Indian Inspired Vegan Cooking with Quorn
Diwali, the festival of lights, is a very special five-day celebration observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, usually over the months of October or November. It is referred to as the festival of lights because of the bright lights and candles used to decorate worshippers homes. The festival, which happens to coincide with Hindu New Year, heartfully symbolises the triumph of good over evil, light over dark and knowledge over ignorance. The exact dates of Diwali are determined by the Hindu lunar calendar, and the actual day of Diwali is usually the third day. This year Diwali falls on Sunday, October 30th 2016.
Followers of the faiths celebrating Diwali all have their own reasons for celebrating Diwali, but the most well-known story is that of Lord Rama. Legend has it that the demon king Ravana exiled Lord Rama and his wife Sita from their kingdom in Northern India and after 14 years, Rama returned to defeat him. Upon his return, to illuminate their path and welcome them back, villagers were believed to light oil lamps (called Diyas) all the way from Lanka to the kingdom. The significance of lights is also to guide Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, who visits and blesses each house. Modern day revellers celebrate by stringing up fairy lights, lighting candles and by putting up coloured lights of all descriptions.
Many people welcome in Diwali by cleaning and sorting out their homes and workspaces and wearing new clothes. Food is naturally a big part of the celebrations too with brightly coloured sweets taking centre stage, to represent the bold beautiful colours of the lights.
And while sweets form the basis of Diwali treats, deep-fried puris, potatoes cooked in tomato sauce and channa masala often feature on menus for the feast. Although many families will personalise their Diwali meals, and dishes in general will vary, the food enjoyed is mostly vegetarian or vegan.
Whether you are celebrating Diwali with your family, or an interested spectator you can be involved in the delicious food that is always served. November the 1st is also World Vegan Day, so cook up an Indian-inspired vegan meal to celebrate. In partnership with Quorn, we’ve put together some hearty Diwali-inspired dishes that are also perfect for World Vegan Day, so get cooking!
Quorn Vegan Pieces and fresh peas are used in this recipe to create deliciously crunchy bonda. Fried in chickpea flour they are so yum, you won’t be able to stop at just one! GET THE RECIPE
We’d quite happily eat naan bread with every meal, which is why we just love this ide of naan sarmies. The beet and cashew nut spread adds another dimension of flavour, and the addition of the spicy Quorn burger patties makes this one tasty mouthful after another. GET THE RECIPE
Roti’s get a makeover with the addition of spinach for colour, flavour and nutrients. Add crispy Quorn schnitzels, aubergine spread and avo and you have an awesome meal to share with friends. Everyone can get stuck in and put together their own. GET THE RECIPE
Parathas are a type of Indian flatbread that can be eaten with various different fillings or used as a vehicle to mop up curries and sauces. In this recipe we fill them with crunchy Quorn vegan nuggets and serve with a spicy and sweet mango chutney. GET THE RECIPE
So what exactly is Quorn?
The origins of Quorn go back to the 1960s, a period when there were genuine concerns about our ability to feed the world. As a response to this Lord Rank, the founder of Quorn, set up a project to find a new source of protein.
The aim was to find a micro-organism that could easily convert plentiful carbohydrates into scarcer and more nutritionally valuable proteins but without the use of animals as the method of conversion. Many years of R & D and over £100m investment identified a tiny member of the fungi family that could be converted into a protein. This led to the mass production of mycoprotein, the unique ingredient that makes Quorn products so special.
Fermenters are used to grow and harvest the protein. It is not dissimilar to the way that production of beer or yoghurt works.
What was amazing about this new protein was its ability to replicate the taste and texture of meat. The unique fibrous nature of Quorn means it can provide the textural experience of eating meat. Its ability to take on flavour and lack of aftertaste means it can deliver the taste of meat and meat dishes brilliantly.
Read more about the amazing impact veganism has on the environment HERE.