15 Sweet and Savory North Indian Plant-Based Recipes


Here is a compilation of some of the most popular recipes traditional to Northern India. Northern India includes the provinces of Punjab and Sindh and the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Gujarat, and West-Central Uttar Pradesh. Traditional Indian food is typically prepared using dairy products. Luckily, these veganized versions are just as creamy, comforting, and flavorful! Try wowing your guests with these authentic recipes at your next dinner party!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! 

1. Amiri Khaman: North Indian Chickpea Squares

Amiri Khaman: North Indian Chickpea Squares

Source: Amiri Khaman: North Indian Chickpea Squares

These North Indian Chickpea Squares hail from the western state of Gujarat. It’s made from chana dal, also called split chickpeas, flavored with garlic, ginger, and other spices, and absolutely delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. This recipe is by Pavani Nandula.

2. Rajmah – Indian Red Beans

Indian Red Beans

Source: Rajmah – Indian Red Beans

Simple, home style dishes like Rajmah or Red Kidney Beans mostly in the north Indian tradition of cooking, a style of cooking making a comeback. This recipe is by Rinku Bhattacharya.

3. Murgh Makhani: Butter ‘Chicken’

Murgh Makhani: Butter ‘Chicken’

Source: Murgh Makhani: Butter ‘Chicken’

This hearty butter ‘chicken’ dish by Sara B. Allen captures all the sweet, spicy, richness of butter chicken without any chicken or butter, and using whole food ingredients available at most standard grocery stores.

4. Palak Tofu Paneer

Palak Tofu Paneer

Source: Palak Tofu Paneer

This tasty palak paneer recipe by Heidi Turunen substitutes tofu for the cheese in a creamy, spicy, and savory spinach curry. Black salt brings a unique flavor to this dish.

5. Palak Chole: Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Palak Chole: Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Source: Palak Chole: Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Feel like having Indian food for dinner? Try this recipe for palak chole by Aurora Steen! It’s a spicy, comforting spinach and chickpea curry that’s full of vibrant flavor.

6. Kheer: Indian Rice Pudding

Kheer: Indian Rice Pudding

Source: Kheer: Indian Rice Pudding

If you are a fan of rice pudding, and you haven’t yet experienced the Indian version, you must try this Indian rice pudding recipe by Helyn Dunn! This healthier version uses brown rice, coconut milk, and date syrup. Top with lots of cinnamon and a bit of extra coconut milk for a creamy, dreamy dessert.

7. Peach Jalebi: Indian Funnel Cake

Peach Jalebi: Indian Funnel Cake

Source: Peach Jalebi: Indian Funnel Cake

Jalebi is a very popular and traditional Indian sweet dish, generally made on every Indian festival, celebration, or special occasion. It’s like a funnel cake soaked in rich, sweet syrup. This recipe by Anupama Paliwal is swirly, juicy, crunchy, and super simple to make.

8. Quinoa Mango Kheer

 8. Quinoa Mango Kheer

Source: Quinoa Mango Kheer

This Quinoa Mango Kheer recipe by Nikki and Zuzana is light and can be enjoyed as a breakfast or mid-day snack. It’s made with quinoa, coconut milk, and traditional spices, then topped with fresh mango and shredded coconut.

9. Vegan Chickpea Curry with Tomatoes

Vegan Chickpea Curry with Tomatoes

Source: Vegan Chickpea Curry with Tomatoes

This 8-ingredient vegan chickpea curry by Nele Liivlaid with tomatoes is the ultimate 30-minute comfort food that will keep you satisfied. Besides being quick and easy to prepare, it is also gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a great recipe for those with dietary restrictions.

10. Palak ‘Paneer’

Palak ‘Paneer’

Source: Palak ‘Paneer’

Traditional Palak paneer is made of soft cheese that is not aged, called paneer. To make this recipe fully vegan-friendly tofu is replacing the paneer. This recipe by Nikki and Zuzana is easy to make, smells amazing, and has just the right amount of richness and spice.

11. Red Bean Curry

Red Bean Curry

Source: Red Bean Curry

This red bean curry by Molly Patrick is totally delicious, and it’s also a lot easier to clean up because there is no oil coating your dishes. The part that takes the longest is chopping the veggies!

12. Khaman Dhokla: Indian Steamed Chickpea Flour Cake

Khaman Dhokla: Indian Steamed Chickpea Flour Cake

Source: Khaman Dhokla: Indian Steamed Chickpea Flour Cake

This Khaman or Khaman Dhokla recipe by Rinku Bhattacharya is an easier version of the traditional Dhokla, which is made of soaked fermented split gram lentils or channa dal. In this instance, garbanzo bean flour or besan is whisked into yogurt and then leavened. The rising agent is fruit salts aka eno, that reacts with the lime in the batter to produce a bubbling effect to create the soft spongy texture.

13. Mango Phirni: Indian Rice Pudding

Mango Phirni: Indian Rice Pudding

Source: Mango Phirni: Indian Rice Pudding

This Mango Phirni: Indian Rice Pudding with flattened rice by Srividhya Manikandan is a popular dessert recipe from the Indian subcontinent and is prepared with milk, rice, sugar, and the added flavors of saffron or cardamom, or both. However, this vegan version is just as creamy and comforting as its predecessor and even more delicious.

14. 20-Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry

20-Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Source: 20-Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry

This protein-packed chickpea and spinach curry by Dana Sandonato is the perfect meal in a pinch! If you’re a fan of chickpeas alone, you need this dish in your life. Serve it over fluffy rice, with naan, as a side, or eat it on its own.

15. Indian Butter Chickpeas

Indian Butter Chickpeas

Source: Indian Butter Chickpeas

Check out this delicious plant-based take on the traditional dish of chicken makhani, or Indian butter chicken. In this recipe, tender chickpeas replace the chicken, and cashews and avocados are used to make a lush, buttery sauce. These Indian Butter Chickpeas by Cruelty Free Family are healthy, rich, and ridiculously flavorful!

Learn How To Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Chickpea Masala Curry

Check out this delicious Indian butter chickpea recipe by Cruelty Free Family. This is a plant-based take on the traditional dish of chicken makhani, or Indian butter chicken. Tender butter chickpeas replace the chicken, and cashews and avocados are used to make a lush, buttery sauce. This dish is healthy, rich, and ridiculously flavorful!

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
Plant-Based Health Resources
Plant-Based Food & Recipes
Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
Plant-Based Meal Prep

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