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Top Vegetarian Dishes for Diwali – Vegan Recipes, Veg Recipes

Diwali, a significant festival in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, is joyously observed by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and certain Buddhists. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. While the deities, rituals, and narratives linked to Diwali may vary across regions and communities, the essence remains consistent. Diwali is a period of abundance, marked by festive gatherings with friends and family, accompanied by an array of delightful meals and sweet treats. Among the top vegetarian dishes for Diwali, culinary delights such as Dal Makhani, Twice-Cooked Rice, and Kaju Katli-inspired treats take center stage, adding to the festive spirit with their rich flavors and cultural significance.

Indulge in the richness of traditional and contemporary flavors with recipes like bhindi masala (stir-fried okra) and eggplant bhartha (roasted eggplant) for a celebration that transcends culinary boundaries. From classic dishes to modern renditions such as tandoori tofu and no-churn ice cream infused with cardamom and saffron, these culinary delights are sure to elevate your Diwali festivities. A noteworthy point is that all recipes in this collection are vegetarian, respecting the religious significance of Diwali, where many choose to abstain from meat during these auspicious days.

15 Best Vegetarian Recipes for Diwali

Chickpea Curry (Chhole):

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit of Diwali with a culinary delight: a convenient twist on the traditional North Indian stew. This hearty and nutty dish, featuring canned chickpeas for added convenience, brings a contemporary touch to the celebration. Unlike the traditional use of dry chickpeas, this modern adaptation ensures a quicker preparation without compromising on flavor. Savor the rich aromas and textures of this dish, ideally paired with warm naan or fragrant basmati rice, adding an extra layer of warmth and joy to your Diwali feasting experience.

Tandoori Tofu:

Elevate your vegetarian dining experience with tofu “steaks” infused with a tandoori-inspired spice rub, offering a tantalizing blend of flavors. Grilled to perfection, these tofu delights become the ideal centerpiece for any meatless feast. Paired harmoniously with grilled peppers, onions, and tomatoes, this dish not only delights the palate but also adds a touch of smokiness from the grill. Embrace the culinary symphony of vibrant spices and grill-kissed perfection, making these tandoori-inspired tofu “steaks” a standout feature in your vegetarian repertoire.

Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas:

Immerse yourself in the richness of South Asian flavors with this quick and delightful dish that draws its essence from garam masala—a ground spice mixture commonly used in South Asian cooking. Comprising coriander, cumin, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, and cloves, this spice blend creates a symphony of aromatic and bold flavors, elevating your culinary experience. For a nutrient-packed addition to your Diwali spread, savor the Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas, where vibrant flavors, wholesome ingredients, and a medley of traditional spices intertwine. The dish combines the earthy goodness of chickpeas with the robust essence of kale, providing a delectable and fulfilling centerpiece to your vegetarian feast.

Baingan Bharta (Punjabi Spicy Roasted Eggplant):

Indulge in the culinary tapestry of Baingan Bharta, a Punjabi delicacy that elevates the humble eggplant to new heights. The dish unfolds with the smoky allure of roasted eggplant, its charred exterior giving way to a velvety interior. A symphony of spices, including cumin, coriander, and garam masala, dances on the taste buds, creating a harmonious blend that captivates the senses.

Pairing perfectly with fragrant basmati rice and pillowy naan, Baingan Bharta transforms every bite into a flavor-packed journey through North Indian cuisine. The beauty of this dish lies not just in its immediate gratification but in its ability to mature over time. Leftovers become a treasure as the flavors meld, intensifying the richness and depth. As you savor the nuanced layers of this culinary masterpiece, you’ll find yourself immersed in the essence of Punjabi tradition. Baingan Bharta stands as a testament to the artistry of Indian cooking, where simple ingredients come together to create a gastronomic symphony that lingers on the palate, inviting you to savor each bite and appreciate the magic of spice.

Okra Fry (Bhindi Masala):

In South Asia, okra takes center stage in a culinary spectacle, showcasing its versatility through diverse preparations. Whether fried to a crispy perfection, stuffed with flavorful fillings, or swiftly stir-fried, okra is a canvas for culinary creativity. In this rendition, the vegetable takes on a new dimension as it encounters high heat in a nonstick pan, skillfully sidestepping any potential sliminess. This cooking technique preserves okra’s crisp texture while unlocking a symphony of flavors, making it a delightful addition to the South Asian gastronomic repertoire.

Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Chickpeas:

Tikka masala, an intriguing fusion born from British colonial influence in the Indian subcontinent, diverges from traditional South Asian roots. Despite its origin, the dish has become a beloved staple, especially in restaurant settings. This vegetarian adaptation ingeniously replaces the conventional chicken with a flavorful combination of cauliflower and chickpeas. The result is a delectable harmony of spices and textures, offering a plant-based twist on the iconic tikka masala that pays homage to the evolving culinary landscape shaped by history and innovation.

Slow-Cooker Dal Makhani:

Dal Makhani, a regal and indulgent dish, exudes richness with its buttery and creamy texture. A perfect companion to naan and yogurt, this culinary masterpiece elevates the dining experience. The secret to achieving the creamiest results lies in opting for whole urad dal over the split variety. This choice imparts a velvety consistency to the dish, creating a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate. Dal Makhani, a celebration of texture and taste, invites you to savor the opulence of each bite in a harmonious union with its traditional accompaniments.


