Ayurveda Around The World: Colombia-inspired cargamento beans stew

Updated: Apr 28

Let's travel with our taste buds today to Colombia. You'll love this cargamento beans stew with the traditional triguisar spice mix.

Ayurveda can be practised everywhere. We just need to follow the fundamental principles which are all based in nature.

Wherever we live or travel, we can take those principles with us and adjust our nutrition with what nature provides.

It's Colombia's day today. I enjoyed trying cargamento beans for the first time. What colours, texture and shape! It was a feast for five senses.

If you can't find cargamento beans in your area, you can always use a local substitute. Please scroll down to the bottom of this article for different Doshas suggestions regarding spices, vegetables, beans and much more!


  • 2 cups of cargamento beans or 500g of ready cooked cargamento beans (Alternatively you can soak 1cup over night, drain the water and cook them before preparing the stew). Please don’t throw away the water.

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 small tomatoes, grated

  • ½ red pepper, grated

  • A tablespoon vegetable bullion diluted in a cup of hot water

  • 1 cup butternut squash, diced

  • 1 large carrot, diced

  • 1 cup baby spinach

  • 1 1.2 tbspoon triguisar* (see recipe below or get it ready made)

  • Rock salt and black pepper to taste

  • Lemon/lime juice (optional)

  • Coriander to garnish

  • Colombian aji hot sauce (optional but highly recommended, see recipe below or get it ready made)

Side dishes: basmati rice, avocado, tostones, yuca


1. Put the oil in the frying pan and let it heat up. Cook the the onion until translucent and add the garlic and triguisar. When the spices release their aroma, add the grated tomatoes for 3 minutes.

2. Then add the bullion and the vegetables except the spinach. You may need extra water, this is where the cargamento beans water will be the perfect choice.

3. Let this preparation cook for about 8 minutes and add 1 cup of fresh coriander leaves.

4. When the vegetables are al dente, add the spinach, cargamento beans, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes and voilaá.

5. Accompany it with bastmati rice and Colombian aji hot sauce. As an option, cook the rice with black mustard seeds. I prefer black mustard seeds for this recipe because they offer a contrast in colours which I find attractive in this dish.

6. Squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.

Homemade triguisar: Ingredients & method:

I love preparing my own spice blend and smell, taste and try new spices. You can of course get readymade Triguisar but if you feel adventurous, here's the deal:

  • 1 tablespoon ground annato. Annato is the star of this spice blend. It tastes earthy, sweet and mildly pungent. Here in London, I found it in a shop called Chatica located in Elephant and Castle.

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoons rock sal

Blend all the ingredients in a coffee or spice grinder:

Colombian aji hot sauce: Preparation & Method:

  • 1 red peppers

  • 1 white onions

  • 4 spring onions

  • Coriander

  • 1 cups red wine vinegar

  • 5 dried chillies

  • Cabbage (optional)

  • 1 tbsp salt


  1. Chop onions, spring onions, cilantro finely

  2. Cut peppers into small pieces and add chillies.

  3. Pour vinegar, peppers, and chillies in a blender

  4. In a large bowl add all ingredients together

For Kapha: less rice and favour chickpeas instead of cargamento beans. To make Kapha move, you can add more pungency like chillies, black pepper. Oh and the more vegetables, the better.

For Pitta: avoid making it too pungent. Cargamento beans are great for Pitta. The greener the vegetables, the better.

For Vata: not too pungent either. Also urad dhal (black gram) is a better choice for Vatta. And please remember to sit down and take your time to enjoy this complete meal.

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