Culture & Lifestyle / DIY: Vegetarian Kebabs Recipe With A Tandoori Twist

DIY: Vegetarian Kebabs Recipe With A Tandoori Twist

Culture & Lifestyle May 17, 2017

Get your grill game on with our delish vegetarian kebabs recipe! 

The summer season is almost upon us, which means it’s time to stock up on some new recipes to hit the grill with! With that said, I find that when smoky BBQ comes to mind, it’s often associated with searing up a nice cut of meat, but that does not always have to be the case! Instead, I’m always looking for fresh and scrumptious barbeque recipes to try out, especially during the summer months (I’ll take any and every reason to get outside and enjoy the wonderful weather while it lasts), and this vegetarian kebab twist is a true winner.

This fabulous vegetarian side will eat like a main (I swear you won’t even miss the meat), and it can be prepped ahead of time, which is an added bonus when you’re entertaining. The dish takes plain old kebabs to another level on the flavour spectrum, as it encompasses a variety of traditional South Asian spices. For instance, the recipe includes cassia bark, which is a member of the cinnamon family that is commonly used in South Asian cooking, as it has a less intense flavour profile to ensure that the other spices are not overpowered.

The dish also calls for common items that are likely to be in a South Asian pantry, such as cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chilli flakes and fenugreek or Kasuri methi, which can be bitter, but it helps to bring balance to the dish. But, not only does Kasuri methi help to make the marinade taste heavenly, it is also great for the digestive system. This revitalized kebab recipe is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet tastes that will bring even the pickiest of eaters to the table.

Check out the recipe below.

Step One: If you have the time to make the tandoori paste fresh, do it! If not, feel free to use your personal favourite store-bought brand. There is no shame in taking a shortcut, as long as the end result is still mouthwatering kebabs!

Vegetarian kebabs recipe
Vegetarian kebabs recipe: This combination of aromatic South Asian spices will have your kitchen smelling marvelous! Photo Credit:


  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cassia bark
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground Kasuri methi or fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of besan flour (you can also sub cornmeal, but you’ll get a slightly different texture)1 cup
  • 1 cup of yogurt (Greek yogurt  is best for a rich texture, but if you’re like me and cannot indulge in such delicious pleasures, you can sub coconut yogurt, which as a bonus adds a new and exotic flavour element)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (to add a sweet element)
  • Chilli flakes (add to your taste)
  • Salt (add to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger (grated is best)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (grated or ground into a paste is best)
  • 2 mint leaves (I like to break it down into a paste so the flavour is strong and it blends well into the mixture, but you can certainly just do a fine chop)
  • 1 teaspoon of oil (you can use your preferred choice)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (you can certainly add less)
  • 5 tablespoons of concentrated tomato puree (paste will work fine)

What you’ll need

  • Bowl
  • Whisk


  1. Combine all of your ingredients in a big bowl and whisk together to produce a vibrant and pungent marinade! I dare you not to salivate when you breathe this in.
  2. Take a taste to ensure that the flavours are to your liking. This is where you can adjust the salt and heat.
  3. Once you’re satisfied, set it aside while you prep your veggies for their dip into flavour town.
Vegetarian kebabs recipe
Vegetarian kebabs recipe: This marinade looks positively good enough to dive into! Photo Credit:


Step Two: It’s time to prepare your veggies for the marinade.


  • Button mushrooms (small)
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Bell peppers (whichever colour you prefer)
  • Red onion
  • Potato / sweet potato (you’ll need to boil it until it’s al dente in order for it to cook through, prior to marinating it)
  • Optional: You can add cubed paneer or tofu to the marinade if you want to mix it up


  1. Once you’ve sliced and diced your veggies into chunks (slightly bigger than bite-sized pieces), place them in the marinade and leave them to soak up all that heavenly goodness for as long as you can (2 to 3 hours would be ideal)! Place it all in a ziplock bag and pop it in the fridge to let the magic happen.
Vegetarian kebabs recipe
Vegetarian kebabs recipe: As an added bonus in the summer time, you can use ingredients that are fresh from your garden patch! Photo Credit:

Step Three: Now that your veggies have soaked up all of those aromatic and rich flavours, it is time to prepare them for the grill.

What you’ll need

  • Skewers (if you use wooden skewers, soak them in water so they don’t burn when you put them on the grill)
  • Drip tray


  1. Simply spear the veggies through on the skewer, in any order that you prefer.
  2. Place the completed kebabs onto a drip tray as you prepare them.
Vegetarian kebabs recipe
Vegetarian kebabs recipe: Using skewers makes grilling veggies much easier, as it’s less likely they’ll fall through! Photo Credit:

Step Four: It’s time to hit the grill!

What you’ll need

  • Tongs
  • Grill (you can certainly bake these or use an indoor grill, but the effect will be a little different with baking)
Vegetarian kebabs recipe
Vegetarian kebabs recipe: Summer is in the air, which means it’s time to dust off the BBQ and fire it up! Photo Credit:


  1. On a medium flame, place your prepped skewers on the grill, turning every 3 to 4 minutes. You want to get those fantastic grills marks and that charcoal flavour without burning the veggies! It should take about 15 to 20 minutes to finish cooking (don’t forget to test your potatoes to know for sure when they’re done).
  2. Plate and devour!


Main Image Photo Credit:

Devika Goberdhan

Devika Goberdhan


Devika (@goberdhan.devika) is an MA graduate who specialized in Political Science at York University. Her passion and research throughout her graduate studies pushed her to learn about and unpack hot button issues. Thus, since starting ANOKHI in 2016, she has written extensively about many challengi...


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