As the nation gears up for National Vegetarian Week (24th-30th May), Brits are being encouraged to celebrate the forgotten curry by swapping the nation’s favourite dish, Chicken Korma, for a ‘veggie’ option.

India has the largest population of non-meat eaters in the world(2) – approximately 40% are vegetarians compared to only around 6% in the UK. However, despite this, and according to research conducted by made-for-curry beer, Cobra, only 13% of main courses on typical Indian menus are vegetarian.

In a bid to spark veggie inspiration in kitchens up and down the country, Cobra has asked Vivek Singh, Executive Chef of The Cinnamon Club, to share some of his favourite vegetarian recipes for people to try out at home.

Vivek explains: “In spite us being a nation of curry fans, it’s a common misconception that when it comes to Indian vegetarian cuisine there isn’t a great deal to choose from. With numerous studies highlighting the many health benefits of increasing your 5-a-day, I was keen to team up with Cobra Beer to demonstrate the versatility of vegetables and showcase the variety of truly delicious vegetarian dishes.”

Anyone wishing to impress their friends and family with their vegetarian ‘currynary’ skills will find Vivek Singh’s vegetarian favourites at While, for those curry lovers who prefer to indulge their taste buds at their local Indian restaurant but are eager to try veggie, Vivek would recommend sampling a Chana Masala or a lentil dish.

Either way, for the ultimate experience enjoy with a Cobra – a vegetarian beer that’s proven to enhance the taste of curry

Vivek Singh’s Home-style Curry of Potatoes and Cauliflower

‘This is probably the most common vegetable curry you will find in India. Cooked pretty much nine months of the year, it is one of those recipes that sparks an intense debate over authenticity. One of the disadvantages of its universal appeal is that there is no such thing as a universal recipe. ‘

Top Tips
– For a richer dish, stir in a good dash of cream or sour cream before serving
– Don’t use too much chilli and only add fresh chilli at the end
– If you cut the cauliflower florets slightly bigger than the potatoes, they will cook in roughly the same time, rather than overcooking and disintegrating before the potatoes are done
– It is important to use a wide, shallow pan for this dish. If you use a deep pan or a wok instead, don’t overcrowd it with the vegetables or they will start to disintegrate

ï‚· 3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
ï‚· 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
ï‚· 1 large onion, chopped
ï‚· 1 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
ï‚· 4 green chillies, slit open lengthwise
ï‚· 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) dice
ï‚· 1 cauliflower, divided into florets
ï‚· 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
ï‚· 2 teaspoons salt
ï‚· 2 tomatoes, chopped
ï‚· ½ teaspoon garam masala
ï‚· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
ï‚· 5 cm (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, cut into fine strips
ï‚· juice of ½ lime

1. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add the cumin seeds, followed by the onion;
2. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, then add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few seconds longer;
3. Add the green chillies and potatoes and sauté over a high heat for a couple of minutes;
4. Tip in the cauliflower, turmeric and salt, mix well then reduce the heat. If you cut the cauliflower florets slightly bigger than the potatoes, they will cook in roughly the same time, rather than overcooking and disintegrating before the potatoes are done;
5. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking;
6. Add the tomatoes and garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are completely tender;
7. Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and the ginger, squeeze over the lime juice;
8. Finally serve with chapattis or as a side dish and a glass of ice cold Cobra.

Vivek Singh’s Uttapam (Rice Flour Pancakes) with Green Coconut Chutney and Sambhar

‘It was the southern Indians who first popularised this dish. As with pancakes, half the fun is to be had by experimenting with your own toppings. The traditional south Indian coconut chutney, from the southern state of Karnataka and Sambhar also make excellent accompaniments.”

Top tips:
– Ensure that the Uttapam mixture is not too thinly spread when cooking in the pan
– Use either a pestle and mortar or blender to make the chutney
– Of course if you are short on time and want a quick solution then use ready available Sambhar powder for the broth. Sambhar powder is available in most Indian shops. You just need to add the right amount of water.

ï‚· 200g / 7oz packet of dosa mix (available from Asian shops)
ï‚· A little vegetable or corn oil
ï‚· 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
ï‚· 1/3 red pepper, finely diced
ï‚· 1/3 yellow pepper, finely diced
ï‚· 1 tomato, skinned, deseeded and finely diced
ï‚· 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander

For Green Coconut Chutney:
ï‚· 1 coconut, grated
ï‚· 50g/2oz fresh coriander leaves
ï‚· 20g 3/4oz fresh mint leaves
ï‚· 4 green chillies, chopped
ï‚· 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal
ï‚· 1 tablespoon salt

For tempering:
ï‚· 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
ï‚· ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
ï‚· 10 fresh curry leaves

For Sambhar:
ï‚· 150g/5oz/7/8 cup toor dal
ï‚· ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
ï‚· 2 teaspoons salt
ï‚· 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
ï‚· 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
ï‚· 1 red onion, sliced
ï‚· 10 small shallots roughly chopped
ï‚· 50g/2oz/1/4 cup green beans cut into 2.5cm/1 inch lengths
ï‚· 2.5cm/ 1 inch lengths
ï‚· 2 carrots, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch chunks
ï‚· 2 baby aubergines, quartered (otherwise use ordinary aubergines)
ï‚· 2 tablespoons Sambar Masala
ï‚· 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
ï‚· 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
ï‚· 1 teaspoon sugar

For tempering:
ï‚· 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
ï‚· 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
ï‚· 1 dried red chilli
ï‚· ¼ teaspoon asafoetida
ï‚· 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves


1. Make up the dosa mix according to the instructions on the packet;
2. Spread a little oil over a large, heavy based frying pan or a flat griddle and place over a medium heat;
3. Pour about 2-3 table-spoons of the batter into the centre of the pan and, using the back of the ladle, spread it out quickly with an outward circular motion to form a pancake about 10cm/4 inches in diameter;
4. Dot the edges of the pancake with a little oil and sprinkle with some of the chopped vegetables and coriander to form a colourful topping;
5. Cook over a low heat for about 4 minutes, until golden underneath;
6. Turn over and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes;
7. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes altogether;
8. Serve with the Green Coconut Chutney, Sambhar and a glass of ice cold Cobra.

Green Coconut Chutney
1. Put the coconut, coriander, mint, chillies, chana dal and salt in a blender or food processor and blend to a soft, spoonable consistency;
2. To temper the chutney, heat the oil to smoking point and add curry leaves and mustard seeds.;
3. As soon as they start to crackle, add the chutney and remove the pan from the heat.

1. Wash the lentils in cold running water, then leave to soak for 15 minutes;
2. Drain well and put them in a heavy based pan with 600ml/1 pint /2 and a half cups of water. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum from the surface, then add the turmeric and half the salt and simmer for 30 minutes;
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pan, add the curry leaves and onion and sauté until the onion is soft;
4. Add the shallots, green beans, carrots and aubergine and sauté for 5 minutes;
5. Now add the Sambar Masala, tamarind and chilli powder and cook for another 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the simmering lentils and stir well, adding a little water if the mixture is too thick;
6. Simmer until the vegetables are soft then add the sugar and the remaining salt;
7. To temper the mixture, heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds;
8. When the seeds start to crackle, add the dried chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves, give them a stir and pour the mixture over the broth;
9. Mix well and then serve.