"I love Indian Food - it's my favourite cuisine. I love the mixture of spices and the subtle flavours. It's really erotic; the spices are so sensuous." -Joe Perry
Since India is the second most populous country in the world with an estimated 1.357 billion inhabitants and accounting for 17.74% of the total world population, it is expected to experience Indian influence across the world's continents.
Certain things from India such as Bollywood movies, typical Indian dress, religion and of course the food have made cultural impacts in most of the world's countries.
Indian cooking is widely regarded by many food experts as being the best and most complex international cuisine. The mix of flavours, spices and aromas keep customers going back to Indian restaurants and food stands.
As a British citizen, I'm sure you've noticed the relative ease of finding Indian food in your city or town. However, the majority of individuals do not know how to cook divine Indian dishes.
There is no need to worry because Superprof is here to guide people through the top 20 best Indian recipes! We will look at the top five recipes in the four most popular categories. The intoxicating aromas of curry, dal and masala will fill your kitchen in no time!
The Five Most Classic Recipes of Indian Cuisine
What dishes come to mind when you think of Indian food? I'm sure the majority will say butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, naan bread and samosas.
These five dishes and sides can be found in the majority of Indian eateries. They are extremely savoury, unique and addictive. Customers always come back to devour a plate of their favourite tikka masala or butter chicken.
This delicious Punjab dish is the pride of every Indian living in the North. Who doesn't like chunks of chicken served with spices, yoghurt and a dollop of butter on top?
This typical dish is relatively simple to make if you have the right ingredients. The only speciality item you may need is curry powder. Other than that the rest of ingredients are household items that nearly everyone has lying around their pantry or fridge such as olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, butter and tomato puree.
Here is a great recipe that serves 4-6 people and is ready to eat in 40 minutes. Serve over a bed of basmati rice with a crunchy cucumber salad and piece of naan. I'm coming over for dinner tonight!
Follow that taste sensation with some of India's most beloved desserts!
A tandoor is a super-hot clay oven found throughout India. Of all things cooked in a tandoor, tandoori chicken comes out the best. While tandoors are not readily available to buy as a household item throughout the United Kingdom yet, that doesn't mean that this delicious chicken cannot be cooked in regular ovens.
Once you make a tandoori masala spice mix that you can rub on your chicken, your family can enjoy this recipe at any time! Serve with turmeric flavoured rice and fresh onions to give the recipe an extra kick.
Chicken Tikka Masala
The word tikka means bits or chunks and the word masala means spice. Therefore, this recipe is basically chunks of spicy chicken. This dish is love after the first bite due to the creaminess of the tomato gravy mixed with the spice of the chilis, garlic and ginger make for a smoky flavour.
Since this dish is already so complex in flavour serve over a bed of plain basmati rice.
The most famous and beloved Indian bread cherished by all who try it. These delightful flatbreads are usually served on the side of your favourite Indian curry. They can be made in under 35 minutes and kept later for future cravings. Do not forget the yoghurt it's the secret ingredient. Serve them with a light brush of butter and fresh coriander leaves. Yum!
Samosas are claimed to be India's most beloved snack. The delicious aloo filling complemented by a crispy outside make for the best afternoon delight! Samosas can be filled with a variety of ingredients to make them vegetarian or vegan. Making Punjabi samosas takes time and patience because it is viewed by many as an art. A samosa always needs to be accompanied by a well-made chutney.
Are these dishes on the list of traditional Indian recipes?
The Five Best Vegetarian Recipes
Deciding to become a vegetarian is a personal choice. Many think that vegetarians are deprived of life's greatest food but this is not the case when it comes to Indian cuisine. There are a variety of mouth-watering vegetarian recipes.
Also known as Ma Ki Daal or "mom's lentils" this wholesome meal is great comfort food and can be served with naan bread. The black lentils need time to soak overnight so plan this meal accordingly. Perfect vegetarian option to enjoy on a chilly night.
The #1 most popular Indian vegetarian recipe according to the Spruce Eats. This great alternative for meatballs is a special occasion dish in Indian culture due to the fact that it takes time to make. Creamy and savoury this one of the most delicious Indian dishes.
Another northern favourite that is exquisite in flavour and extremely healthy. This is the most popular dish found at Indian restaurants and it consists of spinach and paneer, which is an Indian cottage cheese. Not overpowering in spice and flavour like other Indian dishes. Only takes 40 minutes to cook and is even more delicious when served with your favourite side of papadums or naan bread.
How has Indian cuisine been adapted to please palates the world over?
Known in English as red kidney bean curry. Although kidney beans are not of Indian origin, they are frequently used in dishes from Northern India. This very popular dish is delicious and, of course, vegetarian. This unique dish is cooked in a single pan and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. An Indian favourite that will wow any guests!
Delightful baby potatoes served in a distinct Bengali five-spice mix with mustard paste and coconut. This is a very alluring vegetarian dish to it's intense and unique flavour. The recipe is not one of the easiest but also not one of the hardest taking approximately 50 minutes from start to finish. Beware this recipe needs all of the necessary ingredients in order to shine!
