Embarking on a culinary adventure in India means delving into a world of spices ,flavors ,vibrant colors ,enticing aromas ,and delightful tastes. Before you set off on your journey ,it’s essential to create a list of some must-try dishes. Although we won’t be able to cover all the incredible vegetarian options available in India ,this guide will highlight the best Indian vegetarian dishes suitable for both newcomers to the cuisine and seasoned veterans. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and savor the essence of Indian gastronomy!

Vegetarian Foods You Should Definitely Try

Chana Masala

One of the most beloved Indian vegetarian dishes ,also known as chole bhature ,is a popular street food as well as a comforting home-cooked meal

Vegetable Biriyani

Vegetable Biryani stands out as one of the finest Indian vegetarian dishes, offering a remarkable variety with over a hundred different delightful versions

Chana Masala

One of the most beloved Indian vegetarian dishes ,also known as chole bhature ,is a popular street food as well as a comforting home-cooked meal. It hails from North India ,particularly Delhi ,and can be enjoyed at any time of the day – be it breakfast ,lunch ,dinner ,or a delightful evening snack. Chana masala is frequently served with bread at street food stands, but it is also offered in restaurants all around the nation. Rich in vitamins and protein, chana masala is not only flavorful but also a filling and nutritious option to relish

How to make Sukha Chana Masala

  • Cumin seeds are added to a pan of heated ghee or oil.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle Oadd finely chopped ginger and green chilies.
  • Cook for a minute until the ginger and Chilies release their aroma.
  • Toss in dried mango powder ,Dried pomegranate seeds powder ,roasted cumin powder, and red chili powder.
  • Mix the spices well and let them cook for a moment to Enhance their Flavors.
  • Add Boiled Chickpeas (Chana) to the Pan and Stir to coat them with the spices.
  • Cook for a few minutes to allow the Chickpeas to absorb the Flavors.
  • Garnish with fresh Coriander leaves and Serve hot with rice or bread
Chana masala

Vegetable Biriyani

Vegetable Biryani stands out as one of the finest Indian vegetarian dishes, offering a remarkable variety with over a hundred different delightful versions. This delectable dish incorporates fragrant rice ,an array of aromatic spices, assorted vegetables, and a choice of nuts, dried fruits, or paneer. To enhance its flavors ,the rice is skillfully infused with garlic ,turmeric ,chilies ,cardamom ,coriander, and a blend of other spices. With such a diverse range of ingredients and flavors, Vegetable Biryani remains an absolute culinary delight for vegetarians and food enthusiasts alike.

How to Make Veg Biryani Recipe

  • Rinse and Soak Basmati Rice in water for 30 minutes.
  • In a pot ,Heat Ghee or oil ,and add whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
  • Sauté finely chopped onions until golden brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears.
  • Toss in mixed vegetables like carrots ,beans ,peas ,and potatoes. Sauté for a few minutes.
  • Mix in yogurt ,biryani masala ,turmeric ,red chili powder ,and salt to taste. Cook the veggies until they are almost done.
  • In a separate pan ,oil water and cook the soaked rice until it’s 70% cooked. Drain the excess Water.
  • Over the vegetable mixture in the saucepan, spread the half cooked rice.
  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves ,cilantro ,fried onions ,and saffron milk for color and aroma.
  • Cover the Pot with a Tight-Fitting lid and Cook on low Heat for about 20-25 minutes or until the Rice is fully cooked and fluffy.
Veg Biryani
In a heavy-bottomed pan or a biryani pot, layer half of the chicken at the bottom. Layer it with half cooked rice. Sprinkle fried onions, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves on the top.Add the remaining chicken on top, and rest of the rice. Drizzle saffron milk over the top for an aromatic touch.Cover the pot with a tight lid and Cook on a low medium heat for about 30 to 40 minutes allowing the flavor to meld together. This is known as the ‘dum’ cooking process.Just before serving, garnish with fried onions, chopped coriander leaves, and mint leaves.

Masala Dosa

A dosa is a delectable thin bread, resembling a crepe, and cooked in a similar manner. What sets it apart is the use of fermented rice and black lentils as the key ingredients instead of regular flour. Traditionally, dosas are served with a filling of spiced potatoes, enhancing their taste and texture. Alongside, they are accompanied by sambar, a flavorful vegetable stew, and coconut chutney, a creamy sauce made with coconut.

Originating from South India, dosas have garnered popularity across the nation and are now savored in various regions. While they are commonly enjoyed as a breakfast dish, dosas have also earned a place among the best Indian vegetarian dishes, appealing to taste buds at any time of the day.

How to Make Masala Dosa

Prepare the Dosa Batter: Soak rice and urad dal separately for a few hours. Grind them to a smooth batter, then mix and ferment overnight.

Make Potato Masala: Boil and mash potatoes. In a pan ,heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, chopped onions, green chilies, and sauté. Add turmeric ,salt ,and the mashed potatoes. Mix well and cook until flavors meld.

