Indian dinner vegetarian recipes | gluten-free | vegan

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dinner recipes indian

Indian dinner vegetarian recipes | gluten-free


There are many dals that you could make and eat with any type of bread/ chapati/rice.

Listing down some of my favorite dals below.

1. Chana Dal  Fry


Chana dal (Split chickpeas) : 1/2 cup

Water: 1 ½ cup

Turmeric: ¼ tsp

Salt to taste

Spinach: 2 cups

Tomato: 1 chopped

Onion: ½ finely chopped

Oil: 2 -3 tsp

Lemon juice: 1 tsp

Garlic ginger paste: ½ tsp

Coriander powder: 1tsp




Wash chana dal until the water runs clear.

Soak in water for 30 minutes or more.

Now cook daal in the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water, turmeric powder, and salt. Cover the lid, let this cook on a medium flame for 30 minutes or 6-7 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook this daal in a heavy base pan for 35-40 minutes. You can soak this daal overnight too, that way it will cook faster in the saucepan. Cook until the lentil breaks easily when you press it in between your fingers.

Blanch the spinach: In boiling water, add the spinach, cook this for 5-6 minutes on high heat and take the spinach out.

In a hot pan, add olive oil, the chopped onion, blanched spinach, and mix well. Now add the coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, salt. Mix well and let this cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. When you see the onion has changed colour to light brown, add the chopped tomato. Mix very well. Let the tomato cook down properly, when they become mushy and almost done, add the lemon juice and the boiled chana daal. Mix everything properly. If you feel the soup is too thick then you can add a bit of water. Let everything cook together for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Your soup is done, you can eat this with steamed rice or just like that with a piece of gluten-free bread.

2. Dal Makhani



It’s safe to say that Dal Makhani is more loved than butter chicken in India. We just have to order dal makhani at a Mughlai or North Indian restaurant, it is our staple comfort food which we feel can only be made properly at the restaurants. The secret ingredient to dal makhani is ‘patience’, if you see the ingredients they are actually very simple. After my gluten problem, i decided to recreate the recipe in my kitchen, i made some good batches but i was still not very happy as i wanted that ‘restaurant’ like flavour. So i experimented a bit more and i now now i am very close to that flavour. Follow my recipe, make it at home, and you won’t be disappointed. So, shall we begin?


Servings: 4

Time: Soak overnight (8 hours)

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Whole black lentil/ Urad daal black: 1 cup

Rajma /red kidney beans: 1/3 cup

Onion: 1  grated

Ginger garlic paste: 2 tsp

Tomato: 2 large or 3 medium ( Blended in a blender)

Cream: 1/4 cup (If you are using any heavy cream, plz use 2-3 tbsp)

Butter: 3 tbsp

Vegetable oil: 1/2 tbsp

Cloves: 4

Cumin: 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder: 1/2 tbsp

Cinnamon stick: 1 inch

Green Cardamom: 2-3

Black Cardamom: 1 (If you don’t have it, you have leave it)

Ground Nutmeg: 1 pinch (If you don’t have it, you have leave it)

Black Peppercorns: 5-6

Bay Leaf: 2

Star anise: 1/4 of 1 flower (If you don’t have it, you have leave it. I personally quite like the flavour of this  daal when i add this spice)

