Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is a time for all things decadent and delicious. With these yummy milk-free and ghee-free vegan Diwali sweets you can make your celebration a compassionate one as well. There is no deprivation here: these Indian sweets taste just as authentic and amazing, and they are easy to make. Icing on the cake, they are often healthier. I hope you will find something to love here.
Happy Diwali and a wonderful new year to all!
Vegan Gulab Jamun
Everyone loves gulab jamun! This quintessential Indian sweet, a favorite at weddings, restaurants and anywhere Indian food is being served, gets a vegan makeover but remains as yummy as ever. No one you serve it to will know it’s dairy-free!
Barfi, a soft, dairy-based fudge, is ubiquitous at Diwali. Try this vegan barfi for a change. It’s so easy to make and so delicious!
This vegan kheer, an Indian rice pudding, is smooth and creamy with the aromatic flavors of cardamom and saffron woven through. The recipe is nut-free, although you can use nuts as a garnish.
A nankhatai is a fabled, melt-in-the-mouth Indian cookie that’s scented with cardamom and studded with nuts. Its shortbread-like texture owes itself to lashings of ghee, but my dairy-free version doesn’t miss a flavor or texture beat. This vegan nankhatai takes under 30 minutes to make and it comes together in one bowl.
Vegan Mishti Doi
The Bengali sweetened yogurt dish, Mishti Doi, is literally one of the most delicious things you can ever eat, and it couldn’t be simpler to make. This blissfully vegan Mishti Doi has probiotic cultures, tastes just as good as the real thing, and it makes a stunning, and even healthy, dessert–or breakfast.
Vegan Kaju Katli
No Indian celebration is complete without a diamond-shaped Kaju Katli. This vegan, dairy-free kaju katli is perfectly flavored with cardamom and saffron, and is as authentic as can be!
Vegan Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)
Gajar ka Halwa must’ve been invented by a cook with a touch of genius. This simple but spectacular Indian dessert classic made with shredded carrots harnesses the natural flavor and sweetness of carrots into a dish so delicious, you’ll be making it over and over.
Zarda (also called Meethe Chawal or Sweet Saffron Rice) is an Indian Muslim delicacy. Long grains of fragrant basmati rice are flavored with saffron and tossed together with dry fruits and sugar. It’s food at its regal best, but it’s also an easy recipe that nearly anyone can pull off in under 30 minutes.
A rabri is a divine Indian dessert made by heating milk until a good deal of the liquid has evaporated, leaving behind a thick, creamy pudding that’s sweetened and flavored with cardamom and saffron. My vegan rabri has no dairy, couldn’t be easier to make, and is as delicious as the dairy-based version!
Vegan Karanji (Gujiya)
Karanji or Gujiya is a traditional Diwali snack. Flaky, crackly pastry is wrapped around a delicious filling of coconut, cardamom, and cashews. For my quick and easy — and baked — version, I use puff pastry.
This delicious vegan malpua crunches between your teeth before you bite into the juicy, cardamom-scented center. It’s a dessert to live for, and it’s also one of the easiest Indian sweets you can make!
Vegan Kaju Rava Laddu
These vegan laddus are light and delicious with the scent of cardamom and saffron. If you are used to traditional laddus, rock-like and dripping with ghee, these make a wonderful change.
A Phirni is at once a rustic and sophisticated dish. It’s a creamy milk pudding thickened with a coarse powder of rice. Not unlike a rice pudding, but grinding up the rice gives this dish a completely different flavor. This vegan phirni, made with non-dairy milk, is gorgeous and it doesn’t miss out on any of the amazing flavor!
Vegan Cardamon Turmeric Cake
With the quintessentially Indian flavors of cardamom and turmeric, this vegan cardamom turmeric cake is the perfect Diwali treat! It is certain to please everyone, and it’s super easy to make.
Vegan Mango Cake
Scented with cardamom, this vegan mango cake uses Alphonso mango puree for amazing flavor. It’s soft, luscious and delicious, and a surefire crowd pleaser!