Indian and Pakistani food is often the first cuisine that comes to mind when people think about vegetarian friendly food. Whilst it is true that India and Pakistan do have a huge number of meatless dishes, on the whole, the average food served within these countries does contain some sort of meat and pretty much all contain some sort of animal product.
In the UK we are in the middle of a huge upswing in the popularity of veganism as people become more aware of the environmental impact that eating animal products has, the welfare of animals and are developing a better understanding of the ill effects eating too many animal products has on the body.
One of the great things about Indian and Pakistani cuisine is that it is so versatile that nearly all your favourite dishes can be altered to make them vegan friendly without losing out on their great taste. Here, we share a few ways you can transform classical dishes to make sure they contain no animal products.
This famous spicy curry gets its flavour and spice from its blend of chillies and ground spice mix. All of these are natural ingredients that contain no animal products. Lamb, beef, prawn and chicken vindaloos are some of the most commonly eaten meat curries across the world, but you can exchange any of these meats for meat alternatives such as the delicious and versatile seitan.
By swapping out dairy cheese for tofu, vegans can enjoy great dishes like the spinach paneer, paneer tikka masala and matter paneer. Tofu is similar to paneer in that it retains a silky constitution when cooked and absorbs flavours from spices and herbs really well, it is also the perfect accompaniment with sauces as it soaks up liquids like a sponge, just like paneer.
Dal is an easy dish to make vegan as this lentil-based dish is already vegetarian. As most of the ingredients are already vegan, all you have to do if you’re making it at home is to simply transfer out the ghee or butter with a plant-based oil.
By swapping out meat in a biryani for a collection of vegetables you can create the perfect vegan dish that works perfectly when cooking for a large group. Vegetable biryanis are packed with lots of different vegetables, as well as cashews, raisins and spices.
This dish is already perfectly assembled for vegans; potatoes and cauliflower are cooked in a deep and flavourful tomato sauce laced with spices and a touch of chilli.
You can sample great Pakistani and Indian dishes right here at Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in Manchester.