Want Light Dinner Options? Try These 8 Indian Vegetarian Ideas
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Having a table filled with Indian dishes with nothing but aroma filled in the air is a sight people might miss with busy lives and easy takeout options. But if you’re tired of eating out of plastic boxes or don’t want to make an elaborate three-course meal, light vegetarian and authentic Indian options will be perfect for you and your gut.

In Indian culture, vegetarianism isn't just about what you eat; it's a way of life steeped in tradition and centuries-old way of life. When it comes to dinner, it is believed that it should be the lightest meal of the day. So, why don’t you try these light dinner options that also promise delicious taste for the foodie inside you?

Dal Tadka

Dal is one of the staple foods in India that is eaten in various forms. You can make the comfort food for your dinner with basic ingredients and in no time. Start by soaking the lentils for half an hour while you make the tadka. For the tadka, take a small pan and add ghee and cumin seeds. After they splutter, add ginger garlic paste and red chillies, and your tadka will be ready. Next, take a pressure cooker and add the soaked lentils with water and add chopped onions, tomatoes, and your go-to spices as per your taste. Once the lentils are soft, add the tadka on the top and garnish with dhania. That’s it; your dal tadka is ready to serve either with rice or roti.

Baingan Ka Bharta

Baingan Ka Bharta is a smoky and flavourful vegetarian dish that is made by roasting eggplant. To make it home, you’ll need to roast the eggplant over an open flame and peel off its skin. Then, take a pan and add ghee or oil, cumin seeds, and onion, and mix till they get golden brown. Now, you can add ginger garlic paste to add more flavours along with green chillies and keep mixing to avoid burning. Next, take tomato puree or chopped tomatoes, cook until you get a uniform gravy, and then add mashed eggplant. While mixing, add spices like turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, etc. And your baingan ka bharta is ready to serve.

Patta Gobi Matar

While you must have used cabbage to add crunch to your Chinese dishes, adding it to peas makes a mouth-watering Indian dish. To make this utterly nutritional sabzi, you can start by adding cumin seeds, onions, ginger, and garlic to some oil in a pan. After the onions turn golden brown, add chopped cabbage and fresh peas to the pan and season with herbs and spices. Keep mixing and let the cabbage cook on low flame for a while till it is softer. Now all that is left for you is to take your freshly made patta gobi matar into a large bowl, garnish with dhania, and relish it with roti or any parantha.

Vegetable Pulao

If you’re in the mood to eat rice, you can make vegetable pulao that will be ready within half an hour. All you need to do is wash the rice and let it soak while you prep the vegetables. Next, take ghee or oil in a pot and add cumin seeds and other whole spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. Once you get the aroma in the air, add chopped onions along and stir well. Now is the final step to add all the content into a pressure cooker along with the soaked rice and vegetables of your choice like peas, carrots, cauliflower, soybean chunks, etc. Add water and let the content cook for fifteen minutes, and your fragrant and colourful vegetable pulao will be ready to eat. You can pair it with raita or plain curd and enjoy the finger-licking meal.

Lauki Ki Sabzi

Lauki (bottle gourd) is a simple and easy-to-make Indian speciality, but it gets you all the flavours and mouth-melting feeling. To get your hands on lauki ki sabzi, peel and chop the bottle gourd before cooking. Now, prepare the mixture of sautéd onions mixed with herbs and spices and add mashed tomatoes to the mixture. Cook until you get a thick gravy and then add the chopped bottle gourd. Close the lid of the pan and the contents cook till the vegetables get tender. Once ready, you can add chopped dhania and dig in.

Matar Aloo Tarri

Matar aloo tarri is children’s favourite Indian dish. If you want to dive into the simplicity of potatoes and enjoy this flavourful delicacy, pair it with green chutney and eat it with either rice or roti.  To prep matar aloo tarri, you’ll need a tomato and onion-based puree, if not you can make it by adding chopped onions, tomatoes, and some water in a pot and cook till you get a thick gravy. Then, add ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt, and others as per your taste. Add diced potatoes and peas to the boiling gravy and let it cook on low-medium flame till the potatoes absorb the flavours. Add chopped dhania for an added flavour, and you’re done.

Rasam Rice

Rasam Rice is a comforting South Indian dish that is made with steamed rice and a tangy-flavoured rasam. For rice, wash and soak the rice for half an hour and cook in a pan with a closed lid in water with salt to taste. To make rasam, cook lentils (masoor dal or toor dal) with water in a pressure cooker till they are soft. Simultaneously, get a pan with ghee or oil, and add cumin and mustard seeds till they crackle. Next, add chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and the usual spices and cook while mixing uniformly. Now, blend soaked lentils with tamarind to get the tangy flavour, and add water to get your desired consistency. Let the mixture cook for five to ten minutes and pour it over the cooked rice and you’re all done!


Chokha-Bhaat is a traditional Bihari dish that consists of mashed potatoes (chokha) paired with steamed rice (bhaat). It's a simple yet satisfying dish often enjoyed as a light dinner option. To prepare bhaat, make steamed rice by adding water and salt to the rice and cooking till the rice absorbs the water. For chokha, boil and mash potatoes and salt as per your taste. Add sautéd onions and cumin seeds to the mashed potatoes and mix well. Then add the potatoes to the rice while pouring ghee on top and mix them so that the rice gets the flavour of potatoes and you’re ready to eat India’s traditional dish.