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: 4.75 stars
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: 3.92 stars
This is a hearty Indian-style stew without meat but chock full of protein.

Shrimp Tikka Masala

Rating: 2.91 stars
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.

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).

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.

Curry-Yogurt Dressing

Rating: 2.5 stars
Yogurt thickens this vibrant dressing and tempers its spices. Making your own spice blend yields the best flavor. But in a pinch, substitute 2 teaspoons store-bought curry powder.

Quick Chickpea Curry

Rating: 3.89 stars
This fiber-rich, meatless, and low-sodium meal is delicious with rice or warm whole-wheat pitas.

Quick Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce

Rating: 4 stars
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.

Inspiration and Ideas

Indian Eggplant (Bharta)

Serve with cooked rice or even better, warmed naan or other flatbread for scooping. This Indian vegetarian eggplant recipe doubles easily if you're serving a crowd or just love leftovers.

Tandoori Fried Chicken

Instead of cooking the chicken in a traditional tandoor oven, we pan-fried ours in a cast-iron skillet. Cool off with a side of cucumber spears and a salad of red onion, mint, and cilantro for a flavorful dinner.  

Stir-Fried Carrots with Coconut

This simple dish, also known as carrot poriyal, complements most Indian meals. Leftovers can be added to salads. Urad dal are small lentils that have been skinned and split; they can be found at Indian markets or This recipe is courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey.