Art & Culture

How To Eat Meat-Free In India's Street Markets

Laura Lee
Jul 24, 2020

India is renowned for its vibrant and colorful street markets. Featuring everything from local crafts to fresh produce, these markets are a beloved destination of both locals and tourists alike. Yet, sometimes for foreigners, it can be hard to navigate the many different delicacies on display. Luckily for those who are vegan, vegetarian, or simply want to enjoy something a bit different, India’s markets feature plenty of unique meat-free eats, which offer hungry travelers a delicious bite of the country’s rich food history.

There are plenty of popular vegan dishes, as well as vegetarian dishes, available at the local Indian marketplaces. However, these savory local foods are bound to delight even the most carnivorous diners as well. One such delicacy is panipuri. This dish features a deep-fried ball of dough that is stuffed with yummy vegetarian fillings. Some of the fillings most popular amongst locals include boiled chickpeas and spicy chutney.

food being served

Getty Images/Mayur Kakade/Moment

Another beloved meat-free dish is dosas. Resembling a pancake or a crepe, dosas can be enjoyed with a variety of vegetarian fillings. Traditionally, this South Indian dish is enjoyed with the classic potato masala. However, one can also enjoy a paneer bhurji dosa, which is stuffed with a savory and tangy cottage cheese filling, or a Schezwan dosa, an Indo-Chinese inspired twist on the classic dosa that is incredibly popular on the Mumbai food scene. Vegans who want to enjoy this dish should just request their dosa without any cheese.

For those wandering the marketplaces in the early hours of the day, enjoying a delicious batata vada is the perfect way to start your morning. This popular meat-free breakfast food is made with potatoes, chickpeas, and a blend of spicy flavors. No matter what your taste is, Indian street food cuisine definitely has something for you.