Are you looking to add more dairy-free options to your Indian meals? Explore these tasty dishes, which are flavorful and perfect for those who are trying to eat dairy-free.

Dairy-Free Indian Food
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Whether you are lactose intolerant or just trying to eat dairy-free, there are lots of lactose-free Indian dishes you can enjoy!

From creamy coconut curries to flavorful lentil dishes, plenty of traditional Indian recipes can easily be made dairy-free by substituting ingredients like coconut milk or cashew cream.

Embrace the vibrant spices and bold flavors of Indian cooking while accommodating dietary restrictions with these delicious alternatives.

What are the common Ingredients of dairy in Indian food?

Common ingredients in Indian food that contain dairy include ghee (clarified butter), paneer (Indian cottage cheese), yogurt, and cream. These dairy products are often used in curries, desserts, and various dishes to add richness and flavor.

However, many delicious dairy-free alternatives and substitutions can create authentic and flavorful Indian dishes without compromising taste or texture.

Dairy-Free Substitutes for Indian Cooking

The common dairy ingredients used in Indian cooking can be easily substituted for some alternatives. Below are some alternatives:

Coconut Milk: A creamy and rich alternative to dairy milk, coconut milk adds a tropical twist to Indian dishes. It’s perfect for making creamy curries, soups, and even desserts like coconut-based sweets.

Cashew Cream: Made by blending soaked cashews with water, cashew cream is a versatile dairy substitute. It adds a luxurious creaminess to dishes like butter chicken and tikka masala without the need for dairy.

Vegan Yogurt: Plant-based yogurts made from soy, almond, or coconut milk are great alternatives to traditional yogurt in Indian cooking. Use them in marinades, raitas, or even to make lassi, a popular Indian yogurt drink.

Plant-based Oils: Instead of ghee, try using plant-based oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or mustard oil in your cooking. These oils add flavor and richness to dishes without the use of dairy.

Vegan Butter: Many dairy-free butter alternatives are available in stores, or you can even make your own using plant-based oils and flavorings. Use vegan butter in ghee or regular butter recipes to achieve a similar taste and texture.

Dairy-Free Indian Breakfast

moong dal chilla with tea on the side
5 from 9 votes

Moong Dal Chilla (Savory Lentil Pancakes)

Moong Dal Chilla is a delicious healthy Indian breakfast made with yellow moong dal along with simple spices and herbs, including chilies and onions. These savory lentil pancakes are nutritious, vegan and gluten-free.
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Masala oats with veggies and spices in a bowl along with yogurt
4.92 from 49 votes

Indian Masala Oats (Savory Oatmeal)

Masala Oats is a savory oatmeal breakfast porridge cooked with lots of vegetables and aromatic Indian spices. A healthy & delicious vegan breakfast recipe.
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Sabudana Khichdi in a bowl, garnished with cilantro leaves
4.84 from 12 votes

Sabudana Khichdi (Easy, Healthy Recipe)

A healthier Sabudana Khichdi recipe – Tapioca pearls/Sago cooked with potatoes, carrots, green peas and crushed peanuts. This popular vegan and gluten free dish is like a pilaf or upma made with tapioca pearls. Enjoy it for breakfast or an afternoon snack with tea.
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Poha garnished with lemon, sev, cilantro and pomegranate seeds
5 from 12 votes

Poha (Easy Kanda Poha)

Poha is an easy and delicious Indian breakfast recipe popular in western and central India. Made with flattened rice, onion, potatoes, and seasoned with mild spices, curry leaves, peanuts and cilantro, this recipe also makes up for a quick mid-day snack.
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besan cheela (besan puda) in a white plate with chutney
4.88 from 8 votes

Besan Chilla (Savory Gram Flour Pancakes)

Besan Chilla is a family favorite, known for its characteristic earthy flavor, which is provided by besan/ gram flour and simple Indian spices and herbs, including chilies and onions. These savory gram-flour pancakes are nutritious and vegan! Perfect to enjoy with your favorite pickle or chutney!
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Semiya Upma made with vermicelli in a bowl
4.95 from 37 votes

Semiya Upma (Vermicelli Upma)

This Semiya Upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast. Made with vermicelli and vegetables, this upma is mildly spiced, and an easy one-pot recipe. Make it on the stovetop or in the instant pot in less then 25 minutes!
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Dairy-Free Indian Appetizers

Air fryer onion pakora in white plate
4.86 from 21 votes

Air Fryer Pakora

The crispy and golden Air Fryer Pakoras are cooked to perfection! These Air fried onion bhaji are made with sliced onions, gram flour (besan) and spices. These crunchy flavorful fritters are a perfect snack with a cup of masala chai!
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Vada Pav Air Fryer
4.93 from 14 votes

Vada Pav / Potato Fritter Sliders – Air Fryer

Vada Pav is the humble street food of Mumbai. A fried potato fritter or vada, is stuffed in between mini-burger buns called pav, along with sweet and spicy sauces or chutney. 
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Sabudana vada in a plate with chutney
5 from 5 votes

