Enjoy an amazing meal with these vegan Indian recipes! You can cook Indian food at home, choose one or more of these dishes to cook and get started!
Indian food has a great reputation for vegetarian eating, but isn’t as friendly to vegans. With cream, butter, and ghee in just about everything at Indian restaurants, it can be a challenge to figure out just what’s ok on the menu!
Luckily these ingredients are easy to work around when cooking at home thanks to ingredients like cashew cream, coconut milk, vegan butter, coconut oil, and tofu!
Now if you do want to go out for Indian food, you certainly can order vegan food. Just make sure to order dishes without cream and ask for no ghee to be added to your food.
And if you can find a South Indian restaurant, chances are a lot more of the menu is already vegan!
A Proper Sindhi Indian Meal:
I grew up with Sindhi Indian culture, and in Sindhi traditions if you’re serving an Indian dinner it must include:
- A dal, also spelled daal or dhal. This dal can be ‘wet,’ meaning soupy, or ‘dry,’ or thicker–containing little to no liquid at the end of cooking.
- A dry subzi. Subzi means vegetable dish, and dry just means that there is little to no liquid left at the end of cooking!
- A wet subzi. This refers to a vegetable dish that is more of a stew consistency.
- Rice. This is going to be basmati rice, and it can be plain rice, jeera rice (rice made with cumin), saffron rice, or a simple rice pulao with some lentils or vegetable.
- Flatbread. This could be something like chapati, naan, puri, paratha (pronounced parantha in my house), or roti.
- Yogurt, or dahi. You want fresh, thick, tangy yogurt for the most traditional experience. It can be served plain or it can be jazzed up to make raita. This is a cooling counterpart to the spicy dishes.
There are exceptions to these ‘rules’ of course. For example, if I made a biryani, the meal isn’t going to include 5 other dishes! And a dish like kofta might replace one of the subzi dishes.. or all of the dishes but rice or bread.
And when I’m cooking an Indian meal for myself and my husband it doesn’t usually include all of these! We’ll often just make one or two recipes with some rice and enjoy that for dinner (and the leftovers for lunch/future dinners!). But if you ever want to impress, then tick off a recipe from each of these categories. ?
Indian meals are best served family style so are perfect for big family dinners or any dinner party.
Enjoy any of these vegan Indian recipes on their own or alongside any other!
This vegan version of the popular Indian dish, dal makhani is absolutely mouth watering and delicious. It's a creamy butter sauce curry made with urad dal and kidney beans.
Potato and tofu-ricotta dumplings are fried or baked until crispy on the outside and soft inside, then served with a flavorful curried tomato cream sauce. Enjoy with some Indian flatbread or basmati rice.
This Sindhi vegetable biryani is a popular and traditional dish, with layers of spiced vegetables and chickpeas and basmati rice. It's said that biryani is the food of the gods, and it's easy to understand why when you eat this delicious recipe!
This vegan homemade restaurant style naan is incredibly easy to make. The flatbread comes out soft and bubbly and is perfect for scooping up delicious Indian curry!
Baingan bharta is a smoky Indian eggplant dish that is naturally vegan and gluten free. It's easy to make and so delicious! Serve it with basmati rice and/or Indian flatbread. And it's great with a side of raita!
Moilee curry is classic South Indian curry, typically made with fish. This spicy version is filled with cauliflower for a delicious vegan take. Serve it with some basmati rice or enjoy it as a stew!
This is a dry fried Indian okra recipe, called bhindi masala. It's quick to make and delicious!
These finger food sized cocktail chana samosa are the perfect appetizer or snack! You make them using spring roll wrappers and can bake them or fry them to cook.
This delicious Indian dal is so easy to make! It's uses a tadka to infuse the dish with bold flavors and is a perfect part of any Indian meal!
Cheesy tofu is fried until golden and smothered in a creamy spiced spinach gravy in this veganized version of the Indian dish palak paneer.
Masoor dal tadka is a delicious Indian lentil curry made with red lentils. It's easy to make, naturally vegan and gluten free, and full of flavor.
This restaurant style chana masala recipe is incredibly easy to make and so flavorful and delicious. It's a stewed chickpeas in a richly flavored tomato gravy. One of my favorite Indian dishes!
This mouth watering Indian curry is made with potatoes and peas and cooked in a spiced tomato sauce. It's so quick and easy to make! Serve with basmati rice, naan, and if you like alongside other Indian recipes. It serves 4 as a main dish, or 6-8 as a side dish.
These kale pakoras make a great appetizer or snack. Enjoy them with chutney for dipping. They are naturally vegan and gluten free!
Tamarind chutney is a mouth watering sweet and tangy sauce. Serve it with Indian curries, samosas and other Indian snacks, or use in place of tamarind concentrate for extra flavor in any recipe!
This cilantro-mint chutney is easy to make and so delicious! It's best enjoyed in the first week after making, but can be frozen for longer storage.
A refreshingly gingery and curry spiced black lentil (urad) dal. This recipe is easy to make, has a pantry friendly ingredient list, and is super healthy!
A garam masala spiced tomato sauce is made creamy with cauliflower and coconut milk and is simmered with tofu and green peas for a delicious, medium spicy, Indian dish reminiscent of mattar paneer.
Raita is a cooling yogurt-based Indian sauce with cucumber and mint. This vegan version is quick and easy to make and tastes just like the original!
This Indian dish hides an entire bunch of kale in these tantalizing veggie kofta, which are served in a tangy, creamy spiced vegan yogurt sauce (kadhi).
Smooth and creamy, sweet and lightly sour, mango lassi is a delicious and refreshing summertime beverage.
Tandoori cauliflower and seitan is a plant based version of the popular Indian curry. Smothered in an ultra flavorful, mouth-watering spiced-tangy yogurt based sauce, this one pot meal is sure to join your regular dinner rotation.
This recipe for Indian spiced chickpeas and greens is a quick and easy dry curry. It's delicious with kale or whatever greens you have on hand! Pantry- and weeknight-friendly.
For Some Indian-Inspired Recipes
Indian food doesn't have to be traditional! Enjoy the flavors of curry in some of these recipes.
A creamy and tangy tamarind red lentil soup.
This masala curry mac and cheese takes the best of Indian and Western cuisines to make one deliciously epic dish! The cheesy, velvety sauce even has hidden cauliflower for an extra nutritious meal.
Curried chickpeas and curry roasted cauliflower are served over basmati rice in this delicious, healthy Indian-inspired meal.