Mother India

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This is an old page, so some of the details here may be out of date. Check out Vegan Edinburgh’s city guides for the latest and most accurate information.


Mother India
3-5 Infirmary Street

+44(0)131 524 9801

Overall score: ★★★★☆

Mother India is a bit of a cult favourite in Edinburgh. Tucked off the main thoroughfare in Newington by Blackwell’s books, it’s one of those places that you wouldn’t really spot unless you were looking for it.

However, that doesn’t stop the hundreds of locals pouring in every week to fill up on Mother India’s sublime Indian tapas-style menu. If you want a good feed, then this is certainly the place to go.

I popped along recently before a show with my friend Edinburgh Feasts and couldn’t resist eating through most of their vegan offering!

Vegan food at Mother India

There are no dietaries or allergens marked on the standard menu at Mother India, but the waiting staff are well briefed on requirements. If you’re not sure, ask for their allergen menu which goes into reassuring detail about which dishes contain dairy, eggs, gluten and so on. Most dishes are made with butter ghee, but if you tell them you are vegan, they simply swap this out for vegetable oil instead.

At the time of writing, the following dishes can be made vegan-friendly:

  • Chana daal Fresh lentils
  • Chana aloo Potato and chickpeas
  • Baby aubergine and potatoes Aubergines cooked with spiced potatoes
  • Okra and potato bhaji Fresh ladyfingers with potato
  • Mushroom bhaji A mixture of mushrooms and vegetables
  • Fried dry okra and tomatoes Fresh ladyfingers cooked with tomatoes
  • Aloo gobi with green beans Potato and cauliflower with green beans
  • Vegetable pakora Vegetables deep fried with gram flour
  • Vegetable samosa Vegetables deep fried in pastry
  • Basmati rice
  • Pitta bread
  • Garlic pitta
  • Paratha
  • Mango chutney
  • Coriander chutney
  • Mixed pickle
  • Spiced onions 
  • Popadom
  • Chapati
Vegan aloo gobi at Mother India, Edinburgh
Aloo gobi


Mother India badge


Vegan food at Mother India, Edinburgh
Indian food – tapas style!


Vegan pakora at Mother India, Edinburgh
Vegetable pakora


Vegan mushroom bhaji at Mother India, Edinburgh
Mushroom bhaji


Vegan chana aloo at Mother India, Edinburgh
Chana aloo


Vegan bread at Mother India, Edinburgh

Mother India serves Indian food tapas-style, so the menu suggests to order 3-4 dishes between two and then “see how you go”… I over-ordered as per usual, because all the dishes looked so tempting!

My favourite was chana aloo (chickpeas and potatoes) because the flavours were authentic enough to get me all gooey-eyed about my own travels in India over a decade ago. I also enjoyed the bowl of vegetable pakoras, and the huge chapati was the perfect vessel to shovel it all down with.

Mother India is a great place to have dinner, but be sure to book ahead as it always gets busy (especially on theatre nights). With food this good, it’s easy to see why.

Choice: ★★★★☆
Menu info: ★★☆☆☆
Deliciousness: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★☆

One reply on “Mother India”

Unfortunately when I visited our waiter was definitely not well briefed – he insisted all the vegetarian items were vegan apart from the paneer dish, but then offered the allergen menu which showed everything apart from pakora and samosas had milk – there was definitely no offer of using oil instead of their normal ghee, so I won’t go again.

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