With great spice, comes great responsibility and these vegetarian-friendly recipes have come to play. #TheChefsLine
15 May 2017 - 11:02 AM  UPDATED 18 May 2017 - 2:49 PM

This week, it's all about Indian cuisine on #TheChefsLine. Feeling inspired? Combining #MeatFreeMonday with the rich and robust flavours of Indian food we kick the week off with a vegetarian bang.

Curry o'clock

1. Rajasthani chickpea dumpling curry 

These little dumplings (gatta) are cooked in a simple but incredibly tasty yoghurt and tomato sauce. Served with plain rice, this curry is easy to make, cooks in 20 minutes and is exquisite.

2. Rogani kumbh

Hailing from northern India, where fresh produce grows in abundance and vegetarian fare features heavily, this mushroom tomato curry is based on a starter of onion, ginger and garlic.

Radish and chickpea curry (mulangi kadalai kozhambu)

The recipe for this kozhambu comes from cookbook author Sabita Radhakrishna’s mother. The daikon absorbs liquid as it cooks in the curry, becoming soft and juicy.

Cauliflower and potato curry

A good cauliflower curry is a work of art. Use this recipe as a starting point to make up your own version.

For the fried fanatics

5. Spiced Indian potato and pea fritters 

Great as a snack or a starter, these spiced fritters strike the balance between savoury and sweet and are quick and easy to prepare.

6. Onion bhajis

These crunchy fritters of onion, potato and spinach are served with a refreshing mint chutney. 

Salted fritters (mathi)

A simple recipe using just three ingredients, these salted fritters are made using ajwain seeds, which have an intense caraway flavour.

Vadai with coconut chutney

These moreish south Indian savoury doughnuts are fragrant with cumin, turmeric and ginger and make the perfect snack with drinks.

Mental for lentil

9. Yellow dhal with peas

This easy, one-pot dish is flavoured with ginger, cumin and turmeric and mildly spiced with Kashmiri chilli.

10. Indian spiced lentils with roast pumpkin and yoghurt

Canned lentils are a great, mid-week time saver and this quick cook dhal can be pulled together from mostly pantry staples in less time than it takes for delivery to arrive.

Dhal soup with spiced tempeh

"The beauty of writing recipes is that it’s a journey of discovery. It’s like meeting people through food; their tastes and culture come to life firstly on the page, and then on your tongue. As I wrote my book I got hungry and my biggest issue was spending too much time wanting to cook my discoveries. Inspiration and experience create new dishes. This recipe was inspired by the passion Michael had for the tempeh he made, along with his amazing ginger and turmeric. I also learnt that to ensure the tempeh sucks in as much flavour as possible, it’s best to freeze it first, this causes the cell wall to break and allow all the flavour of your marinade in." Peter Kuruvita, Peter Kuruvita's Coastal Kitchen

One-pot lentils with naan lid

“Entertaining friends and family doesn’t have to be a complicated affair - a simple one-pot comfort dish can be just as impressive. The cauliflower sambal and boiled eggs add a nice finishing touch to this vegetarian winter warmer.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne

Sweet and sour lentils (gujerati dahl)

This sublime dish comes from the western Indian state of Gujerat, which is almost wholly vegetarian thanks to Jain and traditional Hindu religious influences. Make it as soupy or as thick as you like and serve with plenty of roti to scoop it up with.

Egg-cellent ideas

14. Malayali egg roast

You'll want this egg curry in your life. There are many versions in India, but perhaps the most famous is this Malayali breakfast dish from Kerala, a tangle of browned onions, curry leaves, green chillies and tomatoes. Try it with rice dosa, or some buttered toast! 

15. Five-spiced potatoes with egg and coriander 

Panch phoran is a Bengali five-spice mix. You can buy it in some spice shops, but it’s easy enough to make your own, and it’s so addictive. It’s delicious in dahl, on fried cauliflower – anything really – but it’s particularly good with potatoes.

Turmeric pickled eggs

These pickled eggs are great alongside cured meats, in a sandwich or added to a salad for substance.

Masala omelette

This is one of my favourite meals and comes into play well beyond breakfast time. It is quite different from a “normal” omelette in texture which is soft and eggy. This omelette is cooked until golden on both sides and spongy rather than soft. I often grate some cheese in the middle before folding it on my plate or add some sautéed mushrooms into the mix. The textures all work really well together and is really delicious. Serve with toast or hash browns and plenty of ketchup.

Wrap it

18. Potato and cauliflower masala dosa

Dosa, or Thosai, originated in South India. It is traditionally a breakfast dish of a fermented crepe with a spiced potato filling, but really works anytime of the day. This full-flavoured, low-fat and high-fibre option includes dried spices for a healthy meal.

Potato and cauliflower masala dosa

19. Spiced rice pancake

Pancakes with simple preparation that can be conjured up in minutes. It is a fuss-free snack for the evening "tiffin" and feel free to eat them as is or fill them with whatever you are in the mood for. 

Crepes with potato curry (masala dosa)

Besan or chickpea flour forms the base of these Indian crepes, which are served with a classic potato curry, yoghurt, fresh mint and store-bought chutney.

Fried cheese and vegetable wrap (paneer Frankie)

This Indian wrap recipe is perfect for a healthy, vegetarian lunch. Paneer has a beautiful texture when fried, the outside golden brown and the inside warm and soft.


A little cheese

22. Curried red quinoa, pea and paneer salad

Though this cooks like a dry curry, it is more like a salad and you can throw in whatever you might have on hand, like tomatoes, sliced red onions, arugula [rocket] or even roasted cauliflower. Place it on your dining table for a vibrant centrepiece that tastes sensational. 

23. Palak paneer

Ready in 30 minutes this cheese and chilli combo is part of our Top 50 vegetarian recipes on the site, so you know it's going to be good.

Kale and spinach with Indian cheese (kale palak paneer)

A favourite from the Indian kitchen, palak paneer is traditionally cooked in ghee and finished with rich, thick cream. Here, we’ve lightened things up by getting rid of the ghee and swapping the cream for tart, creamy yoghurt. Using baby kale leaves with the spinach adds extra bite and texture.

Chilli paneer

You can’t go wrong when paneer is in the mix and this recipe is no exception. A relatively simple Punjabi dish of paneer, potato, capsicum and various spices, you can whip this recipe up in less than an hour.

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? It's Indian week on The Chefs' Line, 6pm weeknights on SBS. Check out the program page for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more.