You might have heard about the term ‘vegan’. It defines a specific kind of food habit of human beings. In India, the vegan diet is becoming increasingly popular as many people are opting to go vegan as soon as they understand the purposes. The reason might differ as some choose this type of food habit for the environmental benefit while others may find it more ethical and healthy. And there is no denying if practised correctly, such a diet can do better than anything else.
So, what do you understand by the term vegan? In simple words, vegan meaning not only embraces a particular food habit but is a broader concept that focuses on the environment, animal exploitation or cruelty.
What is Vegan?
The vegan trend has been progressing faster in the past few decades in India. People are becoming more concerned about the environment and being cruelty-free to animals is the least they can do. So, are you wondering “what is vegan?” Well, in simple words, it can be defined as a more strict vegetarian who refrains from using animals and all forms of animal products, be it consumable or not, in order to avoid animal exploitation and cruelty.
On the other hand, vegan can also be defined as a way of living in which people put ethical values before their requirements. They not only follow a strict diet but also refrain from using any form of animal products, be it clothing, accessories or the like. Preventing an enormous amount of animal slaughtering, vegans find decent alternatives for their everyday requirements via plant and other natural ingredients. For instance, jute replaces the use of leather to a great extent.
However, while the material alternatives are easy to find, the main concern is food. They never compromise even an ounce when it comes to eating. This is the reason for planning a vegan’s diet becomes hectic sometimes. Also, most of them do not prefer eating outside or even if they do, they choose a place that promises a complete vegan method of cooking.
Veganism in India: Vegan Diet
India presents about 23-37 per cent of the vegetarian population, making it one of the largest in the world. The country enjoys more vegetarian recipes than non-veg food.
The Indian vegan diet contains only plants such as vegetables, food crops, fruits and nuts and the likes. On the other hand, it completely excludes animal products such as dairy products, honey, eggs and other similar edibles. This has also raised many confusions and myths regarding the complete diet. Some of the myths about the vegan diet includes-
Vegans diet is not healthy
Concerns can be raised for a non-vegetarian diet for its high protein, fat and cholesterol infusion! However, the case is very much different for a vegan diet. Here, every type of nutrition is in the right proportionate, thus making it far healthier. Moreover, a vegan is likely to refrain from health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases, etc.
Not suitable for kids
It is another myth that surrounds the minds of many individuals until researchers prove that a well-planned diet is good for all ages. However, to plan a vegan diet takes a better understanding of food and its nutritional contents. If planned by experts, these diets can provide better health for children than any other form of diet.
Vegans are unrealistic and preachy
Although it cannot be denied that people value ethics when they are following veganism, this is not the only reason.
It Is Difficult To Be Vegan in India
Although a major part of being a vegan depends on your socio-economic condition, it is not ‘impossible’ especially in an already-vegetarian country like India. With the proper knowledge of the availability of vegan food and products, you can find it comparatively easier.
Veganism in India already had its share of criticism, it is growing at a faster rate than ever. Despite all the challenges, a vegan diet has seen growth in India. On the other hand, the population of vegans is growing in India, which has led many food industries to adopt vegan cooking styles and recipes to serve the population. Other food industries are also paying attention to provide vegan alternatives for packed food. The demand for vegan cooks has seen decent growth in the last few years with new restaurants opening with vegan menus.
Exploring Vegan Recipies in India
If you are a vegan or willing to be on, do not hesitate. There are several mouth-watering vegan recipes you can try. Also, if you want to learn more about vegan food and diet, you can join vegan cooking classes and get hands-on with some of the most exotic and fresh menus. In addition to vegan cooking classes, you can also take the help of a professional cook or a tutor who guide students on how to prepare different types of delicacies.
You can learn the vegan cooking style by either following YouTube or hiring a personal tutor online. Platforms like Superprof can be considered to get the details of the teacher who will readily guide you on vegan recipes and cooking.
Many people hold this opinion that vegan society has a very limited option of eating. But on the contrary, it is only those who don’t have a decent knowledge of vegan food and recipes agree to that. Exploring vegan recipies are a whole experience especially if you are interested in cooking. New styles and experiments are all a cook can rely on to enjoy culinary art at most.
So, what are the vegan recipes you can try as a cook? Read through below!
Nachni/Ragi Dosa and Made With Whole Nachni
Nachni or ragi is a healthy cereal that has a very high nutritional value. Ragi can be most suitable for those who want to lose weight. Nachni dosa is a non-fermented dosa. It is served with green chutney and is one of the healthy snacks.
It’s time to know that tasty snacks don’t always have to be fat-laden. And if you believe snacks like kabab cannot lower-calorie, here is a low-fat version of the popular rajma kabab. Infused with a pinch of Indian spices such as ginger, green chillies and cooked in minimum oil, rajma kabab can be a delight for your hunger.
This is one of the most popular South Indian breakfast. Filled with fresh curry leaves, chillies, peppercorns all mixed in soaked urad dal to create a smooth paste. It is a very light yet healthy breakfast that fits well for a vegan.
Other trending vegan foods are Sprouted Dhokla, Rice Flour Bread, Healthy Momos, Sprouts Tikki.
What is the Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian?
One of the vital things to decide between a vegetarian and a vegan is through their food habit. Both of them follow closely similar ethics that is avoiding animal cruelty. However, still there lies a difference between them. So, what can be the difference between vegan and vegetarian? Let’s find out here-
Compared to vegetarian diets, veganism is more recent but it has spread at a good pace. While a vegetarian diet and a vegan diet both focus on the same factors that are environmental, ethics and religions, a vegan diet is more strict when it comes to animal exploitation and slaughter.
Vegetarian diets avoid the use of animal flesh mainly. However, the use of eggs and other by-products of animals depends on the type of diet. Thus, it is classified into-
- Lacto-Ovo vegetarians: those who avoid animal flesh but consume dairy products.
- Lacto vegetarians: Those who avoid animals as well as eggs but use dairy products.
- Ovo vegetarians: Those who avoid animals but consume egg.
A vegan avoids both animal flesh and its by-products. In addition to that, vegans also avoid any ingredients that are driven by animals such as honey, pepsin, gelatin, vitamin D3, etc.
The lifestyle of a vegan varies to a great extent from that of a vegetarian. While a vegetarian uses products made out of animal skins, a vegan finds suitable plant-based alternatives.
Preparing a diet for a vegan can be a little hectic since they do not prefer any of the dairy products too. So, if you are thinking of adding eggs and ghee to their plate, you better not! To join a vegan community, you will need to boycott every possibility of using a product that is derived from the animal.
Also, as a vegan, it is sometimes difficult to find a proper restaurant to eat at. This is why cooking becomes an important part of a vegan’s life. After all, nothing will satisfy them more than eating home-made food. And if you do not know how to cook, then you better learn with the help of the platforms that provide cookery courses.
Also, the time has changed and so does the mentality of people. Now, there exist not only vegetarian and non-vegetarian eating places but also vegan restaurants. You can find these vegan restaurants in different places in India. Sooner or later, you may find rising demand for vegan cooks and chefs as well!