From the coasts to the mountains: Explore vegetarian delicacies
Let’s unveil the distinctive vegetarian flavours of India
India, renowned for its diverse culinary heritage, offers a treasure trove of delectable delights in its coastal and mountainous regions. From the tantalising aromas of coastal food to the hearty flavours of mountain meals, bringing to your plate an array of vegetarian dishes that will leave you craving for more, this Navratri.
Our journey commences along the vibrant and picturesque coasts. Brace yourself for the tangy, sweet and aromatic Mangalorean Ambe Sasav, a delightful mixture of mangoes, tamarind, coconut and jaggery that pack a punch of flavours for your taste buds. Ambe Sasav is prepared in the Konkani way where the mango pulp (Ambe) and Sasav (mustard) are tempered with curry leaves and cooked together in a pot to create a medley of tropical flavours.
Here is a traditional dish that is a testament to our culinary heritage and diversity. It’s a sweet and tangy yoghurt-based dish made with besan. It's seasoned with spices, salt and sugar to ensure that the flavour is infused into the preparation. The kadhi can be enjoyed with rice and roti. Since Gujaratis love their buttermilk, this dish is a hot favourite in many homes.
This exquisite Bengali delicacy leaves a lasting impression on your palate. Shukto is a unique blend of vegetables simmered in a delicate mustard-infused gravy. The stew can contain vegetables like sweet potatoes, bottle gourd, green bananas, brinjal, drumsticks, bitter gourd and beans. It’s spiced with panch phoran, ginger and cumin in ghee. To make the gravy thick and delicious, milk is added as the base.
As we venture further, the mighty mountains beckon us with warmth and nourishment. Emanating from the lush valleys of Himachal Pradesh, we present to you Himachali Bhey, a delectable dish made from lotus stems that are tender and bursting with flavours. The lotus stems are cooked with spices and onions along with besan or chickpea flour. It’s a significant part of the pahadi cuisine and is served with rice and dal or roti and vegetables.
Aloo ke Gutke
Uncover the diverse yet unique flavours of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand. It’s a simple yet flavourful dish known for its preparation with a special spice mixture called Jakhya with a nutty tone. The potatoes are fried with chillies and garnished with coriander to create an unforgettable dish. It can be had with poori and makes for a perfect vegetarian delicacy.
There is the Kashmiri Haak or collard greens, a hearty green leafy delicacy that will transport you to the breathtaking valleys of Kashmir with each mouthful. It’s quite similar to Saag and is cooked with hing or asafoetida and red chillies to make a traditional dish that has been a legacy for generations. It can be had with rice and makes for a hearty meal. Haak is a seasonal vegetable and can be replaced with spinach or kale too.
Do you know of any other vegetarian delicacies? Let us know in the comments.