Indian vegetarian food is known to be healthy, tasty and delicious.

Many Indian recipes were developed in accordance with the laws and principles of nature or dharma. These principles state that we are basically what we eat, since different foods affect our bodies in different ways. We eat to live, we don’t live to eat, and there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

North Indian cuisine

North Indian cuisine is typically from the Punjab region of the country, also known as the land of five rivers. The region has very fertile soils and ample means of irrigation. As a result, it is very rich in agriculture and is known as the “bread basket of India”. Punjab was divided into two provinces in 1947 when Pakistan seceded from India. Therefore, the western part is now an eastern province of Pakistan. Therefore, the kitchen has quite a bit of diversity when it comes to the way the food is prepared. Sometimes the spices of each dish vary from one region to another, depending on migration and family tradition.

Restaurant food tends to be heavier and richer due to the generous use of fats such as oil and clarified butter or ghee, while home-cooked meals are simpler and more flavorful. Local specialties from the Punjab region are a foodie’s dream. For example, makki di roti, a thick tortilla-like bread made from cornmeal, or sarson da saag, a vegetable dish made from rapini-like dark green leaves often served with corn roti.

indian vegetarian diet

The practice of a primarily vegetarian diet in Indian culture began thousands of years ago. It was evident in the Vedic sacred texts, which are ancient books of wisdom handed down through the centuries. These texts endorse a meatless lifestyle and, in the Hindu tradition, are considered the first rule for obeying the will of a higher power.

In Hinduism, cows are considered a sacred animal. The slaughter of cows and the consumption of their meat is considered a taboo. The Rigveda text refers to the cow as a goddess. But there are other reasons behind a mainly vegetarian diet in Indian culture besides these religious tenets.

Karma is defined as “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence” and is considered to “decide his fate in future lives.” In other words, what goes around comes around. Eating another animal’s meat is considered to inflict unnecessary pain and cruelty for his own benefit, and has consequences for his life afterward.

Although religion is the most common reason for following a vegetarian diet in India, there are other, more practical reasons as well. A diet that restricts meat and is rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains has been shown to reduce the risk of certain foods such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and dental problems. It has also been shown to reduce or prevent certain types of cancer. In addition, the foods of this type of vegetarian diet are digested faster than meat, so they provide more energy to the body.

Some key components of the Indian vegetarian diet:

  • Bread: Naan and roti are traditional Indian breads made from wheat or flour and then cooked on a stove or in a tandoor.

  • Rice – Rice has been a staple of vegetarian cooking for centuries and can be flavored in a number of ways. Rice pilaf, biryani and kheer are some examples.

  • Curry: refers to sauces and cooked spiced vegetable dishes and can vary by region.

  • Fried: sweet and savory delicacies like pakoras, samosas, poori, gulab jamun.

  • Sweets – Typically made with milk, nuts, dried fruit, and certain grain and bean flours.

preparation methods

One thing that makes Indian food so deliciously fresh and flavorful is simply how it’s prepared. Below are some of the most common and traditional ways to cook Indian food:

  • Tandoori – While most people associate tandoori with spicy grilled dishes, tandoori simply refers to cooking in a tandoor, a metal or clay oven that is heated with wood or charcoal. It allows slow heating and long roasting times are essential for creating tasty vegetable or meat dishes, as well as breads such as naan and tandoori roti.

  • Tawa – This is a large, flat metal pan that is used as a griddle for making flatbreads like roti, and can also be curved at the edges to hold meats or vegetables, much like a wok.

  • Fried: Foods fried in oil or clarified butter add a crispy crunch to vegetables, fish, or meats that are first dipped in a spiced batter.