With these fantastic vegetarian options, cooking Indian food and eating vegetables has never been so savoury!
The Five Best Indian Curry Recipes
Curry is what Indian cuisine is known for. You can tell from a mile away that there is an Indian restaurant near due to the penetrating smell of curry. Nevertheless, without curry and India's delicious spices, Indian food would not nearly be as delicious as it is!
While most Indian dishes have curry powder or gram masala added into them, here are some of the most popular and intriguing curry recipes to try for your next dinner party:
Chole is known as chickpea curry in English and is a favourite North Indian dish. There are so many different ways to make chole due to the fact that each family has their own special recipe. It is extremely common to see this dish served at a wedding or when someone invites you over for lunch in India. Filled with delicious spices such as cumin, coriander, peppercorn and cardamom. In this curry recipe, the chickpeas are mixed with the spices, tomatoes and onions to create this unique flavour that is anything but boring!
Goan Prawn Curry with Coconut, Chilli and Coriander
Goa is a state in western India known for its laid-back fishing villages and seafood dishes such as this one. This delicious plate is sure to impress dinner guests with its fresh king prawns, Goan vinegar and creamy coconut milk. The variety of ingredients needed for this recipe make this dish unique but difficult to recreate. After cooking is done it is best to serve on a luscious bed of coriander rice with a slice of lime.
Gutthi Vankaya Curry
From the Andhra Pradesh region in India, this curry makes boring eggplants fun and flavourful! Baby eggplants are stuffed with sauteed onions, garlic, coconut, roasted lentils and many spices such as cumin, cardamom and coriander seeds. These tiny but beautiful stuffed eggplants are then served with a fabulous curry to enhance flavour. Once cooked to perfection and tender, this dish can be served over basmati rice and topped with lime juice and fresh coriander leaves to taste. Why is food so amazingly delicious?
Keralan Chicken Curry with Chillies and Coconut Milk
This spicy chicken curry is mellowed down with coconut milk and yoghurt for those who like the kick of curry but don't want to cry! This dish originating from the south of India in the state of Kerala is savoury and complex in flavours. Some of the ingredients required to make the paste include cassia bark, Kashmiri red chillies, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds. The mix of complex flavours is what makes Indian cooking and this dish so divine!
Red Lentil Tadka Dal
Dals are great starters for curries and other Indian plates. Although, this red lentil or "masoor dal" has about 10 curry leaves added in to increase flavour. This recipe includes green chillies, turmeric powder and cumin seeds. The green chillies are slightly mashed to slightly release the spice from the seeds. This dal is quite spicy so it would be wise for those who have a low tolerance for spice to add a little plain yoghurt.
Indian curries are varied, complex and oh so flavourful! There are many recipes available online for those who are brave and want to start cooking Indian tonight.
The Five Best Indian Meat Recipes
Chicken and legumes are commonly used in most Indian recipes. However, there are other famous recipes featuring meats such as lamb and pork.
It is important to point out that the majority of Indian curry recipes that call for chicken can be substituted for other meats or seafood.
Here are some of the most common meat recipes that do not include chicken:
When translating into English this dish from the region of Kashmir literally means "red lamb." Extremely intense in flavour due to the Kashmiri dried chillies which gives this plate its colour. In order to cut the heat down cream is added at the end. This complex dish takes about 70 minutes to cook and calls for 1kg of tender lamb meat. Like many other Indian foods, this recipe requires yoghurt. This recipe becomes perfect when served over basmati rice with cooked vegetables and eaten with crisp papadums.
Pork or Lamb Vindaloo
Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish that is extremely popular in the region of Goa. This Portuguese inspired Indian dish is divine and full of flavour. It is completely logical that food in Goa has Portuguese flare since it was a colony until 1961. The main ingredients of this plate are wine, vinegar, mustard seeds and garlic. Depending on your time restraints, this plate may be cooked in the pressure cooker for about 20 minutes or in the pan simmering for about an hour.
This mutton filled dish is sure to dazzle dinner guests at your next party mainly due to the authentic flavours of Rajasthani spices infused into the pieces of lamb meat. Gram masala, turmeric and coriander powder make this plate shine. Today preparation and cook time is around one hour depending on your skills in the kitchen!
Slow Cooked Lamb Curry
Lamb is an exquisite type of meat that is underused in the western world. Thankfully, the influence of Indian cooking is making this meat utilized and appreciated again. This 1kg leg of lamb that is slow cooked in the pan for about an hour with ingredients and spices such as garam masala, mint leaves, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and cumin is to die for!
Muya Bai Wahan
A delightful pork curry from North East India that is mixed with bamboo shoots, raw papaya and lemon juice to increase tanginess. This recipe is healthy and pretty easy to make. Green papaya can be supplemented for orange papaya and jackfruit seeds can be removed from the recipe if unable to find. Serve over basmati rice.
There you have it, the top 20 best Indian food recipes. Some of the recipes are more common than others but the vast majority of these dishes can be found in UK based Indian restaurants. Why not have a few friends over during the weekend and learn to make a new Indian dish together? Nothing unites people more than food!
Now turn to our complete guide of Indian food...