Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It’s Easy to Eat Vegetarian at Indian Restaurants!


 
My delicious Indian lunch:  Starting at 12:00 and going clockwise:  Potato Curry with Peas & Carrots, Lentil Daal, zucchini, Saag Paneer (Spinach with Cheese), chickpeas, and in the center, cabbage. 

Indian restaurants may be the absolute easiest international cuisine of which to eat vegetarian.  Many Indians are vegetarians, as part of their Hindu faith.  I went to my favorite Indian restaurant this week.  It has a relatively small lunch buffet daily.  I like this restaurant because the food is not too hot-spicy, as is often the case with Indian food.  I’m just a light-weight when it comes to hot-spicy food.  Anyway, this visit I made a special point to pay attention to the vegetarian selections.  The majority of the food was vegetable or bean dishes.  To my recollection, there were four selections that were meat or contained meat.  I’ve listed below some of the many vegetarian menu or buffet offerings common at Indian restaurants. 

 
Saag Paneer:  Hands down my favorite Indian dish is saag paneer, or spinach with cheese.  It’s like creamed spinach, with Indian spices such as coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric.  The Indian cheese looks like cubes of tofu. 


Potato Curry with Peas and Carrots:  My second favorite vegetarian Indian dish is potato curry.  Usually it’s prepared with peas and carrots, but sometimes other vegetables are substituted. 

Channa Masala is a dish featuring chickpeas in a rich, thick sauce. 

Lentil Daal is a thick stew made with lentils, tomatoes, and Indian spices like cumin, paprika, and ginger.  It often includes cilantro. 

Cabbage:  Indian cabbage is another of my favorite vegetarian options when I eat Indian food.  When I cook it at home I often add peas.  Spices include mustard seed, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, and garlic. 

Vegetable Pakoras:  Pakoras are deep fried vegetable balls, made of chopped vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, or cauliflower, dipped in a spicy flour batter. 

Malai Koftas are vegetable dumplings resembling meatballs, made of potatoes and cheese.  They are served in a thick, rich sauce. 

Vegetable Samosas are small fried pastries filled with vegetables, such as a potatoes, peas, and onions. 

Bengan Bharta is a dish made of roasted and mashed eggplant, with onions, tomatoes, and garlic. 

 
VegetableBiryani is a rice dish made with mixed vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, and carrots, with mint leaves and saffron. 

My favorite Indian restaurant always has steamed broccoli, and this week also had seasoned zucchini.

Enjoy all those rich sauces with basmati rice, or Peas Pullao (peas and rice). 

 


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