These Indian foods are vegan in and of themselves and that’s what we’re here for!

The vegan diet has become very popular these days, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has in fact forced everyone to focus on their diet, with many cutting back on their meat consumption as a result of a rigorous home cooking mania to which they have been subjected. With more and more people being educated about health, the environment, and plant-based diets, vegan food is gaining ground.

That is why, to celebrate vegan food and the concept of veganism, World Vegan Day is celebrated on November 1 of each year. Vegan food reduces the risk of many diseases and gives you healthier alternatives to satiate your cravings.

A vegan diet is said to be beneficial in preventing diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and lung and kidney disease. Since a vegan diet is mostly plant-based, it is high in fiber and low in cholesterol. On World Veg Day, vegan groups and practitioners are holding workshops to highlight the importance of animal rights.

In the meantime, there are some Indian foods that are in themselves vegan! Who would have thought, right? But over the years, we’ve secretly eaten these “superfoods” over the years and haven’t been classified as vegans.

1. Dal Chawal:

This soul food can never disappoint us. Dal is the dish that most parts of India cook almost every day. Dal Chawal is the ultimate comfort food. And maybe a weekday meal of choice for many! Each region, each community can do it differently, but cooking lentils in curry or soup is certainly a dish you will find is a staple, consistent across all regions. In many Indian households, dal is served with every meal, accompanied by rice and roti, and accompanied by various cooked vegetables or dry meat dishes.

2. Dosas, Idlis:

Our favorite breakfast! Let it be burning Idlis with sambar and coconut chutney, or mixed vegetables with stuffed potatoes dosas, these dishes can never disappoint us. Made from fermented rice and dal (lentils), masala dosa is a super thin, crispy and flavorful pancake wrapped around a blend of curried potatoes, onions and spices. It is popular mainly in South India, but devoured all over the country and beyond!

3. Chat:

We could endlessly debate which of the world’s cuisines offers the most magnificent meals. The French, Italians, Vietnamese and many other cultures can all claim this honor. But there’s no doubt, absolutely no, who has the best snacks. It’s Indian cuisine, hands down. The Hindi word for snack is chaat, and Indian “chaat houses” are everywhere, not just in India, but in virtually every city with a sizable Indian community. From bhel puri to pani puri to sabudana vada, there are a handful of vegan options but they also don’t need any substitutes to taste great.

4. Chole Bhature / Kulche:

A guaranteed vegan Indian food for everyone, chole is enjoyed by people of all ages. This chickpea curry not only tastes great, but is packed with lots of healthy ingredients as well. The spicy and mouth-watering dish is accompanied by puris or bhatura or Kulchas.

5. Veg Biryani / Pulao:

The first dish on this list is for all rice lovers! No matter where you travel in India, you are never far from a sumptuous plate of biryani or vegetable pulao. Includes rice, spices, and tons of fully vegan, dairy-free veggies.

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6. Rajma Chawal:

Rajma is a popular vegan Indian dish made from red beans cooked with many whole Indian spices in a thick sauce. It is usually served with roast and steaming hot rice. Even though the bean is not of Indian origin, it is still an integral part of the typical North Indian diet.

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Posted on: Sunday October 31, 2021 5:44 PM IST

About Kevin K. Zuniga

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