Make the festival of lights memorable with these Vegan Diwali Dinner Menu Ideas! A collection of the best Indian main dishes and sides, all plant-based, often gluten-free!
Vegan Diwali Dinner Menu Ideas that will please everyone
Preparations for Diwali, the biggest Indian festival have officially started in my home! Known as the festival of lights, Diwali usually falls between mid-October and November and celebrations begin by lighting rows of lamps or candles in homes, temples, shops, and offices.
That’s right – Diwali is a big deal food-wise. People make and exchange savories, snacks, sweets and desserts, host get togethers with extensive spreads and connect with family and friends. Whether you are a plant-based household or are hosting a mixed crowd, I can guarantee you that these Vegan Diwali dinner menu ideas recipes will please everyone!
These delicious recipes feature Indian main dishes, as well as flavorful vegetable sides, daals/ lentil dishes, Indian flatbreads, and rice dishes, and festive desserts to end the meal Enjoy!
Start up with small servings of this tomato soup or Kachumbar salad and warm chips or Mathri. The kachumbar salad (onion, cucumber, radish salad) is a great side with the meal too. I usually don’t plan elaborate pre-meal snacks as then people fill up on those and the meal has a lot of leftovers 🙂
Choose 1-2 main dishes, 2-3 side dishes, legumes and 1 rice and 1 flatbread. Add papadums or a chutney or a Raita (with non dairy yogurt) and your spread is ready! Most of these can be made ahead! Reheat with a bit of non dairy milk if they have thickened too much. Rice is best made fresh.
Happy Diwali to all who are celebrating! Please stay safe and be cautious in these changed times.
Diwali Dinner Menu: Main Dishes
This Restaurant-Style Vegan Malai Kofta recipe is the ultimate Indian comfort food. Picture Crispy potato and chickpea dumplings in a creamy, spiced Indian gravy that will make your tastebuds sing! Soyfree. Gluenfree option. Nutfree option
Tofu Amritsari Masala. This Amritsari Sauce uses toasted cayenne and spices with a creamy tomato sauce. Add chickpeas, veggies or veggie meats for variation. Vegan Glutenfree Recipe. Can be Soyfree, Nutfree.
The easiest, simplified and hands-off version of butter tofu curry! No tempering spices, no sauteeing onions, no frying tofu. The oven takes care of everything for a fabulous silky Baked Tofu curry! Serve with rice for a delicious vegan dinner. Glutenfree Nutfree Soyfree option
Vegan Paneer Lababdar with Tofu. Use this Luscious Indian Tomato Cashew Ginger Lababdar Sauce w/ chickpeas, veggies, chickpea tofu, seitan. Glutenfree Tofu Lababdar Recipe. Nutfree Soyfree Oilfree options
Dinner just got easier with this Madras Curry Tofu Casserole! A simple one-pot meal with baked tofu in a flavorful Indian gravy!
Gobi Musallam (cauliflower that has been roasted whole) is a fantastic centerpiece. The whole cauliflower head is lightly blanched then drenched with the luscious Mughlai-inspired makhani sauce and baked. This is a main dish to serve during the holiday season. When roasted, the whole cauliflower looks gorgeous and smells divine. The makhani curry is decadent, creamy, buttery, and fantastic. You can serve the cauliflower as is, or sliced with some sauce on the side, or with naan or other flatbread, salads, rice, or quinoa.
This Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer is the easiest and the tastiest dairy-free, gluten-free Saag Tofu. Tofu in Spinach Sauce. Can be made soy-free with chickpea tofu. Ready in 20 Minutes!
Tofu in Creamy Black Pepper Tomato Sauce ( Dum Tofu Paneer Kali Mirch) is a weeknight dinner your whole family will love! This easy Indian tofu recipe treats pan-fried firm tofu pieces to a bath of deliciously aromatic and creamy Indian gravy. Serve over rice or with naan or roti. Oil-free, soy-free and nut-free options included
Restaurant Style Tofu Butter Masala Recipe – Easy Indian Butter Tofu “Paneer”. Dairy-free Tofu Paneer Butter Masala. Tofu is marinated and baked then simmered in tomato ginger cashew sauce. Vegan Gluten-free Recipe.
