Indian Vegetarian Recipes


These Indian vegetarian recipes may not all be strictly vegetables… Some recipes have eggs, milk and cheese products included.

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Eggs in Spicy Almond Sauce


  • 1 oz blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 tsps whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsps white poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 whole dried hot red pepper
  • 5 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 3 whole cardamon pods
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾” fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 fl oz yoghurt
  • 2 fl oz spicy tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 fl oz single cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 4 hard- boiled eggs cut in half


  • Put the almonds in a small heavy frying pan and stir over a medium to low heat until lightly browned. Pulverize in a grinder and remove.
  • Put 1 tsp cumin seeds, poppy seeds, coriander seeds and the red pepper into the frying pan. Dry roast over a medium low heat until the poppy seeds darken, then grind the spices.
  • Heat the oil in a 7-8″ frying pan over a medium flame. When hot put in the remaining cumin seeds and the whole cardamon pods. Stir and fry for a few seconds then add the onion garlic and ginger. Stir and fry for about five minutes until lightly browned.
  • Put in 1 tbsp of yoghurt and stir and cook for about 30 seconds until the yoghurt is gradually incorporated into the onion mixture.Add the remaining yoghurt 1 tbsp at a time in the same way. Then add the tomato sauce in the same way.
  • Put in the ground spices and stir for 10 seconds. Put in the ground almonds and stir for 10 seconds more. Add 8 fl oz water and the salt. Simmer , cover and reduce heat.Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream, lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix. Simmer on a low heat for 4-5 minutes. Put the eggs into the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over them and simmer gently for 7-8 mins, spooning the sauce over the eggs often.
  • Seve with rice or bread and a green salad.

Chick Pea Pancakes

by Mimi Rippee


  • 1 1/4 c. chick pea flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 small red onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 -inch piece of ginger, very finely chopped
  • 4 jalapenos, very finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • 3 T oil


Place chick pea flour in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup water and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the salt, cayenne, onion, ginger, chiles, garlic, and cilantro. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes.

Place 1/2 t of oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium heat. Stir once and place about 1/3 cup batter into center of skillet. Tilt pan to spread (as if making a crepe). Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook, uncovered, for one more minute; should be golden. Repeat with remaining batter, stirring before using.

Dal Kofta Curry
(Steamed Toor Balls in Buttermilk)

Recipe by Jonathan Kandell


    For kofka balls:

  • 1 cup Toor dal* *toor dal is also known as toovar dal
  • 1/2″ piece ginger
  • 4 green chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 handful cillantro leaves (optional) For Curry:
  • 4 cup buttermilk or yoghurt
  • 4 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 ” piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 teasp. each ground coriander, cumin, channa dal [roasted if desired]
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup, approx.desiccated unsweetened coconut, ground if desired For flavored oil:
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • a few curry leaves


1. Wash and soak toor dal for a few hours. Drain and grind to a course paste along with onion, ginger, garlic, and chilies. (I do this by chopping the large ingredients and blending with the dal in batches. Add enough water so the blender pastes, but not so much that it turns to watery mush.) Mix in salt and (optionally) cillantro leaves. Form into balls and steam 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool balls. They will obtain a somewhat rubbery texture as they cool.

2. Gently heat buttermilk/yogurt in a pan. Add spices (ground coriander, cumin, channa dal, fenugreek, turmeric) and enough dried coconut to give a nice flavor and slightly thicken the sauce. (I add all these ingredients to a coffee grinder and grind to a powder.) Add ginger and chilies. Add salt to taste. Adjust spices. It will taste like it’s missing something until you add the flavored oil.

3. Carefully place kofta balls into sauce.

4. Heat a little oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds stop bursting, add oil into the curry. You may want to partially cover pan to prevent seeds from popping grease all over your kitchen.

If you use non-fat yogurt, there is only 2 T oil in the whole dish!


Bengali Eggplant
with Mustard Seeds


  • 1 large eggplant–1 to 1 1/2 pounds, tip cut off and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 T black mustard seeds, powdered in a coffee grinder
  • 1 C+ water
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 T mustard oil
  • 1 T panch pharon mix (equal parts of whole cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, kalunji seeds)
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • sprinkle black pepper, cardamon powder (optional)


Soak ground mustard seed and cayenne in one cup of water. Cut up eggplant into cubes. Heat mustard oil, put in panch pharon mix and after a few seconds add the black mustard/cayenne water. This will splatter so have a cover ready. Add eggplant and cook. You will probably need to add additional water as the eggplant cooks to keep its level about the same, perhaps another cup. Cover it for the last ten minutes.

