More and more Muslims, as well as others, are going vegan for a number of good reasons. The primary reason for many, of course, is helping to stop animal suffering, as each vegan spares nearly 200 animals a year. Health is also a strong motivator: vegans are considerably less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes – conditions that are major concerns in India. Also, raising animals for food is a leading cause of water pollution, land degradation, and the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate catastrophe.
To encourage people to celebrate a cruelty-free Eid al-Adha, PETA India brings you mouth-watering vegan recipes – Vegan Hyderabadi Biryani by Syed Muskaan Hassan, food consultant and vegan chef; Vegan Shammi Kebab by Tehseen Mehdi Dudani, facilitator at SHARAN India; and Sheer Khurma by Sadaa Sayed, actor and founder of the vegan Earthlings Café, Mumbai.
Syed Muskaan Hassan
Food consultant and chef, Syed Muskaan Hassan is a master at veganising traditionally meat-based Indian dishes, and her authentic Hyderabadi biriyani is a compassionate version of this beloved dish.
Vegan Hyderabadi Biryani Using Mock Meat
Adapted from a recipe by Syed Muskaan Hassan, food consultant and vegan chef
For the vegan curd
1 cup peanuts, soaked overnight and drained
2 cups water
5 green chillies
For the vegan meat
2 cups vegan curd
2 Tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala powder
1½ Tbsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
½ bunch mint leaves, chopped
½ bunch coriander leaves, chopped
6 onions, finely cut and fried until golden brown
10 green chillies, grinded into a paste
Juice of 4 lemons
250 g vegan meat (of your choice)
For the rice
250 g rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
2 tsp cardamom pods
½ stick cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp caraway seeds
Mint leaves, chopped
Coriander leaves, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup vegetable oil
For the vegan curd
- Add the soaked peanuts to a blender along with fresh water and blend. Strain the mixture to get peanut milk.
- Pour the peanut milk into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cool for 20 minutes.
- Break the chillies in half and drop them into the peanut milk to curdle it. After the mixture thickens and sets, discard the chillies and whisk the curd well.
For the vegan meat
- Mix all the ingredients together except the vegan meat. Add the vegan meat and mix well. Set aside for 4 hours.
- Add the mixture to a pressure cooker and cook for 6 whistles.
For the rice
- Add the water and spices to a deep pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and simmer until semi-cooked. (Because this is dum biryani, it’ll become soft and break if the rice is completely cooked.)
To assemble the biriyani
- In a large wok, add the cooked mock meat first, followed by the rice.
- Garnish with the mint and coriander leaves and the fried onions.
- Pour the lemon juice and the vegetable oil over the top.
- Close the lid tightly and cook over a medium flame for 25 minutes.
Tehseen Mehdi Dudani
A facilitator at SHARAN India, Tehseen Mehdi Dudani knows that healthy living begins with wholesome vegan food. She even reversed her type 2 diabetes by eating plant-based foods.
Vegan Shammi Kebab
Adapted from a recipe by Tehseen Mehdi Dudani, facilitator at SHARAN India
1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1–2 green chillies, finely chopped
1.5 cups soya granules, soaked in warm water, drained, squeezed dry, and shredded in a blender
1 tsp garam masala powder
¼–½ tsp red chilli powder
Rock salt, to taste
¼ cup roasted chana dal (dalia), powdered
½ cup boiled black chickpeas (kala chana)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1–2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Peanut powder for coating (optional)
Sliced onion rings and lemon wedges (to garnish)
- In a pan, sauté the ginger-garlic paste and half the green chilli.
- Add the shredded soya, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well for 1–2 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then add the roasted chana dal powder and chickpeas and mash well.
- Add the onion, the rest of the green chilli, and the coriander leaves to the mixture.
- Shape into round, flat shammi kebabs. Coat with peanut powder (optional). Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C or roast on a heated tawa until brown.
- Serve hot, garnished with the sliced onion rings and lemon wedges.
Actor Sadaa Sayed is a PETA India friend who is also the owner of a vegan restaurant in Mumbai, Earthlings Café. In the past, Sadaa collaborated with PETA India to offer vegan biryani to 750 children at an orphanage.
Adapted from a recipe by Sadaa Sayed, actor and founder of Earthlings Café, Mumbai
½ cup broken vermicelli (seviyan)
2 Tbsp neutral oil (such as sunflower)
1 Tbsp chopped cashews
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
1 Tbsp sliced pistachios
1 Tbsp charoli (optional)
1 Tbsp golden raisins
2 cups soy or almond milk
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
- Roast the seviyan in 1 tablespoonful of the oil until golden brown. Set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the same pan and roast the nuts, the charoli (if using), and the raisins for 3 or 4 minutes, continuously stirring over a low flame.
- In a deeper pan, warm the soy or almond milk over medium heat. Add the sugar and keep stirring until the milk starts to boil and the sugar is dissolved. Lower the flame and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted noodles and allow them to soften, about 5 minutes – be careful not to overcook. Add the roasted nut mixture and the cardamom powder. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Garnish with more nuts and serve hot or cold.
We hope you’ll pledge to celebrate a cruelty-free Eid al-Adha. As one Hadith quotes the Prophet Muhammad as saying, “A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being.”