Cook the Dosa: Heat a non-stick pan, pour a ladle of dosa batter, spread it in a circular motion. Drizzle oil, cook until golden, and crisp. Place a portion of the potato masala in the center, fold the dosa, and serve hot with chutney and sambar. Enjoy!

Masala Dosa

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer, a beloved North Indian dish, has won the hearts of both locals and travelers alike. The key highlight of this dish lies in its luscious green gravy, made by cooking down a blend of spinach, onions, and tomatoes into a delectable sauce. Complementing the vibrant gravy is paneer, a mild Indian cheese known for its firm texture. For those who appreciate the flavors of Indian cuisine without the intense spiciness, Palak Paneer is a perfect choice. Its mild yet wholesome taste makes it immensely popular across India. Typically served with naan, roti, or paratha, it also pairs well with rice for a satisfying meal.

How to Make Palak Paneer

  • Blanch spinach leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes ,then transfer them to an ice-Cold Water bath to retain their vibrant green color.
  • Drain the Spinach and blend it into a smooth puree.
  • In a separate pan ,Heat Oil or Ghee and Sauté chopped onions until they turn translucent.
  • Add Ginger-Garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add Spices like Cumin Powder ,Coriander Powder ,Garam Masala ,and a Pinch of Turmeric ,Adjusting to your taste preferences.
  • Pour in the Spinach puree and let it Simmer for a few minutes.
  • Gently add paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese) into the spinach mixture.
  • Season with salt and let it cook for a few more minutes until the paneer absorbs the flavors.
  • Optionally, add a dollop of cream or cashew paste for a richer texture.
  • Serve hot with naan, roti, or rice. Enjoy your delicious Palak Paneer!
Palak Paneer

Dal Tadka

Dal tadka, also known as tadkewali dal ,originates from northern India and is a traditional lentil-based dish. The main ingredients include toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas) ,garlic ,ginger ,onions ,tomatoes, garam masala, chili peppers, ghee, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, and fenugreek leaves. While this is the typical preparation, there may be some variations to suit individual preferences and regional tastes.

To prepare Dal Tadka, the lentils and other essential ingredients mentioned earlier are cooked together and then combined with a flavorful tempering called tadka. The tadka is created by cooking spices like asafoetida, chili peppers, and garlic in ghee. This enhances the dish with additional layers of taste and aroma.Dal tadka is commonly garnished with fresh coriander leaves before being served hot. It pairs wonderfully with jeera rice and roti, making for a satisfying and delicious meal

How to Make Dal Tadka

  • Boil lentils: Cook yellow or Red lentils (masoor dal) until they are soft and mushy. You can do this on the stovetop or using a pressure Cooker for Quicker results.
  • Prepare tempering: In a separate pan ,Heat Ghee or oil. After adding the cumin seeds, toast them.
  • Add spices: Toss in chopped onions ,garlic ,and ginger. Sauté the onions until they are golden brown.
  • Spice it up: Stir in turmeric powder ,red chili powder ,and a pinch of asafoetida (hing) for extra flavor.
  • Tomato goodness: Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and blend into the mixture.
  • Combine with lentils: Pour the cooked lentils into the pan with the tempering and mix everything together.
  • Add water: Adjust the consistency by adding water, depending on how thick or thin you prefer the dal.
  • Simmer: Give the dal a few minutes to simmer so that the flavours may converge.
  • Garnish: Before serving, garnish with fresh coriander leaves for a burst of freshness.
Dal Tadka

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is a classic Indian dish cherished in numerous North Indian households. Unlike dishes with gravy, this one is entirely dry, but that doesn’t compromise its flavor. Even without the heat of red chilies, the combination of potatoes and cauliflower is infused with a variety of spices, making it incredibly delicious. Typically, Aloo Gobi is served alongside Indian bread like parathas, which are perfect for scooping up the flavorful potato and cauliflower pieces, ensuring you savor every bit of the delightful spices. When exploring diverse cuisines, Aloo Gobi is undoubtedly one of the best Indian vegetarian dishes you must try!

How to Make Aloo Gobi

  • Cumin seeds are added to heated oil in a pan.
  • Once the seeds sizzle ,add Chopped Onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Toss in Diced Potatoes and Cauliflower Florets. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder ,cumin powder ,coriander powder ,and salt. Stir to coat the vegetables.
  • Cover the pan and let the Aloo Gobi cook on medium heat until tender ,stirring occasionally.
  • Sprinkle some water if necessary to avoid sticking.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot.
Aloo Gobi
Add the ground spice mix and toast for about a minute. Add the toasted Kashmiri chilies for a light toasting.Pour in the coconut milk and tomatoes, bringing the mixture to a gentle stew. Add the chicken and let it boil until it reaches an inner temperature of 160- 170 °F( about 20- 25 minutes). Adjust salt to taste and

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a well-liked dish known for its mild and creamy flavor. It features vegetarian meatballs, known as kofta, made from potatoes, mashed vegetables, or paneer. The delightful sauce accompanying the kofta is prepared using tomatoes and onions, offering a rich and flavorful taste without being overly spicy. Often, the dish is garnished with cream, adding a luxurious touch. Malai Kofta is a delightful combination of textures and flavors, making it a favorite choice for many.

