The following article was written by PETA
intern Heather Mangal.
As I am half Indian,
it would seem appropriate for me to write an article on Indian dining, but the
truth is that Indian food wasn't always my favorite. Growing up, I rebelled
against eating Indian food because my mom would make it so often. It was five
years ago, when I took the plunge from being an omnivore to being a vegan, that
I discovered the beauty and benefits of this awesome ethnic cuisine. Now I can't
resist the incredibly palatable flavors and wide array of choices.
Indian food is
usually considered to be a vegetarian's jackpot, but those sneaky dairy products that are used in many Indian dishes can create a bit of a roadblock for us
vegans. Here are a few tips to get you to bhaṅgṛā your
way to vegan bliss.
Better Be Ghee-Free: Ghee? Yep, that's right. Ghee is one of Indian
chefs' favorite ingredients. It's a clarified butter that does not spoil very
easily. Most Indian restaurants will substitute vegetable oil for ghee upon
request, so don't be afraid to ask for your dish to be ghee-free.
Yogurt, Schmogurt: Sauces are one of the highlights of
Indian cuisine. However, chefs take pleasure in adding yogurt to some sauces to
create a creamy consistency and to cool down the palette from those infamous
hot spices. Just skip the items that have any indication of yogurt or cream and
always double check on the dishes that you are unsure of!
Nai (No) to Naan: Naan is a leavened white bread that is a
staple to the Indian dining experience—and it almost always contains a dairy
product. The good news is that there are two other types of bread that are similar
to naan but that are normally dairy-free! These superstars are called roti (an
unleavened whole-wheat bread) and puri (a deep-fried, puffed whole-wheat bread).
When in Doubt, Turn to Tandoori: A tandoor is a traditional oven used to
make Indian cuisine. Asking for vegetables to be cooked tandoori-style can
almost ensure that they will not be fried in animal fat, soaked in dairy
products, or covered in ghee.
suggestions on awesome vegan options? How about the following:
With these tips,
you can be sure to order your meals at Indian restaurants with the confidence
of a Bollywood star. Gandhi would be proud!
What do you
usually order when dining at Indian restaurants? Share your favorite eats by
leaving a comment below!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.