HappyCow Guide
The most trusted vegetarian and vegan restaurant guide since 1999  

Regional Information on India

India, Asia
Regional Notes - Events - Gatherings & Groups - Travel Information

HappyCow previously offered this space for vegetarian events, vegetarian travel or general information for India, suggestions such as hotel recommendations, travel agencies, or any other regional vegan and vegetarian related information.
However, this has been discontinued due to inactivity.
For restaurant reviews, go to the listings page.


Visitor Notes:

Subject: 'Easy tips to being vegan in India'
Posted by condekedar on: Friday, May 09, 2008 at 07:46 AM PST
I lived in India for over a year and did not have too difficult a time being vegan there. Here are key points: 1) Almost all Indian desserts will have some form of dairy in them. Jalebis, an orange-colored, fried sweet dough, is the only naturally vegan Indian dessert that I know of. 2) The vast majority of South Indian food is naturally vegan; items with butter or ghee are usually labeled as such on menus, because they're more expensive to make at restaurants and are priced accordingly. 3) Indo-Chinese dishes, often times called just called "Chinese" on menus, are always vegan, such as the ubiquitous veg. manchurian. 4) Street food is a mixed-bag. Some items you can tell are obviously vegan or lacto, but some are not as straight-forward. Pav Bhaji (dinner rolls eaten with a stew of tomatoes and vegetables) is usually made with butter on big skillets. Vada Pav (popular in Bombay and Pune), a potato dumpling in-between a roll, is vegan. 5) North Indian food is the most difficult of all. Typically, it's made with some type of dairy. Dal Makhani/tadka (cream or ghee), tikka vegetables (yogurt), vegetable korma (yogurt/cream), jalfrezi (cream), and various curries all use cream or yogurt. Simpler North Indian dishes, such as aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower), are more likely to be vegan, or can be made vegan more easily. The best thing you can do is specify "no yogurt, cream, butter, ghee or milk." Tell them that VEGETABLE oil is okay, though. 6) Naturally vegan Indian breads are usually rotis, puris and poolis; no one will put ghee or butter on them either. Naan is never vegan (yogurt is used in the mixing preparation). Parathas can sometimes be vegan, sometimes not. 6) Soy milk is becoming more easily available in upscale groceries, and even mid-range groceries, in mid-to-large sized cities. 7) In some cities, such as Pune and Nagpur, one can find locally-made tofu and soy milk at numerous stores. 8) Nutrela is a widely-available brand that makes "soya chunks", which are dried pieces of soy that become spongy and meaty in warm water, like texturized vegetable protein or gluten strips. If you can't find tofu, these are a good substitute. 9) Some chain coffee stores like Cafe Coffee Day, are starting to incorporate soy onto their menus. 10) When in doubt, just ask questions! If the waiter doesn't understand you, then try to find another patron who can explain your dietary needs in the local language.

Subject: 'Vegetarian Indian'
Posted by shruti_624 on: Saturday, September 01, 2007 at 07:35 AM PST
In India, eggs are not considered vegetarian.
Indian vegetarians do not eat eggs unlike other English countries where eggs are considered vegetarian

Subject: 'About India'
Posted by Chia on: Saturday, March 04, 2006 at 01:08 AM PST
Even in shops that sell meat dishes, they will likely offer several lacto-vegetarian (with dairy) and a couple vegan dishes. It is very common for Indians to be vegetarians, especially in certain regions of the country where an entire city may be designated as vegetarian.
At non-vegetarian restaurant, you can get naan & chapati breads (with or without ghee/butter). You can also order "Dosa," a thin crepe filled with spiced potato. At all vegetarian places, vegans should ask about ghee (butter) and milk as both are used often in many Indian dishes. About sanitation: Standards in India not unlike the more developed countries in Asia. Almost all travelers will get a bad stomach at least once during their stay in India from being exposed to parasites due to food preparation conditions. That is just part of being in India. Our advice to you is to bring as much of your own snacks and foods as possible, bring medicine for the stomach (grapefruit seed extract is highly recommended, as it will kill parasites). It is better to eat at a restaurant with running water in the kitchen then at a food stall without running water. But whenever possible, have a look at the kitchen to decide if it would be "safe" to eat there.

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