Indian Cuisine: 10 Dishes to Try in India

by Editorial Staff

Indian cuisine is a whole bunch of incredible spices, wonderful combinations of various vegetables with tender meat or cheese, a fantastic riot of tastes. In this country, they know how to make a gastronomic masterpiece from the simplest products. No wonder Indian cuisine has so many fans all over the world. We will tell you what each tourist needs to try in India: we have compiled a list of the 10 most popular dishes with descriptions and photos. Curries, soups, unusual vegetables, paneer, pastries – the selection is varied.

Indian Cuisine: 10 Dishes to Try in India
Indian Cuisine: 10 Dishes to Try in India

Dhal

Indian Cuisine: 10 Dishes to Try in India
Indian Cuisine: 10 Dishes to Try in India

The most popular Indian dish that every tourist should definitely try. A thick puree soup with a unique spicy aroma that will appeal to vegetarians and connoisseurs of aromatic spices. In India, you can eat at least a couple of dozen variations of this stew. Dhal is made from lentils, mung bean, peas, or other beans (and sometimes from all at once). A little onion, tomatoes, garlic, turmeric, spices are added to it. Sometimes dal is cooked with coconut milk and lemon juice, which gives it that special creamy texture. There are so many variations of this dish in India that it can be a snack for breakfast, soup for lunch, or a side dish for dinner.

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken

One of the most recognizable Indian dishes that are loved by many tourists. Pleasant spiciness, delicate taste of meat, the appetizing crust of recognizable red color – the chicken is really good. Tandoori Chicken is made from chicken thighs marinated in yogurt with garam masala, chili, and cayenne pepper. Traditionally, the meat is baked in a special tandoori oven. However, today, even in India, the dish is usually cooked on the grill or in the oven. Tandoori Chicken is usually served with onions, herbs, and lemon – be sure to try it.

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer
Palak Paneer

We recommend every vegetarian in India to try this rich green puree soup. It will also appeal to connoisseurs of light meals. The soup is not oversaturated with spices, and therefore it can be recommended for beginners who are just getting started with Indian cuisine. If you like Adyghe cheese, then you should appreciate paneer – it tastes very similar. It is he who underlies this Indian soup, and palak is spinach. An incredibly delicate creamy sauce, a little mixture of garam masala, turmeric, and ginger, ghee oil – the dish turns out to be fantastically tasty, slightly spicy, with an interesting silky texture.

Biryani

Biryani
Biryani

To put it simply, biryani is an Indian pilaf with a lot of spices. This dish of national cuisine is considered traditional in India, but there are really many recipes for its preparation. Biryani is prepared with lamb, chicken, fish, eggs, or vegetables, so every tourist can find an option to their liking. Aromatic ghee, spices, and dried herbs give a special taste to Indian pilaf. The classic dish is not spicy at all, but sometimes it contains cayenne pepper.

Korma

Korma
Korma

A very popular European dish of Indian cuisine is definitely worth trying in its homeland. Korma is a delicate buttercream based on yogurt, coconut milk, crushed nuts, and aromatic spices. The main ingredient can be lamb or chicken, and vegetarians should try navratan korma from 9 vegetables on vacation in India. If you love fiery food, order the spicy option. Just in case, we warn you that korma “no spices” is also a spicy (but not excessively) dish, which contains hot peppers.

Murgh Makhani

Murgh Makhani
Murgh Makhani

In Europe, the dish is often called Indian butter chicken. Despite the name, this food in India is also prepared for vegetarians, replacing meat with tofu. In any case, the pieces are surprisingly tender, melting in the mouth. All thanks to the aromatic creamy tomato curry sauce. And also a special way of cooking. The chicken is marinated in yogurt with spices for several hours and then baked in a tandoor. Only then is it stewed in a thick sauce with a whole bunch of spices. Cashew sauce and fresh herbs harmoniously complement this incredibly tasty dish, which is definitely worth trying in India, and not in a European Indian restaurant.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi

One of the best vegetarian vegetable curries in India. The skillful combination of the simplest products impresses many tourists. Even if you are sure that you do not like cauliflower (namely, it is the main ingredient in this Indian dish), it is still worth trying this dish. The second main component is potatoes. Thanks to turmeric, the dish has a bright orange color. Garlic, ginger, onion, coriander, cumin, and many other spices give it a fantastic aroma. This is one of the few Indian dishes that are usually not spicy.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala

If the name of a dish contains the word “tikka”, it means that the main ingredient is cut into pieces. Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes. Delicious pieces of chicken fried in butter and then stewed in a thick, aromatic orange or red sauce. The filling is prepared from tender cream, tomatoes, onions, sometimes with the addition of yogurt. The most common substitute for cream in India is coconut milk. It helps smooth out the pungency of an essential ingredient – red pepper. The dish itself is very satisfying, but it is worth trying it with rice and flat cakes (it tastes better). Vegetarians are advised to try paneer tikka masala instead of chicken.

Sambar

Sambar
Sambar

A traditional Indian dish that usually serves as a side dish for rice or other dishes. It is made from lentils with tomatoes, sometimes with the addition of other vegetables. Aromatic spices, coconut milk, a little hot pepper are required. Usually, this sauce is made vegetarian in India, but in some regions, it is customary to add fish to it. It makes no sense to order sambar separately, but with a plate of rice, this dish is definitely worth trying.

Indian Tortillas

Indian Tortillas
Indian Tortillas

Many national Indian dishes are usually served with rice and flat cakes. They not only help to get enough but also reduce the degree of spiciness of “fiery” dishes. Here are some of the most popular tortillas and buns to try in India:

  • Chapati  – the most popular Indian bread, it tastes like pita bread;
  • Roti – essentially no different from chapati, but sometimes with fillings;
  • Kulcha – empty or stuffed yogurt-baked tortillas baked in a tandoor (served with curries);
  • Baati – hard unleavened bread in the form of small buns;
  • Naan – one of the world’s most popular thin dough cakes stuffed with meat, legumes, cheese, or vegetables, and with the obligatory addition of spices;
  • Paratha – delicious flaky Indian flatbread, oiled with ghee and sometimes stuffed with something;
  • Samosa is not exactly bread, but rather a pie stuffed with paneer, vegetables, or even meat (in fact, this is the familiar Samsa, but with spices).

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