Indian Food – Where Vegans And Omnivores Can Dine Together

Indian food is one of the friendliest menus for those who live a plant-based lifestyle.

This is a welcome option considering most vegans have a hard time finding places they can dine with their meat-eating friends or family.

Unfortunately, our plant-based friends usually have to resort to the a la carte menu at most restaurants which generally means a plate full of french fries and a fruit cup suited for a fourth grader. At Marigold Maison, we love our veggie inspired guests and are happy to accommodate their specific needs when dining with us.

Overhead view of people sharing a meal

Most often, it is the vegan eaters who are looking to find the best options that serve the whole crew, and if you’re actually the omnivore, now is the time to get your plant-based buddies in on the planning. Time and time again, Indian cuisine is named as one of the best options to bring all palates to the table.

The best part, omnivores, you’re going to find all kinds of things to devour at an Indiana food restaurant like Marigold Maison. Whether you’re hearty eater who loves to test the cultural food waters, or just like a little more protein with your meals, we have you covered.

In this post, we are going to run down favorite Indian food menu items for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores.

We will even give you details about what is in these dishes so you’re not left with a hope and a prayer when ordering. We will provide you with some options for those who are new to Indian food and those who are adventurous and don’t mind a little heat on their taste buds. Also, we will throw in some of our own Marigold Maison picks in the event you live nearby. Let’s get started.

Favorite Vegan Selections

Chana Masala – This dish is made predominantly of chickpeas that are combined with tomatoes, onions, ginger and a slew of Indian spices. We suggest you pair this dish with rice or an excellent roti bread option. Make sure you order enough for your non-vegan friends, they’ll be surprised how flavorful and hearty this plate is.

Aloo Gobi – This dish is typically yellow in color which is a tell-tale sign of its signature spice, turmeric. This spice has many medicinal properties and assists in reducing inflammation in the body. You’ll also find garlic, onion, ginger, tomato, cumin, and peas in this plate.

Eggplant Bharta – If you love eggplant, you’ll appreciate a bharta menu item. This is a mashed eggplant recipe that combines the veggie with onion, tomatoes, ginger and other Indian spices. We suggest combining it with a robust bread such as roti.

Onion or Aloo Paratha – These are two breads that are like meals on their own. The onion paratha is stuffed with, you guessed it, onion. The aloo is made with potato and peas and is then stuffed in aloo paratha. Order plenty, your meat-eating friends, they will devour either and leave you only with the crumbs.

Turmeric Lentil Soup – This soup combines moong and chana lentils, along with turmeric, and cumin. You’ll love how flavorful this is and make sure to snag a roti bread option for lots of dipping.

Dal Tadka – This dish is one of the most popular in Indian cuisine, a staple really. It is made of a variety of lentils and served with rice. We make it our own at Marigold Maison, but we cannot divulge all of our secrets, just come try it for yourself.

*Hot Tip – Most vegetarian entrees can be made vegan, so ask your restaurant to modify something if you see a dish that picks your flavor palate.

Favorite Vegetarian Options

Paneer Pakora – We highly recommend this starter dish which vegetarians and meat-eaters will love. Paneer is a type of Indian cheese and is similar to ricotta. We make ours with chickpea flour, garlic, ginger, and other Indian spices. We also have a veggie option of pakora that you might also love.

Samosa – This plate starts with the hearty root veggie potatoes, and pairs them with peas and Indian spices. It’s put together in a triangle doom shaped dough that is then deep fried. It is as good as it sounds and a favorite no matter what kind of preference a diner participates in. This comes in both a chaat and pav options, just ask your wait staff about the difference.

Dahi Puri – This hand-held food made from wheat dough is filled with potatoes, chickpea, yogurt, mint, and tamarind. This snack-style food is favorite in India and has become so here in western culture as well. Double orders are highly recommended.

