Vellai Pookal and Indus Creations Seattle Premiere Event

20% Discount on our Dinner Menu

In support of our tech colleagues and patrons of Vellai Pookal and Indus Creations Seattle Premiere event this weekend, MokSHA and Spice Route are offering a 20% discount on Friday and Saturday (April 12th and 13th, 2019) on our Dinner menu.

More Info:

Note: Dinner menu only, Dine in only, cannot be combined with any other offers. One check. Proof of premier movie ticket necessary for discount. Restrictions apply.

Vegan Indian Cooking Class

Upcoming date: March 23rd, 2019 at 3:30pm (Class usually lasts for 2 hours.)

Join our Vegan Indian Cooking Classes in Bellevue hosted by Spice Route!

“Have you always wanted to make delicious Vegan Indian food at home just like you order at the restaurants? Now you can!

Attend Vegan Indian Cooking Classes in Bellevue, WA hosted by Miss Bellevue Vegan and Spice Route & MokSHA.

Spice Route specializes in cuisine that is primarily from the Southern states of India, which include Tamil Nadu (where most of our chefs are from), Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.

You will learn dishes that are rooted in India’s age-old culinary traditions yet adapted to today’s kitchen and lifestyle. Entrees are wholesome, healthy and fresh.”

The Details

Spice Route will be hosting Vegan Cooking Classes again in 2019! You will be observing and learning from the chefs about Indian culture, food, nutrition, and health benefits. You will be preparing a full course meal which will be enjoyed at the end!

Who Should Attend?

  • New and experienced cooks who want to learn how to make delicious Vegan Indian meals at home
  • Health-oriented people who want to learn about the many health benefits from Indian Spices
  • Vegans (and those interested in Vegan) who want to cook healthier meals
  • Those who want to incorporate more plant-based meals or cook for a vegan spouse, friend or loved one

The Classes

Cooking Classes – $30/person
Learning about, preparing and enjoying your delicious creation.

The Most Popular Indian Vegan Foods

Looking for Vegan Indian Food

What is a vegan diet? A vegan diet is a strict diet in which you don’t eat any type of animal product, which includes meat, fish, poultry, dairy, honey, or any other items that has an animal source. This diet can limit you in certain cuisine types where there is a lot of meat and dairy. However, Indian cuisine tends to be vegetable and grain based, flavored with the aroma of spices.

Indian vegan food generally removes ghee, a traditional ingredient in which butter is melted and the foamy part is separated and discarded. It may use tofu, a product made from soybeans, as a substitute for the traditional dairy and meat products.

Popular Vegan Dishes

Curry is a common type of Indian vegan food. It is a mixture of vegetables, grains, or other ingredients. Curry’s ingredients can be easily customized without negatively affecting its taste or texture, so vegan versions of curry can be incorporated into a vegan diet with little effort. Vegan curries may include mixtures of chopped potatoes, chickpeas, eggplant, or cauliflower, simmered in liquid and flavored with turmeric, curry powder, cumin, or other spices.

Paneer is a non-vegan ingredient that many traditional Indian recipes use. It’s a type of cheese made by heating milk until it curdles. As a dairy-free replacement for paneer, some types of Indian vegan food make paneer-based dishes using tofu. When tofu is cooked, it softens into a soft texture that is similar to paneer. Tofu is not strong in taste and tends to absorb the flavors of other foods. Replacing tofu for the paneer may ensure the dish is vegan without providing a distracting taste.

Dal is another type of Indian vegan food. It’s a dish made primarily from lentils that are simmered in liquid until softened and seasoned with turmeric, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, or other spices. Even if dal is prepared in its traditional manner, it is vegan and usually does not require any substitutions in order to fit into a vegan diet. This dish can be served with rice or other cooked grains for a complete vegan meal.

South Indian cuisine consists mainly of vegan food. In Kerala, fish is very popular, many vegetarian dishes are cooked or fried in fish oil. In Chennai, there’s dosas and idlis. Both are served with a variety of spicy chutneys and sambhar, a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind.

