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Apr 5, 2008 09:15 AM

Vegan Indian Food?

I'm visiting some friends who are o a diet that makes them basically vegan. are there any good vegan indian the city?


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  1. Saravanaas for excellent South Indian. They're definitely vegetarian and probably vegan-friendly.

    1. I was just going to suggest the same thing. Saravanaas is great. Dairy is available but there seem to be a lot of vegan options as well.

      1. Saravanaas is great, but I prefer Pongal. It's also a South Indian restaurant and it's just a block or two away from Saravanaas. Like Saravanaas, it is entirely vegetarian and has many vegan dishes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: scarlet starlet

          Pongal had gone way downhill as of a year or two ago. Has it recovered?

          1. re: a_and_w

            I had a pretty excellent meal at Pongal two weeks ago.

            (We actually knew nothing of Murray Hill Indian restaurants and happened to walk in a good one.)

        2. I agree with those who said Saravannas. I've only been there twice but loved it every time. There's always a huge line in front of that restaurant. That's usually a good sign. Today I passed by it at an off-time with a whole bunch of people waiting for a table.

          I'm thinking that most of the food is probably vegan, but would definitely call ahead as some things that sound vegan could potentially contain ghee (similar to clarified butter).

          1. Sorry, but I would not assume that a South Indian restarant has dishes that are non-dairy. If this is important to your friends, you should choose a specifically vegan restaurant such as Candle Cafe or Blossom that often has some Indian-style dishes on the menu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: alc

              Actually, a majority of the fare at South Indian vegetarian restaurants like Saravanaas would be vegan if made traditionally, with the cooking medium typically being oil and not ghee (clarified butter). You should specify that your guests don't eat anything that uses milk or milk derived products, including yogurt (often referred to as "curd"), paneer and ghee. Rice-based dishes (pongal, bhath) are often flavored with ghee, and ghee might be used to temper spices, but that is something the staff should be able to help you with.

              1. re: rugelach

                As a matter of fact, while some of the rice dishes do specify that they are flavored with ghee, Saravanaas' menu notes that their dosas are all fried in peanut oil, not ghee. So they should be totally vegan. And they are extraordinary!