Garam Masala powder: 1/2 tbsp

Coriander Powder: 1/2 tbsp

Salt to taste



1 small piece of charcoal
½ teaspoon ghee or any vegetable oil


  • Soak urad daal and rajma in plenty of water overnight. The next day discard the water and wash it 3-4 times under running water.
  • Transfer them to a pressure cooker and add 1/2 tbsp salt. You need to pressure cook with enough water (water level should be 2″ high from daal), check after 7-8 whistles. You need to cook the daal with the grains still intact and mushy at the same time. Don’t worry this will happen on its own. Just make sure you don’t over-pressure cook them. After the pressure cooker has released the pressure on its own, open the lid and check the grains. (the toughest part is done, phew!)
  • Now take a pan, add the butter and  1/2 any neutral vegetable oil. Now add the whole spices when the oil + butter heat up (cloves, cumin, black cardamom, green cardamom, bay leaf, peppercorns, nutmeg, star anise). Let them all turn light brown.
  • Now add the grated onion. Fry it, till it turns golden brown.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.
    Add the tomato puree, cover the pan and let it cook. Cook for about a few minutes until you see the oil separating from the sides.
  • Now add the powdered spices: coriander powder, cumin powder (Garam masala will be added later). Mix well.
  • Time to add the boiled daal to this mixture.
  • If there is a lot of water in the pressure cooker, then you gotta just scoop out the daal part.
  • After adding daal to the pan, add some water from the pressure cooker. If there is not enough water left then add 1/2 cup warm water.
  • Mix well, cover, and cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes (I cook for close to 45 minutes). This slow cooking is very important to bring out the real taste of Dal Makhani.
  • Keep stirring in between, and adjust water if you think that the daal is thickening too much.
  • After 40 minutes add the cream. Mix well. (Dal makhani is neither too thick nor too thin).
  • Add garam masala powder, mix very well and turn off the stove.
  • Your Daal Makhani is ready. Enjoy with pulao or chapati.
  • Serving tip: add a dollop of softened butter on top of the daal. YUM YUM YUM!



Heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot.

Transfer the charcoal to a small heat-proof bowl (A small steel bowl/Katori is the best choice).

Pour ghee on the hot charcoal.

Immediately place this bowl in the container that has daal makhani.

Cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke. Now stir well, and serve.


3. Easy yellow dal: the everyday comfort food

Prep Time: 1 hour (time required  to soak daal in water)

Cooking Time: 1 hour. If you use a pressure cooker then just 10 minutes.



Toor daal or Arhar daal: 1 cup

Water to soak: 2 cups

Water to cook with: 6 cups

Turmeric powder: 1/2  teaspoon

Salt to taste







Red chilli powder: 1/2 teaspoon (  You can use hot paprika powder) If you wanna skip this, you can do that too.

Ghee or any veg oil: 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon



  1. Wash daal nicely and soak it in 2 cups of water for 1 hour.
  2. Drain out the water and boil it in a pan with 6 cups of water with little salt and turmeric and 3-4 drop of oil.
    You need to stir the dal in between to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. You need to add more water if daal is not properly cooked. It would take around 1 hour for it to be properly boiled. If you are using a pressure cooker then 4 whistles are good also you need to just add 2 cups of water and not 6.
  3. To know if it is cooked, try to squish the lentil/daal with the back of a spoon, if it gets squished easily then daal is cooked.
  4. You can consume daal at this point too. This is the basic daal.  Enjoyed best when you add a bit of hot ghee on daal just before eating.
  5. If you want to add more flavours to your humble daal then make the tadka.
  6. In a separate small pan, heat up ghee (preferably) or any vegetable oil.
  7. After the oil gets hot, lower the heat.
  8. Add the cumin seeds, the red chilli powder (if you have great, if you don’t have you can skip this. But I like the red chilli flavour, it adds a bit of colour which makes it interesting).
  9. Take this and spread the tadka oil over the cooked daal.
  10. Daal is ready to be served.




Sabzi: Sabzi is vegetables in Hindi. Listing down some of my favourite vegetable dishes.


1. Palak Paneer or Palak tofu


Prep time: 1o mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 2 people



Spinach: 1 half bunch or 6-7 cups of spinach

Water: 4-5 cups

Paneer: 1-1/2 cups paneer (cubed into bite-size)

Tomato: 1 (finely chopped, this will make 3/4 of chopped tomato)

Green Chillies: 3-4 ( add more if you like your food spicier)

Onion: 1 thinly chopped

Ginger Garlic paste: 2 tsp ( take ginger and garlic, blitz in a blender with some water to make this paste)

Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp

Bay Leaf: 2

Paprika or Kashmiri Mirch Powder: 1 tsp

Dry Mango Powder: 2 tsp ( If you don’t have the mango powder you can use lemon juice)

Garam Masala Powder: 2 tsp

Coriander Powder: 2 tsp

Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp

Olive oil/ any vegetable oil: 2 tbsp

Salt to taste



Step 1:First blanch the spinach, this helps to keep the spinach color bright. Boil about 6 cups of water in a saucepan, and let the spinach boil for 1 minute. Drain the water and put the spinach in ice-cold water for about 2 minutes. Remove from water and let this cool down a bit.

