Top 10 Classic Vegetarian Dishes

If you’re a vegetarian and are looking for healthy Indian food that will complement your meat-free diet, you won’t be disappointed. Indian restaurants are well known for serving up a delightful array of vegetarian starters, mains and sides that’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied. With this in mind, here are 10 classic vegetarian dishes designed to get your taste buds tingling.

1. Vegetable Samosa

While meat samosas are popular, vegetarians can enjoy seasoned fillings such as onion, potato, peas and carrot, all wrapped up neatly in crispy pastry. If you’re making them at home, add some fresh ginger for a little extra zing.

    2. Onion Bhaji

    Onion bhajis are the perfect Indian snack or side. Made from onions, gram flour and a range of spices including ginger, chilli peppers, coriander, fenugreek and garlic salt, bhajis are truly delicious. Vegan Indian restaurants also make onion bhajis that don’t include milk or eggs.

      3. Saag Aloo

      As a popular side dish, saag aloo features potatoes fried in spices and combined with spinach. It’s a great source of iron, adds colour to the plate, and can replace rice or bread as a source of carbohydrate.

        4. Dal Soup

        If you’re looking for a healthy and filling starter, dal soup is ideal. Made from lentils, onion, ginger and finished with coriander, it’s a great way to add protein to a vegetarian or vegan diet. If you’re choosing it as a main meal, pair it with roti or cooked grains.

          5. Paneer Tikka

          Any reputable Indian vegetarian restaurant will have a Tandoori menu that features paneer tikka. This dish consists of diced cottage cheese marinated in mild spices and can be served with coriander, mint chutney, fresh salad and lemon wedges. Delicious!

            6. Paneer Tikka Masala

            If you love paneer but would like a saucier dish, opt for paneer tikka masala. This features diced paneer flavoured with fenugreek and cooked with tomatoes and ground spice. It’s then finished with fresh cream and almond flakes.

              7. Vegetable Biryani

              As a celebratory rice dish often served up at special occasions, biryani is a staple of South Asia. While typically made with meat, it can be layered with vegetables, rice and spices to create a vegetarian or vegan alternative. 

                8. Vegetable Balti

                A Balti curry is cooked in a wok-like cooking pot and consists of hot, spicy, sour and salty flavours. Enjoy with vegetarian rice or naan bread. As most naan bread recipes include ingredients such as ghee, yoghurt and butter, they’re not suitable for vegans unless specially made.

                9. Bhuna Egg

                  This dish of medium hot eggs cooked with fresh herbs and traditional spices is a great option for anyone looking for a protein-rich meal that’s meat-free.

                  10. Dal Makhani

                    As a traditional dish from northern India, Dal Makhani is made using black lentils, kidney beans and fresh cream. It’s slow cooked to achieve its unique flavour and is a good source of protein.

                    If you’re not a meat eater, you can still enjoy delicious Indian cuisine. Pop into Little India in South Kensington for freshly made dishes that’ll excite your taste buds.