Tofu in creamy Mango Curry. Mangoes are abundant in India, where they are always juicy and sweet. In the United States, mangoes can be a bit tart. For desserts or curries like this one, I prefer mango pulp or puree in canned or bottled form. You can use a ripe mango, if you prefer, but be sure to puree it well before using. This is a simple recipe but the resulting dish is very alluring with its sweet and spicy sauce. It can easily be made soy-free. For variation: Use chickpeas, tempeh or vegetables.
Diwali Side Dishes
An easy healthy spin on restaurant-style aloo gobi that has all the flavor of the authentic Indian potato and cauliflower curry we love ordering at our favorite takeaway but is way lower in fat.
8 Spice Veggie Stir fry – Vegetable Masala Subzi. Use up the veggies to make this dry Veggie Stir fry with Indian Spices. Serve with Dal or Curries or make a wrap with a dressing of choice. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free Recipe
This easy Vegetable Balti is a really delicious way to get the family to eat healthy veggies like bell pepper and cauliflower, as the Balti Spices add a fantastic Indian flavor to them. 1 Pan, Baked Balti Casserole. A wonderfully rich and hearty Indian Balti sauce that is packed with veggie vitamins . Glutenfree Soyfree and Nutfree.
Instant Pot Indian Cabbage and Peas! Patta Gobi Ki Subzi This Cabbage Curry is made in a pressure cooker. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free Braised Cabbage Recipe. Stove top option in notes
Instant Pot Baingan Bharta Recipe – Spiced Mashed Eggplant. 1 Pot 30 min Serve as dip with flatbread or with curries or Dals. Vegan Glutenfree Nutfree Soyfree Recipe
Vegan Bombay potatoes and Peas Recipe. Ready in 30 minutes. How to make Easy Potato Pea Curry. Add greens, use sweet potato for variation. Vegan Glutenfree Indian Recipe Serves 3 to 4
Learn how to make restaurant-style Diwani Handi Vegetables at home with this easy handi veg recipe. Mixed vegetables and cashew nuts simmered in a rich tomato-based gravy. Gluten-free & soy-free, nut-free option.
Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce. Flavorful Weekday Dinner. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree option Vegetable Tikka Masala
Up your weeknight dinner casserole with this easy vegan vegetable curry casserole loaded with Indian spices and creamy tomato gravy! All in 1 dish!
Dals and lentil dishes for Diwali
Vegan Keema Madras with lentils. Keema is usually a minced meat dish made with combination of spices to add a complex flavor. This Vegan Keema uses red lentils. Serve this with flatbread, rice or with dosa and appam. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe Nut-free Option
Lentil Veggie Dhansak. Dal and vegetables cooked with spices. Parsi dhansak Recipe. Cook in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or Saucepan. Serve over rice or flatbread or garlic bread. Vegan Gluten-free Indian Recipe
How to make restaurant style non-dairy Dal Makhani. gluten-free Soy-free Indian Recipe. Instant Pot Option in notes
Punjabi Dal Fry Recipe. Easy Dal Fry with whole spices and garam masala. Lentil Dhal. Use Red lentils or a combination or yellow lentils, split peas etc. North Indian Lentil Soup for the soul. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Indian Recipe.
Instant Pot Chana Saag – Chickpea Spinach Curry. Easy 1 Pot Chickpea Curry. Saucepan option. Chana Palak /Palak Chole Vegan Gluten-free Nut-free Recip
Easy Dal Fry. Red and yellow lentils spiced with Indian spices and tempering. Easy, Vegan, Gluten-free Soy-free, nut-free. Serves 2 to 3
Kadai Chole is a delicious Chickpea curry generally made in an Indian wok. 1 Pot 30 min Spiced Chickpeas and Potatoes. Vegan Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree Recipe
Make this easy Vegan Curry Lentil Casserole whenever that craving for restaurant-style creamy Indian lentil dishes hits. Brown lentils simmered in a fragrant coconut curry broth, served over rice! So easy, so delicious. Gluten-free, too.
