It’s been raining loads here over the last 4 days and that’s wonderful! We need it! The rain clouds were a welcome sight on our dog walk yesterday and everything is already looking so green and vibrant.
Last night I headed to Folsom in the wind and rain for another vegan meetup at Mylapore Vegetarian Indian Restaurant. One of my goals for this year is to get out and support veganism more with social events and expand my network of vegan friends. That’s not always easy with my work and running schedule, but thanks to local vegan and vegetarian groups on Meetup.com, I have a lot of opportunities do that in the next few weeks including a vegan runners potluck.
I’ll admit I’m not too familiar with Indian cuisine and how it varies regionally, we’re just starting to explore the variety of Indian restaurants in the area. Thankfully I sat next to a girl last night who has been a vegan/vegetarian most of her life and very familiar with all types of Indian cuisine after traveling to India for 3 weeks with a VegNews tour. She was very helpful in explaining the dishes to me and I wanted to order everything vegan on the menu after listening to her. I limited myself to just two items.
The menu is nicely laid out with vegan items clearly marked. There was even a great selection of gluten-free items and nicely spicy items, yum! I started with a dish called Idly, plain cakes made from steamed rice and lentils with a few vegan dipping sauce options including a very spicy one.
I learned it’s best to take chunks of the cakes and submerge them into the veggie sauce to absorb the flavors, then dunk them in the other sauces. They were delicious with a lot of flavor and spice and very filling.
The guy next to me ordered this monstrosity that I had to get a picture of, it’s the appetizer sampler plate with savory lentil donuts, samosas, and other fried vegan goodies.
See, vegan food can be fried comfort food too! A little too much fried for me, but the lentil donuts looked very interesting.
Another neighbor ordered a plain Dosa and it was huge not fitting on the large tray it came on!
It also looked wonderful with the variety of dipping sauces.
My second dish was called Poori Aloo and it’s huge wheat puffs filled with air and a spicy vegetable curry sauce for dipping or filling the wheat shells with. And it was impressive when it arrived, the wheat puffs were huge too. Someone explained they’re a thin layer of bread filled with air after seeing my shocked face.
It was fun to flatten then and tear apart to stuff with the sauce.
The puffs were a little greasy, but delicious and such a fun new experience for me.
I really enjoyed this meetup because the average age of the 13+ attendees was close to my parents age, so I got to meet and chat with a lot of older vegans, some new to the vegan lifestyle and some have been vegans or vegetarians for most of their lives. My experience with my parents and older co-workers is they’re less open to avoiding animal products and stepping away from a “traditional” meat and potatoes diet and usually the first to question me on my protein intake. And many of the attendees made similar observations about friends and family of the same generation that were suffering from health problems tied to a standard American diet. Health problems and a healthy lifestyle seemed to dominate discussion topics last night which was very interesting. I envied retirees talking about hobbies, volunteering, traveling, and enjoying time to try new things and do more of what they want especially with how stressful and consuming work can be.
It was another successful meetup and I’m looking forward to the next one.