When the eggplant is cooked add a cup of yogurt and the salt, mix and heat up yogurt, but do not boil.

Sprinkle a tiny bit of black pepper and cardamon over the top if you want.

This dish also tastes good cold the next day.

Variation: Anasua Munshi tells me that in his grandmother’s village they make this without the yogurt, substituting green chillis for cayenne and using only fennel for the panch pharon mixture.

Indian Chickpeas

Here is one of our favorite “vegetarian dish”. We always include it to our menu for an indian dinner.


  • 250 gr of chickpeas (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 oinon chopped
  • 2 cm cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, squashed
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes (from a can)
  • 1 tsp garam massala
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped


Soak chickpeas overnight, rince, cook in water until tender. Drain, KEEP THE COOKING LIQUID!

In a frying pan, heat the oil, fry oinon until golden. Add cinnamon and cloves, cook a few seconds. Add garlic, ginger, chili pepper, ground coriander and cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, with the juice and cook until all liquid has evaporated.

Add the chickpeas to the pan, mixe well, cook 5 minutes. Pour the cooking liquid of the chickpeas and simmer for 25 minutes, until all the liquid is gone.

Sprinkle with the garam massala and cilantro.

Can be served hot of cold.

h1>Gobi Aloo
(Cauliflower And Potatoes)

This recipe livens up ordinary cauliflower and potatoes into something quite different.


  • 1 Large cauliflower
  • 3 Medium sized potatoes
  • 1/2 large Onion sliced thinly in long slices
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 or 3 pods Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 tblsp Vegetable Oil


Start boiling the potatoes in a saucepan. Let them boil for at least 15 minutes. After they are done, turn off the heat and let them stand in the water.

Cut the cauliflower into small bite sized pieces (roughly 1″ cubes), throwing away most of the stem pieces. Wash and drain in a collander.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a wide skillet until it is very hot. Add the mustard seeds and wait until they start popping. Add bay leaves, cardamom and cloves.

Mix around for a while and then add onions. Wait until the onion starts to turn before adding the rest of the spices (except for turmeric).

Put the cauliflower in the skillet and fry in the oil and spices for 2 minutes. While the cauliflower is frying, cut up the potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to the skillet. Add turmeric and stir.

Continue stirring the vegetables under medium heat for another couple of minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water and reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and let cook for 5 minutes.

Check tenderness of vegetables. If they are still too hard, add another 1/4 cup of water and cover again for 5 minutes.

Salt to taste and serve.

Masaledar Sem
(Spicy Green Beans)

(Serves 6)
This recipe is guaranteed to spice up an ordinary meal. It also goes well with plain rice and meat or chicken that has been prepared simply.


  • 1 1/2 lb. Green beans (Trim the ends and then cut the beans in half crosswise.)
  • 1 1/2″ long and Fresh ginger (Peel and chop coarsely.) 1″ thick piece
  • 10 cloves Garlic peeled
  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 tblsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp Whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp Ground coriander seeds
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, peeled (put tomatoes in very hot water for a few seconds, peel off the skin and finely chop.)
  • to taste Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tblsp Lemon juice (or to taste)


Put ginger and garlic into a food processor and add 1/2 cup water. Blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy saucepan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Stir for half a minute. Pour in the ginger-garlic paste. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Put in the coriander and stir a few times.

Put in the chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes while mashing the tomato pieces with the back of a slotted spoon. Put in the beans and salt and one cup of water and simmer them. Cover, turn heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Remove the cover. Add the lemon juice and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.

Turn up the heat and boil away the remaining liquid, stirring the beans gently as you do so.

