Due to its diverse culture, India does not have a specific national dish. There were rumours that the government of India was planning on designating khichdi as a national dish but it was later denied by the government. All of this aside, Indian dishes are known all over the world. It is a cuisine we all know and love regardless of where in the world you may be looking to overall consume a curry.
One of the most popular versions is the butter naan which is not just kneaded with butter, but has a generous slathering on top when served. The stuffed ones are called kulcha. The vegetarian version of meatballs, this can be made with gourd (lauki) or unripe bananas. They can range from mild to very spicy. You can order this in any Indian restaurant.
Typically a mild curry, it combines onions, butter and cream in a velvety smooth tomato sauce with chicken chunks. Butter chicken is our go-to curry; we never tire of it! If you want something lightly spiced and easy on the heat, then this is one of the best Indian food dishes to try. Butter chicken is an especially good pick if this is your first time eating Indian food.
Originating in the north of India, chaat is an Indian street-food snack. The word “chaat” means “to lick” – and chaat is finger-licking delicious. There are many types of chaat, but all have a starch base (like a samosa or puffed rice), vegetables and chutney. One of the most popular is papri chaat, made with a samosa-style crust, boiled potatoes and chickpeas, topped with tamarind chutney and crunchy bits of deep-fried noodles.
Of course, you need something deliciously sweet to finish off your Indian meal. Enter gulab jamun. This popular Indian dessert is based on two flavors – gulab (which means rose) and jamun (which refers to purple jamun berries, similar to blueberries). Using milk solids and flour, the dessert consists of small doughy balls soaked in rose water and green cardamom. Think of it like Indian doughnuts dipped in mouth-watering syrup! (But, sorry, ordinary doughnuts won’t ever taste as good again after you’ve tried gulab jamuns.)
Lentils are tiny legumes with big importance, as they’re among the staple ingredients found in Indian cuisine. Depending where you order dal, you might be served a thinner soup-like bowl of lentils, or something more akin to a stew that comes with a side of rice. Additionally, it could be made with red lentils, yellow split peas, black lentils, or more. When it comes it, Dal is a staple you will see on any menu in any restaurant or take away. It really is popular with this type of food not least as a side dish and best too, it is also a healthy dish to have too. Very often people will order this as a side to a meaty or vegetable curry or similar. It can compliment all of the main and typical curries.
Looking for a drink? look no further then that a cup of Masala Chai
Masala chai (meaning “spiced tea”) can be traced back thousands of years. The specific spices involved will depend on where you get it, but you can usually expect a blend of black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. If you’re somewhere that offers a homemade in-house blend, you’ll definitely want to give it a try. One key thing to note: saying “chai tea” is redundant, it translates to “tea tea.”
There are also a number of health benefits you can expect too
Authentic Indian recipes are full of organic ingredients that are proven to be healthy. Examples include common Indian spices like Turmeric that help with inflammation, prevention of Alzheimer’s, and improve heart health. Being plant-based, Indian cuisine is rich in a variety of grains, nuts, pulses, and seeds (that provide healthy oils). It’s the myriad health benefits of Indian cuisine that make Indian food and spices preferred on menus at many a detox retreat.
They say variety is the spice of life. That probably came from the Indian cuisine playbook. From different flavours to different smells to different looks, Indian cuisine is so full of variety there’s always something to look forward to with every meal. Yes, that includes simple Indian dinner recipes. Honestly, you can have any type of curry from curries with fish, with currants as well as the more generic tomato-based curries you are bound to see in all of the main and major restaurants.
There are also cheese dishes
Matar paneer comes from regions of northern India. It’s made up of a yummy tomato sauce over paneer (farmer’s cheese) and peas, and spiced with garam masala. Like many Indian dishes, matar paneer is best when paired with a cooling side dish, like cream or bread. Depending on the region, it’s likely to be served with rice, naan, paratha, poori, or roti. Enjoy dipping your bread (or Naan) into the tomato gravy after you eat up the cheese and veggies. Just be aware though of the added calories in these dishes as well as normal and saturated fat too. The same too can also be said of the salt content also.
Chutney is also a key part of any dish
As mentioned above, chutney (or “chatni”) is a sauce that is a flavorful sweet pair to savory samosas. It’s a relish made of various types of fruits, herbs, and spices. It originated in India over 2,000 years ago. Heads up again, vegans, this is one for you. Make this chutney with brown sugar, turmeric, red wine vinegar. Add a smattering of other lip-smacking goodies such as mango chutney is a tangy treat in a world of Indian spiciness.
Though usually fruity, savoury chutneys are also a thing. Both mango and onion chutney recipe was specially crafted by Chef Marie to be the perfect side pairing for any Indian food meal. You can for sure expect to see this with any main meal in any restaurant as well as with any take away order too. No matter where you may be about to order a curry, one thing you can be sure of is the certainty of having mango chutney with your curry for added flavour.
Overall, what you should take fully into consideration
Indian cooking can be a bit of a minefield when you are deciding on which types of curry dishes to choose. Indulging in Indian food will definitely make you want to keep coming for more. All of these dishes are the perfect comfort food for anyone. Delve into the world of Indian cuisine with these must-try dishes.
The best way to enjoy them is by ordering so you can eat them in the comfort of your home. Of course you can for sure also head to a curry house. Though this too will deliver a different overall type of experience. At home you really can do what you want. You can also dine with an added sense of relaxtion; for example, there is no need to dress up. There is also the manner in which you can watch TV in the background and you aren’t in a hurry to order more food or drink – or ask for the bill.