Vegetarian Indian Recipes

When you’re following a vegetarian diet, it can sometimes be challenging to think of new and exciting recipes to make, so if you are looking for ideas for some more exciting vegetarian meals, you might want to look towards India for some inspiration. A country that is home to over 500 million vegetarians and which is well known for its delicious and flavoursome cuisine is the ideal starting point for a veg dinner menu that is sure to tantalise your tastebuds. Indian food is well known for its spiciness, flavour and variety so there is sure to be a vegetarian Indian recipe to suit everyone, from those who prefer something mild yet tasty to those who like a bit of fire in their meal.

Popular Vegetarian Indian Foods

There are many excellent Indian foods that you can try if you are following a vegetarian diet. Here are some of the most popular:

Pulao

This rice dish is flavoured with aromatic spices and forms the centerpiece of your meal when mixed with vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, peppers and peas. You can serve this dish with a tomato, cucumber and coriander salad and pickles.

Dal

Made from stewed lentils, this versatile curry is made with either ghee, coconut oil or mustard oil for extra flavour.

Chana

Pulses are a great way to get protein when you are a vegetarian, and this dish is made from sauteed chickpeas mixed with green chilis and fresh coriander to produce a delightful buttery texture.

Sabzi

Sabzi is just another word for cooked vegetables, however there are many ways in which this dish can be made. One of the best South Indian vegetarian recipes for sabzi involves frying mixed vegetables with curry leaves and mustard seeds in hot coconut oil, while one of the most popular North Indian vegetarian recipes involves mixing vegetables with fenugreek leaves, cumin seeds, turmeric, cilantro and chilis for a much spicier flavour.

Pakoras and Bhajis

Both of these tasty dishes are made from vegetables which are covered in gram flour and deep fried. While onion is the most popular ingredient, they can be made with all kinds of vegetables and mixed with turmeric, salt, carom seeds and chili powder for a tasty bite size snack.

Curries

The term curry includes a multitude of dishes, from creamy kormas to onion heavy jalfrezis. You can make a range of delightful Indian vegetable curry recipes from a base of tomatoes combined with ginger, garlic and onion and blended with fresh herbs, spinach and green chilis.

Vegetarian Quick And Easy Indian Dinner Recipes

In today’s busy world, the idea of chopping up a lot of vegetables and preparing time consuming spices may deter you from preparing many Indian vegetable curry recipes, however there are a surprising number of quick and easy Indian dinner recipes that take virtually no time to prepare but which taste great. If you are looking for exotic yet instant vegetarian dinner recipes that are sure to impress, we have found a few great choices for you.

Aloo Chaat

This spiced potato dish is very popular in India and is ideal for anyone who loves spicy food. It only takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.

Ingredients (for 4):

4 cups of peeled, boiled and cubed potatoes

3 tablespoons of oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon thinly sliced ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped green chili

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of Chaat Masala spice mix

Heat oil in a heavy frying pan on a medium high heat and then place the cubed potatoes into the pan and sprinkle with salt. Fry the potatoes, turning occasionally until golden brown on all sides. This will take around 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add ginger, chilis, cilantro, lemon juice and Chaat Masala spice mix. Mix well to coat the potatoes then serve.

 

Carrot Curry

Quick and easy to made, this recipe can be made in just 25 minutes and is a great choice if you have to feed unexpected guests or after a long day at the office.

Ingredients (for 2):

1 large carrot

1 cup of chopped onion

1 finely chopped tomato

1 teaspoon of Sambar powder

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon of pepper powder

Salt to taste

Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves

1 teaspoon of oil

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

A couple of curry leaves

Cook the carrot in a pressure cooker until soft and then grind in a mixer and set aside. Cook the onions with the oil, turmeric powder and salt in a pan and when half cooked, add the pepper powder and sambar powder, tomato and ground carrot and cook for five more minutes. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and then serve, garnished with the chopped coriander leaves, with chapatis.

Chole Palak (Chickpeas With Spinach)

This delicious combination of spinach and chickpeas is rich in protein and is a healthy option when following a vegetarian diet.

Ingredients (for 2 to 4 people):

1 15oz can of chickpeas

3 cups of chopped spinach

2 chopped medium sized tomatoes

1/2 inch piece of chopped ginger

1 green chili

3 tablespoons of oil

1/4 teaspoon of asafetida

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 tablespoon of cilantro powder

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of garam masala

 

Drain and rise the chickpeas and set aside. Blend the tomatoes with the chili and ginger to make a puree. Heat the oil in a saucepan and the add the cumin seeds and asafetida. Once the cumin seeds start to crack, add the pureed tomato mix, cilantro powder, turmeric and red chili powder. Cook for 4 minutes over a medium heat. Add the salt, spinach and 1/2 cup of water. Cook with a cover over the pan for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Mash the chickpeas lightly and then add them to the pan. Add more water if necessary to achieve the right consistency. Cook over a low heat for 8 minutes. Add the garam masala then serve with naan or chapatis.

