12/10/2012 04:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Flavorful Vegan Recipes That Are Good for You

Chitra Agrawal

It's a common misconception that vegan dishes are always healthy. I've been a vegetarian all my life and am all too familiar with the one option on the menu I can order at most restaurants, which is usually quite carb heavy, fatty or just plain deep fried. Don't get me wrong -- I love all of these things, but you just can't sustain yourself on a diet like that.

Teaching Indian cooking classes over the years, I've found that I get a handful of students each time that have newly become vegan or vegetarian and are looking for healthful options to cook at home. Many of them complain that vegan recipes they find are just not nutritious or filling or worst of all, they lack flavor. Indian cooking is a good place to start for them as many of the recipes have been honed over centuries to be delicious and provide all the protein and nutrients needed on a meat-free diet.

Beet Palya (South Indian Stir-Fry)

Shimi ka Achar (Spicy Pickled String Beans)

Kosambri (South Indian Carrot Salad) photo by Nhi Ma

Chitranna (Turmeric Peanut Rice) photo by Jenn Hagfors

Curried Tofu

Sambar (South Indian Spicy Lentil Stew)

Fresh Lettuce Dosa, butter lettuce filled with curried potatoes and coconut chutney