Your cardiologist is in the kitchen

If you are a patient at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute some typical questions you might ask your cardiologist could include:

How is my blood pressure?
Should I be concerned about my cholesterol?

But how about…
What should I cook for dinner?Kaul_cooking

As part of the institute’s Heart Protection Kitchen cooking demonstrations, OHSU cardiologists are trading stethoscopes for aprons to show off their hidden talents in the kitchen.

Usually led by OHSU’s executive chef along with a registered dietitian, our healthcare providers are periodically stepping in to cook heart-healthy meals for their patients.

The “Your Doctor Will Cook for You Now” series recently kicked off with a class taught by Dr. Sanjiv Kaul, CEO of the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute. His goal was to teach attendees how to cook a traditional Indian meal that is low in saturated fat and sodium while high in fiber.

On the menu:

  • Chicken and Broccoli, Kashmiri-style
  • Daal (mixed beans and lentils), Punjabi-style
  • Red Cabbage, Bengali-style

In addition to his recipe instruction Dr. Kaul gave health tips for cooking at home, such as using dried beans instead of canned to avoid added salt. His most important piece of advice: cook more! According to him, it’s the best way to know exactly what’s in your diet and avoid unnecessary saturated fat and sodium.

Check out the full schedule of cooking classes on our website, and try out Dr. Kaul’s Kashmiri-style chicken and broccoli recipe below!

Chicken and Broccoli, Kashmiri-Style

Makes 6 servings


6 bone-in chicken thighs

1 large head of broccoli, trimmed into florets 2-inch long and 1-inch wide

2 tablespoons mustard oil (if not available, any other vegetable oil can be used except olive oil)

6 cloves

6 peppercorns

3 crushed cardamom pods

1-inch cinnamon stick, crushed

1 bay leaf, broken into 6 pieces

2 heaping teaspoons fennel powder

1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger

1 heaping teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Kashmiri cayenne chili powder (if not available, mix ½ teaspoon regular chili powder with 1 teaspoon paprika)

Boiling water


Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and trim away any fat. With a pointed knife, poke 4 to 5 holes in each chicken thigh; set aside.

Heat mustard oil over medium heat in a skillet or saucepan. When oil is hot, add cloves, peppercorn, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaf. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes then reduce heat. Add fennel powder, ginger, turmeric, salt, and chili powder, and stir for 2 minutes.

Add enough boiling water to the mixture to fill the pan 1 inch deep. Stir and raise heat back to medium to bring the mixture to a boil. Place chicken in the pan and cook for two minutes. Turn the chicken over, then add broccoli to the pan with the chicken. Reduce the heat and cover with a tight lid. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, and then stir so that the broccoli is immersed in the liquid. Cook for another 15 minutes on low heat.

Nutrition information (per serving): 177 calories, 9 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat, 5 grams monounsaturated fat, 2 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fat), 69 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 496 mg potassium, 8 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar (0 grams added sugar), 16 grams protein

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  1. could you post the vegetarian recipes as well?

  2. Sure! Please see the additional two recipes below. -Kate

    Daal (Mixed Lentil and Beans), Punjabi-Style
    Makes 6 servings
    2 cups premixed beans and lentils (available at many stores) or prepare a mixture of whole Urad Daal and kidney beans, soaked overnight in 8 cups water
    2 medium onions, peeled, divided
    1 jalapeno pepper
    1 heaping teaspoon ground turmeric
    1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled
    6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
    1 medium tomato
    1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves (removed from stems)
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
    2 heaping teaspoons ground coriander
    1 heaping teaspoon Garam Masala
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon ghee
    1 teaspoon black cumin seeds (Shah Jeera)

    Put the bean-lentil mixture with the soaking water in a pressure cooker. Add ½ an onion cut into 3-4 pieces, jalapeno, turmeric, and salt. Close lid and bring pressure cooker to maximum pressure over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, then immediately put the pressure cooker under cold running water to release pressure. Open lid. The beans should be soft enough to eat but not too soft. Set aside.

    Chop 1 onion into small pieces and the remaining ½ onion into very fine pieces; set aside. (Do not use food processor.)
    In a food processor, finely chop the ginger and garlic. Transfer to a bowl. Use the food processor to chop the tomato and coriander (cilantro) leaves, then transfer to a separate bowl.
    In a deep saucepan or other cooking pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion cut into small pieces and the garlic-ginger mixture, stirring until onion turns golden brown. Add the tomato-coriander mixture and stir. Add the cumin, ground coriander, Garam Masala, and salt, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
    Add the contents of the pressure cooker to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover.
    In a separate small skillet, heat the ghee over medium heat. Add the remaining finely chopped onion and the black cumin seeds; cook until edges of onions turn brown. Transfer to the saucepan with the daal mixture and stir. Cook the daal, uncovered, for another 15 minutes over low heat.

    Nutrition information (per serving): 263 calories, 11 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat, 3 grams monounsaturated fat, 1 gram polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 224 mg sodium, 407 mg potassium, 38 grams total carbohydrate, 15 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar (0 grams added sugar), 13 grams protein

    Red Cabbage, Bengali-Style
    Makes 6 servings
    2 tablespoons mustard oil (if not available, any other vegetable oil can be used except olive oil)
    1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
    1-inch cinnamon stick (crushed)
    1 bay leaf, crushed into 6-8 small pieces
    3 dried whole red chilies
    2 teaspoons ground turmeric
    1 medium red cabbage, cored and shredded with a food processor
    1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped with a food processor
    1 tablespoon Garam Masala
    1 teaspoon sugar
    ½ teaspoon salt

    Heat the oil in a saucepan. When hot, add cumin seeds and stir until seeds are light brown. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, red chilies, and ground turmeric and stir (don’t let the red chilies turn black and smoke). Add shredded cabbage to the spice mixture and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes.
    Combine the ginger, Garam Masala, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add mixture to the cabbage and cook for an additional 5 minutes on low heat.

    Nutrition information (per serving): 100 calories, 5 grams total fat (0 grams saturated fat, 3 grams monounsaturated fat, 2 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 379 mg potassium, 14 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar (0.7 grams added sugar), 2 grams protein

  3. question about the recipes, why does it say to use any vegetable oil except olive oil?

  4. Sarah, according to Dr. Kaul using olive oil just doesn’t taste as good in this recipe. If you do not have mustard oil he recommends using canola oil instead. -Kate

  5. I heard that you should never use olive oil for cooking as the heat changes the properties of the oil making very bad for your health. Olive oil should only be used as a cold dressing, which is quite healthy for you.
    Can someone confirm this?

  6. Hi David. Good question. Tracy Severson, a registered dietitian at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, had this to say about cooking with olive oil:

    Oils should not be heated to the point of smoking, which is when oxidation occurs. Because extra-virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than many other oils, it should not be used for high-heat cooking (e.g., stir-frying, searing, pan-frying) but is fine for lower heat cooking such as sautéing. For high-heat cooking, try canola, peanut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil, all of which have higher smoke points and still contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

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