Rishma's mother, Laila, emigrated from the UK from Tanzania in 1976 and comes from a long line of Indian Cooks. Before we launched Root Kitchen we went to speak to her for inspiration as many of her traditional family recipes that Rishma has grown up eating also happen to be vegan.
Indian cuisine is known for its rich and diverse flavors, which are often achieved through the use of a variety of spices, herbs, and other flavorful ingredients. Many traditional Indian dishes are also vegan, making them an excellent source of inspiration for developing new and delicious vegan recipes.
One of the keys to creating successful vegan versions of Indian dishes is understanding the role that spices and herbs play in the original recipes. For example, cumin, coriander, and turmeric are commonly used in Indian cooking and can be used to add flavor and depth to a variety of vegan dishes. Other spices and herbs, such as ginger, garlic, and chili peppers, can be used to add heat and complexity to vegan recipes.
Another important aspect of Indian cuisine that can be used as inspiration for vegan recipe development is the use of legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas. These ingredients are not only nutritious, but they are also versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from curries and stews to soups and salads. We used these as a base for our vegan jalfrezi.
To create vegan versions of traditional Indian dishes, it is also important to be familiar with common dairy-based ingredients and substitutes, such as yogurt and paneer. Coconut milk and tofu are popular vegan alternatives that can be used to create creamy and rich dishes and we opted for the latter when developing our best selling vegan Tikka Masala, while nuts and seeds can be used to create delicious and nutritious chutneys and sauces.
In addition to using the traditional ingredient and techniques, experimenting with new ingredient can lead to some interesting and unique dish. For example, tempeh which is traditional Indonesian food made from soybeans can be a great replacement for meat based dishes as it has a chewy texture that mimic the texture of meat. Similarly jackfruit is also gaining popularity as a meat replacement and can be used in dishes such as biryani or even as a replacement for pulled pork.
So there you go, Indian cuisine offers a wealth of inspiration for vegan recipe development, thanks to its rich and diverse flavours, its use of spices and herbs, and its reliance on nutritious legumes and other plant-based ingredients. By understanding the traditional techniques and ingredients used in Indian cooking, and experimenting with new ingredients, it is possible to create delicious and satisfying vegan versions of classic Indian dishes.
Get in touch with us via instagram @rootkitchen_uk with your Indian inspired recipes so we can give them a try!