Easy Chana Dal Recipe. Split chickpeas make a smooth nutty soup. Flavored with roasted cumin tempering. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe. Make it in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or a Sauepan
Eggplant Sambar Recipe – Indian Yellow Lentil Tamarind Dal. Toor Dal Sambar with Eggplant or other seasonal veggies. Instant Pot or Saucepan Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free Recipe
Black eyed Pea Bean Soup. Mixed Dal with green mung beans and Lobhia. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe
Flatbreads and rice
This is a super puffy soft Vegan Naan flat bread. Make plain Naans, Garlic Naans or Avocado Naan! Vegan Naan Recipe. Bake it in an oven or cook on stove top. Garlic Naan. Avocado Naan. Cauliflower Stuffed Naan. Dairy-free Indian flatbread. Makes 8 to 10 Naans
Vegan Gluten free Naan Flatbread. Grain-free Naan Recipe. Yeastfree 6 Main Ingredients, 1 Bowl, and 20 Minutes. Serve with curries or slice and serve with dips or add to bowls. Soyfree Nutfree options
Garlic flatbread recipe No Yeast. This easy garlic herb flatbread has no yeast, doesn’t need hours to rest, and has a secret ingredient. Vegan Yeast-free garlic Naan Recipe. No yogurt, no Tofu. Easily doubled. Makes 3 to 4 flatbread
Easy Spinach Flatbread, This recipe is soy-free, nut-free, easy and kid approved Makes 7 to 8 parathas or 10 to 12 rotis Prep time: 20 minutes, Active Time: 45 minutes
Rosemary Pumpkin Flatbread. Yeast-free Pumpkin flat bread with herbs. Use as side or to make wraps. Vegan Soy-free Recipe Makes 8 to 9.
Easy Yeast-free Sweet Potato Vegan Gluten free flatbread. Sweet Potato flatbread with chickpea flour, rice flour and psyllium husk. Gum-free Eggless Oat-free Recipe. Makes 5 to 6
Broccoli Chickpea Stuffed Flatbread – Broccoli Paratha. Shredded broccoli, mashed chickpeas and spices stuffed in a paratha flatbread. Vegan Indian Recipe soyfree Recipe. Makes 8 or 9 Parathas.
Lemony Turmeric Cauliflower Rice. Easy Side with any meal. 1 Pot 15 Minute Lemon Cauliflower Rice with mustard seeds and garlic. Vegan Glutenfree Grainfree Nutfree Recipe
This Curry Fried Rice is packed full of flavor. 1 Pot 20 Mins. Easy to make and gluten free. Use other cooked grains, spice blends for variation. A perfect side or a light meal. Vegan Glutenfree Nutfree Soyfree Recipe
Indian Spiced Masala Fried Rice with Turmeric Onion Raita. Use up the leftover rice or grains to make this quick spiced fried rice and serve with a simple yogurt raita that is spiced with turmeric and mustard seeds. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Indian Recipe
Turmeric Lemon Rice Recipe. Golden Rice with turmeric, lemon and mustard seeds. Use cooked brown rice, quinoa, millet or couscous or cauliflower rice for variation. Easy side.Indian lemon turmeric rice. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe
Chickpea Rice Pulao with Pulao/Biryani Masala. Easy One Pot meal w/ chickpeas, basmati rice and vegetables. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free Recipe. Can be made oil-free
Desserts to serve after the meal
You can make both the Rabri and gulab jamuns and serve together or Rabri and Gajar Halwa !
This Vegan Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake is the ultimate make-ahead dessert! A light sponge soaked in cardamom and saffron-scented nut milk. Dairyfree Eggless. It only gets better with time, so perfect for holidays, and Indian festive season!
Instant Pot Gajar Halwa / Gajrela – Vegan Carrot Halwa Recipe. Carrot Halwa is an Indian dessert, a flourless Carrot Cake Crumble/pudding that is spiced with cardamom and served during festivals. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Dairyfree Recipe.
Learn how to make Vegan Gulab Jamun using my simple dry mix. this festive Indian sweet consists of soft cardamom-scented donut balls soaked in rose water syrup. Dairy-free and with gluten-free option! Makes 22 to 26 balls
For an easy yet impressive holiday dessert try my vegan spin on Indian rabri, a thick, creamy milk pudding. My vegan rabri recipe is made with nut milk and flavored with cardamom and saffron. Gluten-free and soy-free.
Did I miss your family favorite? Let me know in the comment section below!