KOCHI: Not too long ago, Christmas was a time when vegans would sulk near the salad stand, occasionally sighing as a non-vegetarian family member made a happy noise at the dessert stand. However times have changed and with the growing popularity of veganism, tasty dairy-free dishes have evolved to cater to the needs of vegans.Veganism is essentially a stricter form of vegetarianism where one abstains from consuming animal products and by-products including eggs, dairy products, and honey.
Yoosuf Ali, the executive chef from Paragon talks of the multitude of options vegans have for the perfect Christmas meal. “You can always have a meal consisting of soups, starters and desserts,” he said.
Tofu and drumsticks are generally used as primary ingredients for soups while cauliflowers, spinach and coconut are there for the starters. "Eggplant roasts can replace the traditional Christmas roasts and if paneer is agreeable, there are an endless number of non-vegetarian dishes in which you could substitute the meat with paneer," he said. “However vegan dishes require patience and time to prepare.”
Meanwhile, most non-vegans would raise their eyebrows at the notion of an eggless, dairyless dessert but the vegans are happy.
Kavita Rajeevkumar from Rohini's Tasty Treats, who regularly makes vegan chocolates at the request of her customers says, “There are many dessert options for vegans. Usually, we try to avoid the use of eggs for cakes and other pastries for the vegans who specifically ask for it. There are many substitutes for eggs.”
While most vegans are not adamant about the use of milk in desserts there are options for a dairyless dessert. Most dairy-based desserts can be recreated using soy milk and silken tofu as substitutes. Chocolate mousses, caramel puddings and vegan dessert yoghurts without eggs or dairy are popular choices for desserts among vegans.
No Christmas is complete without cakes both for vegans and non-vegans.
“Eggless rich plum cakes and fruit cakes are a hit among our vegan customers,” says Vijesh Viswanath, of Best Bakers, which is one of the leading bakers in Kochi. Eggless gluten-free muffins and cupcakes are also popular. Don't let your vegan lifestyle get in the way of enjoying a delicious delightful Christmas!