Indian cuisine has the most delicious plant-based dishes. Plant-based foods can be healthier and more sustainable. A plant-based diet does not necessarily have to be bland. Indian cuisine offers a wide variety of plant-based dishes that prove plants can be filling without compromising on the taste.
What is Plant-Based?
The term “plant-based” was invented in the world of nutritional science when nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell presented his plant-based diet research to the US National Institutes of Health. In 1983, a plant-based study called the China project was conducted. This decade-long study researched the dietary practices of people of rural china.
Additionally, plant-based food also contributes to protecting the planet. They reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of land and water used for agriculture. A plant-based diet predominantly consists of plant-based foods. It includes foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains (quinoa, farro, barley, and oatmeal), legumes, plant-based oils (avocado, canola, and olive), nuts, and seeds. A plant-based diet minimizes the consumption of meat and dairy products and highly refined food such as refined sugars and bleached flour. Plant-based and veganism are similar. Read all about veganism here.
The main focus of plant-based diets is to eat whole foods meaning the food has undergone little processing and is consumed close to its natural state. Traditional Indian cuisine uses similar components and ingredients as plant-based. Indian cuisine is based around legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and beans) grains, and vegetables, which are rich in fiber and nutrients. Aromatic spices such as cumin seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, turmeric, red chili powder, fenugreek seed, and fresh herbs such as cilantro and mint make Indian plant-based dishes flavorful. We have gathered a list of easy-to-follow plant-based Indian dishes for you to try:
Quinoa Khichdi is everyone’s favorite comfort food. This easy-to-follow one-pot meal is packed with flavor and nutritious veggies. This is a healthier spin on the traditional Indian khichdi as rice is swapped with quinoa. This is a versatile dish where you can add all of your family’s favorite vegetables. This delicious recipe will surely leave you reaching for seconds.
(Band Gobhi ki Sabzi)
This dish is one of the most popular Indian cabbage recipes. Stir fry cabbage is prepared within minutes. It is a simple dry curry packed with flavor and can be served as a main or a side dish. This delicious recipe is created with thinly sliced cabbage, tomatoes, green peppers, and spices such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander powder, and turmeric. Save this quick savory recipe for a day when you are on the go and do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. The simplicity of this recipe is that even new cooks can prepare a satisfying meal with just essential ingredients.
Lentils are one of the most versatile plant-based foods. This delicious recipe dal is protein-packed and is a creamy blend of five commonly used dals in an Indian kitchen (urud, chana dal, green moong dal,masoor dal, and toor dal). It can be overwhelming to differentiate the types of dals available out there. Read our blog on dal, where we discuss each type of dal used in this recipe. The tadka at the end of this recipe takes it to the next level of flavorful heights. This heavenly dal recipe is guaranteed to be a hit in your household.
Plant-based Indian food has become extremely popular around the United States. If you ever wanted to make your Indian food yourself or follow a recipe from above, there is no better time than now. Head to your local Patel Brothers store to find all of the fresh vegetables, fruits, and spices you need to make a delicious plant-based dish.