Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Vegetarian 100

During my long blogging break, I missed several of the blog events and memes that I enjoy so much. One that was quite interesting started as The Omnivore's Hundred, a list of 100 foods that an omnivore should try at least once in their life.

The idea caught on and before long, the vegetarians among us got a chance to play along. Barbara over at Tigers and Strawberries made her list of 100 vegetarian foods and I'm participating in that meme. She says (emphasis is mine)-

"If you want to play along, here’s how you do it: copy the list, including my instructions, and bold any items you have eaten and strike out any you would never eat, and then post it to your blog. If you want, you can leave a comment here, linking to your results, or you can link back to this post so I can try and keep tabs on what folks have eaten and not eaten."

Barbara's Vegetarian Hundred

1. Real macaroni and cheese, made from scratch and baked
2. Tabouleh
3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven (preferably with homemade strawberry jam)
4. Fresh figs
5. Fresh pomegranate
6. Indian dal of any sort
7. Imam bayildi
8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu
9. Freshly made hummus
10. Tahini
11. Kimchi
12. Miso
13. Falafel
14. Potato and pea filled samosas
15. Homemade yogurt
16. Muhammara
17. Brie en croute
18. Spanikopita
19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes
20. Insalata caprese
21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards)
22. Freshly made salsa
23. Freshly made guacamole
24. Creme brulee
25. Fava beans
26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles
27. Fattoush
28. New potatoes
29. Coleslaw
30. Ratatouille
31. Baba ganoush
32. Winter squash
33. Roasted beets
34. Baked sweet potatoes
35. Plantains
36. Chocolate truffles
37. Garlic mashed potatoes
38. Fresh water chestnuts
39. Steel cut oats
40. Quinoa
41. Grilled portabello mushrooms
42. Chipotle en adobo
43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal
44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas
45. Frittata
46. Basil pesto
47. Roasted garlic
48. Raita of any type
49. Mango lassi
50. Jasmine rice (white or brown)
51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry
52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie
53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette
54. Quince in any form
55. Escarole, endive or arugula
56. Sprouts other than mung bean
57. Naturally brewed soy sauce
58. Dried shiitake mushrooms
59. Unusually colored vegetables (purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers…)
60. Fresh peach ice cream
61. Chevre
62. Medjool dates
63. Kheer
64. Flourless chocolate cake
65. Grilled corn on the cob
66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili
67. Tempeh
68. Seitan or wheat gluten
69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese
70. Sweet potato fries
71. Homemade au gratin potatoes
72. Cream of asparagus soup
73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip
74. Mushroom risotto
75. Fermented black beans
76. Garlic scapes
77. Fresh new baby peas
78. Kalamata olives
79. Preserved lemons
80. Fried green tomatoes
81. Chinese scallion pancakes
82. Cheese souffle
83. Fried apples
84. Homemade frijoles refritos
85. Pasta fagiole
86. Macadamia nuts in any form
87. Paw paw in any form
88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind
89. Paneer cheese
90. Ma Po Tofu (vegetarian style–no pork!)
91. Fresh pasta in any form
92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps
93. Green papaya salad
94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes
95. Pickled ginger
96. Methi greens
97. Aloo paratha
98. Kedgeree (the original Indian version without the smoked fish, not the British version with fish)
99. Okra
100. Roasted brussels sprouts

My score: 81%

The only things I had to strike out (I have tasted these but don't care to taste them again) are the stinky cheeses. No thank you. V says he is happy to eat my share every time.

As for some of the items like imam bayildi, kimchi and pressed tofu, I am fairly sure I have eaten them at some point or the other, but I did not recall specific occasions so I left them as things I have yet to try.

Some other items on this list are recipes that have been on my to-make list for a long time, such as muhammara, fattoush and pear galette.

There are more vegetarian 100 lists over at Feeding Maybelle and Green Gourmet Giraffe. There is a vegan 100 list over at Bittersweet. This last list contains many items that I am frankly terrified to try, such as natto, vegan haggis, durian and green smoothies.