Finding Vegan in Bellevue

End you vegan food search in Bellevue and find them here at Spice Route. We are one of Bellevue’s most popular Indian restaurant serving the best and most vegan of South Indian cuisine.


Idiyappam: The Noodles and Spice for Breakfast

What is idiayappam?

You’d recognize them as thin noodles squeezed out of a presser, steamed and arranged on your platter as swirls or balls. They come alongside spiced lentils, curried meats, or some other spicy side dish. The dish is also called string hoppers.

Idiyappam is a traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian specialty. The name derives from the Tamil words idi, meaning “broken down”, and appam, meaning “pancake”. It is said that the dish is already known in ancient Tamil country around 1st century AD. However, the origin may stem from Sri Lanka, northern and eastern Sri Lanka, where a similar rice flour noodle is served with sugar and coconut, and sometimes banana too, and is known as idiyappam. In India, it is a common breakfast dish served both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and southern areas of Karnataka.

Idiyappam is made of rice flour or wheat flour, salt and water. The process consists of mixing rice flour or idiyappam flour with water and/or coconut milk, and pressing the dough through a sieve or presser to make vermicelli-like noodles. The noodles are steamed over boiling water for 5 minutes, and till a steady, strong flow of steam is seen escaping. Remove the idiyappam to a casserole dish and continue to press out and steam the remaining dough. After steaming, the addition of juice from the aromatic pandan leaf is used as flavouring.

Since idiyappam is prepared without much spice, if any, the dish has a fairly neutral flavor, making it a good match for many Indian side dishes. That is why it is often used as a base to serve other flavorful side dishes, much in the way that rice might be eaten with spicy side dishes. It is also eaten plain or with a pinch of finely grated coconut.

Idiyappam recipe is a healthy and a rich cuisine, which consists of nutritional values such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Also, idiyappam is only healthy if it is steamed.

Healthy, Spicy Noodles in Bellevue

Over in Bellevue, when craving for South Indian food, sample something healthy yet with a bit of spice. Try our idiyappam, our gluten-free rice noodles with sambar or kuma, as you like it.


North India and South India

Understanding Indian Diversity

India’s large land mass makes for some cultural differences. Yet they are so markedly dissimilar you’d think they are two continents instead of one. Looking into their cultural differences, we take a short peek into their traditions, music, dance, and cuisine, and a little into their racial origins, language and dressing style.

The Language

For language, the Dravidian language of 5000 years is still spoken by more than 200 million people today, unrelated to those of Indo-European descent. The North Indian people belong to the Indo-Aryan family, akin to modern European languages.

Attire & Traditional Styles

They also both dress differently. North Indian women widely wear kamiz, calf-length shirt and baggy silk or cotton trousers tied at the ankles. South Indian women prefer saris, cloth as long as 8 meters wrapped around the waist with one end draped over the shoulder, exposing the midriff. Men from the north wear salwar, baggy trousers, typical of Muslim countries; the south have their dhotis, 5 meters material knotted around the waist and extending to cover most of the legs.


South Indian cuisine is spicier, hotter than the other, using more tamarind and coconut in their dishes. They also consume more rice; lentils and stews are prominent. Fish is widely consumed. Predominant dishes are dosa, idli, rasam and sambar. In the north, wheat is a staple diet. They prepare paratas, chapatti, puri and rotis from wheat flour. North Indians use more milk products. However, the delicacies of both North and South India are delicious and famous worldwide.

Appreciating South Indian Culture in Bellevue

Your Indian restaurant in Bellevue gives you just a bird’s eye-view of the multilingual, multi-ethnic and pluralistic society that is India. Know more when you dine with us at Spice Route.

Tamarind: Tropical Fruit with Advantages

The Tale of the Tamarind

Tamarind is a tropical fruit, native to Africa but also grows in India, Pakistan and many other tropical regions. It grows from a hardwood tree with bean-like pods, inside is a fibrous pulp with seeds. The pulp is green and sour which later ripens into a juicy, sweet-sour paste. Somewhat like Arabian dates, sometimes it’s called the ‘date of India’.

