India is a fascinating country that consists of amazing people and cuisine. There are over Six Hundred Million Vegetarians alone in India. There are ‘Veg’ and ‘Pure Veg’ restaurants in each state. ‘Pure Veg’ means there aren’t any onions, garlic and eggs present in food. Strangely enough, food without these absolutely essential ingredients still will blow your taste buds for sure. Vegetarian Indians have mastered this unique skill of developing wonderful flavours with or without these vital ingredients.
With this amazing enthusiasm that people of India has for their amazing food, you will quickly realize that you can easily spend the rest of your life without eating meats and still be happy. The fact is that many Hindus have an aversion to eating meat and are vegetarians and rather set the style for everyone else.
It challenges us in the West to think if we do need to eat so much meat. These Indian have developed super healthy and nutrient-rich vegetarian food that once you are into it, won’t miss out on anything like meat. Dishes such as dals or lentil made of dried peas, beans and legumes are deliciously flavoured with garlic, fenugreek, mango powder, curry leaves and coriander leaves. While in South India they make dals with tamarind, tomatoes and coconut milk.
Then there are hundreds of vegetables like green vegetables, leafy vegetables, paneer cheese (Indian cottage cheese) sourced freshly from Sabji Bazars that are cooked in minutes with onion, garlic and garam masala. These are only a few examples of many daily specials in an Indian household. Potatoes are an absolute bliss for Indian poor household. I cannot mention the number of dishes Indian cook using this humble potato. These little beauties are boiled, fried, mashed, pan-fried and anything you can imagine to prepare the best tasting dishes one can imagine.
Almost every state in India had some kind of unique bread that compliments the other meal unknown to Western Indian food lovers. Most of us have to know chapattis, naan bread or paratha containing gluten. There are little know and more healthy type of bread made of rice flour and vegetables (Akki Roti). Appam is the signature bread south Indian flatbread made of rice and coconut batter, both sweet and savoury. Puran Poli is a popular Maharashtrian delicacy bread, stuffed with coconut and jaggery. Thepla, the Gujrati bread made gram flour, fenugreek leaves and spices. This list can go on and on.
Almost all of the vegetable and dals are Vegan and taste heavenly. There is no doubt in my mind that Indian Vegan Food is one of the best ones can find on earth. Once in a lifetime, a journey to India for exploring its cuisine will inspire and make you question that if the Vegan/Vegetarian lifestyle is difficult to adopt.
I have crafted a full vegan menu at Swadish using best and seasonal produce for anyone who wants to cut down on meat intake. Swadish vegan menus are inspired by my wife Jas who has been a vegan for years and is equally committed to serving delicious and creative vegan dishes without any compromises. Swadish vegan menus have been very popular with our carnivore dinners as well. Swadish is one of the best Indian restaurants in Glasgow’s merchant city. It serves the authentic Indian food is fresh and contemporary manner.