View Full Version : Eating out at Indian / Chinese restaurants

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May 9th, 2005, 02:16 PM

Was wondering what people's experiences have been like. Since becoming vegan I have not really been to any non-vegan/veggie Indian places, as I would be unsure what to ask for. I am going for a farewell curry with some people who don't know I'm vegan. I know naan bread isn't vegan, but will it be OK to order something like a veg biryani and puppodoms/mango chutney and pilau rice?

I usually find chinese retaurants to have a fair selection of vegan food, although I am wary about buffets. I have been told that veg spring rolls are made with tempura batter, although I often worry that there may be eggs in the batter. Also noodle dishes and singapore vermicelli look OK but are the noodles usually egg noodles, or does it vary?

Any suggestions?



May 9th, 2005, 03:23 PM
If you don't WANT the people with you to know you're a vegan, then I would suggest calling ahead to the restaurant to get the ingredients for the dishes that will be served. I find it easier to call ahead and speak with a manager or owner if you don't want any misunderstandings.

May 9th, 2005, 06:34 PM
Sounds like good advice.

I sometimes don't like the fuss and questioning involved with telling people I'm vegan. Often I tell people I'm vegetarian in a chinese place and order boiled rice.

May 10th, 2005, 03:08 AM
Oh, but they're being paid to feed you! They should give you what you want! I will no longer accept a meal that has no protein in it and pay the same amount as someone with a chicken carcass! I am not a rabbit but a vegan. But of course, I welcome the chance to make a scene........

May 10th, 2005, 03:15 AM
I am not a rabbit but a vegan.
Thanks, I might use that line next time I eat out!! :D

May 10th, 2005, 09:25 AM
We are pretty lucky in the Uk and in this area we have a couple of Indian places that are very strict on dietry needs also one colour codes the menu for wheat,dairy,egg,meat, the waiter told me that all I need to do as a vegan is pick a meal in the veggie list then choose the non-dairy options.

Some nan breads are vegan, not sure about all indian takeaways etc but my local health food shop and Sainsburys supermarket both sale vegan nan breads.

May 10th, 2005, 12:18 PM
Vegan naan bread in Sainsburys? I will have to investigate at my local branch. Do you know the brand name?

Onion bhajis and veg samosas are usually vegan I believe. Is ghee butter added to most curries do you know?

May 10th, 2005, 12:39 PM
Vegan naan bread in Sainsburys? I will have to investigate at my local branch. Do you know the brand name?

It's their own brand if I recall. It says 'vegan' on it.

May 11th, 2005, 11:39 PM
Usuallt in retuarants i dont say Im vegan but say -
I need a special order - a nice veggie meal with no dairy, no egg, no oils and mo msg.

They usually think its food allergies and I get better service, and after wards I thank the staff for a great vegan meal and if it was good leave a great tip.

quite often when I have asked for a vegan meal I get that look - here is an awkward sod - and sometimes I ahve even been told they dont do vegan food.

also the relgious side works too - I cant eat animal products due to my spiritual beliefs - and they really jump for this.

I did once get asked after what was my religion was - Vegan of course! was the answer.

I think as long as your nice - and say afterwards you will recommend them to your many vegan friends - you get even better service next time.

also if you ahve abit of time do write to local palces - claiming you have lots of business dos and you ahve vegan staff and clients - do mention vegan drink and no smoking of course. You will get some great replies.


May 11th, 2005, 11:52 PM
Thanks gibby!

Another local person, we are taking over :)

May 11th, 2005, 11:59 PM
Im finding loads of vegans in newcastle, a group in northumberland
all through the web - and a few motnhs ago I thought it was just me



May 12th, 2005, 06:28 AM
Must admit, I do miss an indian takeaway, but I wouldnt trust them if I ask for a vegan dish.

May 12th, 2005, 09:48 AM
If the meal is made authentic and I mean really authentic not in the sense that the local balti house has used the word on the menus that is a selling point.

Jellfrazi made in the traditional way is vegan
Vindaloo made in the traditional way is vegan
Rogan Josh made in the traditional way should be vegan
Onion Bahjis
Veg Samosa
All shoul be vegan if amde the correct way

Always check the use of ghee.

Gibby tip is the best Alergy it sends alarm bells they know if they screw up it's bad press....rembmer most do not consider egg as dairy so always say No Egg No Dairy.

Alternatively make one at home it's nice and lots cheaper and always lower in fat.

May 12th, 2005, 02:06 PM
I think most veggie samosas and pakora etc are vegan, but they seem to use cream or yoghurt in a lot of curry dishes. :(

I rarely get take-away, but if I do it's usually a nice Chinese sweet & sour tofu with boiled rice. (Damn, I'm hungry now :rolleyes: )

May 12th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Well...Well, I give you guys few Indian Dishes, which you can order without any hesitation---as the are Vegan. Generally these are dairy free but still you can specifically order dairyfree-white sugar free.

