Indian food is like that really cool friend who seemed a bit intimidating at first.
She always looks amazing, is super confident, and you kind of wonder if the two you would even fit together.
But then when you get to know her, you realize that she’s actually pretty easy to talk to and fun.
That’s really all it is when it comes to Indian food.
The ingredients are different, the scents are complex and amazing, the colors are vibrant, and you’re wondering if you’d be compatible with Indian cuisine.
Answer: You are.
From creamy rose drinks to bowls filled with rich tangy sauces, I promise you that Indian food is well worth your time.
How to Eat Indian Food at Restaurants
Think of the Indian food as something to explore.
You look around the menu, and then you order a drink, a couple starters, a few sides, a main (or two), and a dessert.
Fill that table up like you’re an aspiring Instagram influencer from 2017.
There will be leftovers for later, so no big deal.
Or, if you feel a bit embarrassed with that method, then just take a friend or two and agree to eat family style.
This is an experience and you’re expanding your horizons in new types of foods.
Make the most of it. 👍
Also, here are some other great reasons you should visit an authentic Indian restaurant, or try it at home.
Indian Cuisine isVery Rich Variety
Indian food is packed with so many incredible spices and ingredients that open up your world to a lot of new flavors.
And whether you’re having a simple Indian dinner recipe, or a delicious comforting Indian drink, there is always something new to explore and try with this cuisine.
Also, India is an incredibly big country, which means you’re going to have a lot of variety depending on the region. So what I’m wanting to get across to you is that you’re never going to run out of dishes to try, and I think that is so amazing!
Indian Food is Healthy
There are so many ingredients in authentic Indian food that are wonderfully healthy for you. Their cuisine is packed with so many different spices and ingredients that are going to be really good for your body.
So for instance, you’re going to be getting turmeric, which has been shown in studies to have an active ingredient called curcumin, and that can help with inflammation.
Or cardamom, which has been shown to potentially help lower blood pressure.
Also, you’re going to be getting lots of plant-based recipes that are packed with incredible veggies. So if you’re wanting to get more healthy and take care of yourself, then Indian cuisines are an amazing place to start.
Indian Food Gives You an Amazing Experience
Going to an Indian restaurant for the first time can be an incredible experience. There are so many amazing smells going on all around you!
Freshly made curries, hot steaming creamy chai, crispy fritters, and so much more being ordered from all around you.
And even if it’s not your first time, but you’re going to an Indian restaurant that is known for being authentic, then it can be exciting to know that you’re going to get great Indian food.
You know that you won’t be getting some fake experience.
But while you’re excited to try these foods, it can get a little stressful trying to figure out what to order.
And that’s why I think these authentic Indian food will help you understand exactly what to look for when you see it on the menu.
But of course, if you’d rather have these amazing smells wafting around your own home, then I’ve also included recipes from Indian food bloggers, so that you can try authentic Indian recipes at home yourself.
It’s up to you!
Indian Food You Should Try
I really love finding ways to level up your life, and helping you experience the BEST of different ethnic cuisines is one of them. 🥘
I think that you deserve to try truly authentic recipes, feel like an expert cook, and also get leveled up when it comes to cooking skills.
And whether you’re trying one of these Indian food recipes down below, or you’re heading to an authentic Indian restaurant, I hope that I’m able to make your life just that much better. ♥️
Indian Appetizers and Snacks
I feel like naan is an Indian food almost all of us know, or have heard of.
And it makes sense.
It’s easy to like, and there’s nothing intimidating about it.
You can get it…
- Garlicky and buttery
- Stuffed with cheese (paneer naan)
- Coated in chili
It’s a hot, fresh, pillowy, and comforting flat bread that you can eat as is, with sauces, with spices, or dipped into a creamy dish.
I’ve personally loved it plain, or with garlic butter, but I think my favorite is when it’s stuffed with cheese.
Also here’s a butter naan recipe you can try if you want to do it at home. It looks so good!
More Great Recipes to Try
Samosas are an Indian food you really don’t want to skip.
They’re fried or baked flaky bread, stuffed with ingredients like lamb, beef, potatoes, spices, and so many other tasty ingredients.
Or you can get them with veggies since that’s very common with Indian samosas.
Also, it’s suggested that you pair them with tamarind chutney (a sweet and sour sauce), or a mint sauce.
Here’s an samosa recipe from an Indian cook that look very tasty!
A super thin crepe-like bread made of lentils and rice, it’s one of my personal favorite things to eat when I order Indian food.
It doesn’t fill you up a ton, so you still have plenty of space for when the main meal comes.
Also, it’s flaky and tasty to eat with the dipping sauces they provide, or with your meal.
This dosa recipe looks like a good one to try at home!
Roti is this simple, soft, round flatbread, and I love it.
I really liked getting roti from the street vendors, and it has this wonderful texture!
You can have it with daal, curries, and so many other tasty Indian foods. Also, it’s just super simple to make!
Here’s a roti recipe you can try tonight.
Another amazing Indian flatbread!
It’s just another great recipe to know if you want more bread to pair with your delicious Indian food.
They’re thin, griddled, whole wheat (or atta flour) flatbread, and can be served with different curries, chutneys, and other great Indian foods.
It really is a versatile dish, and I think I’ll be trying this recipe for chapati here!
I love chutneys, they’re such a great condiment to add to Indian food. Also, there are so many different types like mango, mint and tamarind.
They always add a really great flavor, and make almost any dish taste way better.
And if you want to make your own, then here’s a good mango chutney recipe to try!
7. Chole Bhature
A very popular Punjabi dish, you get this spiced, delicious chickpea curry, and fluffy fried leavened bread.
There are different consistencies for this curry, so some come semi-dry or just dry. Also, the spiciness can change depending on the region, and even the bread can change depending on the restaurant!
