Veganism has taken the world by storm, with many people opting for a vegan lifestyle even in India. Veganism differs from vegetarianism. While the latter abhors the consumption of animals, it allows the consumption of animal products like milk. However, veganism promotes zero cruelty towards animals and disallows forcefully taking away of milk and eggs from animals. Thus, as a vegan, you would not consume cow or buffalo milk, or even milk products like cheese, paneer, yoghurt, etc.
Veganism also promotes healthy and clean eating by avoiding the use of processed and refined food. Thus, white sugar is disallowed while unprocessed brown sugar and jaggery are not. Similarly, several kinds of flours are not used, but unpolished rice is fine for your carbohydrate requirement. A vegan diet comprising the necessary amount of daily nutrients may be effective in weight loss, controlling blood sugar levels, keeping hypertension in check, and also regulating the working of the kidneys and liver.
Tapping into the growing demand for vegan food, several restaurants in India have started including vegan food and drink options in their menus. There are even a few upscale vegan restaurants in metros like Delhi and Mumbai, which exclusively serve food prepared from ingredients sourced from organic farms. Processed ingredients are not used to craft any of the recipes.
The vegan cooking challenge – it’s not that tough to explore it in cooking!
This leaves you with the question of how to tweak your existing restaurant menu to include more vegan options. As a professional, you are aware of how to mix and match the raw materials available to you to create your signature dishes. Now take milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, white sugar and salt, and refined flour away from the pantry. What’s left in the pantry is what you can cook with.
Creating vegan dishes is easy when you have the right products to aid you. Go back to the basics and have the humble onion and tomato to assist you, with some ready flavouring powders from Knorr. Here are our suggestions for creating 5 vegan dishes using onions and tomatoes:
- Onion, Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup: Saute onions and tomatoes in some olive oil and allow to cool after removing excess oil. Meanwhile, roast red pepper pieces and quinoa over some chilly powder, coriander powder, rock salt and a pinch of palm sugar. Blitz the roasted mix to powder, then add to boiling water. Simmer for five minutes, then add onions and tomatoes and simmer for five minutes before serving.
- Hummus with a Tangy Twist: Add a tangy twist of onions and tomatoes gravy blitzed to a fine paste to the classic chickpea hummus for a comforting and filling dish that your patrons will keep asking for!
- Paella: This Spanish rice preparation normally incorporates herbed chicken and/or prawns, but you can create a vegan version using bell peppers, sliced onions, diced tomatoes, broccoli, red cabbage, soy chunks, green peas, artichokes, fennel, Knorr seasoning powder and coriander. Make a fragrant base for the paella by sautéing onions and tomato gravy in herbed oil, then add the other veggies and semi cooked rice to the pot.
- Brown Rice in a pot: This one pot recipe simply combines cooked brown rice, onion and tomato gravy, boiled kidney beans, boiled cauliflower, thinly sliced pineapple, and chilly sauce for a flavoursome punch.
- Spinach and Coconut Curry: Serve steamed rice with a fragrant spinach and coconut curry made by sautéing onions, tomatoes, garlic and spinach leaves, topped with coconut milk and chopped coriander.