Vegetarian Greek Recipe

If you are following a vegetarian diet, it can sometimes be hard to think of exciting and tasty meals that liven up your everyday menu. If you are looking for something a little more exotic to add to your culinary repertoire, consider trying some of the many vegetarian Greek entrees that are not only delicious but which are also good for your health.

The Mediterranean Diet

You have probably heard a lot in the media over recent years about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and this way of eating is based on the traditional way of eating found in Greece and its islands. This regime involves primarily living on homegrown and fresh foods with a large number of fresh vegetables and fruits together with nuts and olive oil. There are many advantages that are linked with living this lifestyle including:

Protection against Type II diabetes since this diet is full of fiber and so slows digestion to prevent blood sugar surges.

Protection against strokes and heart disease.

Helping to keep you agile into old age – the nutrients found in this diet reduces the risk of older people developing weakness in their muscles by around 70%.

Reducing the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease as this type of diet improves blood sugar and cholesterol levels which is thought to reduce the risk of dementia.

Cutting the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 50% thanks to the high antioxidant levels in this diet which prevent cells from undergoing oxidative stress.

Increasing lifespan – the Mediterranean Diet cuts the risk of developing cancer and heart disease meaning that those who follow this lifestyle cut their risk of dying early by a fifth.

Popular Greek Vegetarian Main Dishes

Although many well known Greek dishes, such as moussaka, do contain meat, there are many excellent vegetarian Greek recipe versions of these popular meals. There are also many Greek dishes which are vegetarian in their own right. Greek cuisine incorporates many delicious vegetarian ingredients such as eggplants, feta cheese, beans, lentils, spinach, tomatoes, vine leaves and vegetable based rice dishes. A Greek vegetarian cookbook will be packed with ideas for both quick and easy, and more complex and impressive meals that are sure to delight your tastebuds, however to give you a taste of what you could be enjoying, we have gathered together a collection of some of the best vegetarian and vegan Mediterranean recipes to get you started.

 

Greek Vegetarian Moussaka

 

This veggie version of a Greek classic is sure to become one of your favorite meals and will please all the family.

 

 

Ingredients: (Serves 8)

3 1/2 lbs unpeeled eggplant, cut into rounds of 1/2″ in thickness

1/2 cup olive oil

1 thinly sliced onion

1 cup peeled and chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

4 minced garlic cloves

12 oz mushrooms cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 can of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon of tomato puree

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons butter

7 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 1/2 cups of whole milk

4 egg yolks

 

Cover two baking sheets with paper towel and sprinkle the eggplant rounds on both sides with salt. Place the eggplant in a layer on top of the towels and leave for 30 minutes. Preheat your own to 425°F. Dry the eggplant and oil the baking sheets. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil and then arrange on the baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the eggplant and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Turn down the oven’s temperature to 350°F. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and celery and saute until the onion is tender. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute until the juices evaporate. Add the cinnamon and oregano, tomatoes and parsley and cook until, the mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Oil a glass baking dish measuring 13 x 9 x 2″. Place half of the eggplant in a single layer on the bottom of the dish and then spoon half of your tomato mixture over the toip. Add 2 tablespoons of cheese and repeat the layering process. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk in the floor, stir for 2 minutes and then whisk in the milk slowly. Continue to simmer until the sauce becomes thick, stirring all the time. Whisk in 1/2 cup of cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk the yolks in a large bowl then whisk in the sauce. Pour over the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake in the oven until heated through and the sauce appears golden brown.

 

Greek Lentil Salad

This is one of the best Greek vegetable side dishes to serve alongside your Mediterranean inspired entree, however it can also be eaten on its own as a snack or for lunch.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of Puy lentils

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 zested lemons

6 tablespoons of lemon juice

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons of chopped oregano

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

2 tablespoons of chopped mint

1 chopped red onion

1/2 pint of halved cherry tomatoes

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 cucumber, cubed

6oz feta cheese (optional – can be omitted for vegans)

 

Put the lentils into a pan with 4 cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, strain the lentils and set aside. Whisk the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, sale and pepper in a bowl. Add this mix to the lentils and allow to cool. Once cool, add the herbs, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and garlic and stir gently. Crumble the feta cheese over the top (if using) and serve with pitta bread.

 

Spanakopita

This spinach pie is one of the heartiest and most satisfying Greek vegetable recipes with which to feed your family.

