October 19, 2021
Finding recipes to please even the most discerning palates, especially picky eaters, can be challenging, especially when it is picky non-vegetarians. But some Indian veg dishes are tasty enough to persuade anybody.
Indian cuisine provides a wide range of delectable vegetarian dishes. From chickpea curry to garlic-tinged lentils to paneer in a creamy sauce, there are many vegetarian Indian dishes that are hard to resist.
The robust tastes, depth of spice and textures show that Indian vegetarian dishes are equally delicious as non-vegetarian counterparts.
To stop the mealtime complaints, we have compiled a list of 20 vegetarian Indian dishes that are truly irresistible.
Chole Bhature, also known as Chana Bhatura, is a famous Punjabi dish enjoyed across India. Chickpeas are cooked in a handmade sauce with classic spices like cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric powder and chilli powder for only 10 minutes. For extra taste, onions, garlic and ginger are used. Smashing some chickpeas results in a lovely, thick consistency that's ideal for scooping up with bhatura (fluffy fried leavened bread). The hot and spicy chole/chickpeas stew pairs well with the crunchy puffed bhatura. Chole Bhature is a popular Indian vegetarian dish that is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is occasionally served with lassi.
Paneer Tikka is a popular and tasty tandoori snack made with paneer cooked in a creamy yoghurt marinade rich in spices and flavours. Then, it is skewered and cooked in the oven (or on the stovetop) to give it that irresistible smoky taste. It is a meatless substitute for chicken tikka and other meat-based meals. Finally, it is seasoned with lemon juice and chaat masala and served hot. Salad or mint chutney is occasionally served alongside it.
Prepared with whole black lentils and kidney beans, Dal Makhani is one of the most famous lentil recipes from North Indian Punjabi cuisine. The lentils are combined with tomato puree, various herbs and spices such as garam masala, sabzi masala, ginger-garlic paste and plenty of butter. To give the dal a unique smokey taste, the mixture is cooked overnight in a tandoor. With a large dollop of fresh butter on top, it is ready to eat. Indian vegetarian food is typically served with naan, boiled rice and other side dishes.
It is a versatile dish enjoyed year-round, but it's especially popular during the cooler months when fresh eggplants are in season. It's a comforting and hearty choice for a meal, often prepared for lunch or dinner.
Baingan Bharta is made by chopping grilled eggplant into tiny pieces and combining it with tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices. Grilling the eggplant over charcoal or direct heat imparts a smokey flavour to the meal.
This Indian vegetarian dish is traditionally served with flatbread (particularly roti or paratha) and rice and raita, a yoghurt salad.
Chilli Paneer, a vegetarian variant of Chilli Chicken, is one of the most popular dishes in Indian Chinese cuisine. Firstly, the paneer cubes are floured or battered before being deep-fried. After that, the fried paneer cubes are mixed in a sweet, tangy, spicy sauce. Chilli paneer in its dry form is given as an appetizer or snack. On the other hand, the gravy version is served with steamed rice or noodles.
Vegetable Pulao, also known as Pilaf or Pulav, is an Indian vegetarian rice meal. It is a spicy rice meal made by combining rice, veggies and spices in a pot. This dish involves sautéing a mix of spices, vegetables, and rice in a blend of oil and ghee. The entire mixture is then cooked in a pressure cooker, much like how regular rice is prepared. The addition of bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves in this simple mixed veggie pulao dish gives it an excellent and nuanced fragrant sensation that just makes juices flow in the mouth.
Samosas are ubiquitous in Indian cuisine, from street sellers to big restaurants. They feature a pastry-like crust made of maida and are pretty flaky and crunchy. It is generally packed with spicy potatoes and peas that have been combined or sautéed with Indian spices that are readily accessible. Serve these crispy snacks hot with any chutney of your choice to make them even more delectable.
Dosa, also known as Dosai in Tamil, is a popular and well-known South Indian breakfast or snack. A dosa is a thin pancake or crepe cooked from a fermented batter using lentils and rice as the main ingredients. Black gram lentils, husked and split, are used to make the dosa batter. Dosas are usually served hot with coconut chutney and sambar. The most common form of dosa is the plain dosa, which is essential and served with chutney and sambar. However, anyone looking for something different may choose from a variety of options, like masala dosa and rava dosa.
Palak Paneer is one of the classic vegetarian Indian dishes from the northern part of the country. It consists of cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked in a vibrant spinach-based gravy. The spinach is blanched and pureed, creating a luscious green sauce that envelops the succulent pieces of paneer. A medley of spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala infuses the dish with rich flavours. Tomatoes, onions, and garlic contribute to the robust taste, while cream or yoghurt adds a touch of creaminess. Palak Paneer is often served with warm roti, naan, or rice, making it a wholesome and nutritious vegetarian delight.
Malai Kofta is sort of the Indian vegetarian version of meatballs. It goes well with naan bread and basmati rice. Usually, Malai Kofta is found on special occasions; however, its rich, creamy tomato-based sauce is cooked by many local Indian restaurants around the world. Potatoes, a mixture of vegetables, paneer cheese, heavy cream, and spices are combined and formed into round balls and then stuffed with chopped nuts and raisins. The koftas are then deep-fried and served in the mouth-watering gravy.
