sauté the garlic and finely-chopped asparagus for 5 minutes, then add the pine nuts, thyme and black pepper and salt to taste. Continue to cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes.

Mix the cheese and the asparagus mixture in a bowl. Add the chopped basil leaves and parsley.

Lay the eggplant strips on a flat surface. Place one zucchini strip on top of each eggplant strip.

Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture at one end of each strip. Starting at the end with the filling, roll up the strip and secure with a cocktail stick.

Serve on a plate with cooled dipping sauce. Sauce can also be heated on low for 5 minutes and served hot.

6 Servings


Of all the tastes, the salty taste most effectively balances the Vata dosha.  It can build and lubricate tissues and stimulate digestion.

Blanched Fried Spiced Almonds

This simple, satisfying tapa is not only hard to resist; its blanched almonds can help nourish your reproductive tissue.

Ingredients and Directions:  – See more > Spanish Tapa 

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