The food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing at an alarming rate. People are turning to veganism for a number of reasons, whether it be for religious reasons, for health reasons or simply because they are aware of the environmental impact their diet has on the planet. Because of this, it is important to find vegan alternatives to your favourite meals. This blog will provide a number of vegan replacements that can be used in your favourite home-cooked Indian meals.
This is a fruit that has been used as a meat substitute in South-East Asia for centuries. It has a similar texture to pulled pork or chicken breast, and works well in any recipe that calls for shredded meat. It’s a great option for vegan curries, as it absorbs flavours well and takes on the taste of whatever dish it’s in. You can buy ready-to-eat jackfruit from most Asian supermarkets or online suppliers, or fresh too!
Lentils are a type of legume. There are many types of lentils, each with a different colour, size, shape and cooking time. Lentils are a great source of protein, fibre and iron. And they're super versatile too. Use them as the basis for soups, stews and curries, or in salads and side dishes.
Red lentils. These tiny orangey-red legumes cook quickly — in just 15 minutes — so they're perfect when you don't have time to wait for larger varieties like green lentils or brown lentils to cook through. Red lentils also hold their shape well after cooking, making them ideal for mashing.
Brown lentils. Also known as "ordinary" or "green" lentils, these legumes have a mild earthy flavour that pairs nicely with other ingredients like carrots, celery, potatoes and onions in curries. Brown lentils are also great on their own with just a bit of olive oil or butter added at the end of cooking time if needed (they'll still be slightly firm).
Chickpeas are one of the most versatile ingredients around. From hummus to salads, they can be used in a variety of dishes. They're popular in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, but they're also gaining popularity in Western cuisine.
You can find chickpeas in dried form at most supermarkets and grocery stores, but canned chickpeas are a great option if you need them on short notice for a recipe or meal.
There are many different types of canned chickpeas available on grocery store shelves, including regular canned chickpeas and organic canned chickpeas.
Kala chana is a type of chickpea, which is known for its black colour and earthy taste. These beans are a staple in India and Pakistan and are used to make dishes like kala masala and aloo kala chana. Kala chana can be eaten with rice, roti or even just by themselves.
Aubergine is a vegetable that’s popular in many cultures, including the Middle East and India. It’s also known as eggplant, brinjal and even garden egg. It tastes like a cross between a tomato and a potato – but not in a bad way!
Aubergines are mostly grown for their purple skin, which is edible and contains high levels of antioxidants. The white flesh is edible as well – but only when cooked properly!
If you want to eat aubergines without any bitterness, follow these simple steps:
1. Chop the aubergine into cubes or slices and steam them until they’re soft (about 10 minutes). You can also boil them for about 3-4 minutes if you prefer this method.
2. Place the steamed aubergines on an oiled baking tray. Bake at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes until golden brown, and then throw them straight into your curry dish.
Soy protein can be mixed with other ingredients to create a mince substitute that has a similar texture to cooked meat. It's great used in curries and can be used to create a meat free keema with peas!
Made from soya beans, these chunks have a chewy texture similar to tofu. Soya chunks are another great meat-free alternative that's often used in Chinese-inspired dishes such as stir fry or hot pot meals. They're made from pressed soya beans which give them a similar
texture but without any cholesterol content. Find them dried in your local Asian shops!
Sunflower / Vegetable Oil
For a lighter and vegan option cooking with vegetable oils is very common in Indian cooking - a lot of Panjabi households in the UK substitute Ghee for these healthier options - without compromising on taste!
Coconut milk / soy milk
When a recipe calls for milk or cream, there are tons of alternatives to use. Most supermarkets will stock a range of soy and oat alternatives. Alternatively canned coconut milk works amazing well with south Asian inspired curries.
Cook and Impress!
All Haldii Kits are vegan friendly and suggest alternatives in our easy to follow recipe cards. To get started why not have all the ingredients you need to create a vegan curry - just add your choice of the above! Design your perfect meal here!