From easy crowd-pleasing recipes to classic dishes, try our Indian Vegetarian menu ideas for a fuss free entertaining. Whether it is a intimate get together or a big celebration, these dishes will surely please your friends and family.
Sharing my collection of Vegetarian appetizers, main course and desserts, with helpful tips to make your next party stress free!
Also sharing a new quick and easy dessert peda recipe at the end of this post!
Tips while planning the Dinner Party-
1- Get the final head count
2 – Ask about allergies or dietary restrictions ahead of time.
3 – Pick recipes which you are comfortable in making them.
4 – Start planning at least a week in advance.
5 – Do the shopping 3 days in advance.
6 – Clean and prep the veggies 1- 2 days in advance.
7 – Preferably pick dessert which can be made 1-2 days in advance.
8 – You can make dal/lentils or 1-2 curries a day in advance.
9 – Don’t stress out for smallest details.
10 – If some one offers to help take it
11 – To make it less stressful- order few dishes from outside or make semi home made recipes.
12- Use an instant pot or Indian style pressure cooker to make some of these recipes in very little time.
How to put a menu together –
A typical dinner party has drinks, appetizers, main course and dessert.
Drinks – you can serve home made beverages like lassi, punch or lemonade or serve store bought soft drinks or juices.
Appetizers – 2 to 3. I like to serve 1 or 2 appetizers and one salad or pre mixed chaats. You can order the appetizers, use a pre mix dhokla mix, or bake the Costco spring rolls, puffs, and more.
Main Course – can be divided in to curries, sabzi, dal, roti and rice.
- Curries/Sabzi – I usually pick one paneer (everyone’s favorite) and one vegetable dish.
- Dal/Lentils – you can serve dal, sambar, rasam or kadhi.
- Roti – I usually order roti or naan. Costco has large packs of naan, which can be warmed up in the tawa.
- Rice – serve plain rice, jeera rice, pulao or biryani.
Desserts – 1-2. I usually pick something simple, but something loved by both adults and kids. You can also serve cake, brownies or ice cream.
Menu Ideas by Course-
I usually like to serve one fried item and atleast one fresh vegetable based dish like chaat, dip or kosambari.
- Poha Vada
- Soya Chunks Manchurian
- Maida Ponganalu
- Masala Vada
- Masala Smashed Potatoes
- Chana Chaat
- Masala Corn Toast
- Corn Chaat
- Boiled Peanut Chaat
- Street Corn Salad
Some of the Non Indian Appetizers which are favorite among friends and family are –
Store bought Appetizers:
Indian Store Appetizers –
- Deep Samosa
- Pre Mix Dhokla (mix with water and steam them at home)
- Patra or Muthia
- Spring Rolls
- Nachos & Salsa
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- French Fries
- Mozzarella Sticks
Follow the instructions on the package and cook or bake accordingly.
- Soft Drinks
Paneer & Vegetable Curries
- Paneer Butter Masala – stove top & instant pot
- Stuffed Baby Eggplant
- Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry
- Baingan Bharta (no roasting method)
- Cauliflower Paneer Curry
- Cashew Curry
- Mushroom Masala
- Coconut Bell Pepper Curry
- Bottlegourd Curry
Dal & Beans –
I usually serve one dal and one lentil curry. They are great make ahead dishes and easy to make for a crowd.
Rice, Pulao & Biryani
If I am serving more curries, I usually serve plain rice. But if you prefer to serve pulao or biryani, you can make that and reduce the amount of curries.
- White Rice or Cumin Rice
- Vegetable Pulao
- Soya Chunks Biryani
- South Indian Style Vegetable Pulao
- Green Moong Dal Pulao
- Sambar Rice
- Burnt Garlic Fried Rice
No Indian meal is complete with out a side of pickle. While store bought pickles are easily available, here are some of my favorite homemade pickles. These can be made few days in advance.
Desserts / Indian Sweets
I prefer making desserts which are simple and can be made a day in advance.
- Ricotta Cheese Badam Burfi
- Instant Kalakand
- 5 minute Coconut Ladoo
- Rava Kesari Ladoo
- Badam Halwa with Almond Flour
- Paan Ladoo
- Bread Halwa
- Instant Pot Rabdi
- Ricotta Cheese Peda
- Easy Badam Katli
- Rasgulla Ice Cream
- Ice cream Cake ( very popular dessert with friends and family)
- Best Brownies Ever
- Eggless Tres leches Cake
- Gluten Free Brownies
- Eggless Almond Cake
- Mango Ice Cream
Some other side dishes which can be served for the party are
- Waffles – Dosa Waffles, Green Moong Dal Waffles
- Sandwich – Paneer Sandwich, Tomato Chutney Grilled Cheese, Samosa Grilled Cheese
- Idli Varieties – Idli made with Idli Rava, Jowar Idli, Ragi Idli & Oats Idli
- Dosa Varieties – Dosa, Ragi Dosa, Jowar Dosa, Green Moong Dal Dosa
- Upma – Poha Upma, Quinoa Upma, Idli Upma, Semiya Upma
- Rava Vada
- Masala Pongal & Oats Pongal
- Savory Toasts, Avocado Toasts
- Oats Paratha
- Eggless Vanilla Cake & Eggless Almond Cake
- Pineapple Chaat
Though I don’t make a separate menu for kids, there are certain recipes which are liked by kids and they always come back for seconds.
- Masala Vegetable Quesadillas
- 7 layer Bean Dip
- Indian Potato Tacos
- Burnt Garlic Fried Rice
- Sweet Corn Vegetable Soup
- Masala Corn Toast , Tomato Chutney Grilled Cheese,
Sample Vegetarian Menu #1 –
Sample Vegetarian Menu #2 –
- Cauliflower Paneer Curry
- No Roasting Baingan Bartha
- Edamame Curry
- Plain Biryani
- Naan or Roti and Rice
Sharing some of the regional cuisines I make for get together’s and the recipes I have blogged so far.
- Gutti Vankaya ( Stuffed EggPlant)
- Mango Dal
- Gongura Pachadi, Maida Ponganalu
- Bottle Gourd Curry (Sorakaya Pulusu)
- Bread Halwa, Rava Kesari Ladoo
North Indian Recipes
- Chana Chaat, Corn Chaat & Sprouted Green Moong Dal Chaat
- Gujarati Dal, Palak Kadhi
- Paneer Butter Masala, Rajma Masala, Mixed Vegetable Curry
- Poha Vada
- Bhindi Masala
- Vegetable Pulao, Palak Biryani
Hope all these recipes and tips will be helpful in planning your next get together.
Here is the recipe for a quick and easy peda –
Indian Dinner Party Menu Ideas (Vegetarian) : Instant Milk Peda
- 2 cups milk powder
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- few pistachio for garnish
- Heat a large non stick pan and melt the butter.
- Add milk powder and condensed milk and with a whisk mix the ingredients to remove any lumps.
- Keep mixing and cook in the medium flame till the mixture starts to separate from the pan and thickens.
- Add crushed cardamom powder and mix it well.
- Turn off the stove, and transfer the mixture to a wide plate and let it cool slightly, for 3-5 minutes.
- Apply some ghee to the hands and take a small portion of the dough and make a crack free ball. Slightly flatten the ball and place pistachio.
- If you have any design molds, you can use them to a get a beautiful design for the peda. I used a whisk to make some lines on the peda.
- This instant peda, stays fresh for upto 5 days in the refrigerator.