 

Ingredients:

3 lbs of thawed frozen spinach

2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil

2 diced medium onions

8 sliced green onions

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped parsley

3 large eggs

8 oz. of low-fat crumbled feta cheese

12 sheets thawed frozen phyllo dough

 

Squeeze the spinach dry and then place in a bowl. Head 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over a medium heat then add the onions and saute for 10 minutes. Add the spinach, green onions and nutmeg and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the parsley before leaving to cool. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Whisk the eggs the stir into the spinach mixture, then fold in the feta cheese. Put the rest of the oil into a bowl and brush the sides and bottom of a 9″ baking pan with oil. Unroll the phyllo pastry and place 1 sheet into the prepared pan. Brush with oil and then place the second sheet across the first. Brush with oil again and repeat with 4 more sheets. Spread out the spinach mixture across the phyllo pastry. Spread 1 phyllo sheet onto the work surface and brush with oil. Top with another sheet and continue brushing with oil and layering with the rest of the phyllo sheets. Place this stack of sheets onto the spinach mixture and trim the edges until no more than 1″ of pastry hangs over the dish’s edge. Roll the edges over the pie and brush its top with oil. Bake for one hour then cool for 10 minutes and serve.

The Basics of a Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet is what a lot of modern-day people are currently adopting these days. Someone will just come up to you and say he or she is a vegetarian, and you will somehow be amazed at how this person is able to totally eradicate animal products in his diet.

In all fairness to people who prefer to go vegetarian, it takes a lot of courage and self-control to let go of their food cravings. It is never easy to completely drop the meat and the dairy products out of one’s system, but then these individuals are able to do that.

Who are the vegetarians?

Generally, vegetarians are those individuals whose diet is only comprised of vegetables, pulses, fruits, nuts, and grains. Basically, they consume only plant-based foods. But when you hear the word “vegetarian,” you should understand that this kind of diet also comes in various forms. In fact, the term itself can mean a lot of things. A person who claims he or she is a vegetarian may eat only a couple of food groups, and restrict the others. Some people may be plant-food purists, while the others may include a few meat products in their diet.

What are the categories of vegetarians?

Vegans – People who adopt such a diet eat purely vegetables, and totally do away with all sorts of animal products, as well as the by-products. Among which are honey, eggs, and the dairy products.

Fruitarians – This is the kind of diet of people who just eat fruits, seeds, nuts, and other plant components.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians – These people consume eggs, and several other forms of dairy products. This is the most common category so far.

Lacto-vegetarians – Individuals who adopt this diet eat different dairy products, with the exception of eggs.

Pollo-vegetarians – Those who go for this diet eat turkey and chicken, but not pork and any sort of red meat.

Pesce-vegetarians – People who have this kind of diet only take in fish.

Flexitarians – Those who have this diet consume vegetables primarily, but also eat other food groups from time to time.

How can you change your own diet into being a vegetarian?

Of course, it is possible for you to become a vegetarian. However, the transition itself will take time. You don’t become a vegetarian overnight. Neither can you easily give up those foods that you have loved all your life. All it takes is for you to gradually change your diet. If you want to consume pure plant-based foods, then slowly lessen your consumption of meat products and other related animal by-products. Start by decreasing the quantity, until such time that you can fully eradicate such foods from your daily meal.

What are the benefits of being a vegetarian?

Health-wise, the vegetarian diet can bring loads of benefits. Since such a diet mainly constitutes healthy vegetables and fruits, you also get rid of the bad fat by cutting out the animal products from your food intake. The so-called bad fat is known to be the saturated fat, which is typically contained in meat products. If you devour too much of it, then you are most likely to have high cholesterol that may lead to stroke and other types of heart ailments. So, it is much better to avoid it, right?

Are there any side effects to this kind of diet?

Sadly, being a vegetarian doesn’t mean you become 100% healthy. While this kind of diet basically lessens your risk of developing a couple of deadly diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart ailments, crossing out the meat products means losing access to vitamin B12. Not only that, you can also be prone to calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acid, and iron deficiencies. The good news though is that you can always find meat substitutes in the forms of soya, and a lot other vitamin supplements. That way there is balance, despite you being a vegetarian.

Because a vegetarian mostly consumes plant-based foods only, he sacrifices balanced nutritional intake. Therefore, he must be keen about using meat substitutes. To be able to make up for the lost vitamins and nutrients, a number of foods like legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, soy products, and whole grains, to name a few, need to be taken. Add to it the fact that one needs the help of a variety of nutritional supplements as well.

So if you are a real health buff by nature, and are considering the vegetarian diet, better take a look at both the positive and negative sides.