best indian foods

The best vegetarian dishes to try in other countries

More and more people refuse meat – someone stops eating it because of pity for animals, someone cares about the planet, which is greatly harmed by animal husbandry, and someone simply does not like the taste.

But when traveling, many vegetarians face problems: unfamiliar names and ingredients are embarrassing, and you won’t be full of one salad (besides, no one guarantees that chicken will not be cut into it).

We chose the most delicious meat-free dishes you can order in other countries – so you always have a safe and ethical option.


India is a real paradise for those who do not eat meat. From 400 to 800 million vegetarians live in the country (according to various estimates), and traditional plant-based dishes appeared many centuries ago along with Buddhism, which preached an ethical attitude towards all living beings.

The antiquity of the origin of vegetarian Indian dishes guarantees a couple of things: they are tasty (because tasteless food is difficult to eat every day) and nutritious – Indian cuisine traditionally uses a lot of legumes, so you won’t have to complain about the lack of protein (otherwise most vegetarians would have long ago started looking towards the steak ).

What should you try? Chana masala is a spiced chickpea curry, a cross between a soup and a thick stew. Another variation of this dish is dal masala, which uses lentils instead of chickpeas.

Masala dosa (masala dosa) is a crispy pancake, the dough for which is made from rice and peas. Dosa is folded in half, stuffed with stewed potatoes with spices and onions, served with various sauces.

Hara bhara kebab (hara bhara kabab) is an alternative to the usual kebab, for which cutlets are made not from meat, but from chickpea flour with the addition of potatoes, cabbage, bell peppers and spices. In addition to it, mint or coriander chutney is served.

Samosa (samosa) – small triangular patties that are baked or fried in oil until crispy. The filling contains potatoes and other vegetables, spices and nuts.


Unlike India, Portugal is not particularly friendly to vegetarians (let alone vegans). But here you can find hearty vegetable dishes.

First of all, these are soups – Portugal has long been a peasant country, so soup was the most inexpensive and satisfying lunch option. Kaldu verde (caldo verde) is a hot soup made from cabbage, potatoes, onions and olive oil. Keep in mind that sometimes restaurants add meat to it – so check this point before ordering.

Acorda (acorda) – garlic-bread soup, which was traditionally eaten by the poor. Yesterday’s bread is kneaded with garlic, salt and cilantro, and then boiled with olive oil and wine to a thick porridge. Like any “poor” dish, there are dozens of variations of akorda – potatoes are added somewhere, beans somewhere, and sometimes a raw egg is poured into the soup.

For dessert, be sure to take pastel de nata (pastel de nata) – puff pastry cups filled with custard. According to legend, these cakes were invented by the monks who lived in the Jeronimos Monastery until the 18th century.


The Chinese love meat and cook any part of a wide variety of animals – from the usual chicken fillet to pig ears and hooves. Add to that the language barrier, and vegetarians have a hard time traveling to China.

Let’s start with snacks. Youtiao are lightly salted, deep-fried breadsticks. They are served with soy milk or chocolate sauce as a dessert.

Spring rolls with vegetables (veggie spring rolls) – can be a refreshing or hearty snack, depending on the method of preparation (they are served raw or fried in oil). Various vegetables and greens are added inside, and sweet and sour or soy sauce is brought for taste.

Disanxian – the name of this dish translates roughly as “three earthly tastes.” It is made from eggplant, potatoes and bell peppers, with chili and soy sauce. This is a rather spicy dish, so do not refuse the rice that will be brought to you with it.


Thai cuisine is hundreds of street food outlets that mix a variety of tastes. Most local dishes have vegetarian and even vegan counterparts – just remember a couple of key words and you will be ordering food in restaurants like a pro.

Tao hu is tofu. For example, tom kha tao hu (tom kha tao hu) is a soup made with coconut broth with tofu and chili. Replace tao hu with hed and you will get the same dish, but with mushrooms.

Pad phak – Thai style fried vegetables. If you add rice to them, then you get kao pad phai (kao pad phak) or just kao pad.

It is usually served with meat or shrimp, so be careful and look for options with tofu or mushrooms.

If you can’t enjoy fresh fish and seafood, it doesn’t mean that Thailand won’t offer you any local produce. It’s not a dessert like most other fruit salads – although it does have guava, watermelon, dragonfruit, and other sweet ingredients. Lime, chili and soy sauce are used for dressing, so the dish is spicy.

It is important to consider that fish sauce is used for many dishes in Thailand. So if you are a strict vegetarian, then warn the waiter in advance and ask to cook without this ingredient.


The Middle East is a big cauldron in which recipes and traditions of different peoples are mixed. It is difficult to figure out who invented this or that dish, but this is not so important. The main thing is that among the local recipes there are many vegetarian ones.

Hummus is the obvious choice, mashed chickpeas with spices. Although this is a completely plant-based dish, it is very satisfying and contains a huge amount of protein. It is usually served with pita (a kind of flatbread) – one serving is enough for a full snack.

In Israel, not only hummus is prepared from chickpeas, but also falafel (falafel) – small meatballs that are wrapped in pita bread, pita or regular bread along with vegetables and sauce.

Shakshouka is a scrambled egg cooked in a sauce of stewed tomatoes, chili peppers, onions and cumin. Although it is usually eaten for breakfast, you can order shakshuka at any time of the day – so look for it on the menu in any incomprehensible situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button