Vegetable Kurma

Recipe from Sriram


  • 2 cups Vegetables
  • 2 Onions cut length-wise
  • 2 Green chilies cut length-wise
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt
  • one pinch Turmeric powder
  • 1/2″ Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 2 tblsp Coconut powder
  • 1 tsp Khus-Khus (poppy seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp (3 cloves) Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp powder (or 1/2″ fresh) Ginger


Put a reasonable sized vessel on the range and heat oil. Add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add onions and green chilies and fry till onions turn brown. Add garlic + ginger paste and fry for a minute or so. Add vegetables and fry for about 3 minutes. Add Water (about a cup or two). Let the vegetables + turmeric powder cook.

If you are using canned or frozen vegetables skip the above step.

Add coconut paste, khus-khus, salt and wait until cooked.

(Note: Cook on low heat.)

Vegetable Curry

Recipe from Sriram, 1985


  • 1 cup Vegetables
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Tomatoes-crushed


Mix the garlic, coriander and the chili powder along with salt and place it aside.

Pour about 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and heat. Add mustard seeds and urad dal. The mustard seeds will split and the oil may spill. Be careful when you are doing this. Wait until the mustard seeds stop making any noise. Add onions and fry until the onions turn brown. Add the vegetables, the mixture of step 1 and the crushed tomatoes.

Fry for about 5 minutes, if you are using canned vegetables. Otherwise cover the pan and let the vegetables cook. (This might take about 10-15 min.)

Green Pepper Curry

Recipe from Sriram


  • 2 large ones Green Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dhania powder
  • 1 tblsp Coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp Khus Khus (poppy seeds)
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Coriander leaves
  • 2 small Tomatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 tblsp Oil
  • 1 small piece Vadium (Vadium is a combination of various spices)
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt


Cut the green peppers, onion and tomatoes lengthwise. Grind chili-powder, turmeric, dhania powder, coconut and poppy seeds.

Heat oil and add vadium. When vadium turns brown, add onions and fry for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Add green pepper and Masala. Add coriander leaves.

Cook on low heat (should take around 15 minutes).

Dry Potatoes
(Sookha Aloo)

(4-6 Servings)


  • 4 medium size Potatoes
  • 2 t Cumin seeds
  • 1 t Salt
  • 2 t Mango powder
  • 1/4 t Hot pepper
  • 2 t garam masala
  • Oil (to fill pan to 2″)


Boil potatoes until cooked but not overdone. Peel and cut into 1/2″ cubes.

Heat oil very hot, add and brown cumin seeds. Add potatoes and fry until they are golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients, and fry for 2-3 minutes or more. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon.

Serve hot.

Tips: Use enough oil so that the potatoes will not need to be stirred often. This avoids breaking them up.

Nedar and Haaq in Yakni
(Lotus Root and Greens In Curds)


  • 2 5″ long lotus roots
  • 1 bunch spinach or kohl greens
  • 4 kashmiri red chillies
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. grated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 cups plain curds
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. mustard (or other ) oil


  • Clean and chop roots into 1″ chunks.
  • Boil till tender. (Pressure cook or in plenty of water).
  • Wash, drain and keep aside.
  • Clean and chop spinach into 1″ pieces.
  • If using kohl greens, boil till half-tender.
  • Wash, drain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil, add ginger, garlic and stir for a minute.
  • Add chillies, stir. Add turmeric and salt.
  • Add curds and stir continuously till whitness is gone completely.
  • Add spinach roots and cook till gravy is almost semisolid.
  • Sprinkle garam masala, stir and remove from fire.
  • Serve hot with bread, kulcha or rice.

Alur Khosha Bhaja

Yield: 2 Servings


  • 1 tb Besan
  • 1 c Potato peels, firmly packed
  • 1 tb Vegetable oil
  • 1 tb White poppyseeds
  • 1/8 ts Salt
  • 1 dash Cayenne


Put besan in a paper bag & add potato peels. Close the bag tightly & shake until the peels are evenly coated.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add poppyseeds & saute gently until lightly browned. Add salt & cayenne. Add the peels & fry until they are a medium-brown & crisp. Stir constantly: this will take anywhere up to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat & serve hot or at room temperature.

Bharti Kirchner, “The Healthy Cuisine of India: Recipes from the Bengal Region”

Aloo-Pyaz Ka Parantha


  • 1 Lb. Large russet potatoes boiled (that is 2 big potatoes or 4 medium sized)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. ground pomegranate seeds
  • Salt, chili powder – to taste
  • Ghee, or margarine to cook


As a rule, 1 medium potato will make 1 Parantha.

