What Indian food can vegans eat?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What Indian food can vegans eat? We will discuss the best vegan recipes in Indian cuisine and leave you with a vegetarian curry recipe.

What Indian food can vegans eat?

The vegan cuisine of India is rich in variety, dishes, and influences, and is distinguished by the great use of spices. Well, it adds another characteristic: the importance of plant products. 

Hindus love dishes filled with fresh ingredients bursting with colors and aromas, and that is why even meat recipes are unthinkable without vegetables. But the key to a vegan Indian cuisine is also in legumes, of which there are many varieties of different forms. Always accompanied by the essential basmati rice, vegan recipes in Indian cuisine are simple, nutritious, aromatic, and extremely tasty.

Did you know that a large part of the population of India is vegetarian? It is something that has a lot to do with their philosophy of life and the great respect they feel towards nature and animals. 

This is reflected in their kitchen, where the presence of all the flavors in the same meal is sought, always in balance and harmony. That is why their recipes are perfect for vegans and non-vegans, no dish is boring or bland and even the simplest food is a festival of surprising flavors.

The best vegan recipes in Indian cuisine

To create your own vegan feast at home, you only need to prepare a plate of legumes with their sauce, some vegetables, and a good portion of basmati rice. You can serve it all together or in separate plates, along with some chutneys or raita, a yogurt sauce. Remember that vegans do not eat anything animal, so you have to substitute dairy for vegetable equivalents.

 A recipe that should be essential in your repertoire is Pulao Kashmiri, a perfect rice garnish for any occasion, well loaded with spices.

Before moving on to the main course, why not open the evening with an aperitif

Samosas and pakoras are the ideal starters, crunchy and addictive, they will hook even at least a friend of vegetables. You can then serve any recipe that harnesses the power of legumes, such as a chickpea curry, spiced beans, a healthy Kitchari, or an aromatic Ghana Dal with lentils. 

Of course, always with its ideal partner, which is basmati rice; this way we will get complete proteins in a totally animal-free dish. Let’s also not forget a Hindu classic, the biryani, which of course can be made 100% vegan.

You can also “veganize” any Indian recipe simply by removing the meat or fish and adding, for example, tofu or more vegetables. Go ahead and try different legumes on a plate of vegan korma, or a chana dal with chickpeas.  Also in India, they really enjoy potatoes, for example with the classic Aloo Bartha or Indian mashed potatoes.

Have you been wanting dessert? Prepare a succulent basmati rice kheer with vegetable milk and you will leave everyone with their mouths open. Who Said Vegan Cooking Is Boring?!

Vegetarian curry (recipe)

This vegetarian curry recipe is a very Indian dish, slightly spicy but with abundant aromatic richness and full of unusual flavors and textures. Serve the vegetarian curry with naan bread to soak in the tasty sauce, it can serve as an alternative with the delicious parathas, which are a very appreciated type of flat Indian bread that also combines perfectly with this curry recipe. 

Vegetarian curry is a dish that in some parts of the world is accompanied by rice, be it basmati rice and herbs or chana dal. Whether for an informal meal or a more special event, this vegetarian curry is a dish suitable for any eventuality, simple and quick to cook, with a flavor that will surely leave fond memories.

Ingredients for six people:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into pieces about 2.5 cm
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 fresh green chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
  • 700 ml of vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 225 g of potatoes, diced
  • 225 g of cauliflower 
  • 225 g of okra, arranged
  • 225 g of frozen peas
  • 150 ml of coconut milk
  • salt
  • chili
  • Coconut flakes for garnish
  • Naan bread, to serve

Preparation:

– Arrange the aubergine in a bowl, sprinkling with salt. Book for about 30 minutes.

– Wash thoroughly with running water to remove all salt. Drain and dry with paper towels.

– Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, chili, ginger, onion, and spices and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until slightly golden.

– Add tomato concentrate, broth, lemon juice, potatoes, and cauliflower and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes.

– Add eggplant, okra, peas, and coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and continue cooking slowly, uncovered, for another 10 minutes until tender. Remove the cardamom pods.

– Pour the vegetarian curry into a warm serving dish, then garnish with the coconut flakes and serve immediately with naan bread.

Enjoy!

Conclusions

Vegetarianism in India is conceived as a balm of the mind and spirit and, therefore, in a greater internal balance of the consumer.

On a physical level, the easy digestion of green diets or the many properties of vegetables and fruit such as antioxidants or vitamins, confirm the many benefits of a vegetarian diet. 

In turn, vegetarianism was a much easier diet to weigh for the agricultural classes of Ancient India, which could not afford the consumption of meats such as chicken, all without taking into account that the cow is considered a sacred animal in India (despite the recent illegal trade in southern states) and pork is banned from the diet of the Muslim population, one of the most abundant in the subcontinent.

If you have any thoughts to share, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

References

Indiatoday.in

Thasneen.com

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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