Indian Vegan Foods
When you think of vegan foods, you undoubtedly think of Indian vegan foods. Or just Indian food.
The Vegan food movement has gained new ground (and followers) everywhere in the world, and Vegas is not far behind.
For both our locations in Las Vegas, we have also recreated many dishes and turned them into vegan favorites. Take, for instance, the Chicken Tikka Masala, for which we introduced a vegan version, the Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala. This was a crowd-puller at the Vegas Veg Fest and the Veganuary event, a vegan event held each year in Las Vegas. It instantly achieved a cult-worthy following amongst our vegan guests.
We also altered the Kofta and makhani sauces to offer creamy, yet non-dairy versions of these famous Indian gravies. Our Vegan Koftas enjoyed immense fanfare from both vegan and non-vegans alike.
This is because, for many thousands of years, a huge number of Indians have been pure vegetarian or eat only vegetarian food on certain days of the week.
Gujarati food favors predominantly plant-based, pure vegetarian ingredients. Jain food is also very popular in India. People who follow the Jain food philosophy do not eat meat or anything that grows underground.
There are many delicious and widely-popular Indian vegetarian recipes. Many of them are vegan or can be made vegan by substituting the oil to a vegetable or coconut oil. Paneer Palak is a popular Indian vegetarian dish that can be substituted by the vegan-friendly in ingredient, namely tofu.
Traditionally, most Indian dishes are vegan.
Not only are most Indian dishes pure vegetarian, but they are also dairy-free. A vast majority of Indian dishes are also gluten-free. This makes Indian food ideal for those who follow a vegan/vegetarian diet or are gluten or lactose intolerant as well as those who have Celiac disease. And of course, if you are on a keto diet, Indian food can make meals more flavorful.
Heres’s our round-up of 10 Indian vegan foods everyone must have (irrespective of their diet philosophy).
You’ll find some of these Indian vegan foods at our Lunch Buffet, neatly labeled for you. Our Indian Lunch Buffet is also a great way of trying various dishes, especially if you are just getting introduced to Indian cuisine. These Indian vegan foods are meatless and dairy-free, and the best part, they are vegan by default. They need no major alterations, except, we use oil instead of ghee (clarified butter) in some of these dishes.
- 1. ChannaMasala / Vegan Chickpea Curry
Channa Masala, also known as Chole, is a popular North Indian dish. Chana means chickpea or garbanzo beans, and masala means spice.Garbanzo beans are cooked in a gravy of onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and plenty of spices. Traditionally, the dish is made in ghee, clarified butter, which is the only non-vegan ingredient in the recipe. But it can always be cooked in any cooking oil. We use vegetable oil for our vegan guests.Chana Masala is usually eaten with puri, kulcha, bhatura (not vegan), roti, or rice.
- 2. Vegan Dal/ Yellow Lentils
In homestyle Indian kitchens throughout India, dal is a staple dish. The way you prepare dal varies from region to region.For example, in the north, the tempering or tadka is done using cumin seeds, while in the South, there is the liberal use of mustard seeds and curry leaves. Gujarati dal tends to be mildly sweet as Gujarati cuisine uses sugar/ jaggery.Dals or lentils are very popular on restaurant menus and Indian buffets as well. The two popular dals made in restaurants are dal tadka (yellow lentil) and dal makhani (black dal). The only non-vegan ingredient in these is ghee or butter, but you can use any other type of plant-based oil in these recipes. Dal is generally enjoyed with rice or roti, or both.
- 3. Vegan Rajma
Rajma or red kidney beans are a delicious and popular food item in North Indian homes.Considered comfort food, this is a vegan dish as long as you use plant-based oils.Red kidney beans or Rajma are cooked in a thick onion and tomato gravy, flavored with garlic, ginger, and spices.
- 4. Vegan Aloo Puri
A popular breakfast dish, aloo puri is comforting, homestyle food at its best. It is also served in restaurants but almost always made with simple ingredients. You will find it on our weekend breakfast buffet. If you want to try it out, make sure you bring your appetite with you.Aloo served with puris (fried Indian flatbread) are a match made in heaven.
- 5. Vegan Dosa
Dosas are crepes made with fermented rice and lentils. Dosas originate from the South of India and are served with sambhar, a lentil dish, and rasam, a runny dish as well as coconut chutney.You can eat dosas your way -plain or filled with masala (spiced) potatoes. Plain and Masala Dosas are one of the most popular South Indian foods.
- 6. Vegan Hara Bhara Kabab
Whoever said, kebabs cannot be vegan, has definitely not been to and Indian home kitchen or Indian restaurant. If the only vegan kebabs you have seen on skewers are tomatoes, onions, and fruits, you need to try Hara Bhara Kebabs.Let’s not call them a delicious alternative to meat kebabs, because everyone enjoys them. These are round patties made from green peas, spinach, and potatoes, and served with mint chutney.
- 7. Vegan Pakoras
Pakoras are the ultimate Indian vegan food or snack.Pakoras are fried fritters made from onions, spinach, and potatoes. Served with mint and tamarind chutney, Pakoras are a perfect rainy-day snack in India. Best enjoyed with a cup of steaming hot chai, pakoras are a reminder to slow down and enjoy the present moment.
- 8. Vegan Kofta/ Vegan Meatballs
The vegan Kofta is often an adapted dish. This is because the word “Kofta” itself means meatballs. It is not uncommon to see vegan varieties of Kofta made from lentils, potatoes, or even mixed vegetables.This is a curry dish, and its gravy is sumptuous. Traditionally, the curry is supposed to be made with butter and cream, but we serve a vegan variety of Kofta curry.
- 9. Vegan Baingan Bharata
Baingan Bharta is delightful Indian vegan food. Chargrilled eggplant cooked with an onion and tomato gravy, baingan bharta has the perfect combination of smokiness and spice. Another homestyle food as well as popular Indian vegan food at many restaurants, baingan bharta is served with roti.
- 10. Vegetable Biryani
Vegetable Biryani deserves a special mention on our list of Indian vegan foods. If you love rice, this is the ultimate meatless, Indian vegan food for you.Rice is cooked with tasty vegetables and an aromatic mix of herbs and complex spices. The flavors and aroma of this dish will give you the perfect dining experience.The complexity of mixing spices like nutmeg, mace, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, coriander, and mint create magic on the palette. Even non-vegetarians love our vegetarian biryani and don’t seem to miss the meat.
You can find many of these dishes at our daily Indian Lunch Buffet at both locations. Our dinner is served a la carte, and the menu contains a variety of vegan foods, clearly labeled for your convenience.
Unable to find an Indian vegan dish on our menu? Or want to try a variation of a popular non-vegan recipe? Just ask the server, and who knows, he might be able to get the chef to create it especially for you.