How To Be A Vegan In India
Veganism has definitely become a popular trend today. As humans who killed to eat, we have no doubt evolved. A lot of people are turning vegan. A trend that we did not see growing was the number of vegans in India. Despite the fact India is among the countries with the most number of vegetarians, Indians heavily depend on dairy. There are so many food dishes in India that somehow make use of milk: be it in the form of ghee or curd. Therefore, becoming a vegan in India is genuinely not so easy.
Why Go Vegan?
Many people wonder what is the reason behind veganism. Haven’t we humans killed animals since our origin? However, there are plenty of reasons why we must switch to a plant-based diet. Some of them are:
- Animal Cruelty: If one would look at the number of animals killed yearly and the way they are exploited, you would be turning vegan too. The numbers are huge and animal cruelty is sad not just for the animals but for the environment as well.
- Health: People often wonder how a plant-based diet provides the human body with all the nutrition. However, it does! A well-made plant diet can really help provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. It also helps reduce the chances of cholesterol and heart issues.
- Environment: Do you have any idea how many crops and how much water goes into feeding the animals for meat? The entire farm-to-fork process is not that simple. It is a whole process of environmental pollution. From habit loss to deforestation, animal cruelty goes way beyond just killing.
Why Being A Vegan In India Can Be Tough
Veganism isn’t easy anywhere. It isn’t easy to follow a strict plant-based diet at all. Indians may give up on the meat. However, dairy? That’s a tough call! India is among the most milk-producing countries in the world. Vegetarians in India love their paneer! So, many Indians cannot continue their meal without a bowl of curd on the side. Also, no Lassi and no Butter on a Paratha? That’s a lot to give up for a vegan in India!
Dairy products are a part of the daily Indian diet in a huge way. Right from ghee to yoghurt, Indians somehow consume dairy products throughout the day. Tea is one beverage that Indians cannot live without. You will rarely find a household that has no tea powder at their home. Therefore, missing out on the taste of cow milk while making tea is a tough choice.
However, being a vegan is all about your resources as well. Nowadays, there are endless amounts of meat alternatives as well as dairy alternatives available. So, many people are going for almond or soy milk instead. You also get dairy-free cheese nowadays. So yes, it has to do a lot with the resources you can get as well.
Accidentally Vegan Dishes In India
This is not a surprise that you may actually come across a lot of dishes in India that are vegan. The amount of vegetarian variety this country has is endless. Therefore, having a select few dishes without dairy seems a tad bit easier.
Also, Indian dishes heavily depend a lot on the magic of their beloved spices. Therefore, these definitely do help a vegan in India. Here are some accidentally vegan dishes in India.
This list will definitely entice a lot of junk food lovers:
- Pani Puri: India’s favourite street food item is completely vegan! Its several varieties like Bhel Puri and Sev Puri can also be added to the list
- Samosa: It is literally just potatoes and spices deep-fried until crunchy.
- Momos: The famous momos are actually pretty vegan. Their filling is completely made of veggies and spices.
- A wide variety of Indian appetisers like baby corn, spring rolls, chilli potatoes, tikkas and kebabs.
- Vada pav: This famous Maharashtrian street food is just bread and potato.
- The variety of Indian pakoras that you have on a lazy rainy morning.
Aside from these favourites, there are some Indian dishes you can still enjoy if you turn vegan:
- Chhole and the wide variety of Indian curries that you can make without using dairy products.
- The wide range of stuffed parathas.
- My favourite breakfast: Upma.
- Noodles and some Manchurian.
- The super famous combination of Rajma Chawal.
- The famous Pav Bhaji!
Do you think you will miss eating your milk-based sweets? Don’t worry, you will always have Jalebis to keep you company!
Completely Vegan Restaurants in India
With the slow yet growing trend of Veganism in India, there are bound to be restaurants working on the same. Here are some restaurants in India which will help you stay vegan in India:
- Paradigm Shift: This restaurant is in Bangalore. It is a rooftop restaurant with great interiors and environment. Their menu is completely vegan as well as organic.
- The Real Green Café: This is Pune’s first vegan restaurant. You will find great vegan pizzas as well as amazing desserts here.
- Imagine Café: This restaurant was actually called Cafe RVD before! It is among Mumbai’s most-known restaurants which are completely vegan. You can enjoy a variety of dishes here in vegan including pizzas and dosas.
- Hippie’s Gusto: Looking for Vegan ice cream? This place is for you. They serve homemade ice creams as well as vegan milkshakes! This is a great vegan dessert place in Goa.
- Carrots: This is another restaurant in Bengaluru that serves some of the best vegan dishes. Their menu is not just dairy but also gluten-free.
- Smart Alec: This is the biggest vegan restaurant in Hyderabad. This is the best type of place if you are in need of some vegan motivation. They have an interesting yet delicious menu too.
All in all, if you were to think about Indian dishes without dairy, there are tons. You will find a lot of vegetarian dishes that are only dependent on spices.
However, with the growing amount of alternatives and substitutes, being a vegan in India shouldn’t be so hard. It’s all about your willpower.
Do you think veganism is tough? Do you think vegans eat a rich diet? Let us know in the comments section below!
Paridhi Maheshwari is a content writer at F and B Recipes and Snazzy Women. She’s an aspiring journalist aiming to cover human interest stories through the power of her words.