Given below is a quick guide on the large variety of vegan substitutes that are available for meat and dairy products. A list of vegan substitutes available off-the-shelf in India (except cheese) is provided in the tab on the right.
Milk: Cow’s milk is only one of many options of milk’s that are available in the market. Today, it is possible to buy many varieties plant based milk’s from your local convenience store, including soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk and oat milk. Some of these are also relatively easy to prepare at home.
Butter: Vegan margarines are available in the market, but do check the labels since some of these may include milk solids or other milk additives.
Cheese: It is very easy to make a variety of vegan cheese’s at home. Vegan cheese is available commercially mostly in the West, and is becoming more popular in the Indian markets.
Curd/Yogurt: Vegan curd/yogurt can be made relatively easily at home. Vegan yogurt is available commercially mostly in the West, and is just starting to catch on in the Indian markets.
Mayonnaise: Vegan mayonnaise can be made at home, as well as bought commercially. A number of popular brands have egg free veg mayonnaise, many of which are vegan. Remember to check the ingredients to confirm.
Ice-creams: Sorbets are vegan, along with a number of water based ice creams in the popular brands. Vegan ice creams can also be easily prepared at home.
Meat: You would be surprised by the number of plant based ingredients that work as good meat replacements. Soy granules, Soy chunks, shitake mushrooms, jackfruit, ground beans and button mushrooms are a few examples of the same. There are also a large variety of ‘plant based meats’ available commercially in western markets, though the variety of commercially available mock meats in the Indian markets is still relatively limited.
Eggs: Tofu scramble is an excellent and popular replacement for scrambled eggs. Depending on the requirement (baking, binding etc), a number of different plant based ingredients can be used as egg replacements - these include mashed bananas, apple sauce, soy flow, cornstarch, soy milk etc.