How to Make Malai Kofta

Prepare the koftas: Mix mashed paneer (Indian cottage cheese) with boiled and mashed potatoes. Add some Finely chopped nuts ,raisins ,and spices like Garam Masala ,salt ,and red Chili Powder. Form the mixture into little balls, then deep-fry them until they are golden brown.

Make the creamy gravy: In a pan ,sauté finely Chopped onions ,ginger ,and garlic until they turn golden. Cook the tomato puree with the oil until it separates. Then ,add cashew paste or cream ,along with spices like turmeric ,garam masala ,coriander powder ,and salt. Stir and simmer until the gravy thickens.

Blend and serve: Once the gravy is ready, blend it until smooth. Place the fried koftas in the serving dish and pour the creamy gravy over them. Garnish with fresh cream and chopped cilantro

Malai Kofta

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji, originally a Mumbai street food, has gained immense popularity and can now be found not only in Indian restaurants but also cooked and enjoyed at home by numerous families. It is a delectable mashed vegetable dish seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices commonly found in street foods, including red chili powder, cumin, chaat masala, and turmeric. The flavorful vegetable mixture is generously topped with a dollop of butter and served on buttered and toasted buns, making it an utterly irresistible treat. Though not the healthiest option, the mouthwatering taste of pav bhaji makes it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

How to Make Pav Bhaji

Boil and mash vegetables like potatoes ,peas ,carrots ,and cauliflower.

In a pan ,heat oil or butter and add chopped onions. Sauté until translucent.

Add finely Chopped bell peppers and cook until they soften.

After adding the ginger-garlic paste, sauté for a minute.

Cook the chopped tomatoes in the mixture until they are mushy.

Add Pav Bhaji masala ,red chili powder ,and salt. Mix well.

Add the mashed Vegetables and mix thoroughly with the masala.

Add water and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until the flavors blend

Meanwhile ,slit Pav buns and cook them on a hot griddle with butter.

Serve the hot and spicy Pav Bhaji with buttery Pav buns, chopped onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Pao Bhaji

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer is a delightful Indian dish where “matar” refers to peas and “paneer” is a type of cheese curd. In this recipe ,these two ingredients come together in a luscious tomato-based gravy enhanced with a hint of cream. The dish is skillfully seasoned with traditional Indian spices like coriander ,cumin ,turmeric ,and garam masala, complemented by the flavors of garlic and ginger pastes along with green chilies. The result is a flavorful and satisfying combination. Matar Paneer pairs exceptionally well with parathas, naans, or even jeera rice, making it a mouthwatering choice for your meal.

How to Make Matar Paneer

  • Cumin seeds are added to a pan of hot oil or ghee.
  • Once the Cumin seeds splutter ,add finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Cook the ginger-garlic paste for a minute to get rid of the raw scent after adding it.
  • Cook the mixture after adding the pureed tomatoes until the oil separates.
  • Stir in Turmeric ,Cumin Powder ,Coriander Powder ,Garam Masala ,and Red Chili Powder. Cook the Spices for a couple of minutes.
  • Add green peas (matar) and paneer cubes to the mixture.
  • Pour in some water ,season with salt ,and let it simmer until the peas are tender and the paneer is cooked.
  • Garnish with Chopped Cilantro (coriander leaves) and serve hot with naan, roti, or rice. Enjoy your delicious Matar Paneer!
Matar Paneer

Hyderabadi Baingan

This delectable dish ranks among the finest Indian vegetarian delicacies, originating from the esteemed kitchens of Hyderabad. It features small whole brinjals coated in a luscious gravy made with peanuts, tamarind, and sesame seeds, providing a delightful nutty flavor. Whether served for lunch or dinner ,the rich masala of this curry adds a burst of flavors that complements various accompaniments ,from rice to roti. Its royal heritage and mouth-watering taste make it a cherished choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

How to Make Hyderabadi Baingan

  • Wash and dry the eggplants ,then make deep slits in them.
  • Heat Oil in a Pan and add Mustard Seeds ,Cumin seeds ,and a Pinch of Asafoetida.
  • Once the seeds start to crackle ,add finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for a Minute or until the raw smell disappears.
  • Mix in chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder ,red chili powder ,and salt. Cook until the tomatoes soften.
  • Add the Eggplants to the Mixture and Coat them with the Spices.
  • Cover the Pan and let it Cook on Low Heat until the Eggplants become Tender.
  • Finally ,garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve the delicious Hyderabadi Baingan with rice or Indian bread of your choice. Enjoy!
Hydrabadi Baigan