Step 2: After the spinach has cooled down a bit, blitz this in a blender and make a puree.

Step 3: Pan-fry the tofu cubes in a few drops of olive oil or any vegetable oil. Keep it aside.

Step 4: In a nonstick pan, add 2 tbsp oil, when the oil gets hot add the cumin seeds & bay leaves. After cumin seeds crack, add the onions, green chilies and stir fry for a few minutes till the onions turn golden brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, mix well. Add the tomatoes too. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes. Tomatoes should be tender, not mushy. Add coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, salt, dry mango powder and let this cook on a low heat for a minute or so. Now add in the spinach puree and mix everything well. let this cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Now you can add the tofu to the spinach puree. Fold them properly. Add the garam masala powder. Mix everything well. let this cook for another minute or two and your dish is ready. Serve with steamed rice and some raita.


Find the recipe with images here.



2. Kadhai Paneer or Kadhai Tofu



Tofu or Paneer:  1  packet (200 grams approx)

Onion: 3, chopped

Garlic and ginger paste: 1 tablespoon

Diced green capsicum: 1

Diced onion: 1

Tomato: 2 medium

Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp

Coriander seeds: 1/2 tsp

Sugar: 1/2 tsp (optional)

Lemon juice: 1 tsp

Kashmiri chili powder/ paprika powder: 1/2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Dry fenugreek  leaves or kasoori methi: 1 tablespoon

Fresh cream:  2 tablespoons (optional) (if you like you could use any vegan cream)

Vegetable oil of your choice



Coriander seeds: 1/2 tablespoon

Cumin seeds: 1.2 teaspoon

Cardamom: 2

Cloves: 2 (Optional)

Dry red chilli whole: 1 or you can use hot paprika powder

Peppercorns: 4-5



  1. In a pan, take 2 tsp oil and cook diced capsicum and onion. Do not cook them all the way, just till they turn brown on the edges. Remove from the pan. Set it aside.
  2. Marinate the tofu/paneer: sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt, paprika powder a pinch, half a lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Pan-fry the marinated tofu/paneer until they turn brown.
  4. Make the masala powder: dry roast the spices on a pan or tawa on low flame till they turn golden brown. DO NOT BURN THE SPICES. Let them cool down, grind them into powder. Set it aside.
  5. In a pan, add some oil, fry the onions till they turn golden brown. Add in the ginger-garlic paste, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes have wilted. Turn off the heat. Let this mixture cool down. After it has cooled down properly, grind it into a paste.
  6. Again in a pan, pour some oil (2 tsp approx), add the coriander seeds (the distinct flavor of this dish comes from the coriander seeds so this is an important ingredient make sure you add the seeds), add in the paste you just made, add some salt, turmeric powder. Let this cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Time to add the masala powder you made. The paprika powder/Kashmiri chili powder. Mix in well with the paste and let this cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes or until you see oil separating from the masala.
  8. Add the pan-fried tofu/paneer. Mix everything properly.
  9. Add in a cup of water to this. Mix well. Cover the pan and let this cook for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Time to add cream or vegan cream. Mix well. Mix everything well.
  11. Now add the diced capsicum and onion.
  12. Add the fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
  13. The dish is done. Have it with rice/chapati.


Find the recipe with images here


3. Moong  dal and yogurt chila (yogurt and moong dal salty crepes)

Find the recipe here.


4. Aloo paratha recipe.

Get the video recipe here.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Cathy

    Finally, I can make that black butter daal.

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Hi! I am Khushboo. I am gluten intolerant and this is my Gluten-Free food diary. My recipes are not necessarily fancy, they are practical and simple. Journey with me on my exciting food discoveries as I am on a mission to make gluten-free food enjoyable, fun & affordable. If they can make it with gluten, we can make it without.

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