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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay... DH and I are going out for a rare night out and want to try something new. I posted over in the Georgia thread for ethnic restaurant suggestions in the Atlanta area.<br><br><br><br>
At this point, I'm leaning toward Indian as I've never eaten at this style of restaurant. Morrocan, yes but not Indian. Plus, I think I'd prolly have better luck at getting a good vegan meal at this style of restaurant. (I looked at a Persian restaurant recommended by my Persian neighbor but... it's pretty heavy on the beef aspect and no vegetarian options listed. So, I doubt that will fly.)<br><br><br><br>
So... with that in mind and a gentle reminder that I'm vegan, I've got a couple questions for you Indian food pros. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
1) Is there egg in this ethnic style of food? I don't ever see it mentioned, so this is a plain curiousity.<br><br><br><br>
2) I know that quite a few use ghee, a form of butter. Since I'm allergic to dairy, I know I need to ask them for other options. For what other buzzwords should I look when I read their menus that are NOT vegan?<br><br><br><br>
3) Any other heads-up of which I should be aware?<br><br><br><br>
(Btw, if you have any suggestions for me, Indian or otherwise, LMK in the other thread, okay? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> )<br><br><br><br>
Thanks!!!
 

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Watch out for yogurt.<br><br><br><br>
You also might want to call ahead to ask what's in the different dishes if you don't want to quiz the waiter before ordering.
 

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Yeah, as long as you specify no yogurt and no ghee, you should be fine. Also paneer is cheese and Naan bread usually has yogurt in it. They're not big egg eaters in india so you shouldn't have to worry about that.
 

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Great question! I remember when I ate at an Indian place I got Malai Kofta with a tomato cream sauce, I wonder what the cream was, I bet it was yogurt but I did not really know.
 

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I don't know the answers to your questions (I'm vegetarian so it's not as much of an issue for me) but you're in for a treat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/lick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lick:">
 

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Yes, the big things to ask about in vegetarian dishes are ghee, yogurt and cream. Any Indian restaurant that I've ever been to has been happy to veganize something for me. Some Indian dishes I order frequently are chana masala (chick peas), daal (lentils) and bengan bharta (eggplant). Also ask which breads are made without dairy.
 

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Ask about three items and if they can leave them out of the food for you:<br><br><br><br>
Ghee (clarified butter)<br><br>
Yogurt<br><br>
Paneer (a cheese that does not melt. Looks a lot like tofu.)
 

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Definitely ask if the naan has yogurt in it. If they say "No", then don't pass it up. It's yummy. (Remind them not to top it with ghee if they don't seem to be grasping the "no dairy" bit.)<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>codemonkey</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yeah, as long as you specify no yogurt and no ghee, you should be fine. Also paneer is cheese and Naan bread usually has yogurt in it. They're not big egg eaters in india so you shouldn't have to worry about that.</div>
</div>
<br>
 

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I have had malai kofta with coconut milk instead of cream. It was tasty! The dishes eggplant mentioned are pretty safe bets, especially the egplant one. But still ask, since they might be made with dairy ghee. Ask about the condiments, too, although I don't think the standard ones (tamarind, mint chutney, onion chutney) have any dairy.
 

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Off the top of my head, vegetable Dhansak or Jalfrezi ought to be safe too, as should chapatis (make sure they don't brush them with ghee though) or pappadoms as far as bread is concerned. Samosas might be another option...mmm...I want a samosa now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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As others have said, virtually everything 'can' be a safe bet, if they understand the 'no ghee' or 'no dairy' requirements you have. They are usually very respectful of a person's dietary requests because it's so tied into religious requirements in their culture, and to accidently give someone dairy if they are 'strict vegetarian' is a major cultural - and personal - faux paux.<br><br><br><br>
Also, question - how many people who eat at Indian restaurants regularly have encountered naan made with yogurt? One Indian restaurant that I went to said they used yogurt, so I've since asked. I've never run across it again in the many Indian restaurants I've been to... they all have assured me (some with very questioning looks at me) that there is NO dairy in their naan.<br><br><br><br>
But thn I noticed people on VB cautioning about it...<br><br><br><br>
So I am wondering how often you run into naan with yogurt? if it's a regional thing? If it's put in naan in other parts of the country and not so much around here? If some restaurants just use it and others don't?<br><br><br><br>
Just wondering...
 

