PREPARATIONS for Thaipusam usually take place one month before the holy celebration. Murugan devotees who observe the sacred festival carry out various rituals to prepare themselves before performing acts of penance or thanksgiving on the divine day.

In fact, many devotees commit themselves to blessed acts to achieve mental and physical purity. Devotees commonly adopt a vegetarian diet.

In conjunction with the upcoming festival, we have compiled a selection of delicious Indian vegetarian dishes you can pick from and enjoy!

$!Chapati is served well with other dishes. — PHOTO COURTESY OF TOWFIQU BARBHUIYA


Made from wheat flour, Chapati is an unleavened flatbread that originated from the Indian subcontinent. Due to its simple ingredients, this dish is appealing to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian eaters.

As a matter of fact, Chapati goes well with many other Indian dishes. In terms of vegetarian cuisines, Chapati goes well with chutney, aloo phujia, and Chana Masala.

The flat bread is also easy to make at home, only requiring wheat flour, a teaspoon of salt and a cup of water.


Next on the list is Idli. Originating from South India, Idli is a savoury rice cake which is usually served as breakfast. The dough is made of fermented black lentils (peeled) and rice, which is then steamed to form the cake.

The fermentation process also makes it easier for the body to metabolise the cake by breaking down the starches. Similar to Chapati, Idli is also served well with other Indian cuisines like rasam, coconut chutney and medu vada.

$!Thali is usually consists of 10 to 15 small katoris. — PHOTO COURTESY OF JULIA GARTLAND


If you have a bigger appetite, fret not! Thali (plate) or also known as Bhojanam (full meal) is for you, then! The dish truly lives up to its name!

Usually served with 10 to 15 small round bowls called katoris, a thali is a complete meal served on a single plate.

Typically, the katoris include rice, dal, vegetables, roti, papad, dahi (yoghurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle and a sweet dish to top it off. The rice or roti is the main dish that occupies the central portion while the rest are the side dishes.

The idea behind the dish is to offer all the six various flavours of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy on one single plate. According to Indian food customs, a proper meal should be comprised of these six flavours.

However, all experiences of its glory are reserved solely for significant celebrations or social occasions, even though the katoris are prepared on the regular at certain homes.

$!Vegetarian Biryani is usually served at festive celebrations and social events. — PHOTO COURTESY OF SUBODHSATHE

Vegetarian Biryani

Of course, there is nothing like a good old classic biryani! Unlike other types of biryani, the vegetarian biryani is an aromatic rice dish that is made out of basmati rice, mixed vegetables, herbs and biryani spices.

Though it may not be as popular as the non-vegetarian biryani, this dish is still a superstar in its own right! Its wonderful aroma and exotic flavours make it a delight to the taste buds.

In fact, it is often served at festive seasons and social events.

Similar to Chapati, this vegetarian dish is an easy and quick meal to prepare. The ingredients include 200 grams of basmati rice, 400 ml water, 1 stalk of lemongrass, 1 slice of ginger, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vegetarian curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

$!Puri is also known Poori. — PHOTO COURTESY OF HIGH VIEWS


The last dish on our list is Puri. Also spelt as Poori, this Indian dish is a traditional deep-fried bread that is made from whole-wheat flour, salt and water.

During the preparation process, the bread puffs up when it is fried. Once it reaches a golden-brown colour, it is taken out and served.

Even though it is typically a breakfast dish, Puri can also be served for lunch and dinner along with the main dishes. Apart from meals, Puri is served as an offering dish for rituals. Puris are smaller in size than chapatis.