Vegetarian Indian-Inspired Recipes

Whether you are looking for healthy lunch options, or an easy vegetarian dinner, check out these delicious vegetarian dishes with Indian flavors.

Most Popular

Plain Basmati Rice

Madhur Jaffrey shares the easiest way to cook basmati rice, also known as saaday basmati chawal. Salt is generally not added, as it is meant to be eaten with well-seasoned food, such as Jaffrey's Chicken with Roasted Coriander in Coconut-Curry Sauce.

Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint

The recipe for this cooling yogurt dish, also known as kheere ka raita, is courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey and can be served with all Indian meals, including Jaffrey's Chicken with Roasted Coriander in Coconut-Curry Sauce. It also makes an excellent snack.

Toovar Dal

Also known as dali saar, this recipe originally hails from the Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins of Coastal Kannada and comes to us via Madhur Jaffrey. Saar means "juice" or "juice-like," so this dal tends to be very thin, and is meant to be eaten with rice. The cooking talents of brides used to be judged by their ability to make a simple dali saar.


The main ingredient in this good-for-you savory porridge is yellow mung dal, split mung beans that break down and thicken as they cook.

Indian-Spiced Tofu with Wilted Spinach and Yogurt

Rating: 5 stars 4
Golden cubes of tofu, sauteed with mustard and coriander seed, replace paneer cheese in this nod to the classic Indian dish.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Rating: 4 stars 89
This is a hearty Indian-style stew without meat but chock full of protein.

Broccoli-and-Potato "Samosa" Pie

Inspired by Indian samosas, here’s an appetizer to feed a crowd and—most importantly—avoid a vat of oil. Store-bought puff pastry crisps up beautifully in the oven, and a mixture of cumin, mustard seeds, and coriander spices up a basic potato and broccoli filling. The pastry is formed into a long rectangular package so there is plenty of surface area for maximum crunch.

Quick Chickpea Curry

Rating: 4 stars 142
This fiber-rich, meatless, and low-sodium meal is delicious with rice or warm whole-wheat pitas.

Shrimp Tikka Masala

Rating: 3 stars 35
One pot, family-friendly, and under one hour? Sign us up for this flavorful recipe inspired by the Indian-American classic. This recipe can also be made with one pound of sliced skinless chicken breasts. Both variations pair well with a bright and juicy mango chutney.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Dried Cherries and Cilantro

One of the world's oldest health foods, lentils are nutritional powerhouses. Their high protein and fiber content steadies blood sugar, staving off hunger. Create this Curried Red Lentil Soup with Dried Cherries and Cilantro for a tasty and nutritious meal. 

Slow-Cooker Indian-Style Fish Curry

The best part about making curry in a slow cooker? No stirring! Give it a couple of hours to thicken and to let the flavors meld, then add your favorite white fish 20 minutes before serving. This recipe appears in our cookbook "Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker" (Clarkson Potter).

Indian-Spiced String Beans

Rating: 3 stars 41
Serve these spicy string beans with our Shrimp in Coconut Curry.

Inspiration and Ideas

Quick Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce
Rating: Unrated 1
In this Indian-inspired vegetarian main, top-notch jarred tomato sauce and canned lentils save hours of work. When chosen well, jarred tomato sauce can rival your own. The best ones include tomatoes and seasonings but are free of preservatives, sugar, and corn syrup.
Golden Dal with Gingered Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes mingle with ginger, shallots, and cumin atop this Indian-inspired red-lentil stew spiced with sunny turmeric.
Samosas with Potatoes and Peas

Our homage to the savory Indian pastries calls for a cumin-studded dough and a hearty potato-and-pea filling. Serve fresh out of the fryer with a duo of homemade chutneys.