1. Samosa.
2. Idli-Sambhar
3. Masala Dosa
4. Pakoda
5. Dhal-Rice
6. Vegg.Biryani
7. Pulav
8. chapati
9. Bhindi Masala
10. Chineesse Pulav
11. Chinesse Noodles
12. Vada Sambhar
13. Spring Roll
14. Manchurian
15. Uttapam
16. Kachori
17. Pav Bhaji
18. Chola Bhatura
19. Chana Masala
20. Puri
21. Khaman(Dhokla)
22. http://www.fatfree.com/recipes/indian/
23. http://www.petaindia.com/recipes/
24. Cutlette
25. Veggie Omlette

Never eat any Indian Sweet Dishes, as most of them are made in Ghee(it is a dairy product),Milk,White Sugar.Unless it is totally dryfruit preparation.

If you wanna know about any Indian dishes,Spice,Stuff. Pls do email me without any hesitation.Contact Manish Jain (info@indianvegan.com)

May 28th, 2005, 02:08 AM
Thanks for all those vegan Indian foods, Manish. I have never had a problem in Indian restaurants, they seem to understand my requirements very well. Less so Chinese or Thai, but I have always preferred Indian anyway. I sometimes say I am allergic to dairy, save myself the hassle. Mostly I don't eat out a lot though.

May 29th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Excellent Manish, sorry I didn't reply sooner!

I ended up having a veg biryani and plenty pappodums and mango chutney. I also had bhajis and samosas for starters.

All in all it was a good night!

May 29th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Veggie omelette is vegan???? :eek: I don't think I believe you!!

Same goes for the Chinese noodles - they're usually egg noodles, unless you specify rice noodles.

May 29th, 2005, 05:13 PM
Veggie omelette is vegan???? :eek: I don't think I believe you!!

Same goes for the Chinese noodles - they're usually egg noodles, unless you specify rice noodles.

In India, mostly noodles are Eggs free. And Veggie Omelette is made with Chick peas flour+ tomato+onion. I hope it is clear now.


May 29th, 2005, 05:47 PM
Really? I thought all omelettes were made from beaten eggs? I do apologise!

May 29th, 2005, 07:16 PM
We have been at an Indian "Gourmet Night" last night and out of the four main courses, one was with chicken and three were vegan, so were the samosas which were served as a starter! I was dead chuffed! All that was not vegan was the chicken dish, the raita (yoghurt), the bread (contained yoghurt) and the pudding (ice cream).

So I had:

rice pilaw
mixed vegetable
vegetable kofta
chickpea curry

It was delicious!!!

Actually, out of the many ethnic cuisines, I imagine that Indian and Chinese would be the easiest for vegans.

In a Chinese Restaurant, I would order any dish and ask for it do be done with tofu instead of the meat/fish, ask not to use fish stock and order boiled rice.

Anybody got any thoughts about Italian restaurants - apart from salads, tomato sauce and grilled veg?


May 29th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Middle Eastern food is quite vegan friendly as well.

May 29th, 2005, 09:34 PM
Manish, that omelette sounds amazing!!! I've had Tofu Scramble which is lovely, but your concotion is interesting!!! When can we all come to visit?! :-)

If I go to Italian restaurants (which isn't often) I'll ask if they pizza base has any animal ingredients in it, I am finding many are now suitable for vegans. I occasionally say I am allergic to dairy, just in case, but it seems pizza (without the cheese, obvioulsy) is ok for us. I'm not too conviced about those little cheap takeaway pizza places though.
Mostly I just make my own though.

I wish there was a little chemistry test we could carry around with us to double check that the establishments are true to their word before we tuck in! Like a litmus test for vegans!

May 30th, 2005, 12:05 AM
I wish there was a little chemistry test we could carry around with us to double check that the establishments are true to their word before we tuck in! Like a litmus test for vegans!
My husband has been tossing that idea around for a couple of years now, really since we first went vegan. I think it would sell well. I certainly would use it (and sue the ass off of anyone who lied to me!)

May 30th, 2005, 12:44 AM
There's an Indian restaurant that I go to that is vegetarian. They don't use egg, so I just have to ask if something has dairy in it. They're cheap too!! I usually get fried idli and a masala dosa or mysore dosa. They come with this really good coconut chutney and really good sambar soup. All of their curries have dairy, which sucks because they have an eggplant one that sounds really good! Not far from the restaurant is an Indian grocery store that I like to go to. I can buy a box of sambar or idli mix for 99 cents each! They also have frozen masala dosas that are really good too! The restaurant is about 45 minutes away, but that's a good thing because if it were closer, I'd be eating there all the time and I'd be a fat pig!!