Spicy, Aromatic Cuisine
Indian food is bursting with delicious flavors and aromas. Careful techniques coupled with the use of aromatic spices have elevated Indian cuisine to an art form. Indian cuisine has been influenced by many different culinary traditions that have passed through or colonized the area over the years, including British and Portuguese cuisine. There are also many regional varieties of each dish, and it’s common for families to have their own unique versions of recipes, too. This leads to a staggering variety of cuisine across the Indian subcontinent as well as in the Indian communities beyond its borders. This means there is literally something for everyone. In fact, that’s even true when it comes to dietary preferences! Along with its diverse nature, aromatic spices, and artful cooking techniques, Indian food is well-known for including a large variety of vegetarian options. Many of these plant-based dishes are vegan-friendly as well. However, despite the sheer variety of tastes and dietary needs represented, Indian food has a reputation for being scary or difficult to cook – but this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, there are many easy-to-follow, authentic Indian recipes available! Here, we’ve rounded up a few of the best Indian recipes to get you started. So, are you ready to begin your culinary journey to India? Join us as we explore the five best Indian recipes to try at home!
#1 Vegetable Samosas
Samosas are a popular street food snack in India and are a key part of North Indian (Punjabi) cuisine. They feature a fried pastry crust that is crispy, chewy, flaky, and flavorful on the outside. The filling on the inside is traditionally made from a savory mixture of potatoes, peas, and spices. Samosas are traditionally served with either tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, or a zesty tomato dipping sauce. Samosas are warm, comforting, delicious, and filling. They are also vegetarian-friendly, making them a great choice for those who avoid meat in their meals. Want to try making samosas for yourself?
#2 Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala is rich and creamy with a balanced spice profile. Marinated chicken is bathed in a flavorful, creamy, and mildly spicy tomato-based sauce, so if you’re looking for a rich, filling Indian recipe with plenty of flavor, this is it! Many places claim to be the birthplace of this immensely popular dish, including Northern India, Britain, and Scotland. While traditional recipes call for marinating the chicken for many hours and cooking it in a tandoor oven, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a tasty version at home! You'll still want to marinate the chicken for a long period of time, but once that's done, you can break the recipe down into manageable steps. You'll want to make the curry sauce, cook the chicken, and then simmer them together for peak flavor - trust us, it's worth it! Modern appliances like the Instant Pot and slow cookers can further cut down on effort and help save time. Ready to try making your own chicken tikka masala?
#3 Chana Masala
Chana masala is a moderately spicy Indian curry that uses chickpeas as the protein source, making it a suitable option for vegetarians. The dish is thought to have originated in Northern India but is now popular all over the world. Wondering what the name means? “Chana” refers to chickpeas while “masala” refers to a popular Indian spice blend. Traditional cooking methods require the chana to be soaked overnight and the recipe itself can take a while to prepare. If you have the time, we highly recommend giving the traditional method a try. However, if you’re like most of us these days, you may prefer to take a few shortcuts to save time. No worries! Even if you don’t have all day to cook, you can still make a delicious chana masala at home. Want to try cooking this classic Indian recipe for yourself?
#4 Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly Indian dish of hearty potatoes and cauliflower cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices such as ginger and garlic. It’s basically a plateful of flavorful, comforting, and warm plant-based deliciousness. It’s also highly approachable. In fact, Aloo Gobi comes together in around 30 minutes, so you’re looking for an Indian recipe that you can make at home on a weeknight, this is it! Ready to try it out?
Naan is a type of Indian flatbread. Traditionally, it is cooked in a tandoor oven. However, it’s possible to make your own homemade naan using a very hot cast iron skillet. The result? Soft, pillowy flatbread that’s perfectly bubbled and lightly charred on the outside. Naan pairs perfectly with spicy Indian dishes and is the perfect complement to your homemade Indian feast! Ready to make your own?
#6 Mango Lassi
You’ll need a refreshing drink to go with your Indian feast, and a mango lassi is the perfect choice. This drink is chock full of flavor thanks to the fresh mango and a touch of sugar. It’s also very refreshing thanks to the yogurt base. In fact, a mango lassi is the perfect cooling drink to pair with your spicy Indian feast and is often served at Indian restaurants! It tastes amazing but doesn't take a lot of effort to make. In fact, it's quite easy to whip up. Ready to blend up your own?