Traditional day-to-day Punjabi dishes are predominantly vegetarian, consisting mainly of  Daals, Roti and various types of Saabji made from a range of vegetables.

Therefore, when it comes to Punjabi dishes, many of the ingredients used are typically vegan or plant-based such as cauliflower, potatoes, and lentils, all of which are enhanced with our rich blend of vibrant spices. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Punjabi dishes all contain meat or dairy and are therefore not suitable for vegans. Although chicken, lamb and king prawns make for a delicious Jalfrezi or Rogan Josh, there are a range of plant-based ingredients to substitute the meatier options. 

Bowl of lentil daal

Hearty and Warming Vegan Daals

Dal, when translated from the ancient Indo-Aryan language, means “to split” and today in Hindi can refer to a range of pulses, from lentils and beans to peas in split or whole form.

Lentils are a key ingredient in creating our signature Daals at Sachins, and we use a mix of yellow and black split lentils to create most of our Daal dishes. 

A firm vegan favourite for over 39 years is our signature Sachins Daal which blends yellow and black split lentils with onions, tomatoes, ginger and fresh coriander to create a dish with warmth and heaps of flavour. The lentils are simmered in the thick and fragrant sauce to bring out each of the vibrant flavours and create a dish that is just as smooth without the cream and butter!

Our Channa Daal is another crowd pleaser, as it’s a Punjabi dish that isn’t overcomplicated, using almost all of the same ingredients as a Sachins Daal but sticking with a simple and delicious yellow lentil base. 

Plate of Punjabi spices

Traditional Punjabi Spices 

In traditional Punjabi cooking, there are a range of distinct spices used to marinate the vegetables and ensure that every dish is up to standard, even without the addition of meat.

A blend of ginger, garlic and chillies can create a spicy warmth to certain Punjabi dishes, and coriander, pepper and mustard seeds can be used to season each curry or Daal and add extra depth to every mouthful. 

Lots of dishes originating from Punjab are based around core starchy ingredients such as potatoes and bread, as well as key vegetables such as onions and tomatoes, so it’s important to enhance these with deep and bold flavours.

Our vegan Brinjal dish is an example of this, as our traditional Punjabi spice mix is used to enhance the onion and tomato base, as well as marinate our fresh selection of baby aubergines. 

The perfect blend of spices is central to the Punjabi cuisine, and meatless dishes can be just as delicious if you fancy a change from your usual Murgh Korma, or you’re looking to cut down on meat altogether.

Bowl of Aloo Gohbi

Delicious Dry Vegan Curries

Along with the variety of Daals, there are a range of dry vegan Punjabi dishes that are packed with masala spices and chunky vegetable pieces. 

A crowd favourite is our Aloo Gohbi which consists of spiced cauliflower and potatoes lovingly combined with onions and tomatoes, two key ingredients when it comes to Punjabi cooking. 

Another dry dish available to eat in or takeaway is our Bhindi which uses Okra, or more commonly known as ‘ladies’ fingers’, as a base ingredient.

Okra is a reliable vegetable when it comes to southern cooking as it continues to grow throughout the long southeastern summer, so can be harvested and used in Punjabi cooking almost year-round. 

To create a punchy and bold Bhindi, fresh Okra is cooked with onions and tomatoes and then seasoned with Punjabi spices such as garlic, ginger, chillies, and turmeric.

We have a vast range of dishes to suit everyone’s individual tastes. With dishes varying in spice levels but always packed full of flavour, those following plant-based diets will be spoilt for choice whether eating in or opting for our Heat & Eat menu.

Feeling inspired by the wide variety of vegan options available here at Sachins? Book a table with us today and sample some of our signature dishes.

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