I love lists! I'm planning to write an Indian vegetarian 100 list of my own. But the world of Indian vegetarian food is vast territory and my experience is limited to only a few regional cuisines, and I can hardly say that I am an adventurous eater in any case. I need your help in compiling this list.

So tell me, all ye lovers of Indian food, what 5 foods of the Indian vegetarian persuasion are must-try foods for you? They might be delicious, weird, exotic, seasonal, rare, memorable, daily staples that you can't imagine life without, or anything that stands out to you as something you would like everyone in the world to get a taste of. Want to play along? Leave a comment!


  1. Wow! ur score is impressive! I haven't tasted any :(
    let me think of my 5 now!

  2. Hey Nupur,

    A very interesting list and not fair at all considering the innumerable accounts of Indian cuisine and only 5 foods ? :D :))))

    Let me try..

    1) Dahi Puri (I can eat this any time of the day).. Crisp Puris, any stuffing, with sweet, spicy and tangy chutneys and cold dahi... YUMMMMMM.......

    2) Avial.. the Kerala kind.. the tastes are so heavenly !!!

    3) A bowl of Rajma - chawal.. Rajma made in the simplest of all preparations...

    4) Stuffed Parathas , any kind...

    5) Idlis with chutney and sambar..I can eat them any time..


    I am sure I can think of many other foods but this is what comes to my mind, this morning !!! Hmmnnn...may be I am hungry now... LOL :))))

    And you have to try some Muhammara with Pita bread.. it is really good..

    Take care Nupur


  3. Manasi- I can tell you did not read the list- because there are many many things on that list that you have eaten for sure- like homemade yogurt, samosas, raita, kheer...c'mon :D

    Mala- 5 foods is unfair, but the only way to narrow down to the most sublime foods, perhaps :)
    I love everything on your list and some if not all of them will make it to the 100, I think!

  4. impressive score!!

  5. I am not a food blogger but learnt to cook when far from home courtesy food blogs.

    And I love lists too :). So my five is

    1. Chole bature - I think it is an absolute must

    2. biryani - have to have biryani once!!

    3. Thuvaiyal (any thuvaiyal - dal, coconut, karvepillai aka curry leaves) with rice and ghee

    4. Golgappe - dahi puri is close but I think I like the tangy water version with the suji puris. Esp as summer rolls around.

    5. Banganapalli mangoes - I know this is a not a dish but so many people at work have not eaten the "right" mangoes...

    It took me a surprisingly long time and thought to put together 5 of what I like 100 is going to take you forever ... :)

  6. I would say
    1. paav bhaji
    2. gulab jamun
    3. samosa
    4. puran poli
    5. idli with coconut chutney and sambar

  7. That was a good score!
    Suprised you haven't tried the muhamarra.

  8. Thats an great score! Its really tough to narrow down to 5 favs :)

    My choice:

    1. Corriander rice
    2. Vazhapoo (plantain flower) vadas - awesome flavor!
    3. Horsegram (kulthi) curry - similar to Rajma, but the gives a different flavor, and best of all its healthy!
    4. Tiramisu - a sinful dessert!
    5. Paneer Pakoras.

  9. Arundati- hardly :) considering how I eat everything in sight ;)

    stringOfPearls- great list, and I agree that there are many deprived souls who have not eaten the "right" kind of mangoes :D

    Nikita- no list mine would be complete without pav bhaji ;)

    TheCooker- I know- I should rectify that soon!

    Sujatha- thanks, you mentioned a couple of nice off-beat things that can be included.

  10. wow! thats an impressive score..i will somewhere be in the low 40s or so..

    my list of 5 would be:
    - curd rice with mango pickle
    - aloo parathas with yoghurt and lassi
    - biryani
    - masala dosa with sambar
    - chat - golgappa, pav bhaji, samosa chat etc

    It was touch to limit myself to 5..maybe i should write the 100 list too :)

  11. Hi,

    I've never commented here before but have been an interested onlooker for quite some time now. But as a passionate Indian vegetarian foodie, I can't resist commenting on this one.

