Do Indians follow the vegetarian lifestyle?
Many do, but not all Indians adhere to the vegetarian lifestyle. There are different degrees of vegetarianism and different reasons for its practice. Some Indian vegetarians are also vegan but others might drink milk and eat eggs. Some are vegetarian for religious reasons. Jainism and Buddhism teach nonviolence and balance with the universe, so meat and animal by-products are forbidden. Hindu and Muslim diets exclude certain animals. Other people are vegetarian for financial reasons. Meat is expensive. Roughly 30 to 40 percent of the people in India are vegetarians. Food that is vegetarian-safe is labeled with a green dot in a green square. In India, the McDonald’s restaurant chain sells the McAlooTikki, its interpretation of India’s aloo tikki, a potato patty with spices.
What is curry? Is that vegetarian?
Curry refers to either dishes or spice mixes. A curry dish refers to meat, fish, vegetables or a combination of those cooked with spices and served in a gravy or dry. Curry can also refer to a blend of spices, herbs and usually chilies. One of those spices can be made from the leaves of the curry tree. Others might include ginger, cardamom, saffron, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, asafoetida, cumin and black pepper. Curries can be hot, mild or sweet and are made in several countries. Curry powder, as packaged for U.S. grocery stores, is a largely western concoction. There is not a singularly authentic version of curry.
Do Indians in America still eat their traditional foods?
Many do and many non-Indians eat Indian foods at restaurants and at home. Assimilation varies for all immigrants and by generation. While many families continue to cook and eat traditional foods, they might add food from American and other cultures. Religion can play a role in this. Indians may follow the vegetarian lifestyle in America, and many resources exist for them to continue eating the diet of their choice.