5 Dairy-Free Indian Recipes to Try

Dive into dairy-free delights with these five delicious Indian recipes, showcasing rich spices and wholesome ingredients.

The fire-roasting process imparts a distinctive smoky flavour

Embrace the rich tapestry of flavours in Indian cuisine with these five dairy-free recipes that promise to tantalise your taste buds and elevate your culinary journey.

From aromatic biryani to hearty curries, each dish celebrates the vibrant essence of traditional Indian cooking without compromising on flavour or authenticity.

These dishes are ideal for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

Even if you are looking to explore new culinary horizons, these dairy-free delights offer a delectable glimpse into the diverse and sumptuous world of Indian gastronomy.

Here are five recipes to check out.

Baingan Bharta

5 Dairy-Free Indian Recipes to Try - bharta

Baingan Bharta is a popular North Indian dish, known for its delicious taste and being a healthy choice in Indian cuisine.

This dish features the flesh of fire-roasted aubergine, which is then mashed and cooked with a blend of traditional spices.

The fire-roasting process imparts a distinctive smoky flavour to the dish, enhancing its overall taste.

One of the unique aspects of this recipe is its emphasis on the natural flavours of the vegetables, minimising the need for excessive spices.

This focus on the vegetable’s flavour makes it a delightful dairy-free option.


  • 1 Aubergine
    3 Garlic cloves
  • 1½ tbsp oil
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Green chilli, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Red onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped


  1. Wash the aubergine and pat dry. Brush with a little oil all over then make a few slits all over.
  2. Insert a garlic clove into three of the slits then place directly onto a flame, turning often for 10 minutes.
  3. Once done, remove from the heat and wrap in aluminium foil to cool. Once cooled, remove the skin and chop the roasted garlic.
  4. Place the roasted aubergine into a bowl and mash then set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and add the raw garlic, ginger and green chilli. Cook for two minutes.
  6. Add the onion and cook until they soften. Add the tomatoes and mix. Cook for five minutes until the tomatoes become soft.
  7. Place the aubergine into the pan along with the roasted garlic and mix well. Add the red chilli powder and mix.
  8. Add the coriander powder and salt. Mix to combine then cook for five minutes, stirring often.
  9. Stir in the chopped coriander and mix before removing from the heat and enjoying with fresh roti.

Chana Masala

5 Dairy-Free Indian Recipes to Try - chana

Chana Masala is a classic Indian dish that celebrates the robust flavours of chickpeas simmered in a rich and aromatic tomato-based gravy.

The magic of Chana Masala lies in the harmonious blend of spices and ingredients that create a flavourful experience without the need for dairy.

This dish starts by cooking chickpeas until they are tender and can easily be mashed, infusing them with a hearty texture.

The base of the gravy is crafted from a medley of onions, garlic and ginger cooked to golden perfection.

Fresh tomatoes are then added, lending a natural sweetness and depth to the sauce without any reliance on dairy-based ingredients.


  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Lemon wedges (optional)


  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown. Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and slit green chillies. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of garlic disappears.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and mushy.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours.
  6. Add the chickpeas along with 1 cup of water. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Cover the pan and let the chana masala simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together. If the gravy is too thick, you can add more water to achieve your desired consistency.
  8. Finally, add the garam masala and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and spices as needed.
  9. Garnish the Chana Masala with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Vegetable Biryani

5 Dairy-Free Indian Recipes to Try - veg

This dairy-free biryani is a showstopper on any dining table, appealing to a wide range of tastes due to its versatility.

Using an array of vegetables, this dish bursts with flavourful spices, creating a vibrant and aromatic experience.

Unlike traditional biryanis that often require marination, this recipe is quicker to prepare, allowing the natural flavours of each vegetable to shine through and meld harmoniously with the spices.


  • ¼ cup onions, grated
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables of your choice, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 cup rice, boiled to almost done
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • A handful of coriander, to garnish


  1. Heat oil and add the cumin seeds in a rice pot. When they sizzle, add the onions and ginger-garlic paste. Fry until brown.
  2. Stir fry the vegetables over a low heat until they have slightly softened. Add coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder and green chillies. Cook for five minutes then mix in the lemon juice and half of the coriander.
  3. When the water has evaporated, remove half of the vegetables and layer with half of the rice.
  4. Cover with the rest of the vegetable mixture and the rest of the rice.
  5. Place the lid on the pot and allow it to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Once done, garnish with the coriander and serve.

Tarka Daal

5 Dairy-Free Indian Recipes to Try - daal

Tarka Daal is a popular Indian vegetarian curry that is simple to make. Its mild flavours and creamy texture are what make it so enjoyable.

The word tarka refers to the few ingredients that are used. They are fried up and stirred in at the end.

Ingredients like garlic and ginger give it unique flavour combinations to create a hearty dairy-free meal.


  • 100g split chickpeas
  • 50g red lentils
  • 3 Garlic cloves, grated
  • 10g ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Whole dried chillies
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A handful of coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Wash the lentils and chickpeas then place into a saucepan filled with one litre of water. Bring to a boil, removing any impurities. Add the turmeric, garlic, ginger and salt. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter. Add the whole dried chillies and cumin seeds. When they have browned, add the onion and cook until golden.
  3. Pour some of the lentils into the pan and scrape the base to extract all the flavours then pour everything back into the lentils.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, mashing some of the lentils. Add a little water if it becomes too thick.
  5. Remove from the heat, garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is a classic within Desi cooking and perfect if you are looking for a delicious dairy-free dish.

The dish uses potatoes and cauliflower which come together along with the spices for a well-balanced vegetarian meal.

The earthy potatoes are an ideal contrast to the hint of sweetness from the cauliflower, but the ginger and garlic add an intense depth of flavour.

It is quite easy to make and promises a plethora of unique flavours combined into one dish.


  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 Green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A small bunch of coriander, chopped


  1. Wash the cauliflower. Leave to drain and make sure that it is completely dry before cooking.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds.
  3. Add the onions and garlic when the cumin seeds begin to sizzle. Fry until they become soft and slightly brown.
  4. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, ginger, salt, turmeric, chilli and fenugreek leaves. Cook until the mixture has fully combined and it begins to form a thick masala paste.
  5. Add the potatoes and stir until they have been coated in the paste. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the cauliflower and stir until it is well mixed with the other ingredients. Cover and let it cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  7. Gently stir occasionally to prevent the vegetables from going mushy.
  8. Add some garam masala, mix and garnish with coriander before serving.

As you embark on your culinary adventure exploring these five dairy-free Indian recipes, you’ve experienced the variety of flavours that this cuisine has to offer.

Each dish showcases the diversity and versatility of dairy-free cooking in Indian cuisine.

By embracing these recipes, you not only savour delicious meals but also contribute to a healthier and more inclusive dining experience.

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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