Hey there. I'm Vaishali, the author and recipe creator at Holy Cow Vegan, where I have been sharing tasty and affordable plant-based recipes since 2007. My recipes are designed to be alluring enough for the discerning cook but easy enough for a beginner. There are more than 1,000 recipes on this blog and I hope everyone--vegan, vegetarian or omnivore--will find something here that they will love.
Cooking and animal welfare have always been my greatest passions. My recipes have featured in publications around the world but more importantly, they have been tried, tasted and loved by thousands of home cooks looking to add more plant-based food to their diets.
Here are a few more fast facts about Holy Cow Vegan and me:
- I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
- I was born in Bombay (or Mumbai), India's busiest megalopolis and a salad bowl of Indian culture. Growing up in Bombay meant I had access to the many diverse cuisines that make up "Indian food."
- My family is my husband Desi (also the photographer for the blog), my son Jay, and my four divine fur babies, all rescues -- Lily and Leo (dogs) and Billy and Kala (cats).
- Holy Cow Vegan was born on November 28, 2007. At the time it was the first vegan recipe blog on the web with a focus on veganizing Indian recipes. I've been posting vegan recipes here for more than 17 years now.
- My favorite foods are savory. And they usually have potatoes in them. French fries are especially unsafe around me.
- The foods I cook are healthy and easy and delicious and always free of animal products. Most of the recipes you'll find on this blog are both kid- and adult-friendly.
- In my former life I worked as a political journalist navigating political shenanigans in Congress and the Maryland statehouse, and I've worked as a reporter in three countries--India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- My idea of bliss is spending time with my family or relaxing with a good book or the New York Times crossword. When I cook I listen to old Hindi songs (especially by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar). I also love bingeing on YouTube videos about simple living and minimalism -- while I am not there yet, I hope to be some day.
- My pet peeve is when people forget the first "r" in turmeric. It's not tumeric, guys, and the first four letters are pronounced just like "term" 😉 And oh, while we're at it, I have one more --it's not a chai tea, it's not a chai latte: a chai is simply a chai. Chai means "tea" in Hindi, and in India, a chai is always made with milk. Calling it a chai tea or a chai latte is like calling an apple pie "an apple pie pastry made with apples". See? Redundant. And I don't care if Starbucks thinks "chai tea" or "chai latte" are right--they aren't.
I started to write this food blog in 2007 shortly after becoming a vegan and about four years after going vegetarian. I've loved the alchemy of cooking for as long as I can remember, and I enjoyed eating meat as much as I enjoyed using it in the meals I made for myself and my family.
Desi and I adopted our great old dog Lucy (scroll down for her picture). Loving her -- and Opie who followed soon after -- as much as I did set me thinking about the complex intelligence of animals. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to participate in the cruelty of meat production where billions of sentient animals just as sweet and wonderful as my dogs and cats are killed every year. In 2005 I became a vegetarian and two years later I had transitioned to a fully vegan life.
Because of how much I loved food, I challenged myself to create recipes that would taste as good as anything I'd ever cooked or eaten in my past life. Because I loved to write, I thought it would be a great idea to start a food blog to share these recipes with others who were looking for ways to either cut out or cut down on meat.
Today, Holy Cow Vegan reaches millions of readers with original, fresh and healthy recipes that I cook up in my kitchen.
What you'll find on Holy Cow Vegan
- Easy, quick, healthy and hassle-free plant-based recipes. This is food we eat in our home every day, food you can cook whether you are a novice or an expert, and food you will love whether you are an omnivore or a vegan or somewhere in between. All recipes use clean, wholesome, natural ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry.
- Recipes for special diets. More than half the recipes on this blog are gluten-free and vegan (including lots of gluten-free vegan desserts!). You will also find many recipes suited to a low-carb and keto vegan diet.
- Kid-friendly recipes. As a mom, I focus on creating recipes that are kid-friendly as well as adult-friendly!
- Global and Indian vegan recipes. You can take your palate on an adventure around the world with Mexican, Italian, Irish, African and Mediterranean recipes. You can also browse tons of vegan Indian recipes, from traditional and restaurant favorites like chana masala and vegan butter chicken to more modern dishes with my own spin, like this tasty vegetable curry and chickpea curry.
- Vegan baked goods. I love to bake, so you'll find lots of recipes for homemade vegan cakes, vegan cookies, vegan pies and vegan breads. I've been baking with sourdough and nurturing a sourdough starter long before it became trendy to do so.
My fur family
On this blog you'll find many pages dedicated to all the wonderful dogs and cats who have been part of our family over the years, including our current group of four furry troublemakers.
Leo was rescued from a dog meat farm in Korea and flew halfway around the world to find a home with us, Lily was a street dog rescued from Puerto Rico. Billy, our adorable tuxedo cat, was found roaming the streets of Virginia. Kala Jamoon, our resident black cat, simply wandered off the streets to settle into our hearts and home.
More about Holy Cow Vegan
I add new recipes at least twice every week. You can sign up here to get notified about new recipes by email (it's free!). Or you can follow Holy Cow Vegan on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
The blog's name calls out the dichotomy in the Indian diet and religious belief system. Cows are worshipped as holy but hundreds of thousands of cows are also tortured in factory farms to supply Indians' love for milk and milk products. I try to show, through this blog, that Indian food can be just as delicious without the dairy.
Yes! Indian food might appear difficult but there are many recipes that are quite easy and can easily be made by someone new to Indian cooking, like this basic but delicious dal or this easy vegetable curry. You will need a few spices that can easily be found at Indian grocery stores or through online retailers, including Amazon.
You can leave a comment on the recipe (it's the quickest way to get a response and I read and appreciate every comment). Or you can email me at MyVeganWorld@gmail.com. If you'd like to share a photo of the recipe please post it on Instagram and tag me @HolyCowVegan.
Check out some of my top recipes
She passed away in 2012, but lives in my heart forever. Thank you, Lucy. I love you.
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