Cook an Indian feast for your vegan friend

There's two types of people in this world...meat lovers and non-meat lovers. I guess you could say we're a lot like pizzas that way. But what about that curious new group (who don't have a pizza named after them yet)... the vegans? 

Holding a dinner party these days means catering to all different types of eaters - diabetics, gluten-free, coeliacs, vegos and vegans. Oh, and there's always that one person who won't eat peas.

I can't help you with the pea-hater, but I can do something about making your vegan pal feel all warm, welcome and fuzzy inside. And I swear, even the meat lovers will want to come to this dinner party. 

I found a recipe on Holy Cow for the most divine dish. It's for an eggplant and mushroom vindaloo, a classic dish from Goa in Southern India. It's really vibrant, with contrasting flavors of vinegar, garlic, chilli powder and mustard. Serve it with boiled rice or a great big hunk of naan and you'll have them eating out of your hand (hopefully not literally).

Eggplant and mushroom vindaloo

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant cut into a chunky dice
  • 12-15 crimini mushrooms (or use button or even shiitake if you prefer), halved or quartered if large
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 spring onions or scallions, white and green parts chopped (optional)
  • 1 x 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds

Grind to a paste in a blender the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (this recipe traditionally uses white vinegar but I prefer balsamic because it's sweeter and the flavor goes better with the veggies)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • A 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 level tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (use more or less per your taste)
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds, ground
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  • Marinate the mushrooms and eggplant in the paste and set aside for at least an hour.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
  • Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Do not hurry through this- you want the onions to develop a lot of flavor
  • Add the marinated vegetables and cook, stirring about 5 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and allow the curry to cook for about an hour, stirring once in a while to ensure the veggies get cooked evenly.
  • Once the vegetables are really tender, add more salt if needed and stir in the mustard seeds.
  • Stir in the coriander leaves and garnish with the spring onions, if using
  • Serve hot, with boiled rice

Head over to the Holy Cow website for more vegan dishes. And if you've got a question, review or just want to share how excited you are about this dish just leave it in the comments section below. 

You can also head over to Facebook and twitter to share your recipes with other Peregrine travellers.

If you want to taste the cuisine of India for yourself, just head over to our website and see all our Indian trips.

Photo credit: Holy cow

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