Sabudana Vada

Sabudana Vada is a traditional Maharashtrian snack made from tapioca pearls (sago), potatoes, peanuts, herbs and spices. These sago fritters are delectable! This is vegan, gluten-free, and simple fasting recipe.
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Sev puri street chaat in a white plate with chutneys spread around
5 from 3 votes

Easy Sev Puri Recipe

A popular Mumbai street food, Sev Puri is a sweet, spicy and tangy chaat. Sev Puri is made with crispy puri (whole wheat crackers) topped with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and a variety of chutneys, and finished with sev (thin gram flour noodles). This no-cook chaat recipe is a favorite snack to enjoy with your evening tea!
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Khaman Dhokla with tempered with green chili and curry leaves stacked.
4.88 from 64 votes

Khaman Dhokla Recipe

Soft and fluffy Khaman Dhokla made in the Instant Pot and stovetop. These delicious steamed savory chickpea flour cakes are a popular Gujarati delicacy, perfect to enjoy for breakfast or snack!
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Dairy-Free Indian Main Dishes

Chana Masala (Chickpea curry) served in a black bowl
4.89 from 303 votes

Instant Pot Chana Masala / Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe in Pressure Cooker

Punjabi Chole Masala or Chana Masala is an Indian favorite chickpea curry. This one-pot recipe for the authentic Chana Masala can be made in the Instant Pot or stovetop Pressure Cooker. A healthy protein-rich vegan and gluten free chickpea recipe.
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Chicken Curry with coconut milk in a white bowl
4.87 from 548 votes

Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

Easy & healthy Indian Coconut Chicken Curry made in an Instant Pot in just 20 minutes!
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Baingan Bharta served in a white plate
4.89 from 9 votes

Baingan Bharta (Roasted Mashed Eggplant)

Baingan Bharta, a popular smoky and zesty dish from North India is made with roasted mashed eggplant, sauteed in onion, garlic, tomatoes and Indian spices. Vegan & Gluten-free.
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pyaar wali bhindi in a earthy pot
5 from 2 votes

Bhindi do Pyaza (Okra Stir Fry)

Bhindi do Pyaza is a flavorful Indian dish of crunchy okra cooked with lots of onions, garlic, and aromatic spices. Pair it with dal and rice for a simple indian meal. Vegan & Gluten-free.
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Aloo Gobi Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 1
4.87 from 72 votes

Instant Pot Aloo Gobi / Potato & Cauliflower Stir Fry

A healthy & delicious potato and cauliflower stir fry made in the instant pot. So easy and quick, takes just 20 minutes. Vegan & Gluten Free.  
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rajma served in a bowl garnished with cilantro
4.89 from 165 votes

Instant Pot Rajma Masala (Red Kidney Beans Curry)

Delicious Instant Pot Rajma Masala or Red Kidney Beans Curry with Pot-in-Pot Brown Rice. This is a great way to make a complete meal in your instant pot. 
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Lentil Sambar served in a bowl
4.90 from 139 votes

Instant Pot Vegetable Sambar (South Indian Lentils)

Sambar, a flavorful South Indian Lentil Stew made with lentils, vegetables, tamarind, curry leaves and spices prepared in the instant pot (pressure cooker).
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Chicken Vindaloo served in a bowl along with naan bread.
4.73 from 62 votes

Chicken Vindaloo – Authentic Pressure Cooker Recipe

Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo made in the Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot. Enjoy this dairy-free and gluten-free Chicken Vindaloo with rice or naan for a satisfying dinner!
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Creamy Palak Tofu in a white bowl with rice and garnished with coriander
4.87 from 29 votes

Vegan Palak Tofu

Palak tofu, also known as Saag Tofu, is a vegan version of the popular classic Indian dish, palak paneer. This flavorful vegan and gluten-free curry combines fresh spinach (palak) with tofu and a blend of aromatic spices. 
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Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala with cilantro and roti
4.75 from 4 votes

Tofu Tikka Masala

This delightful Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala replaces the traditional chicken with tofu, creating a wholesome and satisfying meal. Marinated tofu cubes are baked and added to a rich creamy onion-tomato gravy. Let's see how to make this mouthwatering vegan and gluten-free curry at home.
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Shrimp/Prawn Masala curry served over rice
4.95 from 17 votes

Shrimp Masala Recipe

Tasty and tender shrimp masala curry cooked in a rustic Indian sauce made with onions and tomatoes, along with aromatics such as ginger, garlic and spices. Make this authentic Indian curry with shrimp or prawns, and enjoy with a side of naan or rice!
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Vegetable Curry with Basmati Rice and Naan
4.91 from 103 votes

Vegetable Korma

Easy & Creamy Vegetable Korma made in the Instant Pot or stovetop. This restaurant-style creamy vegetable korma curry is a perfect blend of vegetables with a creamy coconut-based sauce. A vegan & gluten-free curry that pairs perfectly with naan or rice.
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Red Lentils served in 3 bowls over rice and topped with cilantro
4.88 from 201 votes

