5 Indian Recipes That You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

From undhiyo to matar pulao and khichdi, Indian delicacies have been vegan for ages.
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Indian food has the reputation of sounding complicated and difficult but it’s actually very easy to make, you only need to understand the basics to create the foundation of any dish. With India being the country that has the largest population of vegetarians, we have an array of culturally vivid dishes that are primarily vegetarian but also some that are completely vegan. And no, we’re not going to ask you to make any swaps or use any alternatives. As we celebrate World Vegan Day, here is our roundup of 5 Indian recipes that are completely vegan.  

1. Matar Pulao  

matar-pulao-vegan-recipes

Ingredients:   

2 tablespoons oil  

½ teaspoon black peppercorns  

1 inch-cinnamon  

1 black cardamom pod  

1 tablespoon ginger juliennes  

½ cup fresh green peas   

1 cup rice, soaked for 1 hour  

Salt 

Method:  

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add peppercorns, cinnamon and black cardamom.  
  • When the spices begin to crackle, add ginger and sauté for a few seconds until aromatic.  
  • Add matar and rice and sauté for a minute. Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cook the rice stirring occasionally, until rice is 50% cooked.  
  • Cover the pan and place it on a griddle over low heat. Cook until rice and peas are cooked. Fluff the pulao with a fork. Serve hot with kadhi.   

2. Mulligatawny 

mulligatawny-vegan-recipes

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil  

1 carrot, peeled and diced 

1 whole red chilli, deseeded and chopped 

1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped 

1 apple, peeled and diced 

6 tomatoes, chopped 

1 tablespoon kitchen king masala 

1 teaspoon jeera powder 

½ teaspoon chili powder 

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder 

½ teaspoon turmeric powder 

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder 

¼ teaspoon black pepper powder, coarse 

8-10 curry leaves 

½ cup masoor dal 

4 cups vegetable stock  

¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk 

Salt  

2 tablespoons cooked rice 

Method: 

  • Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and red chillies. Sauté on low heat for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add ginger, apples and tomatoes. Mix well and sauté on low heat for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes have softened. 
  • Add kitchen king masala, jeera powder, chili powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder, cardamom powder and pepper powder and curry leaves. Toss the mixture well. 
  • Add masoor dal and vegetable stock; mix well. Let the soup mixture boil on low heat for 30 minutes until the dal is cooked. 
  • Take the pan off the heat and blend it using a hand blender leaving some chunks as whole. 
  • Heat the remaining cooking oil in another saucepan over medium heat. Add the blended soup mixture to it and bring it to a boil. Remove any scum that forms at the top. 
  • Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk; mix well. 
  • Add salt to taste and mix well. 
  • Serve the soup warm mixed with cooked rice and garnish it with fresh coriander sprigs. 

3. Mix Sprouts Corn Chaat 

mixed-sprouts-chaat-vegan-recipes

Ingredients: 

2 cups boiled mixed sprouts 

½ cup boiled sweet corn kernels 

1 tomato, finely chopped 

¼ cup finely chopped red and yellow capsicum 

1 teaspoon chaat masala 

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts 

1 teaspoon lime juice 

1 tablespoon powdered sugar 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves 

2 tablespoons fine sev 

Salt 

Method: 

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss them well. Serve immediately garnished with coriander leaves and sev. 

4. Undhiyu 

undhiyu-vegan-recipes

Ingredients:  

Methi Muthiyas  

1 cup fresh methi leaves, finely chopped  

½ cup besan   

½ cup whole-wheat flour  

½ teaspoon turmeric   

1 teaspoon red chili powder  

1 teaspoon brown sugar   

1 teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste  

¼ teaspoon asafoetida  

1 teaspoon lemon juice   

Pinch of baking soda  

Salt  

1 tablespoon oil plus for deep-frying  

Stuffing:  

½ cup besan  

½ cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves  

1 cup freshly grated coconut  

1 tablespoon green chilli-ginger paste  

¼ teaspoon turmeric   

1 tablespoon coriander powder  

½ teaspoon cumin powder  

2 teaspoons brown sugar  

2 teaspoons lemon juice   

Salt  

Other ingredients:  

4 baby brinjals  

1 raw banana, cut into 4 pieces  

6 baby potatoes, peeled   

½ cup surti papdi (broad beans), stringed and cut into 2  

½ cup valor papdi (green flat beans), stringed and cut into 2  

½ cup fresh toovar dana  

¼ cup green peas  

1 small purple yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces  

2 tablespoons oil   

1 teaspoon ajwain seeds  

¼ teaspoon asafoetida   

Salt  

Method:  

  • For the methi muthiyas, combine all the ingredients with very little water in a bowl. Mix well and knead to make a firm dough. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and shape them into small rolls.  
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan and deep-fry the muthiyas until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.   
  • For the stuffing, place all the ingredients for the stuffing in a bowl and mix well.  
  • Slit the eggplants, banana and baby potatoes in a perpendicular manner making sure not to separate the segments. Stuff them with half of the stuffing masala.  
  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the carom seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the papdis, toovar dana, green peas and yam. Add salt to taste and give it a gentle stir.  
  • Add the stuffed vegetables and sprinkle the remaining stuffing masala.  
  • Add 2 cups of hot water and mix gently. Cover the pan and cook on low heat until the vegetables are almost cooked.  
  • Add the methi muthiyas on top and cover the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes, adding more water if required. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro and grated coconut.  

Note: If using pressure cooker, cook it for 3 whistles over medium heat and then for 1 whistle on low heat. 

5. Oats Palak Khichdi  

oats-palak-khichdi-vegan-recipes

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons cooking oil 

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds 

2-3 cloves 

1 green chilli, finely chopped 

1 tomato, chopped 

1 carrot, chopped 

¼ cup green peas 

1/3 cup yellow moong dal 

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder 

½ teaspoon red chilli powder 

1 cup plain oats 

1 cup finely chopped palak 

Salt 

Method: 

  • Heat cooking oil in a pressure cooker.
  • Add cumin seeds and cloves and when they begin to splutter, add the green chillies and tomato. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and add carrots, peas and moong dal. Mix well and add turmeric and chilli powder.
  • Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until oil starts separating out. Add the oats, palak and salt to taste. Add 4 cups of water and give the mixture a gentle stir.
  • Pressure cook the oats khichdi for 2-3 whistles. Oats and palak are good sources of fibre and may help in preventing constipation. 

As per Ayurveda, most diseases are caused due to a problem with digestion, which depends partially on the food we consume. It is very important to avoid food items that are heavy and difficult to digest, that’s why a vegan lifestyle is considered healthier for you. These simple vegan recipes don’t have any form of diary in them, which makes them easy on the tummy. Happy Vegan Eating!

Recipes courtesy of Dr. Deepali Kampani.

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