Vegan First Exclusive: Bodhi Greens now in Dharamshala
It seems like every day a new vegan-only restaurant opens up in India, which is testimony to just how fast veganism is growing within the country. Restaurant pioneers in the community like Varun Sharma see this as a great opportunity to fuse together their lifestyle and their passion for serving great vegan food. We love a good ‘living the dream’ story here at Vegan First and couldn’t be happier to hear about the new launch. We managed to catch Varun before the big opening to ask him a few questions:
Mexican Burger with Onion Rings
VF: From Chandigarh to Dharamshala, it seems an unusual choice -What inspired this decision?
Varun: Bodhi Greens started in October 2015 as a start-up in Chandigarh that offered soy, peanut and coconut milk, yoghurts, cheeses and some smoothies and desserts. We were doing well in Chandigarh and wanted to expand. Dharamshala is a market with great potential for vegan food as it hosts many international travellers who prefer vegan and organic food.
VF: What will you be serving at the new restaurant?
2. The focus of the menu is health foods and beverages, like smoothies and smoothie bowls, juices, salads, healthy burgers and traditional Indian foods. Because of the market needs, we have added some conventional international dishes like pastas, hummus, falafel, and some desserts.
Earth, Hurbal, Nutty and banana smoothies
VF: Tell us a bit about the restaurant, what sets this one apart?
Varun: The restaurant focuses on highlighting sustainable living with the raw bamboo furniture, mud walls and organic produce. We're slowly learning more and inculcating sustainable and healthy cooking techniques.
The core team in action
VF: Who are the people helping you make this vision come true?
Varun: The head chef is Mr Ved Aryan, who has been a vegan himself for over a year now and is working on the starters and main course. Ved is a good friend, who was one of my customers in Chandigarh. He decided to volunteer as a chef and use his expertise in cooking to help establish the restaurant. He's been training the staff for the last 20 days. My Partner Filip is working on the desserts. Filip and I met a few months ago - he had plans to set up a Vegan dessert parlour and I was all prepared to launch a restaurant. We felt this was serendipitous and decided to join hands and have been working together ever since. While everyone is busy with their duties, I handle the juice and smoothie bar!
Left to Right - Partner Filip, Varun and Chef Ved
VF: What can customers expect when they visit Bodhi Greens?
Varun: We have a dedicated section for a store where we're selling Recycled Paper notebooks, Clay Crockery made by local potters (that's lead free and is 'healthy' to eat in), organic Black, red, purple and white rice, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, plus ready to eat savouries.
Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it. Anyone else inspired to take the next train there?! Send us your reviews, pictures and feedback if you’re visiting Bodhi Greens, we love hearing from you.
Address: 1st Floor, Main Square, McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh, India
Restaurant Timings: 6am to 1am
Average Price for two: 300
Guests at Bodhi Greens
Guests at Bodhi Green