Red Lentils Curry (Masoor Dal)

Quick and easy Red Lentil Curry, also known as Masoor Dal, made in the instant pot and stovetop. This super delicious, healthy and budget friendly vegan meal can be made in less than 30 minutes! 
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Aloo Palak subzi served in a bowl
5 from 8 votes

Aloo Palak Recipe (Potato & Spinach Stir Fry)

Aloo Palak is a delicious and nutritious Indian potato & spinach stir fry. This Punjabi Aloo Palak recipe can be made in just 25 minutes and is perfect for a quick healthy weeknight dinner!
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Black eyed peas curry (chawli) in a bowl garnished with cilantro
4.91 from 99 votes

Black Eyed Peas Curry (Indian Lobia Masala) – Instant Pot & Stovetop

Black Eyed Peas Curry or Lobia Masala is a popular dish in North India, that is so easy and quick to make in the pressure cooker. It is made in an onion-tomato gravy, along with lots of ginger, garlic and aromatic spices. It is perfect to enjoy with some steaming basmati rice and parathas.
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Potato Curry along with puffed bread (puri) and onions in a black plate
4.78 from 77 votes

Instant Pot Potato Curry (Aloo Rasedar)

Easy and comforting Potato Curry in Tomato Gravy made in the Instant Pot. This North Indian Potato Curry is popularly known as Aloo Rasedar. Aloo means potato and Rasedar is a thin tomato gravy. 
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Egg curry made by adding boiled eggs to a spicy curry sauce, along with coconut milk to balance the flavors. In this Instant Pot Egg Curry, we will make the curry sauce and boil the eggs together. Make this quick and delicious Egg Curry for dinner on busy days in under 30 minutes. Serve it with roti, naan or rice. | #eggcurry #instantpot #pressurecooker #eggs #curry #lowcarb #glutenfree | pipingpotcurry.com
4.94 from 48 votes

Instant Pot Egg Curry (Pressure Cooker Anda Curry)

Egg curry made by adding boiled eggs to a curry sauce, along with coconut milk to give a flavorful protein-rich dish. In this Instant Pot Egg Curry, we will make the curry sauce and boil the eggs together, to make this delicious dish even quicker! Pair it with rice, naan or roti to make a complete meal.
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Aloo Matar made in instant pot served in a bowl
4.85 from 72 votes

Instant Pot Aloo Matar Recipe (Potato & Peas Curry)

Aloo Matar is a quick and easy potatoes and peas curry, made in the Instant Pot or stovetop. This vegan and gluten free Aloo Matar Masala is perfect for a delicious warm weeknight dinner!
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Dairy-Free Indian Sides

Healthy Chickpea Salad wot veggies and spices in a bowl
4.84 from 12 votes

Healthy Chickpea Salad

This Chickpea Salad is a healthy, vegan, protein-rich salad that is easy to put together in just 10 minutes. Chickpeas are combined with fresh veggies, flavored with Indian spices along with tangy lemon juice. Perfect for a snack or quick lunch!
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Spinach Rice in a cast-iron pan topped with lemon slices
5 from 9 votes

Spinach Rice

Spinach Rice cooked in the instant pot or stovetop as a one-pot recipe. Aromatic basmati rice, with spinach and spices, make this Spinach Rice flavorful and healthy!
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Crispy Dosa with chutney and sambar in a plate
5 from 14 votes

How to make Dosa (Crispy Dosa Recipe)

Learn how to make the best crispy dosa's from scratch with homemade dosa batter, along with all the tips and tricks to get the perfect crispy dosa's every time!
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delicious Aloo Paratha stacked in a plate with butter
5 from 9 votes

Aloo Paratha

Aloo Paratha is a special North Indian layered flatbread stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes. The parathas are roasted on the hot griddle until crisp and brown on the outside. Serve them with pickle and yogurt for an authentic Punjabi breakfast. Here is my mom's recipe to make the best aloo parathas.
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soft roti being cooked
4.88 from 55 votes

How To Make Soft Roti / Chapati? (Whole Wheat Indian Flatbread Recipe)

Roti, also known as Chapati or Phulka, is a staple in most Indian homes. This whole wheat Indian flatbread is typically enjoyed as a side with curries or lentils. 
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Vegetable Pulao Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
4.83 from 148 votes

Instant Pot Vegetable Rice Pulao

Veg Pulao or Vegetable Pilaf is an easy one pot rice dish mixed with a variety of vegetables and mildly flavored with spices.
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Keema Pulao in a black plate
5 from 3 votes

Keema Rice (One-pot Keema Biryani)

Keema pulao, also known as keema rice or keema biryani, is a delightful and aromatic one-pot meal that combines succulent minced meat with fragrant basmati rice. This flavorful gluten-free rice dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner with cooling raita and salad.
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About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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