Eating Disorder Healing Foods: Food for the Sufis


cropped-Arabic-Logo-1.png“The more you make yourselves humble and ask for forgiveness, the more your true exaltedness is seen. Humility is a sign of exaltedness. The preface of a spotlessly pure heart (Iman-Islam) is patience (sabur), contentment and gratitude (shakur), having trust in God (tawakkal), and praising Him for everything that happens to us, saying, “Al-hamdu lillah!” Therefore, without feeling shame, ask forgiveness whenever necessary. This will be good. Allah, the Lone One who rules and sustains (Allahu ta’ala Nayan), will protect you and me.”

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

Dear Readers,


We are back with healing recipes. Nutrition is the fundamental part of recovery.  Eating the right kinds of foods during and after recovery can help you feel better and stay stronger. Today we bring you a healing soup from the Sufi Kitchen. This recipe is historic, very very special, tried and tested and was given to a young person suffering from anorexia by her father. He said, “we couldn’t get her to eat anything, one day in sheer desperation, I went to a Sufi master asking him for a cure for my daughter’s ailment. He told me to take the soup from his kitchen and give it to my daughter. This was a breakthrough we needed. Now two years later, this soup is a weekly staple of our diet. I highly recommend this.”

52 year old father, Kohat

This is highly highly recommended in your recovery , it contains one of the best sources of several nutrients. It’s light on stomach and very filing. Enjoy it as part of your meal plan, have it for lunch or dinner. You’ll be amazed with the taste and flavors and how soothing it is for mind, body and soul. Go for  it!


Background of Recipe

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen cooked for his students with whatever food was at hand, adding generous spoonsful of love and South Asian spices. This is a scaled-down version of a 15-gallon vegetable stew prepared by Bawa in 1979.
bawa students

Food for the Sufis- Heart Warming Stew

Soaking: Overnight

Total second-day time: 1-½ hours
1 cup dried white beans
8 cups water
¼ cup cooking oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
2 cups potatoes, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
½ cup cauliflower, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, quartered lengthwise the thinly sliced crosswise
½ cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
1 cup tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup bell peppers, coarsely chopped
½ cup lima beans
½ cup shelled peas
¼ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. cayenne
¼ tsp. cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
½ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. salt
¼ tsp. turmeric
4 tbsp. cooking oil
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
¼ tsp. fennel seeds
¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp. black mustard seeds
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 chili pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. lemon juice


The night before cooking, cover the white beans with water and let soak overnight.

Drain the beans and place in a pot with 8 cups of cold water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until cooked through, about 1-½ hours. Remove any loosened skins that have floated to the top of the water, then drain and set aside.

After the beans have been cooking for 45 minutes, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the onions and sauté until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions to a large heatproof mixing bowl, and place the bowl in a slightly warmed oven. Briefly sauté the potatoes in the reserved oil, then add ½ cup water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lima beans and peas and continue to simmer until they and the potatoes are cooked through, about 7 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving the water; add them to the bowl with the onions, and return the bowl to the oven. Add another ¼ cup of oil to the pot, and sauté the cabbage, cauliflower, carrots for about 10 minutes, until they are just cooked. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to the bowl, and return the bowl to the oven. Sauté the green beans, tomatoes and bell peppers until they are just cooked, then remove them to the mixing bowl.

To make the sauce, combine the powdered spices in a small bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan or wok over medium heat, add the seed spices and stir constantly until they begin to pop. Add the onion and chili pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes, until the onions become translucent. Add the powdered spices, stir well to distribute them over the onions, lower the heat and cook for several minutes. Blend together the tomato paste, the reserved cooking water, and enough hot water to make ¾ cup liquid. Pour this into the pan with the spices, stir well, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and enough hot water to make a sauce the consistency of thick gravy. Cook for another 10 minutes, adding water as necessary.

Remove the mixing bowl from the oven. Toss the vegetables together, pour over the sauce, toss again and transfer to a serving dish. Serve with rice.

Sufi Soup

Taken From:

from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Kathleen Seidel


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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