Squash Yam Sabji

Try something different this holiday season! Here is a delicious dish for holiday dinners and special occasions. Squash Yam sabji is full of beta carotene to help fight off winter colds and flus. And many of the warming spices in this recipe, like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and mace also help with winter sniffles, as well as conveying a taste we associate with the holidays.

Good for vata and pitta, kapha can have occasionally with extra Jalapeño.

Serves 4-6


  • 1 jewel yam

  • 1 garnet yam

  • 11/2lb of pumpkin, Hubbard, butternut or banana squash, peeled and cut into 11/2"pieces. (Not spaghetti squash). If you combine different varieties it's even better!

  • 1 bunch chard, washed and chopped

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2 Tbsp coconut powder, roasted

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 5 green cardamom pods

  • 8 cloves

  • 1 pinch nutmeg

  • 1 pinch mace

  • 1 pinch hing

  • 1-2 Jalapeno peppers, chopped and seeded

  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 3 Tbsp ghee or sunflower oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped


Boil the yams until just fork tender. Reserve the water yams were boiled in. Meanwhile, stir-fry the squash or pumpkin in 2 Tbsp of the ghee or oil until just tender. For a low fat alternative, you can steam the squash until fork tender. However, the stir-fried pieces are less likely to fall apart in the final dish and are tastier. Cube the cooked yams and combine the yams, squash, chard, coconut powder and coconut milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Use some or all of the water from boiling the yams to provide enough liquid for the mixture to be saucey but not soupy. Let this mixture simmer together for 10 minutes. In the meantime, heat the rest of the ghee or oil and add the whole spices and the jaggery. Cook until the seeds brown: then add the ginger and jalapeños. Continue cooking until the ginger just begins to brown, then add the powdered spices and immediately turn off the flame. Add the cooked spices and the cilantro and salt to the vegetables and simmer together for a few more minutes. It is important to see that you don't overcook the dish until the vegetables fall apart. The beauty of this recipe lies in savouring the different tastes of the vegetables in the coconut sauce.

Serve with kitchari and apple chutney. Try almond pudding for dessert.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!