When Vegan Indian cuisine came to New Delhi, many of the city’s culinary traditions took off.
“Vegan cuisine became popular in the city, and it was just a matter of time,” says Nandita Bhatt, a food critic for the Times of Indian who is a member of the council of culinary historians.
The food became an instant hit, and there was a strong vegan presence among the restaurants and cafes.
Today, vegans are a big part of the population, too.
“It’s a great thing to have in your kitchen, to be able to eat it, to have a vegan meal,” says Preeti Nandia, who has been studying veganism in India for the past five years.
Nandias first heard about Vegan India from a friend, who happened to be visiting from New Delhi.
“She said, ‘My parents are vegetarian, so I’ve been cooking vegan food for them.’
So I said, I’m going to cook vegan food, too,'” she recalls.
The restaurant, located in the southern part of Delhi, serves a wide range of vegan food including vegan kurve, vegan saag, vegan pappadoms and vegan kimchi.
“We offer the whole range of food, and we have a lot of vegans and vegan-friendly restaurants,” says Mr. Nanda, who is also the founder of the website www.veganindia.com.
Vegan India is the latest initiative of the government’s Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) to promote vegetarianism.
The organisation has also launched an initiative to introduce vegetarian recipes for the popular ketchup and dal, as well as the vegan kofta, a soup of tomato sauce, garlic and salt.
But despite the success of Vegan India, it still faces challenges.
The government does not have any specific guidelines for vegetarians and vegans in India.
“If a restaurant is a vegan-only restaurant, there is no such requirement in the Indian government,” says Dr. Bhatt.
The FSSA has launched a campaign to educate people about the benefits of vegetarianism, but it does not seem to have helped much.
“People have been taking advantage of the Vegan India initiative, and they’ve become very confident that they can eat vegan,” says Bhatt about the restaurant’s success.
Ms. Nandi says the pressure to eat vegetarian meals is “growing” in the country.
“When we talk about Veganism, we should talk about vegetarianism in the context of eating healthy and healthy food,” she says.
“The fact that we are eating a lot more meat is not the only thing that is important in terms of eating a healthy diet.
The most important thing is eating a diet that’s vegetarian.”
Vegan India, which was opened in 2017, is the first non-governmental organisation to promote the benefits and lifestyle of vegetarian diets.
The programme, which offers free food, free education, and support, has brought in many people from the vegan community.
But the government has not given the organisation the funding it needs to carry out the programme effectively.
Ms Nandi is a vocal critic of the FSSA and the way it has been run.
“They don’t have any rules or regulations for vegans, they have no rules for the government,” she said.
The FSSAs website says the FAS is a “non-governmental body created to promote and promote the welfare of the people in India”.
However, its website has a page that describes the role of the organisation in a way that is not clearly defined.
It says the organisation has been “recognised as a voluntary body for the promotion of vegetarian diet”.
The FAS says that the organisation “has no formal functions, such as administrative, legal or financial activities”.
Ms Nanda is hopeful that Vegan India will be able in the future to become a viable organisation.
“For the first time, the government will allow a non-profit organisation to run a vegan food restaurant, so that they will have an official name and logo,” she adds.