My First Substantial Vegan Dinner on the Farm in Ujire, India

I cooked my first substantial vegan dinner on the farm in Ujire, India using rice, channa dhal, and onion's that I purchased from town and some local veggies that were growing on the farm.

I have since gotten more creative (standby for future videos!) but there's something beautiful about the simplicity of a meal like this: It never leaves me feeling like crap and it always fills me up (thank you fiber)!

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  1. Too bad we can’t taste the dish ;-). I like the fact that you have gone back to basics in almost every way of your life. By going to India, I am sure you sort of pushed a reset button and I’m sure you have found the peace of mind you have been looking for.

    Is this a drastic change of diet for you or are you used to a vegan diet or a healthy diet in general?

    • Hey Bart,

      Yes, I have absolutely pressed a reset button! Traveling with a single backpack really forces you to live simply, which is fantastic. It has also allowed me to discover what my “purpose” is in life: To help others live simply, balance life, and cultivate curiosity. I’ll be writing more about that soon. 🙂

      The diet isn’t much of a change for me. I was vegan before I came to India and I’m accustom to eating very simply and very healthy. However, I’ve drifted from being Vegan to being Vegetarian, as avoiding milk here in India is extremely difficult. Surprisingly though, the milk hasn’t affected me the way it did in the States; even a little bit used to make me really sick. I’ve been drinking it in coffee and chai almost every day and I’m fine! Perhaps it’s a better quality milk here, with less additives?

  2. Nice post, keep them coming. Food is always interesting. Doesn’t look to bad. I’d try it.

    Was looking at your photos. My boss was talking about betel nuts and how the Vietnamese women were always chewing on them (turning their teeth black). So, I just purchased some dried betels and brought them into him and then I see your photos. Too kewl!

    • Thank you, David!

      The betelnut is very common around here… I’ve even tried it! After eating at a restaurant in Bangalore (shortly after I arrived), they handed them out at the end of the meal, wrapped in a leaf. I don’t think it had any tabacco in it though, which is what it’s usually chewed with.

  3. Woah! Betelnut do have tobacco in them, generally we request them not to add that. I’m not sure whether you said so or it contained no tobacco but do take care next time. And as far as milk is concerned probably at the farm you’re being given the fresh milk from the cows and if it is so, you know exactly why you are not suffering!

    And you paid Rs. 60 for your purchases?? Kindly tell me what you purchased? I’m a little surprised with that figure.

    • The Betelnut itself doesn’t have tobacco… it’s generally added. The one’s they pass out at restaurants don’t have tobacco. Here’s the Wikipedia page on the Betelnut.

      As I mentioned in the video, the Rs. 60 was for 1/2 kilo of Channa, 1 kilo of white rice, and a handful of onions. 🙂

  4. Not cooking with spices?! And have you been haggling prices? I assume that is the custom thing to do and part of the culture?

    • Sometimes I cook with spices (turmeric, cumin seed) but for the most part I’m satisfied with the plain food. If I want a nicer meal, I can get one for 20 cents in town at the restaurants. 😀

      I haven’t been haggling prices that much — I’ve got a good idea how much stuff should cost now, so if they try to sell it to me for much more I just say no and then they drop it down to the regular price.

      If I’m getting ripped off 10-15 rupees, I don’t bother trying to haggle. If it’s 25-50 rupees, I do.


  • Bart Jacobs April 12, 2010