Even in an age of growing awareness of positive food consumption that discourages harm to any animal, lifestyles such as veganism often become subject to ridicule. Propped on by the corporate junk food cartel and our conscience lacking media, many people consider veganism to be “lame and boring.” However, even in the prospect of so much negativity, there is a sliver of hope as the next generation, The Millennials are “converting” to veganism; abandoning their brash carnivorous lifestyle for a more compassionate one.
Indian food is famous for two reasons; for being spicy and for being vegetarian. None of these reasons are completely true, though they occupy a great proportion of what constitutes traditional Indian food. And what else could be our best choice in the age of mix and match other than Indian food, since most of it is indeed vegetarian?
TAKEAWAY: No other cuisines in the world can be turned into a vegetarian, milk product free array of dishes like the Indian cuisine. In fact, India is the second country in the world (after Bangladesh) where the meat consumption per capita is the lowest. To put it into perspective, an Indian consumes 4,4kg of meat per year, while a person from the US eats over 120kg.
That’s why we present you with 6 mouthwatering Indian vegan dishes that even meat-eaters will love.
Originating from the state of Gujarat, a Khichadi is usually eaten as a light meal by the middle-aged and elderly during their fasting days. A Khichadi is not supposed to be a very spiced up food. However, the last few decades have seen Indian households cooking Khichadi as a culinary delicacy rather than food for breaking one’s religious fasts.
In simpler terms, a Khichadi is a rice risotto like recipe. Here is a short version of how to make it.
- Heat cloves, cumin and pepper in little oil in a pan.
- Wash rice and lentils. Add three to four cups of water in a cooker, mix rice and lentils in it. Then, add salt and chilly powder for taste. Add the spices to the mixture.
- Let the Khichadi cook until four to five cooker whistles.
This one comes from South India and perfectly represents the awesome delight that is Indian vegetarian food. So what’s so vegan about it? You don’t need to add any milk products to it. A Masala Dosa is made from fermented batter, made by grinding rice grains in large grinders while adding water to the flour. The process can also be replicated in mixer grinders. However, one should always keep track of the amount of water being added to the ground rice.
After an overnight fermentation, your batter is all ready. You can add chopped onions, chilies, tomatoes and don’t forget to salt to taste. Heat a non-stick pan and spread some cooking oil on the surface. Now take some batter in a shallow cup, pour it on the pan and spread it evenly. The heat will turn the spread into a solid pancake-like thin Dosa. Finally, boil the potato separately. Heat some spices in oil, add onion, salt, and chilly powder, turmeric and cook the potato in the wok. Now add the cooked potato on the Dosa. And that’s your Masala Dosa.
Vegan Dal Makhni
A North Indian specialty, this dish is usually served with a garnishing of yogurt, which also sometimes goes into it as a preparatory ingredient. Yogurt is what we are going to avoid since we need a vegan Dal Makhni.
All you have to do is to soak kidney beans and some mung beans overnight. Now heat some oil in a cooker and add onion, garlic, ginger, cumin leaves and bay leaves in the heated oil and saute for some time. Now add tomato, garam masala, and the soaked bean. Stir for some time. Then, add four cups of water and lid it until four to five whistles. This dal dish can make even the most rabid meat eaters consider veganism.
Rice And Potato Cutlets
We all love street-side snacks. Although not good for your health in the long-term, why not just make them vegan if you love these bites. Especially in winters and rainy seasons, these street foods can make for good companions for having some good time with friends and family, while having some small chit-chat and gossip.
They are made from half mashed rice and mashed potatoes combined and by adding, salt, green chilies, ginger, cumin seeds and some cilantro in the mix. Shape the cutlets into small thick discs with your hands and put them in heating oil in a wok. And voila! You have a super easy ready to eat vegan Indian snack dish ready.
Or to say that in English, Potato-Poori, this North Indian dish is loved all over the country. Most possibly originating from the area around Delhi, the Poori in the dish is a pancake-like preparation made from maida, a type of wheat flour used in Indian dishes. Aloo-Poori is good to be eaten as an occasional dish, during special seasons and gatherings with family and kin. However, to eat Aloo-Poori as a staple meal would be a big no. As a vegan, you can add this to your list of vegan snacks.
People in the western parts of North India can tell you the absolute bliss that is eating this dal dish in its purest form. Dal Tadka is made from yellow dal and by adding spices such as turmeric, cloves, pepper, ginger-garlic paste and of course, some salt to taste. However, always remember that your Dal Tadka should not have ghee or any other usually assorted Indian milk product in it. Keep it vegan, keep it healthy.
As you can see, you don’t have to be a boring sprout eating hippie to represent your vegan lifestyle. With these Indian vegan dishes we are sure that your meat-loving buddies will be left salivating for more when you give them a taste of vegan ingenuity.
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