The Ultimate Guide To Indian Vegetarian Food

The Ultimate Guide To Indian Vegetarian Food

With an explosion of textures and tastes, Indian vegetarian foods capture your palate like no other. It is truly a celebration of vegetables and spices.

Indian cuisine has a continent’s worth of culinary surprises for you to try. Begin with a scrumptious Paneer Tikka and have a sweet ending with a rich nutty Kulfi, experiencing countless tantalising flavours in between.

Now that your stomach is rumbling with anticipation, let us introduce to you the world of Indian vegetarian delights.

The Great Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

Indian vegetarian cuisine is a taste of paradise on earth. It shows you that vegetarian dishes can be absolutely delicious, comforting and nourishing, all at the same time.

The sheer variety of regional cuisines within Indian foods will blow your mind. From the rich curries of the North to the heartwarming Dosas of the South, every corner of the country has something new and special to offer.

The reverence and love Indians have for their food is evident in the artful creations and its enticing complexity of flavours. The tempting aroma and the incredible depth of flavours and textures are a feast for your senses.

The spices and the fresh produce come together to bring six different dimensions of taste. Boasting flavours of sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent, Indian food places itself as one of the most exciting cuisines for vegetarians.


Indian veg cuisine brings a huge variety of starters to tickle your taste buds. Most of them are often served with chutneys. The best part of the Indian veg starters is that they are happy being the delectable pre-meal bites or lip-smacking snacks, shining on their own.

● Paneer Tikka

Juicy cubes of marinated paneer (cottage cheese) meet the sizzling tandoor heat to become this colourful scrumptious appetiser.

The spicy kick from the seasonings and the smoky char from the grills make the soft and fluffy paneer the best flavour bombs you ever taste.

It is skewered up with onions and bell peppers to add layers of flavours and textures, making each mouthful a revelation.

● Samosa

Samosas, the iconic triangles of taste, need no introduction. When you see a samosa, you know you are in for a treat. These golden pockets are filled with a mix of potatoes, peas and onions, all seasoned to perfection.

And no, you cannot stop eating with a single Samosa. One leads to two, two leads to… well, you get the idea.

● Onion Pakoda

A steaming cup of chai and a plate of crispy onion pakoda on a rainy day. That is it, that is the moment! Words fall short of capturing this pure elation.

With a satisfying crackle, the golden shell gives way to reveal the soft onion within. They are like tiny fireworks for your mouth. One pop and there you go, the incredible bursts of flavours. Trust us, it is highly addictive.


Indian curries have a knack for warming your soul from the inside out. They simmer with the essence of the nation and its tradition. The stews transform any meal with their versatility, pairing perfectly with rice, flatbreads and more.

● Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is a hearty dish that will leave everyone wanting more. The tender cauliflower florets and potato cubes are cooked into a curry with a spice mix.

The gravy allows the bright flavours of the vegetables and spices to stand out. This classic dish proves that delicious food can be achieved with simple ingredients.

● Sambar

If one could portray warmth and comfort in a dish, it would turn out to be Sambar. It is truly the heart of South India in a bowl. This tasty staple beautifully complements fluffy rice, soft idlis or crispy dosas.

The subtle heat of spices and a hint of tang in this vegetable and lentil stew awakes your taste buds. Each spoonful evokes a sense of home, regardless of where you are.

● Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is fried balls made with a blend of soft potatoes and paneer, nestled in a pool of the most luscious, spiced gravy. Well, get ready to drool.

Every mouthful is a textural adventure you wouldn’t want to miss. Bathed in creamy curry, the golden dumplings give you the perfect crunch followed by a pillowy melt-in-your-mouth sensation.


Tiffin are the traditionally prepared light meals in South India, packed with love and flavour. They are a popular pick for tuck boxes. Tiffin is all about convenience, variety and the pleasure of home-cooked goodness.

● Idly

Idly is an Indian superfood. Made with fermented rice and lentils, these fluffy steamed cakes are enriched with protein.

The fermentation process is great for your gut health as it increases the good bacteria that keep your digestive system happy. Oh, they are absolutely delicious too. Dunk a piece of Idly in Sambar, coconut or tomato chutney and savour the pure bliss.

● Dosa

This thin, crispy crepê is a South Indian must-try dish. We could sing praises about Dosa for hours on end. Beyond the plain dosa lies a universe of variations.

The beloved Masala Dosa features a flavoursome spiced potato filling. Rava dosa gets a textural twist from the inclusion of semolina.

Its irresistible taste will win you over again and again and make you understand why it holds a special place on the family breakfast tables.

● Idiyappam

Soft, delicate and utterly delicious – this is how you can describe Idiyappam. The little rice noodle roundels will have you asking yourself, “Where have these been all my life?”

Savour idiyappam with a fiery Vegetable Kurma or Kadala Curry for a spicy kick or relish the joyous melody with some sweet coconut milk. Who knows, Idiyappam might just become your new favourite breakfast.


Indian breads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with some being soft and others featuring a good crunch. The breads are your appetising spoons for scooping, dipping and savouring every bite of your Indian feast.

● Malabar Parotta

When it comes to Indian flatbreads, Kerala’s Malabar Parotta sets the bar high. Layers upon flaky layers of the pillowy dough cascade down on a gentle touch.

Malabar parotta is the perfect partner for any fiery, saucy gravy you can imagine. Fresh off the tawa, take the flaky folds of the Parotta to savour the spicy Vegetable Curry or Salna. It sends your taste buds straight to cloud nine.

● Naan

People all over the world recognise Naan, the puffy and fluffy beauty for the taste sensation it is. Whether you crave a touch of butter, garlic or cheese, naan can be customised to your heart’s content.

Naan shows you textural contrast, with a slight smokiness on the outside and super soft on the inside. It complements the complex flavours of the rich curries really well.

Vegetable Thali

A Thali is a complete meal that gives you a fulfilling experience from the start to the finish. With rice, Sambar, Poriyal (side dish), Kozhambu (gravy) and curd, this balanced spread is a visually stunning and mouth-watering display.

Fresh ingredients and bold spices are cooked with the warmth of tradition to create this masterpiece.

Vegetable Biryani

The country holds Biryani in high regard, a cherished part of the food culture. It is a dish that can be devoured with equal gusto at breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time of the day.

The combination of fluffy rice and vibrant vegetables declares this as one of the best veg dishes. The richness of Biryani finds its perfect balance in the refreshing contrast provided by Raita.


Indian cuisine goes way beyond just savoury tastes. Indian desserts are living proof that happy endings are real. The mithai takes your palate on a journey with its distinct flavours, unlike anything found in the West.

● Gulab Jamun

Deep-fried and glistening, the delectable Gulab Jamun balls soak up the fragrant, flavoured syrup. Gulab Jamun is love at first bite and you simply cannot resist the charm of this sweet treat.

In India, no celebration or festivity is complete without the heartwarming presence of Gulab Jamun. Life is too short to miss this dessert, so make sure it graces your plate.

● Kulfi

India presents you with a denser, creamier alternative to ice cream – Kulfi. This traditional frozen dessert makes you pause, savour and appreciate the simple things.

Kulfi keeps the sweetness light, letting the exotic flavourings be the true stars. Unlike the rush of ice cream, kulfi melts at a leisurely pace, for you to take your time and enjoy.

And, if you wish to indulge in all of these exceptional dishes, The Madras Diaries is where you need to be. Come, dine with us! We promise to provide you with the most authentic and mouth-watering tastes from the Indian subcontinent.