Vegan sancocho: Ayurvedic version


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vegan sancocho ayurvedic version

I grew up eating Sancocho.

On cold and rainy Sunday afternoons in Bogota, Colombia, this meal was a comforting and satisfying staple.

It was hearty, filling, and nourishing. Just perfect for cozying up at home.

Naturally, I wanted to recreate it, into a plant-based, Ayurvedic version, so I could add it to my Prana app menus, guilt-free, during winter.

Let’s prepare it together.

Vegan sancocho: Ayurvedic version
Gold potatoes, one of the ingredients, have an astringent taste (rasa), a cooling effect (virya), and a sweet post-digestive effect (vipaka).

The History of Sancocho

I’m always fascinated by the convergence of traditional cuisines and Ayurvedic principles. Today, we’re delving into the hearty world of Sancocho, specifically the Colombian version, and exploring how we can prepare this beloved dish through an Ayurvedic lens.

The origins of Sancocho can be traced back to the 16th century when Spanish colonizers introduced this flavorful and robust stew to Colombia, after discovering it in the Canary Islands, a group of volcanic islands located off the northwest coast of Africa. The local cooks in Colombia eagerly embraced this culinary creation and over time, made their own adaptations to the recipe, incorporating indigenous ingredients, such as:

  • Yuca, also known as cassava, a starchy root vegetable native to South America and an essential component of the stew.
  • Maize (corn). Normally, we incorporate it as whole corn on the cob segments.
  • Plantains, a type of banana that is typically cooked before eating, add a touch of sweetness that balances the savory tones of the dish.

Today, Sancocho has become a beloved symbol of Colombian culinary tradition, cherished for its heartwarming qualities and the nourishing ingredients that make it truly comforting and satisfying.

This traditional dish varies from region to region in Colombia, with each area adding its own unique twist, resulting in a diverse and rich culinary heritage. From the coastal regions, where seafood is often included, to the Andean highlands, where hearty meats and root vegetables take center stage, Sancocho remains a staple on dining tables across the country.

This delicious stew not only fills the belly but also brings families and communities together to savor the flavors and celebrate Colombian culture. It is a heart-warming dish that embodies the joyful spirit of sharing.

The Ayurvedic Perspective

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, emphasizes balance in all aspects of existence, including diet.

One of the main Ayurvedic principles to understand, is that we can categorize foods by their qualities (gunas), tastes (rasas), and effects on the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). A well-prepared Sancocho, rich in grounding ingredients, can be a balanced meal that caters to all doshas when prepared thoughtfully during winter season.

Sancocho can effectively alleviate any digestive challenges if prepared using Ayurveda.

First, it is key to be aware of the significance of ‘Agni’ or digestive fire, which must be nurtured for optimal digestion and improved nutritional absorption. This can be particularly difficult when it is cold and windy.

However, integrating the power of Ayurvedic spices can bolster the digestibility and nutritional benefits of this plant-based Sancocho and ensure that even during winter, it can be fully assimilated by the body.

Some of the warming spices we will use are:

  • Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice, which can kindle ‘Agni’ or digestive fire and aid in the smooth functioning of the liver, promoting efficient digestion.
  • Ginger, termed ‘universal medicine’ in Ayurveda, aids in breaking down food particles and assimilating nutrients. It also boost metabolism and reduces bloating or gas.
  • Cumin seeds, subtly stimulating the digestive enzymes, aids in the digestion process by expediting the release of bile from the liver.

Adding these healing spices not only infuses our Sancocho with an aromatic appeal but also enhances its nutritional value.

Main Ingredients: An Ayurvedic Analysis

According to Ayurveda, each ingredient carries its unique energetic properties and intrinsic benefits. A close examination of each of these plant-based foods will reveal how this vegan Sancocho, when prepared with mindful attention, can turn into a wholesome, health-enhancing meal.

1. Carrots: Carrots have an astringent taste (rasa). They possess heating properties (virya) that help in generating warmth and promoting digestion. Additionally, carrots have a pungent post-digestive effect (vipaka). When cooked, their taste changes to sweet, making them particularly beneficial for balancing Vata dosha.

2. Gold Potatoes: Potatoes can be grounding, if prepared correctly, otherwise they can disturb Vata dosha. These versatile tubers have an astringent taste (rasa), a cooling effect (virya), and a sweet post-digestive effect (vipaka). Yet, the way we are preparing them, potatoes can provide a comforting and nourishing experience, perfect for balancing the doshas and promoting overall well-being during winter.

3. Fresh Corn: Corn, with its delectable sweet and astringent taste (rasa) and heating effect (virya), is excellent for pacifying Kapha, one of the three doshas in Ayurveda. Its natural properties of lightness and dryness make it beneficial for this constitution. Additionally, corn has a pungent post-digestive effect (vipaka), which further contributes to its overall balancing qualities according to Ayurvedic principles.

Note: By using spices we can antidote the aggravating qualities AND enhance the pacifying attributes of these ingredients to transform this meal into a tridoshic recipe, suitable for all doshas.

Sancocho: A Warming Dish for Cold Days

Ayurveda teaches us that it’s essential to adjust our diets according to the seasons.

During colder days, Vata dosha (governed by space and air elements) can become aggravated, leading to dryness and cold in the body. A dish like Sancocho, with its hearty, warming ingredients and spices, is perfect for balancing Vata. The rich broth, cooked slowly over time, is nourishing and grounding, while the diverse mix of vegetables provides a range of tastes and qualities to balance all doshas.

Moreover, a plant-based Sancocho can play a crucial role in balancing Kapha dosha due to its warming properties and ingredients. The slow-cooked vegetables in the broth are easier to digest, which is beneficial for Kapha types who have a slow metabolic rate. The inherent spices used in the dish are heating for the body, countering the cold quality of Kapha.

Vegan Sancocho Recipe

Vegan Sancocho — Ayurvedic Version

Servings 1


  • 1 unit Corn fresh (on the cob)
  • 1 unit Carrot (small)
  • 1 unit Gold potato
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro
  • 1/4 unit Onion (red)
  • 1 unit Garlic (clove)


  • Turmeric powder, Ginger powder, Cumin seeds, Mustard powder, Sea salt


  • Chop the corn on 2-3 pieces. Slice the carrot. Dice the potato into cubes. Finely chop the onion. Mash the garlic.
  • In a soup pot, add the olive oil, garlic, onion, and cumin seeds. Saute until onion is translucent.
  • Add all the veggies, enough water to cover the ingredients, the rest of the spices, and the cilantro. Mix well.
  • Heat the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes until all the ingredients become soft and tender.
  • Serve hot and top with more fresh cilantro leaves.

This vegan Sancocho, aligns beautifully with Ayurvedic principles.

It offers a comforting, balanced meal that not only nourishes the body but also brings warmth and joy to cold days.

Give this Ayurvedic version of Sancocho a try. It might just become your new winter favorite!

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Hi! I'm Monica

My life purpose is to help women achieve physical, mental, and emotional alignment, improve their digestion, balance their hormones, and feel more confident in their own skin.

Join me on PRANA APP for a journey of self discovery, balance, and bliss. All you need and more to restore your health and thrive is waiting for you on Prana app.

See you there! xx

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