    Here's my list (in no particular order):

    1. South Indian (specifically Tambram) potato curry.

    2. Chole Bhatura

    3. (paper-crisp!) Rava masaal-dosa with *all* the fixin's (coconut, tomato, and onion chutneys and, of course, sambhar)

    4. mattar paneer

    5. masala peanuts (these were on offer in pretty much every bar in india on my recent trip there)/aloo dum/potato bajjis/bisi bele huli

    sorry i cheated and listed more than five! but i simply couldn't leave these out.

  12. Nice List!

    My must try list of (5!!) Indian foods:

    1. Pani Puri (preferably eaten on the roadside..)
    2. Benne Masala Dosa (Butter Masala Dosa)..(I am usually more of a cheese rather than a butter person..except in this case..:))
    3. Poondu Rasam (Garlic Rasam) and/or Arachuvita Sambar (with roasted potatoes on the side?)
    4. Baingan Bhartha/Kathrikai Thuvial (or any variant using roasted,mashed and spiced eggplant)..
    5. Homemade palak paneer or kadhai paneer/bhindi sabji with soft phulkas
    6. Also had to sneak in Gongura Pachadi

    I am using all the resolve I have to stop adding to this list..Though I have to add Jai and Bee's Potato stew recipe as a must try!!

    Ok- will definitely stop now!!

  13. That's an interesting list. Here's my 5:

    1. Alphonso mangoes
    2. Madras filter coffee
    3. Pani puri (from a streetside cart of course)
    4. Aviyal
    5. Masala dosa

    I missed your posts - good to have you blogging again!

  14. I'm leaving a comment just to say how THRILLED I am that you're back! I "dropped into" your site casually today - and lo and behold - new posts! You have made me SO happy! I really, really missed you! I hope to see some pictures of dear Dale soon.

  15. well here is my five

    bhel puri
    litti and chokha
    pinni ladoo

    I could easily have a list of 50 foods when it came to indian cuisine but these are my absolute best

  16. my five

    Mangalorean fish curry with rice
    Mangalorean vyor pondha bangda
    Neer dosas
    Bath cake.

  17. Great score Nupur!:)
    I am eager to see how much I can acheive. It's a great tool to pick restaurants the next time we decide to eat out:)

    And here are 5 Indian vegetarian things that I think are a MUST TRY

    1.) Garam garam phulke right off the stove with ghee!

    2.) Indian Pickle

    3.) Matar Paneer

    4.) Road side chat(bhalla papdi)

    5.) Aam ras

    5 is so unfair...:P

  18. Superchef- curd rice- how could I forget :) that goes straight on the list! And yes, do write your own 100 :)

    Sandhya- masala peanuts are definitely going on the list, and paper dosa is already there!

    Lavanya- Gongura went on the list, because it is such a special and loved ingredient; I have only tasted it once. Mmm...you got me dreaming about butter masala dosas :)

    Chaitanya- mangoes are right at the top of the list! And thanks to you, filter coffee is in there now :)

    Kamini- I really really really missed you too! I'm so glad you have not forgotten me and Dale and the blog :)

    Roshni- very interesting list; I had to look up litti chokha and pinni ladoo, those are new to me :)

    luckysanjana- I'm not including fish. Neer dosas are certainly a candidate. What is bath cake?? Looking it up on google yields soapy stuff and not food :)

    Vani- That's a great idea- trying new restaurants and new foods based on these lists! Phulke and pickles are on the list, as is chaat :)

  19. 1. Mohanthal - my absolute favorite sweet
    2. Sukhdi - my 2nd favorite sweet
    3. Pao-Bhaaji - my favorite meal
    4. Sev-Puri
    5. Aloo Parantha

  20. I did go thru, but I guess i have tasted about 9-10 items max,tha amounts to zlich and hence the :(

    My 5:
    chaat varieties(roadside,strictly!)
    Paranthas with pickles, yogurt!!
    and So many more!!

  21. Nupur,
    Thank you for making a list of Indian Vegetarian 100. I am pretty sure that the list will be completed pretty quick due to the diversity and rich history of Indian cuisine.

