You've probably heard that India is great for lacto-vegetarian travelers, but did you know that there are also plenty of vegan Indian food items to choose from?
Today's guest post is by Varun Sharma, an Indian travel enthusiast who's here to share eight vegan Indian dishes that you definitely don't want to miss.
Vegan Indian Food: 8 Dishes You Must Try
1. Vegetable Biryani
The first dish on this list is for all the rice lovers out there! No matter where you are traveling in India, you're never far away from a sumptuous plate of vegetable biryani.This is the Indian version of vegetable fried rice.
The fragrant rice cooked with succulent vegetables and a heaping mix of aromatic spices like nutmeg, pepper mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, coriander, and mint can make your senses go wild. And trust me, you’ll end up craving more.
Rajma is a popular vegan Indian dish made of red kidney beans cooked with many Indian whole spices in a thick gravy. It’s usually served with roti (an Indian flatbread) and steaming hot rice. Even though the kidney bean is not of Indian origin, it’s still an integral part of the typical diet in Northern India.
3. Masala Dosa
Made from fermented rice and dal (lentils), masala dosa is a super-thin, crispy, savory pancake wrapped around a mix of curried potatoes, onions and spices. This scrumptious South Indian dish is served with chutney and sambar and is best suited for breakfast or lunch.
The southern city of Bangalore is particularly famous for its many dosa joints, and it was also recently named India’s most vegan-friendly city. Just be aware that some chefs will use yogurt (curd) in the fermentation process when making the batter.
4. Hara Bhara Kabab
If you enjoy munching on snacks but still want to get all the nutrients your body needs, then Hara Bhara Kabab is the perfect snack food for you.
These little round patties look similar to falafel but are made from potatoes, green peas and spinach. They are a tasty alternative to the typical meat kabab.
5. Baingan Bharta
Baingan Bharta is a smoked eggplant curry, somewhat like a warm version of the baba ghanoush that is eaten as a cold dip in Middle Eastern countries.
Baingan Bharta is a simple combination of spices and herbs with chargrilled eggplant (known as “brinjals” in India). It is a flavorful dish that is easy to whip up and is healthy and tasty to boot.
6. Aloo Puri
The next vegan Indian food item on this list is a bit of a decadent treat but is worth every calorie. An essential part of North Indian cuisine, puri bhaji is a must-try dish for those who like their food on the spicy side. Puri refers to the delicious, crispy deep-fried, puffed bread that is served with a delectable spicy gravy made of aloo (potato).
If you’re traveling by train (a quintessential Indian experience in itself), you’ll find vendors selling Aloo Puri at almost every station. For hygiene reasons, though, it’s best to stick to government-authorized vendors or the one that you get with your official IRCTC ticket.
When it comes to vegan Indian food, pakoras are undoubtedly the perfect snack! They are basically Indian fritters made of besan (chickpea flour) with added vegetables like potato, bell peppers, cabbage, and spices. This item is usually served with a delicious mint or coriander chutney.
8. Chole Bathure
A guaranteed crowd-pleasing vegan Indian food item, chole is enjoyed by people of all ages. This chickpea-based curry not only tastes good but is also packed with lots of healthy ingredients. The spicy, mouthwatering dish is accompanied by puris or bhatura (fried Indian bread).
These eight vegan Indian food items should all be on your must-eat list while traveling in India. Happy travels!
About the Author
Varun is a travel enthusiast from India and writes for ixigo.com. He loves to visit new places and try new cuisines. When he's not traveling, he can be seen watching soccer matches and videos from WWE.