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I've never asked about the ingredients at an indian restaurant because I'm pretty laid back like that (I'm minimally lacto/ovo). I cook a lot of Indian food at home though and all three of my naan recipes call for yogurt.
 
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ohhh.... indian food..... chana masala... vegeable biriyani, onion bhajis, vegetable pakoras, crunchy popadums, pilau rice... *droooools* i like how they bring you those nice hot cloths to wipe your face and hands with after your meal, with a bit of lemon in a bowl of water, to dip your fingers in, its very cool really.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
*'scuse my spellings<br><br><br><br>
everyone covered everything i thought of already, with the ghee and yogurt and eggs and stuff. i'd watch for condensed milk in some desserts too. indian restaurant people have always been really really polite, courtious, keen to help, and informed, from my own experience. the ghee is the main bit i'd check about... as lots of stuff is started from a base of onions and spices fried in ghee.... and if they started the rices and the curries like that, those aren't things they can rustle up a vegetable oil based version of in 2 minutes. i'm sure you'll call in advance to check that stuff out, as they can use a vegetable 'ghee' instead, and if they don't already, they might just for you.<br><br><br><br>
i hope you have a LUSH time :)
 

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My local Indian resturants use dairy in almost everything including all of their breads, so I am stuck with only one or two options.<br><br>
You might want to check to make sure that you can order from a menu at the time you are going. I have had to walk out of two Indian resturants in the past couple of months because they only had buffet (with no vegan options other than white rice) in the afternoons. They don't serve from a menu until after 6:00pm. Very frustrating.
 

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I've never seen naan in the store that didn't have some kind of dairy, and when I was at an Indian restaurant that had little symbols on the menu for people with allergies, the naan had a dairy symbol next to it. Of course, it's entirely possible that some restaurants don't put yoghurt in theirs.<br><br><br><br>
Good point about the spices fried in ghee. Oftentimes, they're only added once the food has already been cooked, so they may be able to accomodate you there. Some dals are spiced at the very end using this technique.<br><br><br><br>
I've seen onion bhajis with yoghurt in them and pakoras with egg before, so it really depends. Many indian vegetarians don't eat eggs, so you probably won't find those in the vegetarian section of the menu.<br><br><br><br>
If in doubt, ask. You could always say you're allergic to dairy - I'm allergic to casein, so I pester staff about it all the time and they usually go and look up the ingredients without batting an eyelid. They probably don't want dead customers. I don't let them in on the fact that I wouldn't keel over if they did miss something <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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call ahead and explain the allergy.<br><br>
They want customers, or they don't, and the phone call will clue you in. You could also stop by to get a takeaway menu and quiz them then. (this is a slick trick I learned in Oklahoma, and yes, even Okies can veganize)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the heads up everyone!<br><br><br><br>
I've narrowed it down to two places here in the Atlanta, one in Marietta (Vatica Indian Restaurant) where it's all vegetarian, no egg and only thing that has dairy is a yogurt with cucumber (raita?). Sounds like a nice place... they only make one full meal (typically a stew, dal, soup, rice, naan bread and a variety of sauces) every night and that's what you eat. All reviewers loved it, even an omni one. <a href="http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=4888" target="_blank">http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=4888</a><br><br><br><br>
Other one is in Roswell (Angan Rest) . Good reviews but not all vegetarian. Full array of omni and some vegetarian choices. I'm waiting for them to open so I can call to see if they'll accomodate me. <a href="http://www.anganusa.com/" target="_blank">http://www.anganusa.com/</a><br><br><br><br>
I'll LYK where we end up and how it was! I'm excited and looking forward to the experience and... for now, I'm leaning toward the one in Marietta. Sounds cozy, is closer to us and is certainly much less expensive, too.<br><br><br><br>
ETA: I called the Angan place and they said only 3-4 choices on their huge menu would be dairy free. It's in EVERYTHING else, she said. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"><br><br><br><br>
So... looks like we're going with my initial desire - Vatica. Should be neat!!
 

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You can eat:<br><br><br><br>
Chana masala (garboza beans)<br><br>
Palak Paneer without the paneer and cream (spinach)<br><br>
Mahani Dal (lentil)<br><br>
Bhaigan (eggplant)<br><br><br><br>
Naan usually contains eggs or dairy, be sure to ask beforehand.<br><br><br><br>
Rice usually has ghee in it.. so be sure to ask them to make without ghee.
 
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