    I would like to submit these 5 Andhra recipes which I would love to taste again and again

    1. Gutti Kakarakaya kura (Stuffed Karela)
    2. Gongura pickle
    3. Avakaya (Mango pickle)
    4. Daddojanam (Curd rice)
    5. Vegetable/ Onion Pakora

  22. Hi Nupur, Welcome back. (i know i should have posted this on the previous post but ...).
    Here is my list of must haves though limit of five killed me when i started.

    Alphanso mangoes
    gooLachI karanji
    tikhaT bheL (rajabhau style)
    kaT misaL
    ambat chukyachi bhaji

    and I can come up with several lists of five ;)

  23. I see many of my favorites already mentioned in the comments.:)

    If I had to pick 5 in addition to some of the above mentioned ones, I'd go for-
    *Ginger tea
    *Pazham Pori(ripe plantain fritters)
    *Vada pav, especially the ones sold by the street vendors of Mumbai
    *Poori bhaji
    *Puli pottichathu- a tamarind chutney of sorts

    It will be interesting to see your Indian vegetarian 100 list.
    Your posts are always a delight to read, Nupur! :D

  24. I can't wait to see your list of 100! I hardly feel qualified to suggest even one item for the list, but see if that stops me... 1) Dosas (I remember my first one - oh my gosh, what a treat!) 2) your quick "Bisibele" Bhaat - yum :) 3) toor dal 4) roti... I'm having trouble deciding on a fifth, so I'll leave it at four!

  25. Nikhil from OzMay 12, 2009 10:51 PM

    Hi, I am very happy to see that you are back at blogging again. I had been reading your blog for a while and liked it a lot. I was eagerly waiting for your return to blogging.

  26. hi nupur, you have done a good scoring their !!, i felt i haven't eaten so many of them, where can i get recipes for most of them so, i can also try, if your mkaing a hundred then i can tick them i think, if they are very indian..., i love so many food items but the five i can think of is :
    Dosa of any kind
    Idli & vada & sambhar
    chats of all kinds
    puris, samosas, Bhatura & chole
    vegetable pilauv of rice varities
    sweets made out of milk

  27. Manali- the last three are on my list!

    Manasi-chaat, mango, pickles, paratha are all on my list :)

    Anonymous- I had forgotten about karela- I have to include that on the list.

    Mints!- aha, thanks for reminding me about misal, I put that on the list.

    TBC- oh yeah, puri bhaji needs to go on the list, as well as vada pav :)

    Cathy- you are so qualified to add to the list, trust me! I love everything on your list :)

    Nikhil- It feels good to be back...thanks for the comment :)

    Jayasri- most of the ones you mentioned are already on the list...I love them all! You can look for recipes for the foods you want to try by searching the food blogs (http://foodblogsearch.com/) or simply searching on an engine like Google or Yahoo.

  28. Wow! Great idea, Nupur!

    Here's my list:
    1. Tandalachya olya fenya / papadya (I don't know how to translate it. :( )
    2. Bhakari and Thecha of any kind. Must be spicy and hot, that's it.
    3. Idali and coconut chutney
    4. Stuffed aloo paratha
    5. Misal-pav with spicy red-hot curry

  29. Hi Nupur,

    I am a regular visitor to your blog. It's nice to have you back. My 5s are: These are somehow region specific. My criteria of selecting these 5 is these are anytime favorite because their unique characteristics.

    Pooran Poli,
    Paav bahji
    Moogachi khichadi

  30. Nupur: Baath Cake is a coconut and semolina cake made by Goans. Delicious and super easy to make. Caveat: contains eggs.

    My list -
    Jeer Merya Kadhi
    Bebinca(eggs again, so disqualifies?)
    Dal Bhati
    Sai Bhaji

    Apparently, I can't stick to five! But I had to be fair to my multicultured family. :)

  31. My 5 favs would be :

    1. Rasam -- the type we make at home and koottu.

    2. Thayir saadam -- curd rice with mahali kizhangu or maavadu-- sarsaparilla root pickle or small tiny mangoes pickle.

    3. A good gujarati thali with all subzis and farsan.

    4. Punjabi kadhi-chaawal

    5. Soft idlis smeared with milagai podi ( the type you take on a train or picnic!!) and excellent coconut chutney

  32. I forgot to add- kotthu parotta- it is super yummy south Indian street food (Which sadly, I never sampled till I came to the states) made by shredding rotis/parathas/malabar parottas into pieces and cooking in a onion/tomato spicy base..It is very simple to make and soo filling and yummy!!