The tamarind is a versatile fruit – it is used for cooking, as snacks, also for medicinal purposes. South and Southeast Asia, Mexico, the Middle East and the Caribbean use tamarind in many of their dishes, including their edible seeds and leaves. It is used in sauces, marinades, chutneys, drinks and desserts.

As far as traditional medicine goes, the tamarind was commonly used to treat diarrhea, constipation, fever and peptic ulcers. The fruit’s bark and leaves were said to promote wound healing. Modern research is trying to find out if it also has medicinal value.

Tamarind contains polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The extract from its seeds also help lower blood sugar, while the pulp extract may help in body weight reduction and reverse fatty liver disease.

Every 120 gm (or 1 cup) of tamarind pulp provides the following Recommended Daily Intake of nutrients, thus: 34% of vitamin B1, 28% of magnesium, 22% of potassium, and 19% of iron. There’s also considerable amounts of phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, and calcium. There are also trace amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B5, copper and selenium. However, the fruit may be considered high in calories, with the same one cup containing 287 calories, almost all of which are from sugar. Hence, it may not be the fruit for those who want to lose weight. Nonetheless, tamarind pulp is a fruit, and not to be considered as added sugar.

Tamarind is also a cooking companion. It can be used to make condiments like chutney, or mixed with sugar to make candy, or instead of lemon, use this fruit to add a sour note to savory dishes. Additionally, frozen, unsweetened pulp or sweetened tamarind syrup is always handy in the kitchen.

Taste of Tamarind in Bellevue

Dine healthy at Spice Route in Bellevue and enjoy some of our classics laced with tamarind. Love our kolumbu and karakolumbu vegetarian mains, healthy options with that sweet-sour flavor.

The Revenge of the Vindaloo

An Amazing Journey: Then and Now

Vindaloo is that fiery, hot curry dish out of the southern region of India – Goa. It’s a standard of Goan cuisine that has the Portuguese to thank for; it is not Indian in origin, hence. Vindaloo came from the Portuguese term carne de vinha d’alhos, or ‘meat in garlic wine marinade’. It incorporates meat that is usually pork, marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic.

When explorers from Portugal arrived in India in the 15th century, they brought along the recipe. However, wine-vinegar did not exist in India at the time, so Franciscan priests fermented their own from palm wine. For spice, local ingredients were used – tamarind, black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. And of course, chili peppers, imported from the Americas.

When the British came to Indian soil in the latter 18th century, they saw vindaloo already a part of Goan cuisine. They were happy that the Christian Goans, free of religious restrictions, were making the beef and pork dishes that they love. The original Goan vindaloo wasn’t really that spicy, but as it is with other Indian recipes, when the British went back to their country, the dishes had an excess of chiles. However, today in Goa, the old versions of vindaloo can still be found – earthy elegance with just enough spice-sweetness.

Vindaloo one of the few Indian curries that’s traditionally made with pork, Usually, it’s pork belly and shoulder, and also pork leg. Pork leg is traditional, juicy without the belly’s large chunks of fat. Chicken thighs are also popular, as well as lamb shoulders. The British prefer lamb. Marinating the meat in a few hours should do it; more might overcook the proteins. For the curry, starting with the masala mix, chilli is not the principal ingredient. Sweet spices are used – cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, plus black pepper, and the nutty flavours of cumin, coriander and turmeric. Chili is added for color.

The vinegar used is originally wine-vinegar by the Portuguese; then palm vinegar was adapted. Outside of Goa, finding these can be difficult. So sometimes, coconut vinegar will do, or white and malt vinegar, white-wine vinegar, or cider vinegar. Liquid tamarind as another substitute. For vegetables, Indian pink onion, otherwise, yellow. garlic and ginger add to the chutney-like effect. Also, tomatoes, green chillies, or curry leaves. Soft brown sugar to taste.

Tasting the Portuguese Influence in Bellevue

Enjoy an iconic Goan specialty. Our vindaloo variants are some of our popular selections at Spice Route. Have lamb vindaloo or have our take on seafood vindaloo – fish or shrimp. Pair with our other classics.