12 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes with Indian Pantry Staples

12 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes with Indian Pantry Staples

A list of healthy Indian recipes you can make with your pantry staples during the lockdown period.

These are vegetarian and vegan healthy Indian recipes that can be made with non-perishables stocked up in your pantries.

Four images of Indian vegetarian food one in green color made of green gram, the one next to it in brown color made of kidney beans. The one at the bottom left is a yellow color dish made of rice, lentil. The image to the right corner is orange color soup.

I know a lot of you are looking for quarantine recipes that will not require you to source fancy ingredients.

As much as we like trying fancy recipes, finally, it all comes down to simple healthy meals on a regular basis, right?

With some basic pantry staples that generally we Indians have at home, you can try out these amazing healthy Indian recipes.

You would not only be happy about learning and trying some new recipes but will also be glad about using up your pantry effectively.

These recipes are perfect to be qualified as healthy vegetarian pantry meals that are delicious and nutritious as well.

What are Pantry Staples?

Pantry Staples are the food items that we consume regularly and are non-perishable, meaning that they have a long shelf-life.

For each of us, the list of these food items that qualify as a staples, differs.

Being a south Indian, my pantry staples are rice, lentils, legumes, different kinds of flours, whole grains, semolina, flattened rice, millets, Indian spices mainly.

I also stock up nuts, seeds, dry fruits, different kinds of oil, ghee (clarified butter) in my pantry.

I believe this list is pretty much the same with most of us Indians.

Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, ginger also fall under pantry staples according to me, as they can be stored for long.

List of Non-Perishable Ingredients you will need

These are the pantry staples you will need to make the recipes listed here.

In case you do not have any of the ingredients listed below, feel free to use alternatives or skip it altogether if it is not the main ingredient.

I have also listed the alternatives and the ingredients you can possibly omit, under each of the recipes mentioned in the next section.

Grains– Sona Masoori Rice (white and brown), Idli Rice, Quinoa, Foxtail Millet

Lentils– Urad Dal (Split Black Lentil), Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas), Mung Dal (Split Yellow Lentil), Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas)

Legumes Green Gram, Kidney Beans, Black Urad dal (Black Urad Dal), Horse Gram

Flour- Ragi (Finger millet) flour

Miscellaneous- Flattened Rice (Poha), Indian spices, Cooking Oil or Ghee, Salt

1- Dosa

Brown color dosa a healthy indian recipe with crispy texture placed on a cast iron tawa on a blue background

Dosa- one of the most healthy breakfast dishes from south Indian cuisine.

It is a crepe of sorts made with rice and lentils mainly that are ground and fermented.

Traditional dosa is probiotic, gluten-free, and vegan!

Just a little effort and prep work to make the batter and you will be sorted out for the next 3-4 days’ breakfast or dinner.

Ingredients Required:

Sona Masoori Rice, Idli/Dosa Rice, Urad dal, Chana dal, Mung dal, Toor dal, Flattened Rice, Fenugreek Seeds, Salt, Oil.


  • Use only Sona Masoori white rice if you do not have Idli/Dosa Rice.
  • You can use Masoor Dal (split red lentils) in place of Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas).

2- Easy Green Gram Curry

A healthy Indian curry recipe made of green gram with cilantro served inside a grey color bowl placed on a blue plate along with chapati against a grey background

This is a super easy and a beginner-friendly vegan recipe you can make with green gram.

An hour to soak the green gram and the next 20-25 minutes to cook it and add the rest of the ingredients to make the curry.

Green gram (Mung Beans) being very high in nutrition, this curry makes a wholesome and a healthy meal along with chapati or rice.

Ingredients Required:

Green Gram, Oil, Indian Spices, Salt.


  • You can use red chili powder/paprika powder instead of green chilies.
  • You can use amchur (dry mango) powder, or tamarind juice instead of tomatoes, or canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones.
  • Onion powder can be used instead of fresh onion. However, onions can be stored in the pantry for a month at least.


Curry leaves, Cilantro.

3- Gujarati Vaghareli Khichdi

Nutritious, healthy yellow color khichdi made with foxtail millet and lentils along with chopped cilantro, peanuts, mango pickle served on an antique plate against a dark background

Khichdi is THE ultimate comfort food for most Indians.

It is vegan and a perfect balance of carbohydrates and protein.

This Gujarati khichdi is a one-pot meal made of foxtail millet and lentils that needs only 15 minutes to cook.

Ingredients Required:

Foxtail Millet, Toor Dal, Moong Dal, Peanuts, Oil/Ghee, Salt, Indian Spices.


  • Any other millet like Kodo millet or Little Millet can be used instead of Foxtail millet.
  • You can also make this with rice or broken wheat instead of millet.
  • You can use the dry ginger powder in place of fresh ginger.


Vegetables, Cilantro.

4- Ragi Roti

Power packed, healthy recipe of soft Ragi Roti rolled and placed on a glass plate along with onion, green chilies against a blue background

Super soft roti (phulka) made with finger millet flour which is gluten-free and nutrient-dense.

This Indian flatbread can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with Eggplant Curry, Green Gram Curry, or any other Indian curries or stir-fried vegetables.

Ingredients Required:

Ragi Flour, Salt, Oil/Ghee.

5- Dal Makhani

Creamy healthy Indian curry made of Kidney Beans and Black Lentils garnished with cilantro, cream served in a dish along with naan bread against a black background

Dal Makhani is a high protein vegan curry made with Kidney Beans and Black Lentils.

Legumes being a class of vegetables and extremely nutritious, it is advised to have these regularly, especially now as a substitute for fresh vegetables.

Make this delicious and healthy dal makhani to serve with rice or any Indian flatbread variety.

