The Flaming Vegan

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Being a Vegetarian v/s a Vegan in India
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Being a Vegetarian v/s a Vegan in India

Many people ask me this and it is my honor to share some information about my country on this forum. If you travel to India and you are a vegetarian, you will not have any problem at all.

There is lot of veg food available with price ranges as low as $1 per dish. You have International brands of restaurants that might look more familiar to you if you are travelling from abroad. There are local restaurants and there is street food.

Indian street food is good for vegans as well as vegetarians. But try it only if you have strong immunity, as street food items might not be the most hygienic choices. They are definitely yummy, but remember to declare beforehand if you want your food item to be less spicy.

Most street food is also suitable for vegans because it is mostly made up of wheat, potatoes and sometimes pulses. You can easily exclude the butter from your dish if there is any. Because they make it right in front of your eyes, you can customize your dish easily.

When it comes to eating Indian dishes in restaurants, you have to be more careful. Indian cooking involves lot of ghee (clarified butter), butter, paneer (cottage cheese) and you will get very few dishes that are used without any of these. There are also other milk derivatives added while cooking dishes, so you have to be very clear while you place your order about no milk products.

If you order Indian bread (roti, chapatti, naan etc), make sure you mention that you want it without butter.

Being a vegetarian however, is easy in India.

Depending on the city you are visiting, you will find a large number of 'veg only' restaurants. This classification is maintained in India to avoid serving non-veg food to vegetarian people even by mistake. This becomes necessary because most vegetarians in India have strong religious beliefs behind consumption of vegetarian food.

As opposed to non vegetarian diet, cow milk consumption is not considered to be bad in India. Cows are treated with respect and also worshipped in India and hence cow milk is very common. Buffalo milk is used at most commercial places though.

If you are a vegan, you will find sandwiches, burgers and chips without cheese. If you look at Mc Donald's menu in India, you will find that it is localized with many veg and vegan choices.

Feel free to ask me any questions and I will be happy to share all I know.

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  1. Carolyn
    Vote #2....great explanation!
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Carolyn!
  2. pftsusan
    Thank you sharing. I have enjoyed reading this.
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Susan..I read your blog too..would leave a comment as soon as I get to my laptop!
  3. Veganara
    Voted. Thank you for this most useful info Akanksha. I hope to visit India some time, so this is very helpful to me.
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Maggie! I am glad this helps. Do ask me if you need to know anything more about India at that time :)
  4. Sheila Ray
    Voted, Akanksha. Very interesting.
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Sheila! this one made it quickly to the top :)
  5. Veganara
    Congrats on making Top Posts Akanksha! You and Carolyn both always seem to reach TPs very quickly, how do you do it?! I have noticed that you have set up a link for people to follow you: I am considering doing the same thing, can you advise how please?
    1. Akanksha
      Thanks Maggie! yeah even I am surprised at this these days. I guess it is just the relationships we have built over time :) You can also set up a link in your post. it is very easy. Just select the text and click on the link icon on the bottom of the editor. It says "Insert/edit link" when you take your mouse over it. All the best!
  6. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    Very interesting! Voted. Check out my pureed cauliflower recipe and vote if you like :)
  7. evalovesbend
    Great info! Vote #10. Check out my post Fresh Grape soda and vote if you like it:)
  8. SnakeWitch
    I just read this post today for the first time and... buffalo milk??? Are canadian and indian buffalos the same? If so, even if I drank milk, I wouldn't dare get under one to milk it. Seriously. Have you seen canadian buffalos? Just an FYI, McDonalds customized the food here in Colombia too, but it's much easier here as the people aren't very vegetarian friendly, so the meat stuff is the same. They just added a few local style foods and make their sundaes using more tropical fruits and so on.
  9. veganliesa
    I would be hesitant to say that dairy farming anywhere has the capacity to be ethical. The simple fact that the milk is being taken from its rightful recipient (the baby cow!) and given to humans is at its root problematic. I recommend you look in to this further.. perhaps starting here Thanks for reading!
  10. Fearless Vegan
    Hi Akanksha...I am a TamBrahm ...assuming you are one too:) saw your post on lime of the tastiest & safest travel meals..I like this paints a very happy picture however,the situation for cows in India is not are a vegan so ofcourse you would know..interested in knowing more about nutrition & Ayurvedic cooking...checking out your here so just going about introducing myself & reading..this forum is truly a readers delight:)
  11. MissDelight
    I'm in India at the moment (Bangalore, to be precise) and I find it very hard to be my usual strict vegan here. Part of it is the language barrier, I guess.Last time I asked for a wrap without cheese they served me one with paneer... and then told me they could not make it without. Not being overly familiar with Indian food is also a problem, as people often tell you what they think you want to hear ("no, there's no milk in there" - "then what's the cream made out of?"). A lot of the time I just turn a blind eye and hope for the best instead of trying to figure out whether or not I can eat something. Can't wait to be home (the Netherlands) though for a proper salad :) I was thrilled to find a vegan restaurant in Bangalore though /


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