Veganism the new hype, especially in India over the past few years. I have come across a lot of people who want to explore veganism because it is a trend, and nothing else. I always advise such people to try quitting animal by-products and dairy ONLY after they have understood what is veganism. It is not a fling or a trend that will come and go.
Let us dig a little deeper. Studies show that the first examples of plant-based eating are traceable to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which populated in the Indian subcontinent between the years 3300 BC and 1300 BC. Early followers of the diet include the Indian philosophers Mahavira and Kundakunda. Other examples of veganism have been found throughout history, including the freethinking Arab poet al-Ma’rri, and the prominent English physician William Lambe. William claimed that ‘water and vegetable diet’ could cure almost all diseases.
Prior to the mid-20th century, however, there was no discerning between proponents of veganism and vegetarianism. It wasn’t until 1944 that certain members of the Vegetarian Society (established in 1847) tried to distinguish non-dairy vegetarians from those who eat dairy products. After an initial request for this distinguishing was rejected, member Donald Watson proposed the use of the word ‘Vegan’, using the first three letters and last two of ‘vegetarian’ to mark ‘the beginning and end of the vegetarian’. And thus, the Vegan Society was formed in November 1944.
Most recently, during the 2010s, veganism has entered mainstream culture and is increasingly identified as a major diet style. Increasing concerns for the environment, animal welfare, and health have been synonymous with a marked increase in vegan-friendly food outlets, new vegan products, and plant-based meat imitations. The market for plant-based alternatives is flourishing while diluting the purpose and benefits of whole-foods, plant-based nutrition to an extent. Vegan diet now has a variety of junk food options available, so as to allow non-vegans to make a switch easy.
There are so many dishes in Indian staples that are completely vegan, but most times people are not sure and they need a tag to know that it is vegan and it is not expensive. This one though has many versions. A chilla, which is basically a savory crepe and it is one of the most under-rated breakfast items, especially among the North Indians. Packed with nutrition, and easy to cook and easy to digest.
I do not follow the clock for having meals and somehow I like to make fresh small batches of the items whenever I feel like eating. So, while I was digging onto the history of veganism, I prepared this quick and easy plant-based dish – ‘Sprouted Moong & Veggies Chilla’. This way, I am sated and I do not munch on junk while trying to wfh!
Sprouted Moong & Veggies Chilla | Gluten free, Vegan Crepe
- 300 gms Sprouted Moong
- 4-5 cloves Garlic
- 2 inch Ginger
- 3 medium Onions
- 1 medium Tomato
- 1 cup Grated Carrot
- 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Carom Seeds
- 2 tsp Aamchur Powder / Dry Mango Powder
- 1 tsp Basil
- 2 Dry Red Chilies
- ½ cup Coriander (chopped)
- 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
- Salt to Taste
- Water as required for desired consistency
- Oil for cooking
- Take the sprouted moong, garlic, ginger, 2 chopped onions, dry red chilies, cumin seeds, a little water and blend it till a smooth batter is formed. Add water to adjust consistency. Remove the batter in a mixing bowl and keep it aside.
- Chop the remaining onion and tomato and fine pieces and add them into the batter. Add grated carrots and remaining ingredients and mix well. The consistency of batter will be thick due to the veggies. You can add more water to make it spreadable.
- Heat a non stick pan on high flame and spread a little amount of the batter onto it. In about half a minute, small bubbles and holes will start appearing. At this point, drizzle some oil on and around the batter and let it cook on both sides till a nice brown texture is seen.
- Serve hot with mint chutney and ketchup.
A plant-based diet is a part of veganism and is linked to have a healthy effect on our bodies if practiced in a proper manner. It is not heavy on the pocket or unattainable lifestyle or diet. As seen in the above recipe, there are so many food items that can be prepared into various vegan delicacies with minimum ingredients. I would love to hear your views or queries in the comment. Thank you for reading through. Do let me know if you like my version of chillas. Feel free to add all the colors and types of veggies as you may or have!