Indian cuisine is God’s gift to vegetarians. From thick and buttery stews to sweet mango chutney, here are 30 Indian vegetarian recipes just for you.
If you’ve decided to go meatless, Indian cuisine will be your new best friend.
While Indian food typically features lamb and chicken, there is also no shortage of vegetarian dishes this colorful cuisine has to offer.
With its abundance of aromatic spices, Indian recipes create some of, if not the most flavorful vegetarian dishes known to man.
So if your diet consists mainly of boring salads, this collection of recipes is calling your name.
Treat your taste buds to a wonderful culinary journey with these Indian vegetarian recipes!
From curry to lassi, this list has everything you’ll need to create a delicious Indian feast.
1. Palak Paneer
Let’s get the ball rolling with the mouthwatering palak paneer. My love for Indian cuisine all started with this dish.
Cubes of cottage cheese swim in a thick cream made of pureed spinach.
Indian spices such as garam masala, cumin, and cardamom give it a wonderful kick.
Palak paneer is best eaten with naan, a soft and buttery flatbread.
Chana masala is a curry-based soup filled with creamy chickpeas.
Aside from the curry, coconut milk and spices make this dish wonderfully creamy and spicy.
It’s a comforting dish that will warm you right up on a cold evening.
Chickpea curry is also surprisingly easy to make. It’s ready to serve in under an hour.
Get ready – your kitchen is about to smell like heaven!
3. Jeera Rice
Jeera rice is the side dish you need if you’re feeling extra hungry.
This hearty dish is made of fluffy, starchy basmati rice flavored with aromatic spices.
Jeera, which is Indian for cumin, gives the rice a nice earthy taste.
Ghee or butter adds a rich flavor, while cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf give it spice.
The best part? The dish only takes less than 10 minutes to make!
4. Jeera Aloo
Jeera is Indian for cumin, while aloo means potatoes. That alone tells you how awesome this vegetarian dish is.
Creamy and tender potatoes are sauteed in cumin. Other spices are added, too, such as turmeric and chili powder.
A splash of lemon juice contrasts the spiciness, resulting in nice, well-balanced flavors.
The dish is a snap to make – 30 minutes, and it’s done! It’s also gluten-free and vegan.
The word has many different spellings – dahl, daal, dhal – but they all refer to the same amazing dish – spiced lentils.
It sounds simple, but wait until you hear what goes into the dish.
Ghee (a form of clarified butter), cayenne chilies, cloves, ginger, curry, cumin, tomato, the list goes on and on!
Pour dal on a bed of basmati rice for a hearty lunch or dinner.
6. Malai Kofta
Malai kofta, which means “buttery spiced balls,” is a rich curry stew loaded with potato and paneer (cottage cheese) balls.
The balls and curry sauce are both delicious on their own, but together, they create magic.
With this dish, you’re treated to one delicious flavor after another!
Salty, savory, spicy, rich, creamy, crunchy – every bite is truly heavenly.
Jalfrezi is made of 90% vegetables and 10% spice. It’s 100% amazing.
With this dish, you’ll be treated to a medley of bell peppers, corn, carrots, green beans, peas, tomatoes, onions – the works!
Adding to the flavor are turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and ginger, to name a few.
From the vibrant colors to the mouthwatering flavors, jalfrezi gets a 12 out of 10.
Bhindi masala is a dish made of okra, tomatoes, and onions.
Bhindi means “okra,” while “masala” refers to a curry base flavored with onions, tomatoes, spices, and herbs.
Bhindi masala is then basically okra curry.
Because it’s rather spicy, bhindi masala is best enjoyed with rice.
The starchy side dish helps dial down the heat. Roti and naan bread work, too.
9. Aloo Chaat
Aloo chat is a dish of roasted potatoes. The potatoes are cooked in ghee for a buttery flavor, and coated in spices for some heat.
Cumin powder, chaat masala, mango powder, and salt are just some of the flavors you can expect from this addictive treat.
Aloo chaat is best eaten with tamarind chutney, which gives a sweet and syrupy contrast to the dry and spicy snack.
10. Vegetable Pakora
Pakora is another crispy fried potato snack. Warning: this snack is highly addictive!
Potatoes, along with another vegetable, are cut into strips and seasoned with turmeric, chili, and more spices, and deep-fried until crispy.
Think French fries, but so much more flavorful!
Instead of ketchup, though, pakora is dipped in sweet chutney, giving you a wonderful sweet and salty bite.
11. Onion Bhajis
Onion bhajis are crispy fried fritters enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. Think of them like onion rings, only better.
These treats are crispy as can be. Spiralized onions are coated with chickpea flour and seasoned with Indian spices and deep-fried to perfection.
They’re insanely addictive but surprisingly vegan and gluten-free!
12. Matar Paneer
Peas (matar) and cottage cheese (paneer) are cooked in a tomato-based gravy flavored with aromatic spices.
While I can’t get enough of palak paneer, this similar dish is also just as delicious.
The crunchy and chewy peas plus the soft and creamy cheese create such a fun texture contrast. The flavorful gravy is simply delicious, as well.
Gobi 65 is an Indian appetizer featuring cauliflower.
Gobi means cauliflower, so that part of the name is pretty straightforward.
What remains unclear, though, is the “65.” Some believe the dish was invented in 1965, while others say it refers to the number of chilies added to the dish.
Whatever you choose to believe, we can all agree that this dish is superb.
Cauliflower florets are battered and deep-fried and flavored with herbs and spices.
Samosa is the Indian version of the Mexican empanada.
While it typically has a savory meat filling, vegetarian fillings, such as in this recipe, also exist.
