Since a large number of people in India follow a vegetarian diet for religious reasons, vegetarian cuisine is particularly varied. There are a wide range of delicious dishes with vegetables and rice, spices and nuts where meat or fish would hardly be missed.

Polao for 6 people

  • 6 tbsp ghee
  • 2 lemon rinds (approx. 5 cm each)
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 400g basmati rice
  • 20g raisins
  • 250g frozen mixed vegetables with butter (carrots, peas)
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 25g cashew nuts
  • 2tbsp sugar, salt

Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lemon rind, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves and sauté.

Add the rice, raisins and vegetables and fry for approx. 1 minute. Add the saffron, almonds, cashew nuts, salt and sugar and mix well.

Add 1l water and quickly bring to the boil. Lower the temperature or turn off electric cooker. Cover the rice and allow to stand for about 15 minutes.

The most important spices and their effects

is used in India in a variety of curries. Both the seeds and leaves are used. Has an anti-inflammatory effect on wounds, cleanses and heals.

Five-spice powder
is stir-fried in hot oil and used in vegetable dishes, pickles and chutney.

Garam masala
The ingredients vary from region to region. Usually added at the end of cooking.

Green cardamom
Useful in treating digestive disorders and stomach complaints.

was one of the first spices to be introduced to Europe from India. Has an anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect.

is used in almost all dishes. Roasted cumin is taken with a glass of water before the meal as an aperitif.

is used to treat infections and also skin diseases.

Black mustard seeds
are much stronger than the yellow seeds. They improve the breakdown of food in the stomach.