A large percentage of the Indian population thrives on purely vegetarian food. A country of simple needs, Indians will make do with whichever types of vegetables are available in their area and skillfully prepare a wide variety of dishes here. Even if you live in India for a good six months, you will not be able to experience every single type of food that is loved by the people here. This is because there are so many regions and states with their own special variety of delicious food in each of the three courses.
Unlike most other countries, finding options for the vegetarian traveler is never going to be a problem in India. In addition to this, you need not worry about your food being prepared in any kind of animal fat, or stored alongside frozen non-vegetarian meals. The people in India are extremely scrupulous about separating the vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals, so you can be assured of pure vegetarian food.
Paneer Tikka from Punjab
This is a starter, made from cottage cheese, also known as paneer. This dish is served in most Indian restaurants all over the world and remains a classic favorite of anyone who appreciates Indian cuisine. The paneer is sliced into cubes and marinated in the spicy tikka masala, and then grilled over a charcoal grill. The end result is buttery soft paneer that melts in your mouth, as the spices blended together into the paneer come together.
Malai Kofta from North India
If you are vegan, give this one a miss. Malai kofta is a dish for special occasions such as Diwali, prepared in most of North India. A vegetarian version of meatballs, malai kofta is made with a mixture of vegetables, paneer, heavy cream and lots of spices and formed into balls with dry fruits stuffed in them. The koftas are then deep-fried and served in a delicious buttery gravy prepared separately. It is eaten with roti or naan. This is a dish fit for kings.
Kaali Dal from Punjab
Also known as Maa ki dal (mother’s dal), kaali dal translates to black dal. In most of Punjab, this is the main kind of dal you will get, as yellow dal tends to be less preferred. Kaali dal is prepared with a combination of rajma and black beans cooked together in a pressure cooker with lots of different spices and flavors coming together to create this signature dish. It is then garnished with some heavy cream and served with roti or naan.
Rava Dosa from South India
This is a delicacy from South India, served in all four of the south Indian states. It is prepared using semolina, rice flour, and all-purpose white wheat flour. The dosa batter is combined into a thick gravy, the consistency of pancake batter so that it’s easy to spread on the hot pan. The thinner the batter, the thinner and crispier the dosa you will get. The dosa is then cooked on a hot pan to get the perfect crispy rava dosa with little holes in it. It is served with delicious coconut chutney and sambhar.
Shahi Tukda from Hyderabad
This is a Mughlai dessert, a sort of bread pudding. Shahi Tukda literally translates to “Royal Piece” which is the perfect description as this dessert seems like it could have been prepared only for a king. It is prepared by deep-frying bread pieces in pure ghee to make croutons. The croutons are then dipped into sweetened condensed milk and topped with almond and pistachio shavings, and pure kesar.