For this recipe, the filling is made of potatoes and peas flavored with garlic, ginger, and Indian spices.
You can form the crust into different shapes – triangles, half-moons, cones – but it’ll all taste the same: delicious.
These vegetable kebabs are vegan, gluten-free, and insanely delicious.
Finely chopped potatoes, cauliflower, mushroom, green peas, and carrots are seasoned with spices and shaped into balls.
They can then be either baked or fried, it doesn’t matter, they’re delicious either way.
Sweet and refreshing tomatoes are infused with cream and seasoned with cayenne, ginger, garam masala, and turmeric.
It’s just like your regular tomato soup, but on steroids.
The sweetness of the tomatoes plus the richness of butter and cream and the warmth of the spices make this soup extra-special.
Ready in under an hour, this Indian tomato soup is a breeze to make!
17. Papdi Chaat
Papdi chaat is a popular Indian street food. I like to think of it as the Indian version of Mexican tacos.
Crispy papdi or flour crackers are topped with potatoes, onions, chickpeas, chutney, and yogurt.
It’s a true medley of colors, textures, and flavors! It’s sweet, savory, spicy, tangy, and lip-smacking in every bite.
18. Mango Chutney
Chutney is a sweet, spicy, and tangy condiment made from fruits or vegetables.
It can be used as a spread, dip, or a sauce to add flavor to a variety of dishes.
This chutney recipe combines ripe mangos, ginger, garlic, and onion to create a wonderful combination of flavors.
I love how it changes from sweet to spicy to tangy as you eat it!
19. Naan Bread
Who doesn’t love naan bread? The popular Indian flatbread is as soft and buttery as can be.
It’s great with curries and stews, but it’s also terrific on its own.
While naan is a lot similar to chapati and roti (which are the same thing), it’s a bit fluffier and more pillowy because it’s made from yeast.
20. Aloo Paratha
Paratha is the Indian word for flatbread. Just like naan, it’s an Indian staple that’s usually eaten for breakfast.
Classic parathas are great, but potatoes make everything better. Aloo paratha refers to flatbread stuffed with potatoes.
The spuds are seasoned with coriander, ginger, and spices to add flavor.
If you need to load on carbs, this is the recipe for you!
21. Aloo Puri
Aloo puri is a breakfast dish of boiled potatoes and tomato puree seasoned with spices.
This rich potato gravy is served with deep-fried bread called puri.
The tandem of hearty soup and crispy puffed bread will blow your taste buds away! The texture contrast is purely amazing.
No wonder it’s a popular combination in India.
22. Rava Pongal
Pongal refers to rice, which is a staple in Indian cooking. Rava Pongal is a rice alternative made of dal (lentils) and sooji (semolina).
The great thing about this dish is that it does a fine job of mimicking the texture of rice!
Because its ingredients are healthier, you’ll get a more wholesome dish.
Serve rava Pongal with coconut chutney and ginger tea for a hearty and refreshing meal.
23. Oats Uttapam
Oats uttapam is a unique dish made of ground oats, yogurt, and semolina.
The batter is pan-fried to create crispy and fluffy pancakes. Served with coconut chutney, it makes for a hearty breakfast.
You can add more color, flavor, and texture to your uttapam by loading it with vegetables.
24. Aloo Gobi
Aloo means potatoes, while gobi means cauliflower. Aloo gobi is a scrumptious dinner of steamed cauliflower and potatoes.
Potatoes and cauliflower aren’t exactly bursting with flavor, but don’t worry, that’s what Indian spices are for!
Sauteed with seven different spices – ginger, turmeric, and cumin, to name a few, aloo gobi is anything but bland.
25. Paneer Soup
Paneer soup is rich, creamy, and wonderfully spicy.
Paneer, as you may now know, is Indian cottage cheese. It’s achieved by combining milk with a vegetable or fruit-based acid.
The result is a rich cheese with a nice curdled consistency.
While the paneer is definitely the star, the broth is also pretty amazing.
A blend of coconut milk, curry, ginger, and garlic, it’s definitely lip-smacking.
This cauliflower soup is not only vegetarian, but vegan as well, so plant-based dieters, rejoice!
This vibrant and creamy soup has curry and coconut milk for its base. It also features cauliflower, as you may have guessed.
Aside from cauliflower, though, the soup is also flavored with sweet apples. It seems like an odd combination, but it absolutely works.
27. Palak Soup
Pureed spinach makes this palak soup green and great!
Spinach alone is flavorless, but this soup is nothing but.
Flavored with heavy cream and spices, don’t be surprised if you find yourself licking the bowl. It’s Indian comfort food at its best.
There’s always room for dessert! This rice Indian pudding isn’t only sweet, though.
Cardamom gives it a touch of warmth and spice.
The pudding is smooth and creamy, while crushed walnuts give it an awesome crunch.
A splash of optional rose water also gives it a mild floral flavor.
29. Mango Lassi
Mango lassi is similar to a mango shake, but it’s a thousand times better.
I can’t get enough at how thick this beverage is!
It uses not only milk but also yogurt, so the result is a much thicker and creamier drink.
Best of all, this recipe couldn’t be easier to make.
Just throw in mangoes, milk, yogurt, sugar, and cinnamon into a blender and puree away.
Phirini or firni is an Indian pudding typically served on holidays. That alone tells you how special this dessert is.
Phirini is primarily made from basmati rice. Aromatic spices such as saffron, cardamom, and rose water lend it flavor.
The secret to achieving smooth and creamy phirini is to slow-cook rice in milk. Patience is key, and the result is rewarding.
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