To make filling, put peeled potatoes, onion, ginger, salt, chili powder, ground pomegranate seeds and garam masala in a bowl. Press potatoes with your hands and mix well with all other ingredients. Make 5-6 equal portions of the filling. The taste of Parantha depends on the amount of filling.

When ready to eat, Heat Tava and make a ball from dough. Roll out thickly, just a little larger than puri. Place filling in the center and close up carefully by bringing all edges together and making a ball again. Now roll into the ball and roll out as thin as possible without letting the stuffing break through.

Toss Parantha on Tava and cook. Change side. When cooked, flip over again. Now tap ghee lightly and flip one more time.. Press Parantha gently with your kitchen towel. This will make Parantha crisp and brown. Remove from Tava and put ¼ tsp. ghee on Parantha and serve hot. Repeat procedure until finished.

Ma-Chole Ki Dal Ka Parantha


  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup leftover Ma-Chole ki Dal
  • ½ tsp. salt


Mix all ingredients and knead for 2 minutes. Make a big roll, cover, and let it stand for 15 minutes. Tapping a little water, knead dough again for 3 minutes. Make a big roll again.

Make a ball and roll into the size of a puri. Spread little ghee all over and bring all edges together. Press to flatten. With the help of a little dry flour roll into thin round pancake. On a hot Tava, cook like a Parantha, that is browning with ghee on one side. Repeat procedure until finished.

Makes 8

Chane Ki Dal


  • 1 cup Chana Dal
  • 6 Varia, broken
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • salt & chili powder – to taste


Clean and wash Dal. In a pressure cooker fry varia with one tablespoon ghee for 2 minutes. Add Dal, water, turmeric, salt and chili powder. Close cooker and cook on high. When pressure builds up reduce heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes.

In a small pan, fry cumin with ghee. Mix garam masala and pour it on Dal. Serve hot.

Serves 6

Makhni Maa

The recipe below serves 12 people. Many of us are living in U.S. away from our families and we don’t need to cook such large quantity everyday. I have used larger portions for this Dal on purpose. I always freeze half the quantity when I cook this Dal. It takes so much time to prepare and in our hectic lives when we are always juggling and running between things, it makes a lot of sense to cook twice as much as you need (not everything!) and freeze it immediately for use at a later time. It tastes just as good.


  • 1 ½ cup Sabut Maa (urad) (whole black gram)
  • ½ cup Rajma (kidney beans)
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 Tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp. Tomato paste
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ¼ tsp. Hing (asafetida) -optional
  • 3 tbs. Sour Cream – optional
  • 1-inch piece ginger chopped or 1 tsp. Ginger paste
  • 6-cloves garlic or 1 tsp. Garlic paste
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ tsp. Garam masala
  • Salt and Red chili powder – to taste


Clean and wash Sabut Maa and Rajma. Put Dal and beans in a pressure cooker and add water, ginger, tomato, garlic, salt and red chili powder. Place cooker on maximum heat and bring it to full cooking pressure. Now reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an hour. Do not take the steam out and leave the pressure cooker to cool gradually.

In a pan fry onions with ¾ butter till golden. Add tomato paste and sour cream. Cook for three minutes or till butter separates. Now put Hing and garam masala. Fry for another minute and pour the mixture into Dal.

Just before serving add the remaining ¼ stick of butter to the Dal. Serve hot with chapati or naan.

Slow Cooker Procedure

Another method to prepare Dals is to put them in slow cooker and forget about them. When I was working, I used slow cooker at least three times a week but now that I am at home, I don’t use it as often. Using slow cooker is a habit and some people swear that Dals taste much better. I leave it to you to judge that for yourself but I do recommend that you cook beans in slow cooker when you are entertaining. Consider it a tip for saving time and focusing on other dishes when you have too much on your hands.

Clean and wash sabat maa and rajma. Put Dal and beans in slow cooker and add water, ginger, tomato, garlic, salt and red chili powder. Place cooker on high and cook overnight (about 8 hours).

In a pan fry onions with 1 stick of butter till golden. Add tomato paste and sour cream. Cook for two minutes or till butter separates. Now put hing and garam masala. Fry for another minute and pour the mixture into Dal.