8 Vegan Indian Dishes You Must Try at Least Once

8 Vegan Indian Dishes You Must Try

If you've seen my video on my favorite vegan Indian dish, or read chapter six of my book Veggie Planet, then you know that Indian cuisine is one of my favorite world cuisines.

You've probably heard that India is great for lacto-vegetarian travelers, but did you know that there are also plenty of vegan Indian food items to choose from?​

Today's guest post is by Varun Sharma, an Indian travel enthusiast who's here to share eight vegan Indian dishes that you definitely don't want to miss.

Vegan Indian Food: 8 Dishes You Must Try

1. Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani - vegan Indian food

Vegetable Biryani

The first dish on this list is for all the rice lovers out there! No matter where you are traveling in India, you're never far away from a sumptuous plate of vegetable biryani.This is the Indian version of vegetable fried rice.

The fragrant rice cooked with succulent vegetables and a heaping mix of aromatic spices like nutmeg, pepper mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, coriander, and mint can make your senses go wild. And trust me, you’ll end up craving more.

2. Rajma

2. Rajma - vegan Indian food

Rajma - red kidney bean curry

Rajma is a popular vegan Indian dish made of red kidney beans cooked with many Indian whole spices in a thick gravy. It’s usually served with roti (an Indian flatbread) and steaming hot rice. Even though the kidney bean is not of Indian origin, it’s still an integral part of the typical diet in Northern India.

3. Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa - vegan Indian food

Masala Dosa

Made from fermented rice and dal (lentils), masala dosa is a super-thin, crispy, savory pancake wrapped around a mix of curried potatoes, onions and spices. This scrumptious South Indian dish is served with chutney and sambar and is best suited for breakfast or lunch.

The southern city of Bangalore is particularly famous for its many dosa joints, and it was also recently named India’s most vegan-friendly city.

4. Hara Bhara Kabab

4. Hara Bhara Kabab - vegan Indian food

Hara Bhara Kabab

If you enjoy munching on snacks but still want to get all the nutrients your body needs, then Hara Bhara Kabab is the perfect snack food for you.

These little round patties look similar to falafel but are made from potatoes, green peas and spinach. They are a tasty alternative to the typical meat kabab.

5. Baingan Bharta

5. Baingan Bharta - vegan Indian food

Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta is a smoked eggplant curry, somewhat like a warm version of the baba ghanoush that is eaten as a cold dip in Middle Eastern countries.

Baingan Bharta is a simple combination of spices and herbs with chargrilled eggplant (known as “brinjals” in India). It is a flavorful dish that is easy to whip up and is healthy and tasty to boot.

6. Aloo Puri

6. Aloo Puri - vegan Indian food

Aloo Puri

The next vegan Indian food item on this list is a bit of a decadent treat but is worth every calorie. An essential part of North Indian cuisine, puri bhaji is a must-try dish for those who like their food on the spicy side. Puri refers to the delicious, crispy deep-fried, puffed bread that is served with a delectable spicy gravy made of aloo (potato).

If you’re traveling by train (a quintessential Indian experience in itself), you’ll find vendors selling Aloo Puri at almost every station. For hygiene reasons, though, it’s best to stick to government-authorized vendors or the one that you get with your official IRCTC ticket.

7. Pakoras

7. Pakora - vegan Indian food

Pakoras

When it comes to vegan Indian food, pakoras are undoubtedly the perfect snack! They are basically Indian fritters made of besan (chickpea flour) with added vegetables like potato, bell peppers, cabbage, and spices. This item is usually served with a delicious mint or coriander chutney.

8. Chole Bathure

8. Chole Bathure - vegan Indian food

Chole Bathure

A guaranteed crowd-pleasing vegan Indian food item, chole is enjoyed by people of all ages. This chickpea-based curry not only tastes good but is also packed with lots of healthy ingredients. The spicy, mouthwatering dish is accompanied by puris or bhatura (fried Indian bread).


These eight vegan Indian food items should all be on your must-eat list while traveling in India. Happy travels!

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8 Vegan Indian Dishes You Must Try at Least Once

About the Author

Varun Sharma

Varun is a travel enthusiast from India and writes for ixigo.com. He loves to visit new places and try new cuisines. When he's not traveling, he can be seen watching soccer matches and videos from WWE.

About Wendy Werneth

Intrepid traveler, vegan foodie and animal lover. I uncover vegan treasures all around the world, so you can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere.

17 Comments

  1. These are some of my favorite Indian dishes actually! It’s so good.

  2. My kind of post! I’m new to your blog and LOVING it! Mind if I link you on my sidebar? Can’t wait to see more posts! In the meantime I will be thumbing thru your previous ones!

  3. These all look delicious. I have ate Pakoras before and loved them. I am always looking for new vegan foods to make so I will try these. Beautiful pictures too that have my mouth watering!

    • I love pakoras too! I think masala dosa is probably my favorite of all the dishes on this list. If you’re ever in India or in an Indian restaurant that serves southern Indian food, be sure to give it a try.

  4. All dishes look delicious. I always try to get new vegan foods to eat, whenever we get Indian restaurant. It’s so good. You know I like Masala Dosa very much.

  5. No, Wendy Werneth we serve only non-veg dishes.

  6. Those recipes look really good. I’m rookie to Indian food but kinda already in love with it.

  7. I appreciate your post, Indian cuisine is known for its large assortment of dishes. The cooking style varies from region to region and is largely divided into South Indian & North Indian cuisine.

    • Hi Jeff,
      Yes, that is very true! I like both North Indian and South Indian cuisine. The South is more vegan-friendly because they tend to use coconut milk there rather than cow’s milk, but some of my favorite dishes are from the cuisine of the North.

  8. Beautiful food. Kind of stuff we eat 3 to 4 times a week 🙂 But nice to get a variety in from other cultures too as prep for some of the Indian dishes listed here can get tiring and long winded. We are encouraging my mother-in-law to write a vegan recipe book as she is a fab cook and a super talent to the culinary industry. So far… it’s slow going 😉

    • Hi Shameer,
      That would be wonderful if your mother-in-law wrote a vegan recipe book! If she ever does, be sure to send me the link and I’ll check it out.

      • Hey Wendy, of course, would love to share it with you if we can encourage her to take the next step. She keeps saying, “I just love cooking and feeding others and that’s all”, but we’re urging her on 🙂

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