An US Vegetarian’s Perspective of Indian Foods


In a recent article on Shondaland, a plant-eating American writer recounts her first visit to India and their vegetarian cuisines, and a new appreciation of plant-based foods.

Lucky for me, I married into an Indian family. It was a decision of the heart rather than the stomach, but it has allowed me to explore Indian cuisine and culture in thought-provoking new ways. When my partner and I were preparing for my first visit to India last year, I was excited to experience a food culture that always felt more inclusive to me than the food culture in the U.S. I was totally ready to become an insider, someone who could appreciate vegetarian Indian food for all that it offered.

Once in India, I ate everything, from home-cooked curries, dals, and dosas to egg biryani at the best restaurants in Hyderabad. Whether it was served on the street or at fancy catered events, vegetarian food was plentiful and incredible. As we traveled between the north and south of India, I feasted at every opportunity. I even found deliciousness at American fast-food chains. I can confirm that a paneer tikka sandwich from Subway in India is far superior to my usual Veggie Delite® back home. It was so comforting to indulge in this part of my life that often felt very limited in the U.S.