Creative dishes to try this Veganuary, from elephant foot yam to walnut 'meat'

Chefs in Dubai are flexing their culinary muscles this month

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Restaurants across the UAE have unveiled limited-time plant-based menus in keeping with Veganuary.

Some follow the movement, which encourages people to stick to a vegan lifestyle for January, to improve their well-being. The Vegan Society reports benefits associated with veganism include lower blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Others opt in for environmental reasons. The production of beef has the most damaging carbon footprint among all meats, according to scientific online publication Our World in Data.

Still, others simply can't stomach the thought of slaughtering animals for human consumption.

For those joining Veganuary, here are some creative dishes to sample at six restaurants in Dubai.

Jimikand ka seekh by Punjab Grill

The vegan seekh kebab is made of elephant foot yam, a tropical plant native to South-East Asia. In Ayurvedic medicine, the tuber is known to treat inflammation, fatigue and dysmenorrhoea, among other ailments. The kebab is served on fluffy phulka tacos and dressed with green chilli and peanut chutney.

Open daily, 11.30am-11.30pm at Anantara Downtown Dubai; noon-midnight at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal;

Plant-based tacos by Bounty Beets

A courgette taco shell is filled with vegan meat derived from lentils and walnuts. The filling also includes lettuce, avocado, chipotle aioli and jalapeno.

Daily, 8am-7pm; Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina; 04 511 7373

Vegan pad Thai by Cafe Isan

The popular Thai dish by the JLT restaurant is made of rice noodles and mixed vegetables, while tofu is the protein of choice. It is tossed in a homemade sweet and sour tamarind sauce.

Sunday to Wednesday, noon-midnight; Thursday to Saturday, noon-2am; Armada Avenue Hotel, Cluster P, JLT; 058 529 1003

Impossible meatloaf by The Strand

The Impossible meatloaf is served with charred sweet potatoes and green beans, accompanied by an onion gravy. The vegan meat is courtesy of Impossible Foods, which sells plant-based burger patties, sausages and other meat alternatives.

Daily, 8am-11pm; Palm Views West, Palm Jumeirah; 04 430 2221

Vegan burger by Drip Burgers

The patty is homemade, comprising sweet potato mash and chickpeas. The burger also has lettuce and tomatoes, as well as tahini sauce and Drip Burgers sauce, served on a vegan bun.

Daily, noon-3am; Miracle Residence, Arjan; 056 544 2144

Vegan pumpkin and mango cheesecake by Angel Cakes

The sugar-free and gluten-free dessert is made of tofu cheesecake with pumpkin puree and fruit sauce. Angel Cakes is also offering a pistachio and raspberry cream tart; and a vegan doughnut with peanut praline.

Daily, 8am-midnight; Bluewaters Island; 058 583 6523

Updated: January 17, 2024, 10:59 AM