Malai Kofta – We love this recipe, and we think our vegetarian friends will too. This dish contains a dumpling made of potatoes, paneer, and cauliflower. Those items are placed in a creamy saffron sauce and simmered until it’s, well, perfect. Most Indian food restaurants discuss how popular this dish is among customers.

Saag Paneer – This plate is another favorite among vegetarians, vegans (who opt for substitutions), and meat-eaters alike. This starts with paneer (cottage cheese) and is paired with mustard greens, spinach, broccoli and tons of Indian spices (mild dish). Many restaurants include corn flour and fenugreek (herb) in the recipe too.

Marigold Biryani – If you like heat, this is your dish. This is where long grain rice meets biryani spices to create a powerful palate. We serve it with raita (yogurt sauce) which will help take some of the heat out of the dish.

Naan Selections – Most Indian food restaurants have an extensive selection of naan options, many of which are vegan and vegetarian-friendly. This can include herb based naan/paratha, or roti if you want the bread to compliment your meal. There are also options that are like a meal in themselves such as aloo paratha or naan, as well as onion naan.

*Hot Tip – Order enough of your vegetarian dish to share with your omnivore friends. They are often a little hesitant to try these because of what they think they know about them: Vegetarian or vegan = bland and boring.

Favorite Omnivore Options

Chicken or Paneer Tacos – Might we tempt you with this fantastic starter that is a fun twist on something you’re likely more familiar with, tacos! This is a Marigold Maison dish and is our take on tacos with an Indian spiced chicken or paneer, along with cilantro and mango chutney.

Chicken Tikka Pakora – This favorite dish is made with chickpea flour, garlic, ginger, and other Indian spices. This is the finger food that you’ll go back to your Indian food hotspot for, time and time again.

Fish Tikka – This dish takes fish selections marinated in yogurt and Indian spice blends which is then served over onions & peppers. If you know any pescatarians, invite them with you to try this dish out.

Tandoori Half Chicken – If you’re new to Indian food, start here. While this chicken dish looks like it’s full of fire, it’s actually a very mild savory dish. Pair it with a tasty veggie side and a naan selection, and you’ll have the making of a fantastic meal.

Classic Lamb Curry – If you’re not new to Indian food, then you are all too familiar with curry. We suggest trying the lamb curry, but most restaurants can use chicken, fish or shrimp as well. This item combines all your favorites like tomatoes, onion purée, Indian spices along with fenugreek, and the famed garam masala. (spice blend)

Kashmiri Korma – This option warrants a little more adventure only because it will be less familiar in flavor with its sweet cream sauce and dried fruit components. We suggest pairing it with fish or chicken proteins.

Butter Chicken – Ask anyone who has had butter chicken (especially ours), and you’ll soon see that Indian food transitions might be built on this recipe alone. This is a favorite of our customers, and we think it will be yours as well. This sauce contains tomato, garlic, and turmeric among other spices.

Bobby Q Ribs – We aren’t saying that this will convert you to Indian food, but you’ll love our take on bbq with the foundation of chipotle and Indian flavors. This is a Marigold specialty dish. We suggest you add a good veggie dish like chana masala.

* Hot Tip – Try some of the vegetarian and vegan items on the restaurant’s menu, you might be totally shocked at how flavorful and filling they are.

As you can see, an Indian food menu is the foundation of flavor for all types of diners.

Meat-eaters can sit across from the plant-based friends and break bread, well naan. Omnivores can learn to love veggies when dining on Indian food, and experience the power of flavor as they have never had them. Even those who say they can’t stand vegetables and lentils find themselves in food heaven with Indian food.

Vegan diners can embrace the new ingredients that sometimes they get stuck without while dining out. Indian cuisine gives them depth-filled flavors that may take them out of their comfort zones but compliments their palate perfectly.

We hope you find your way to our tables at Marigold Maison, but even if you don’t live near our Phoenix or Chicago locations, we urge you to follow your tastebuds to an excellent Indian food restaurant soon. Invite all vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and omnivores and share your love of food and flavor together.