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Spice, spice, baby!

Demuths reveal which spices you need to cook Indian street food

India is famous for its street food and it’s a treat for vegans to wander through an Indian street at dusk, when the food stalls are churning out hot snacks to hungry office workers on their way home. Much of the street food is vegan, particularly in the south and west where the majority of Hindus and Jains live.

Vegans do need to avoid the milk products though, such as butter ghee, chai, lassis, yoghurt and paneer – most Indian sweets contain dairy.

Tourists are often warned off street food in India, but if you choose carefully it can be safer than eating a buffet at a 5-star hotel. Choose the stalls with a long line and where you can watch the food being cooked, deep-fried food is always a safe bet as are dosas, which are cooked in front of you. Avoid the salads and anything raw. Our favourite deep-fried snacks are pakoras, onion bhajis, batata vada (potato fritters) kachori (stuffed puri) and samosas.

The most popular non-deep-fried snack at the cookery school is a dosa, a southern Indian rice and lentil pancake, often filled with spicy potatoes and called a masala dosa. In India, dosas are skilfully made out on the street on large flat hot plates. The Indians have the knack of making them thin, so crisp and huge, then deftly wrapping them around spiced potatoes.

There is no need to go all the way to India for street food now, as it’s popular at street markets and festivals, and usually there is a very good Indian stall. The key to making tasty Indian street food at home is to make your own fresh spice mixes.

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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

Looking for some al fresco recipes to make your vegan barbecues and picnics more exciting this summer? Look no further than the August issue of Vegan Food & Living as we have ideas for burgers salads, quiche and beyond. Also this issue we share the best dishes to cook up on a camp fire, reveal how you can get involved in World Plant Milk Day 2018, share 23 remarkable facts about honeybees and why you shouldn't eat honey, plus how you can put together nature's best first aid kit.