Lemon Rice (Chitrannam):

Elevate your festive feast with a vibrant centerpiece – the lemony, spicy, and nutty twice-cooked rice. This dish, adorned with the crunch of urad dal and roasted chana dal, not only dazzles the palate with a burst of flavors but also delights in its colorful presentation. The marriage of zesty lemon, bold spices, and the nuttiness of dal creates a symphony of tastes that linger on the taste buds. As a showstopper for any celebration, this twice-cooked rice promises a sensory journey, blending textures and aromas to make your festive meal truly memorable.


Cilantro Chutney:

Absolutely, no festive spread is complete without chutneys. And this herby green chutney recipe takes the lead as a versatile condiment. Perfect for pairing with snacks, street foods, and sandwiches, its bold flavors are heightened by the fiery kick of serrano chiles. The amalgamation of fresh herbs in this chutney imparts a burst of vibrancy. Elevating the entire dining experience with its zesty and spicy profile. A tantalizing addition to any meal, this herby green chutney is sure to leave a memorable impression. With its bold and invigorating taste.

Spelt Indian Flatbread:

Chapati, essential on the South Asian table, are traditionally crafted from atta or finely milled wheat flour. In this variation, the use of nutty spelt flour adds a distinctive twist. These skillet flatbreads, with their wholesome character, serve as the perfect accompaniment for scooping up dal or vegetables. The nutty undertones of spelt bring a new dimension to the classic chapati, enhancing the dining experience with their earthy flavor. A delightful fusion of tradition and innovation, these spelt chapatis offer a wholesome and flavorful addition to any South Asian meal.

Winter Vegetable Dal:

Indulge in the comforting embrace of Winter Vegetable Dal, inspired by the flavors of southern India. This dal is a symphony of richness, thanks to the infusion of coconut milk. And a burst of aromatic spices in its tadka. The inclusion of curry leaves not only imparts a distinctive flavor but also elevates the dish with a captivating aroma. A heartwarming blend of seasonal vegetables and traditional spices. This Winter Vegetable Dal is a soul-soothing delight, perfect for cozying up during colder months.

Daal Tarka (Spiced Lentils):

In the art of South Asian cuisine, Daal Tarka emerges as a flavorful masterpiece. The essence lies in the essential cooking technique known as tadka or tarka. Where spices bloom in hot fat, intensifying and altering their flavors. This transformative process elevates spiced lentils to a new level, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on the palate. Daal Tarka stands as a testament to the mastery of balancing spices. Offering a comforting and aromatic dish that embodies the heart of South Asian culinary tradition.

Yellow Split Pea Sambar with Turnip, Eggplant & Okra:

Embark on a culinary journey through Southern India. With Yellow Split Pea Sambar, a lentil-and-vegetable stew that tantalizes the taste buds. At its core is the essential sambar powder, a medley of coriander, fenugreek, cumin, black peppercorns, red chilies, and asafetida. This aromatic blend transforms the stew, infusing it with a symphony of flavors. The marriage of turnip, eggplant, and okra adds depth and texture to this hearty dish. A celebration of spices and regional ingredients, Yellow Split Pea Sambar captures the essence of Southern Indian cuisine in every spoonful.


Experience the essence of Kulfi, a South Asian frozen custard, in this no-churn dessert. Unlike traditional methods involving an ice cream maker, this recipe takes a delightful twist. The cream mixture is whipped to form soft peaks before being frozen, capturing the rich and velvety texture of Kulfi. This innovative approach ensures a luscious and creamy treat that pays homage to the classic while offering convenient. And accessible way to savor the flavors of South Asian frozen custard.

Kaju Katli: 

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit with Kaju Katli-inspired cardamom-spiced shortbread cookies. Infused with the aromatic essence of cardamom. These treats not only pay homage to the classic Indian sweet but also carry the vibrant flavors of Diwali. Each bite becomes a celebration, blending the richness of kaju katli with the joyous spirit of the festival. Making these cookies a delightful addition to your Diwali festivities.


In celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights, the culinary journey is as significant as the festivities themselves. From the regal indulgence of Dal Makhani to the vibrant hues of Twice-Cooked Rice. And the nostalgic sweetness of Kaju Katli-inspired treats, the top vegetarian dishes for Diwali offer a tapestry of flavors. Embodying the rich cultural heritage of India. As families gather and homes glow with the warmth of lamps, these dishes not only nourish the body. But also serve as a feast for the senses, creating lasting memories and honoring the essence of Diwali. May the spirit of joy, togetherness, and deliciousness continue to brighten our hearts during this auspicious celebration.


What is the famous dish on Diwali?

One of the most famous dishes during Diwali is “Mithai,” a diverse range of traditional Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun, Jalebi. And Kaju Katli, which are exchanged and savored during the festive season.

What is the famous vegetarian dish?

Dal Makhani, a rich and creamy lentil dish, often steals the spotlight as a famous vegetarian delicacy during Diwali. Its velvety texture and flavorful spices make it a favorite among celebrants.

What are traditional vegetarian foods for Diwali?

Diwali is synonymous with a variety of vegetarian delights. Some traditional foods include Samosas, Chole Bhature, Aloo Tikki, and a range of delectable sweets like Ladoo, Barfi, and Rasgulla.

Do we have to eat vegetarian food on Diwali?

While there is no strict rule, many people choose to enjoy vegetarian food during Diwali. As a cultural and religious practice. Vegetarianism is often embraced during this festival to symbolize purity. And is a personal choice based on cultural and religious beliefs.

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