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India has an amalgamation of both vegetarians and non vegetarians. The diverse variety of food items in India help to fulfill the needs of both. In particular, the rich vegetable curries and naan or tawa roti remain oh so popular in India. While Indian vegetarians do have an affinity towards animal based products like paneer, dahi or ghee, there are many dishes that classify as vegan Indian food.
Top 10 Vegan Indian Food Items
Let’s take a look at some of these appetizing vegan Indian food dishes that will turn a carnivore into a vegan overnight:
1. Masala Dosa
This has been a favourite among people for some while now. It has its origins in Tuluva Mangalorean cuisine. Hailing from the South, the Dosa has a thin and crispy texture. You can make a dosa by combining fermented rice and lentils. The filling of the dosa which constitutes of potatoes, curry leaves and methi adds even more flavour to the dosa. This vegan Indian food item could very well be an apt choice anyday.
Calorie count: 120
Places to eat in Delhi: Carnatic Cafe, Sagar Ratna, Swagath
Places to eat outside India: Saravana Bhavan (Canada, US, UK), Murugan Idli (Singapore)
2. Dal Makhani
Dal is usually cooked almost everyday at any household in India. The vegan version of this dish is absolutely mouth watering and delicious. If you want to make restaurant style non-dairy Dal Makhani, simply substitiute black beans for kidney beans. Dal Makhani is just one of the varieties of dal curry that grows in popularity everyday. It is made of a combination of whole black lentils and red kidney beans and thus is rich in proteins.
Calorie count: 278
Places to eat in Delhi: ITC Bukhara, Masala Art, Gulati Restaurant
Places to eat outside India: Moti Mahal Delux (Qatar, Oman), Bikanervala (New Zealand, Nepal)
Suggested Read: Choose The Best Travel Insurance In India In 2019 With Our Guide
3. Chole Masala
Chole Masala is something that everyone can enjoy eating with rice. The main ingredient that goes into the making of this product is chickpea called channa which makes it possible for a vegan to try this. They have a stronger flavor and a firmer texture even after being cooked. Please keep in mind that they are twice the size of regular chickpeas and are cooked differently.
Calorie count: 223
Places to eat in Delhi: Dilli Light, Sita Ram Diwan Chand, Shamji
Places to eat outside India: Punjab Grill (Washington DC), Saravana Bhavan (Australia, Europe and North America)
4. Veg Pulao
Veg Pulao is a wholesome meal in itself. In a nutshell, it is an Indian-style stir fry that is spiced with Pav Bhaji masala. It consists of rice and a whole lot of vegetables like green peas, carrots, cauliflower and others. This will help in providing a combination of nutrients to the body. This vegan Indian food item can be found in every household in India. You shouldn’t miss it for the world!
Calorie count: 231
Places to eat in Delhi: Moti Mahal Delux Pure Veg, New Kadimi Restaurant
Places to eat outside India: Bhogi – House of Biryani and Pulao (Canada)
5. Aloo Puri
Puri with aloo is the perfect combination you could go for. Puri is a crispy deep fried puffed bread which is served with some spicy aloo on the side. This is another one of the perfect vegan dishes that one could go for. A restaurant serving vegetarian Indian dishes will definitely have this on the menu. It is a popular choice for a healthy Indian vegetarian breakfast.
Calorie count: 61
Places to eat in Delhi: Shyam Sweets, Dilli6 On Wheels
Places to eat outside India: Bikanervala (New Zealand, Nepal)
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Kofta, though called a meatball, could be turned into a delicious vegan food item as well. A vegan variety of kofta constitutes of lentils or potatoes. It is usually spicy and is served with rice on the side. This healthy vegan Indian food item can be served with laccha paranthas. If you’re looking for Indian vegetarian dinner ideas, you can include this in the menu.