  33. Nupur, how fun! It's been great reading everyone's favorites. Having been introduced to Indian food by my husband, you will notice my favorites tend to gravitate towards ghee and malai!!

    1. Navratan Korma
    2. Veg Biryani
    3. Paneer Makhani
    4. Aloo Tikki
    5. Masala Rava Dosa

    Mmmm, now I am really hungry :)

  34. I love lists too and would love to see an Indian list - dosa is the indian food that is a must on such a list for me

  35. U no like stinky cheese?
    Hmm..5 is really tough.
    1. Masala dosa
    2. Hot rotis
    3. kali maa ki dal
    4. alphonso mango
    5. Naan

    You can tell I love my carbs huh.

  36. my top 5 would be , home made butter (with bhakri or any paratha or on a slice of bread sprinkled with granulated sugar), zhunka (with bhakri), that brings the next on the list Bhakri (hot off the tava, with ghee, or farmers style with onion and green chilli),khatta mitha lemon pickle, and garama garam kanda pohe with slice of fresh lemon

    A not so indian dish but loved all over India wud be garlic bread, Gud luck with your list ...can i suggest more :D

  37. Hey Nupur,

    It is very nice to see you blogging again! I used to read your blog every morning instead of newspaper :)

    My high 5

    1. Varan Phala
    2. Sabudana khichadhi
    3. AamraKhand
    4. Batate vada (with lots of green chillies and ginger)
    5. Tikhat- mithachi puri

  38. 81 is a real impressive score. Mine would be 40 or so.

    Btw My top five would be- *drumroll*-

    1. Curd Rice with mango picke and some onions with lemon juice and rock salt.

    2. Chaats-Samosa Pav, Pani Puri, Dahi Puri, Dahi Vada etc

    3. Vegetable Biryani and chilled mixed veg raita

    4. Dal Khichdi- Perfect comfort food!

    5. Masala Papad!!

  39. 1. Cutting Chai......superboiled right off the street....
    2. Wada Pav.....
    3. Zunka Bhakri
    4. Kadhi Chawal
    5. Khichdi

  40. Meghana Bhuskute- oh yes, misal has to be on the list! The papdya...are you referring to the dried stuff that is fried?

    Ashwini D- Yes- can't forget the perennial comfort food, mugachi khichdi.

    Neha- Sai bhaji and bebinca are so unique, I am definitely adding them to the list.

    Geeta-thali, curd rice and idlis are all on the list :)

    Lavanya- yes, kotthu parotta is unique and certainly belongs on the list. I have yet to taste it myself :)

    Jamie- aha, a delicious list and I have to add navratan korma to my list.

    Johanna- dosa is definitely on the list :)

    Bharti- I love my carbs too, we have good company there I think ;)

    Rahin- I added homemade butter to the list. Everything on that list is delicious :)

    Sonali- LOL blogs have better news on average compared to newspapers, huh? Great list- have to add several to mine.

    Foodie-I had forgotten about masala papad!

    Swap- hah...cutting chai...been ages since I heard that term!

  41. Hi Nupur,
    So very glad tht u r back..n ths time too with a bang. I came across ur sight whn I ws searchin for an authentic misal paav recipe..n thts whn i found ur blog. First of all..the name name itself ws very authentic n thn whn i tried ur recipe(after goin thru each n every single word u hd written abt in its praise)....it became a hit in my circle!!!!
    since thn..i m a regular visitor to ur blog...felt a lot sad whn u stopped..n today randomly i checked n here u r back again:)
    from my side:
    dal makhani
    sarson ka saag
    kadhai paneer
    paneer butter masala
    dal baati
    baingan ka bharta
    bharwa bhini
    bharwa karele
    chole kulche

    Hope u ll include atleast one of these. :)


  42. Glad to see you back :-)

    And India??Any chances of visiting Mumbai??

