Over the last year, we’ve noticed Newcastle’s meat-free offering has grown at an exponential rate, which is great for us as we have transitioned from meat-eaters to vegans over the course of 12 months. Karma Kitchen is one of the jewels in the North East’s plant-based crown. The mother-daughter-run business operates from an Indian restaurant in the unlikely location of Newcastle’s famous Bigg Market and offers a menu of entirely vegan curries and side dishes delivered across the North East.
We’ve ordered from Karma Kitchen a couple of times, and I’d like to start off by saying this is not your typical Indian takeaway. As its such a small operation, delivery times can be very long (once we waited over an hour and a half, and we only live in Gosforth!), but if you’re willing to pick up from their city centre location, you’re in for a quick turnaround.
Price-wise, we’re talking about the higher end for a takeaway, with curries coming in at £8 and side dishes around £3, but this is well worth it for an entirely plant-based, healthy and authentic curry experience! My top pick is the South Indian Kattal Curry, which is made with jackfruit – a meat-like fruit – and fresh peppers. While Craig has replaced his favourite Saag Paneer with KK’s Saag Tofu. KK’s portion sizes are huge, it’s rare for us to find a take away that we don’t manage to finish between us! I expect since there is no meat in these dishes, they are able to invest heavily in high quality plant ingredients and, as a result, you certainly won’t go hungry when ordering KK!
The curries themselves are packed full of flavour. My Kattal Curry has a slightly spicy coconut based sauce, while Craig’s Tofu Saag is thick, blended spinach perfectly seasoned with fresh spices. I’d challenge any meat eater to turn their noses up at KK – you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy KK’s delicious offering.
As for side dishes, we order our usual Spicy Chips and Mushroom Pilau Rice. KK’s mushroom rice is by far the best I’ve ever had. Not only is the portion absolutely massive (same container size as the curry!!) but it’s also chock-full of delicious fresh mushrooms, none of this sparse, chopped nonsense you get in a typical Indians. Chips are fab too – coated in a tasty spice combo.
On their website, KK say that they can adapt any curry to include more or less of anything – and, unlike most Indians I’ve been to, they know exactly what’s in their food, which is great news for those of us with allergies or intolerances.
All in all, there’s little to say about KK other than praise. Being vegan in the North East has never been so easy and I am incredibly thankful for the new businesses popping up all over the region offering up plant-based cuisine from all over the world! What’s your favourite vegan place in the North East? Let us know in the comments.