Calorie count: 152
Places to eat in Delhi: AnnaMaya, Pind Baluchi, Moti Mahal Delux
Places to eat outside India: Barbeque Nation (Kuala Lumpur), Kailash Parbat (Hong Kong)
7. Kashmiri Dum Aloo
Dum Aloo is especially popular among the Kashmiris. Dum Aloo are made up of potatoes that are deep fried and are served with some spicy gravy. Dum Aloo along with rice is something that a vegan must try for sure. It is one of the main dishes on the spicy veg Indian recipes list. Go for the gluten-free, soy-free version of Dum Aloos. You will find the recipe online easily.
Calorie count: 269
Places to eat in Delhi: Samavar, Sanjhi Rasoi, Green Dot, Matamaal
Places to eat outside India: Kashmir Restaurant (United Kingdom), Kashmir – A Culinary Paradise (United Kingdom)
Rajma, in India, is a basic dish that is served along with rice in almost every household. It comprises of red kidney beans which are cooked in a spicy gravy. It is a must try for every vegetarian or non vegetarian. It is a staple in most vegan Indian food restaurants. An Indian vegetarian dinner in a Punjabi household is incomplete without a piping hot bowl of Rajma.
Calorie count: 333
Places to eat in Delhi: Dilli6 On Wheels, Farzi Cafe, Shankar Market
Places to eat outside India: Punjab Grill (Washington DC), Raunka Punjab Diyan (United Kingdom)
9. Hara Bhara Kabab
This food item could prove to be one of the best snacks that you have. Kebab is a mishmash of vegetables which is most commonly char grilled. These are made from potatoes, spinach, green peas and are thus wholly nutritious. The vegan version of this snack is easy to make, healthy, and delicious. They are full of greens and make for the perfect lunchbox meal for your kids.
Calorie count: 72
Places to eat in Delhi: Barichi Restaurant, Shree Rathnam Restaurant, Mughal Mahal Restaurant
Places to eat outside India: Barbeque Nation (Kuala Lumpur), Punjab Grill (Washington DC)
10. Chole Bhature
Chole Bhature are one of the most popular Indian dishes. You will find them in almost every restaurant in India. This dish is made from a combination of chana served with a puffy Indian bread made from maida. If you have not tried this yet, then go for it immediately. It is one of the most popular Punjabi recipes and is liked by everyone in India and abroad.
Calorie count: 427
Places to eat in Delhi: Sita Ram Diwan Chand, Gopal Ji Chole Bhature, Mehak Food Corner
Places to eat outside India: Punjab Grill (Washington DC), Saravana Bhavan (Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America)
These vegan Indian food items will fill you up and keep you going throughout the day. The aforementioned dishes will provide the perfect taste to your palate and the perfect combination of nutrients to your body. Even a non vegetarian wouldn’t be able to stop himself from gorging on these dishes. So, go on and try these mouthwatering dishes on your sojourn to India.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Food In India
A. India as a country has always been predominantly vegetarian, with over 30% of the population following vegetarianism, India is blessed with delicious food which is vegan-friendly as well. India is a paradise for vegetarian food, to make it vegan-friendly some efforts can be needed, like asking the restaurants to not put any butter over your delicious Rotis, etc.
A. Most of the Indian curries are made up of lentils, pulses, and vegetables making them super healthy and vegan-friendly as well. Chana Masala, Dal, Masala Dosa, and Rajma are some of the healthiest Indian vegan dishes.
A. Some of the best Indian vegan dishes that are an absolute must-try include Chole, Pakode, Chana Masala, Palak Tofu Curry, Vegetable Biryani, etc.
A. You can opt for tofu instead of paneer, soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk instead of cow milk and you can look up for peanut curd instead of curd. Instead of ghee, one can use olive oil.
A. Yes, there are vegan-only restaurants available in major metro cities in India like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi. Although, not in abundance, but you can simply customize your meals to make them vegan-friendly in vegetarian restaurants which are easily available in every part of India.
A. India has some naturally vegan breakfast items like Poha, Daliya, Medhu Vada, Idli, Masala Dosa, Chole Bhature, and Aloo Poori. All of these items are vegan by default and easily available across India.
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