    Well My Top Five will always be:
    Dal Rice
    Pani Puri
    Kadhi(Sindhi) Chaawal

  43. I'm not a big fan of smelly cheeses either but I'll make an exception for Chevre. Would Indian Lemon pickle qualify as preserved lemons?

    It's difficult to come up with just 5 Indian Vegetarian must-try dishes, but I'll try.

    - Obbattu/ Puran Poli
    - Vennai (Butter) Murukku
    - Badam Burfi
    - Appam with coconut-milk based stew
    - Drumstick leaves porial/stirfry


  44. Pav Bhaji
    Masala Dosa
    Sabudana Khichidi
    Gobi Manchurian
    Veg Bhuna

  45. Ok- I am absolutely not able to stop myself from adding stuff!! I *have* to add kokum juice, which is one of my 'favoritest' drinks..When I am craving a khatta meetha juice here- I add jal jeera powder to limeade and gulp..Since I stopped buying limeade (because of all that high fructose corn syrup)- I haven't been doing this- but it is still a yummy(that seems to be my word of the week..lol) drink!

    I think I should do a top vegetarian 100 too(atleast to restrain me from commenting a hundred times on this post..:))..I have been dying to introduce (by actually cooking) some of my 'non-Indian' friends to the less ubiquitous Indian dishes- and this seems like the perfect starting point..

  46. Bisibele baath
    Lemon Rice
    Masala Dosa

    Can I go on? :D

  47. Yay! Nupur is back:)

    You want only 5? Tough..but here are mine:

    1. Chandni Chowk Chaat- sorry about being so specific, but I think it's like no other chaat I've had anywhere

    2. Sarson saag and makki roti

    3. Kadhi chawal

    4. Khandvi

    5. Shrikhand

    Got to stop already?
    Oh ok..can I add Thai salads too, please? They have totally changed the way I look at salads now.

  48. Hey Nupur,
    Happened to stumble upon your fun blog. Here is a list of my Indian comfort foods.

    Vada Pav
    Pani Puri
    Aambat Varan Bhaat
    Punjabi Rajma
    Suji ka Halwa


  49. Vibha- I'm so glad to know that the misal recipe worked for you! Quite a few of the dishes you mentioned are on my list :)

    Alka- Yes- I will be in Mumbai for a few days. Buttermilk and samosas are on my list :)

    Mamatha- So you like goat cheese? V loves it and so do all my friends but I just can't stand it :( Sad thing is, it features in so many vegetarian dishes on menus, makes my choices even more limited. I had forgotten about murukku...thanks to you, it is on the list now! And I added appam-stew too :)

    Anonymous- I've added many of those to the list already.

    Lavanya- LOL I added kokum to my list too, and I agree, it is the best thing in summer. Feels like a life-saver to sip it during the blazing hot afternoons.
    Do write your 100 list...I would love to read it!!

    A_and_N- keep going...you are making me hungry and it is 4 AM :)

    Delhibelle- Great list and many of them are already in my list...I have to get myself to Chandni Chowk one of these days.

    Bina- Mmm...aambat varan is so delicious.

  50. Indian foods I DREAM of?
    1. Idli with Sambar and Fresh Coconut/Mint/Chili Sauce
    2. Bhindi Masala
    3. Ridge gourd cooked in dal soup
    4. Sweet Coconut pancakes, as served in a Mysore fast food restaurant.
    5. Chocolate spiced milk chai - from the tea sellers in main market in Mysore.

  51. loved to see ur back, my fav 5:
    Masala Chai
    Fajito (it is a gujarati kadhi cooked by boiling with a ripe piece or pieces of mango that gives a great flavor)
    Pani Puri
    Pakoras stuffed with ripe bananas or Arvi (arbi?)
    Salad with sprouts and angel hair pasta (first tried this at noodle bar, mumbai, but they hv discontinued this)

  52. I guess I am late with this comment. Just came across your blog. My 5 favourite vegetarian food would be

    Rava Dosa
    Curd Rice / Lassi - sweet or salty
    Trifle pudding / or any sweet for that matter!

    Nice blog.


The spammers are out in full force so I've had to turn word verification on! Thanks for leaving a comment- I read and respond to every single one.