Celebrate Diwali With These Delicious Vegan Eats

Diwali—aka “the festival of lights”—is one of the most important days of the year for Indians around the world and involves spending time with family, enjoying delicious foods, and performing traditional activities.

It’s customary for food eaten during Diwali to be prepared at home, rather than purchasing it ready-made. So what is eaten during the five-day festival? Sweets! And lots of them, too. Here are some popular Indian sweet dishes (veganized) that you simply must try at home. If you scroll down this page, you’ll see we’ve created a savory vegan Diwali menu so that you can try some deliciously spiced dishes before moving on to the best course: dessert.

Vegan Indian Dessert Recipes 

Gulab Jamun

#gulabjamun. Vegan and gluten-free. This was sublime! A very dear friend of mine was coming today to my apartment and we planned on cooking up a storm. This is what we made. It was easy and so delicious. Thank you, @veganricha for this wonderful recipe. BTW, I’ve harassed my friend telling her time and time again that she should make Richa’s excellent recipes. I’ve gifted her the ebook (subtle, no?) and now she’s singing Richa’s praises. Another convert to yummy vegan food! ?. ETA- The description in Spanish. Buñuelos de boniato, marañón (cajú (pajuil))y leche de soya en polvo, en sirope de azafrán y cardamomo. Veganos y sin gluten, sin lácteos y sin huevo. Los gulab jamun son unos típicos dulces de la India (y otros países del Sur de Asia) que tradicionalmente se hacen con sólidos de leche y se sirven para las Fiestas (Holi, Diwali, etc) y ocasiones especiales. Una muy apreciada amiga mía venía a visitarme y queríamos cocinar juntxs. Esta fue la receta que escogimos. Quedaron divinos gracias a la magnífica (y fácil) receta de @veganricha. Si no habéis probado alguna receta de @veganricha, les exhorto encarecidamente a que visiten su blog y comprueben que la comida vegana no tiene que ser sin sabor. #vegan #vegano #glutenfree #glutenfreevegan #plantpowered #plantstrong #plantbased #indianfood #veganindianfood #veganindiandesserts #desserts #comidavegana #postresveganos #saffron #azafran #whatveganseat #veganfood #veganfoodporn #veganfoodshare #sinhuevo #singluten #eggfree #sweetfritters #vegangulabjamun #vegandesserts #horngryvegan #veganrichasindiankitchen #buñuelos #dulcesveganos

A photo posted by Vegan Jobo (@pepajobo) on May 11, 2016 at 11:13pm PDT

Like most Indian sweet dishes, gulab jamun is traditionally made with dairy ingredients. However, this dessert is a must-have during Diwali, and like we all know by now, any dish can be made without harming animals. Vegan Richa’s recipe for vegan gulab jamun creates an indulgent dessert and is bound to impress guests at your Diwali feast.

Toasted Coconut Ladoo Balls

Toasted Coconut Ladoo! 4 ingredients 20 Mins! Fudgy snowballs , use cardamom, vanilla or lemon zest! #vegan #recipe now on VeganRicha.com Video on the post too!

A photo posted by Vegan Richa (@veganricha) on Oct 16, 2016 at 12:10pm PDT

Fudgy soft balls of coconut heaven! These ladoo balls are made with coconut milk, cardamom, and coconut sugar.

Brown Rice Kheer

Brown Rice Kheer for Diwali! Rice pudding with cardamom and nuts. #vegan #dairyfree #indian #dessert #recipe Now on VeganRicha.com

A photo posted by Vegan Richa (@veganricha) on Oct 24, 2016 at 1:41pm PDT

Every Indian household will be indulging in kheer this holiday season. It’s a sweet, creamy rice pudding topped with nuts and raisins. Usually, it contains white rice, but this recipe calls for brown rice, so you can make your treat a little bit healthier. We won’t say no to that second helping, then!

Mango Shahi Tukda

This is an exotic version of bread-and-butter pudding, featuring a mango and cashew cream sauce. Not only does mango make this dish look vibrant, it also gives it a distinctive flavor. We love how blended cashews make the best milk alternative.

Date Balls

This is the quickest and easiest sweet you can make for Diwali this year, and it’s healthy and gluten-free, too.

Vegan Savory Diwali Menu

Quinoa Chivda


We love nibbling on food, like this spicy, crunchy mix of cereal, nuts, and spices. You can serve it as a side with your Diwali dinner or as a standalone snack. Warning: Once you start munching on this mix, it’s difficult to stop.

Vegetable Samosas

{New!} Two-Bite Vegetable Samosas ft. @LittlePotatoCompany’s Terrific Trio (recipe link in profile!) ?? Itty bitty vegan samosas loaded with a filling of curried peas, carrots, onion, and colourful Creamer potatoes. A perfect little appetizer (or snack!) ? ?? Want to win a 1 Month Supply of Little Potatoes from The Little Potato Company? Readers from the US & Canada can enter for a chance to win at the bottom of the post. Giveaway ends Monday, March 7th at midnight EST. Good Luck! ♥ #vegan #vegetarian #appetizers #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #LittlePotatoCo #LittlePotatoes #vegansnacks #fbcigers

A photo posted by Brittany from ilovevegan.com (@ilovegan) on Mar 3, 2016 at 4:00pm PST

Samosas are traditional and tasty and make excellent appetizers. Make them with potatoes, onions, lentils, and shredded mixed vegetables, and to be really fancy, add some pine or pistachio nuts.

Chili Tofu Paneer

Chilli Tofu “Paneer”! #vegan #indianChinese #recipe Now On VeganRicha.com

A photo posted by Vegan Richa (@veganricha) on Oct 12, 2016 at 1:53pm PDT

Chili paneer is a very popular Indo-Chinese dish, but this veganized recipe by Vegan Richa, which uses tofu, is much healthier and tastes delicious. It’s highly recommended for those who like their food to have a little kick.

Lentil and Okra Curry

This hearty curry should be poured over steaming hot rice. We love this nutritious recipe, because you need only one pot to cook the curry.

Mushroom and Green Peas Curry

Now here’s a quick dish that you can make for your Diwali dinner that’s packed with protein. Bake some naan bread to go with this main course. (See the recipe below.)

Naan Bread


We love making naan and eating it, too, so how can we celebrate Diwali without a fresh batch of the hot oven-baked bread? Sprinkle on some fresh garlic before baking to add extra flavor. Enjoy it with a delicious warm curry, dipped in hummus, or with some fresh guacamole.

Masala Chai

This warm Vegan Masala Chai is a blend of bold black tea and seven aromatic spices. ☕️☺️ Make it hot or iced. I’ve also included a recipe for the chai tea and spice mix so you can keep it handy for whenever the need for chai arises! ?? Recipe link in profile->Recipes->Beverages ⬆️ #chai #tea #spices #tealover

A photo posted by Omar (@landsandflavors) on Apr 20, 2016 at 2:03pm PDT

Chai is a hot tea made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices. Drink it alongside your savory meals during your Diwali feast or pair it with any or all of the aforementioned vegan desserts.

Wishing you a joyous and happy Diwali!

 If you try any of these recipes, tell us about it on Facebook.

Written by PETA Asia intern Kristen Fay 

November is World Vegan Month. Why not pledge to go vegan today?