Truly one of the best healthy Indian recipes you can make!

Ingredients Required:

Dry Black Lentils (Urad Dal), Dry Kidney Beans (Rajma), Indian Spices, Butter, Tomato Puree or Tomato, Milk, Salt.


  • Canned black lentils and kidney beans instead of the dried ones.
  • Ghee or oil in place of butter.
  • Store-bought ginger garlic paste or dry ginger & garlic powders instead of fresh ginger and garlic.


Milk, Onion, Cilantro.

6- Akki Usli

Akki Usli is a one-pot dish made with rice, moong dal, and vegetables that comes together in under 15 minutes.

It is a gluten-free, vegan, healthy, light on the tummy kind of meal that uses very minimal spices.

You can make this dish without vegetables as well and it can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Ingredients Required:

Rice, Mung Dal (Split Yellow Lentil), Salt, Oil/Ghee.


  • Frozen Coconut or Dry Coconut (Copra) instead of freshly grated coconut.
  • Red chili powder/ Paprika powder in place of green chilies.
  • Store-bought bottled lime juice in place of fresh juice.


Vegetables, Curry leaves, Cilantro, Lime Juice.

7- Brown Rice Neer Dosa

Neer dosa is a traditional variety of instant dosa from the coastal Karnataka region.

It is made with only two main ingredients- rice and coconut.

In this recipe, I have used brown rice in place of white rice making this more wholesome.

Neer dosa is a quick healthy breakfast dish that tastes great with coconut chutney or any other curry of choice.

Ingredients Required:

Brown Rice (Sona Masoori), Grated Coconut, Salt, Oil.


  • White raw rice (Sona Masoori) in place of brown rice.
  • Frozen grated coconut in place of fresh grated coconut. You will have to thaw to bring it to room temperature before using.

8- Green Gram Coconut Milk Curry

An easy vegan curry made with green gram, coconut milk, and Indian spices that comes together in under 30 minutes.

If you like coconut milk-based curries, this is definitely for you. This curry turns out creamy and delicious and can be served with rice or roti.

Ingredients Required:

Green gram, Coconut Milk, Indian Spices, Salt, Oil.


  • You can use canned green gram in place of dried green gram.
  • Use canned coconut milk in place of fresh coconut milk.
  • Tomato Puree can be used instead of fresh tomatoes. You will need about 1/4 cup tomato puree.
  • Or dry mango powder (amchur) in place of tomatoes for the tang.


Onion, Cilantro.

9- Horse Gram Rasam

Horse gram is a power-packed legume, super-rich in protein, fiber, and all the dietary nutrients. It is also known to be great for weight-loss.

This delicious horse gram rasam (soup) is indeed one of the best pantry friendly healthy Indian recipes you can ever make!

You can serve this with rice, or ragi mudde, or can also be had as a soup.

Ingredients Required:

Horse Gram, Indian Spices, Coconut, Oil, Salt.


You can use frozen grated coconut or copra (dry coconut) in place of freshly grated coconut.


Onion, Curry leaves, Cilantro.

11- Horse Gram Usli (Stir-fry)

Horse gram Usli is an extended recipe of horse gram rasam, made using the cooked horse gram.

This horse gram Usli (stir-fry) can be made in 10 minutes and served along with horse gram rasam and rice or ragi mudde to make it a complete healthy meal.

Although this dish is part of the previous recipe, I am listing this as a separate recipe for those who want to make just this stir-fry.

Ingredients Required:

Horse gram, Onion, Grated Coconut, Indian spices, Oil, Salt.


  • Frozen grated coconut or grated dry coconut instead of fresh coconut can be used. However, it tastes great with fresh or frozen coconut only.
  • Store bought bottled lime juice instead of the fresh one.


  • Honestly, this dish tastes amazing with a lot of onion. But sadly, you can skip it if you don’t have it in hand.
  • Curry leaves and Cilantro.

11- Ragi Mudde

Ragi Mudde is simply a cooked ball of ragi (finger millet) flour, that is dipped in rasam or sambar and swallowed.

It is a super healthy, traditional recipe from Karnataka, probably, one of my best picks from this list of healthy Indian recipes.

Ragi Mudde is very good for weight loss, is diabetic-friendly, and can be served for lunch, dinner, or also for breakfast.

The recipe includes all the tips to make soft, lump-free ragi mudde.

Ingredients Required:

Ragi Flour, Salt, Oil/Ghee.

12- Quinoa Dosa

A dosa recipe that can be made with quinoa for a healthy, protein-rich breakfast or dinner.

Quinoa dosa can be made instantly without the need for fermentation.

In this recipe, I have used a cucumber as the other main ingredient along with soaked quinoa.

However, a plain quinoa dosa would also be good, in case you don’t have cucumber in hand.

Ingredients Required:

Quinoa (white or red), Salt, Cumin Seeds, Oil, Coconut.


  • Frozen grated coconut, or frozen sliced coconut in place of freshly grated coconut.
  • Quinoa might not be an Indian pantry staple for a lot of you. In case you don’t have it, you can make this dosa with a millet like Foxtail, Kodo, Little Millet, etc.
  • I have not tried this dosa exclusively with millet, but I use it in other dosa recipes, and I guess it should work.


Cucumber, Green chilies, Coriander leaves.

I hope this roundup post gives you an idea of the possible vegetarian and vegan pantry meals you can make during this time and later too!

If you try any of these recipes, let me know your feedback personally on Instagram Facebook.

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Four images of Indian vegetarian food one in green color made of green gram, the one next to it in brown color made of kidney beans. The one at the bottom left is a yellow color dish made of rice, lentil. The image to the right corner is orange color soup.

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