Just because you're following a vegetarian diet doesn't mean you can't enjoy delicious Indian food recipes. Choose from a variety of recipes that taste great, so you won't miss eating meat for a minute.
Mixed Vegetable Aviyal
This Indian veggie side dish goes great with any meal and is the perfect blend of vegetables, flavorful coconut oil, creamy yogurt and sour cream, and fragrant spices. You can also use this recipe as a main dish served over a bed of rice.
- 3 cups of vegetables of your choice cut into long thin strips (carrots, yellow cucumber/dosakai, potato, green beans, snake gourd, onions, eggplant, etc.)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 green chilies
- 2 to 3 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Cook the vegetables in a large pot over low to medium heat with 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil and the water.
- Stir in the turmeric, salt, chilies, and curry leaves.
- Cover the vegetables and stir occasionally; cook for about 10 minutes.
- Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the coconut, cumin, onions, yogurt, and sour cream together to make a paste.
- Add the coconut mixture to the vegetables and stir.
- Cook in a pot over low to medium heat until the mixture is heated throughout.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add the remaining 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
- Stir well.
- Serve aviyal hot over a bed of cooked rice, or by itself used as a side dish.
Servings: Six 1-cup portions
2. Indian Veggie Burgers
Change things up a bit with this Indian veggie burger recipe. Its mouth-watering curry flavor will leave you coming back for seconds every time.
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/3 cup diced green onions
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cook the potatoes about 15 minutes (or until soft) in boiling water; drain and cool.
- Cook the cauliflower for about 5 minutes (or until soft) in boiling water; drain and cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Grind the cashews in a food processor or blender.
- In a large bowl, combine the cashews with the potatoes, cauliflower, peas, onions, curry powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mash the ingredients lightly as you stir so they will stick together.
- Using wet hands, form the mixture into patties about 4 inches in diameter.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the patties are golden on top, about 15 minutes.
- Flip the burgers and bake another 15 minutes, or until slightly brown.
- Serve the burgers inside hamburger buns, or on a bed of lettuce with avocado.
Servings: 4 patties
3. Rava Laddu
When you're in the mood for something sweet, try vegetarian rava laddu as your next after-dinner Indian treat. It has a delicious coconut and nut flavor with chewy, sweet raisins.
- 3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons cashews (crushed)
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- 1 cup rava
- 1/4 cup coconut powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup milk, hot
- In a dry saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Toast the cashews in 1 tablespoon of the butter until they light golden brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the raisins and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Add remaining two tablespoons of butter and the rava to the pan.
- Cook the rava over low to medium heat, stirring continuously, until it turns light gold in color, about seven minutes.
- Add the coconut powder and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about two minutes.
- Add the nut and raisin mixture, cardamom, and sugar; mix well.
- Slowly add the hot milk to the mixture; mix well and turn off the heat.
- Transfer the mixture to a plate to cool slightly so you can handle it, about 5 minutes.
- Using 1 ½ tablespoon portions, form the moist mixture into bite-sized balls.
- Serve the balls on a decorative plate as a sweet post-meal treat.
Servings: 14 balls (6 servings)
Delicious Indian Recipes
The benefits of vegetarian eating are numerous -- including reduced heart disease risks, lower blood pressure, and lower rates or obesity, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, following a vegetarian diet doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste when you have the right Indian recipes in hand.