Paneer Makhani, also known as Butter Paneer, is a delectable North Indian vegetarian food celebrated for its rich and creamy tomato-based gravy. Succulent cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) are cooked in a velvety sauce made with pureed tomatoes, cream, and a blend of aromatic spices. The preparation often involves the use of butter, giving it a luxurious texture and enhancing the overall flavour profile. Common spices include garam masala, cumin, and coriander. Paneer Makhani is a popular vegetarian choice, enjoyed with naan, roti, or rice. The dish beautifully balances the sweetness of tomatoes with the indulgent creaminess, creating a delightful culinary experience.
Pav Bhaji is a tasty street food from Maharashtra. It is one of the best Indian dishes veg and non-veg eaters find irresistible.
Pav Bhaji features a spiced vegetable curry, ‘bhaji,’ made by mashing potatoes, peas, and tomatoes. The veggies are cooked with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and pav bhaji masala. The bhaji is served with soft, buttered and lightly toasted buns called pav. Garnish it with chopped onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime for freshness. This popular and satisfying snack or meal is enjoyed in regions across India.
Potato is one of the common vegetables in many Indian veg dishes. But in Dum Aloo, it is the centrepiece. Dum refers to the slow cooking method used, allowing the flavours to meld and intensify.
In this dish, baby potatoes are typically used and are often pricked with a fork before being deep-fried until golden brown. The potatoes are then simmered in a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy infused with a blend of spices, including cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, and garam masala.
Dum Aloo is a flavourful and aromatic Indian dish that hails from the Kashmiri cuisine. Dum Aloo is often garnished with fresh cilantro and served with Indian bread like naan or rice.
Khandvi is a popular and delicately textured snack originating from the state of Gujarat. This Indian vegetarian snack is made from a mixture of gram flour (besan) and yoghurt, seasoned with spices such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and green chillies. The batter is then cooked into a thin, silky layer, which is later rolled into bite-sized cylindrical rolls.
It is often garnished with grated coconut, chopped cilantro, and a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. This savoury and tangy snack is both visually appealing and delicious, making it too hard not to dig into.
Indian veg dishes are not always heavy-flavoured. Even with a few simple ingredients, you can have a tempting dish that people with love. Paneer Bhurji is one of them, made with crumbled paneer (Indian cottage cheese). It's a quick recipe where crumbled paneer is sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and green chillies. This creates a rich and savoury flavour. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve with Indian bread like chapati or paratha, or use it as a sandwich filling. Paneer Bhurji is a versatile and satisfying vegetarian option, loved for its simplicity and delicious taste.
Idli Sambar is one of the best Indian dishes, veg restaurants and stalls, served across the country. It features soft, steamed rice cakes (idlis) paired with a tangy lentil stew (sambar). The idlis, made from fermented rice and urad dal batter, are light and spongy. The sambar, a flavourful soup enriched with toor dal and assorted vegetables, is seasoned with aromatic spices. The combination creates a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Served with coconut chutney, this wholesome and nutritious dish is a breakfast or light meal favourite, cherished for its simplicity, balance of flavours, and cultural significance in South Indian cuisine.
Gujarati dishes are renowned for their vibrant flavours and diverse ingredients, and Undhiyu is a great example of them. It is a mixed vegetable curry, typically prepared during festivals like Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti). The dish features a medley of seasonal vegetables like green beans, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and fenugreek dumplings (muthiya) cooked in a spiced coconut and coriander paste. The use of spices such as mustard, cumin, and sesame seeds, along with a touch of jaggery and tamarind, imparts a unique sweet and tangy taste. Undhiyu is often slow-cooked or steamed to enhance its richness.
Sabudana Vada is a beloved snack for Indian vegetarian food lovers, particularly favoured during fasting periods. Crafted from tapioca pearls, mashed potatoes, crushed peanuts, and aromatic spices, the mixture is shaped into patties and deep-fried to a crispy, golden perfection. Enhanced with cumin, green chillies, and coriander, these vadas offer a delightful harmony of flavours. Typically served with yoghurt or mint/coriander chutney, Sabudana Vada provides a satisfying crunch and a burst of taste making them wholesome snack.
Vada Pav is an iconic street food from Maharashtra renowned for its simplicity and bold flavours. It is one of the Indian veg dishes in the country. The vada is made from a mixture of mashed potatoes, gram flour, and a blend of spices such as turmeric, mustard seeds, and green chillies. The sandwich is often accompanied by chutneys like tamarind and green chutney, as well as fried green chillies for an extra kick. Vada Pav is a beloved snack, cherished for its affordability, portability, and a perfect blend of textures and tastes.
Pani Puri, also known as Golgappa or Puchka in different regions of India, is a popular and beloved Indian vegetarian street food. This delightful snack consists of hollow, crispy puris filled with a mixture of spicy, tangy, and flavoured water (pani), boiled potatoes, chickpeas, tamarind chutney, and a blend of spices. Pani Puri is a delightful snack where the vendor fills crispy puris on request. Each bite bursts with contrasting flavours. Beyond being a culinary delight, it's a social and cultural experience enjoyed at roadside stalls nationwide, bringing people together to savour its unique taste.
Indian vegetarian food has a lot of options and a variety of flavours to entice the fussiest eaters. This list gives you some of the best options to begin exploring.
You can try many of these vegetarian Indian dishes when you are enjoying your premium stay at Club Mahindra Resorts.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.