And if you want to make it at home, then here’s a good looking recipe for chole bhature.
8. Medu Vada
Medu Vada, is a very popular South India snacks that has a cool doughnut shape, and a nice crispy golden-brown exterior
The inside is soft and fluffy, and made from urad dal and other aromatic spices.
Check out this Medu Vada recipe and see what you think!
Another amazing and tasty looking flatbread, that can be paired with more tasty Indian food!
Here’s what you’re looking at: soft flaky dough and delicious flavors, and fillings like potatoes or paneer (or just butter).
Being associated with Punjabi and North Indian cooking, they’re great for breakfast and pairing with chutneys, curries, and meat and egg recipes.
But of course, you can have them at any point of the day.
Also, with only 5 ingredients (one of them being water), this Paranthas recipe might be something you want to try!
A delicious looking South Indian soup with a tamarind-based broth, lentils, and veggies.
And when I read tamarind, I was instantly curious! I love tamarind drinks in Mexico, so I thought it was really cool that they were used in Indian food as well.
There are different variations of the dish. So in some regions, you’re going to see sambar made with toor dal (split pigeon peas) and veggies. And in other regions, it will be moong dal and veggies. But with whatever recipe you have, I’m sure it’s going to be very good!
Here’s a sambar recipe you can try yourself!
Pakora are these tasty looking fritters that have different variations of veggies like onions, potatoes, or eggplant.
This Indian food is dipped in a spiced batter, made with gram and rice flour. And the mix of fresh and dried spices like chili, fenugreek, and coriander honestly make this snack sound so good!
And once the veggies are coated in the seasoned batter, they’re fried until golden.
Here’s the recipe for pakora if you want to fry some up!
12. Paneer Pakora
Coming from North India, this dish is cheese (paneer) that’s been deep fried in a delicious batter.
I don’t know how you would go wrong with this; it just sounds so tasty! It sounds like really good comfort food.
Also, being eaten during the monsoon season, I think making a hot batch of this on a cold rainy day sounds very nice!
So if you want to make some yourself, then here’s a paneer pakora recipe you can follow!
These deep-fried, hollow dough balls, come stuffed with tasty fillings like potato, onion, or chickpea.
Originally known as “gol gappa,” this snack started with a tiny, crispy wheat shell filled with spiced mashed potatoes, made with tamarind or mint-flavored water. But it’s definitely changed!
Now, you can try different fillings and flavored waters, that give you different experiences.
Also, if you want to make it at home, then here’s a good Panipuri recipe to try yourself!
14. Chicken 65
Chicken 65 is deep fried appetizer coming from South India.
Originally being made in the Hotel Buhari, in Chennai, you’re going to get marinated pieces of chicken that have been sitting in yogurt, egg, curry leaves, and other tasty spices and ingredients.
Here’s a good recipe for chicken 65 if you’re want to try it as well!
Momos are steamed dumplings which can be seen in different countries like Eastern India, China, and Nepal.
They’re a tasty street food, made with either minced meat or tofu, and mixed with veggies and plenty of great spices.
Here’s a recipe for Indian momos if you want to try it yourself.
16. Bhel Puri
Puffed rice and crispy sev (fried noodles), mixed with a nice combination of fresh veggies, and then all tossed together in a delicious chutney.
I need this Indian food.
This beach snack is also very popular in Mumbai, and it has some great variations.
So for instance, you can get bhel puri with tomatoes, chilies, and boiled potatoes if you’re in the mood for some northern flavors.
Kachori is an Indian food that looks like a really good roadside snack, and you’ll see different variations in certain parts of India.
It has a deep fried crispy and flaky dough, wrapped around a spiced daal filling.
Also, there’s the sweet version in Jodhpur called, Mawa Kachori, that’s dipped in a sugar syrup. Sounds so good!
Here’s a tasty looking savory recipe for kachori here!
18. Matar Kulcha
A popular North Indian street food, which you can get in cities like Delhi or Punjab, it honestly sounds very good!
You get this nice spiced and tangy curry, which is the “matar” part. And it’s served with “kulcha,” which is a soft traditional Indian leavened flatbread.
Here’s a matar kulcha recipe if you’re curious!
19. Gobi Manchurian
Being an Indo-Chinese dish, it came over with some Chinese migrants who moved primarily to Kolkata, India.
They had to make sure to change up this Cantonese recipe to suit the Indian palate, so now we have Indian Gobi Manchurian, which is spicy and fried.
Oh, and if you want to make it at home, then I think that this Gobi Manchurian recipe looks VERY good!
20. Tandoori Aloo Tikka
Tandoori Aloo Tikka is an Indian food I want to try right away.
You’re basically marinating potatoes for a few hours (or overnight) in a yogurt based sauce.
Then, once that process is done, you’re throwing them in the oven, or frying them in a pan to get some nice tandoori flavors.
You can serve it as an appetizer, or in wraps and rolls, which sounds very good.
And if you want to try it yourself, then I think this Tandoori Aloo Tikka recipe is a good one to try.
21. Paneer Puffs
I honestly love puff pastries that have incredible fillings, so I’m kind of excited to try paneer puffs.
Paneer is an Indian cheese, so you’re getting this amazing looking flaky dough with a tasty cheese filling.
Also, if you go to India, it’s a common snack you’ll find in Indian bakeries.
And if you want the Indian bakery style, then here’s a great looking paneer puff recipe.
22. Curry Puff
I love curry puffs!
They’re so savory, flaky, and soft, and they’re packed with so much flavor!
You can have them as a tea-time snack, for lunch, or order it as an appetizer.
You’re also going to see the filling be a mix of paneer (Indian cheese), veggies, and a nice Indian spice mixture. But you can also get ones with meat as well.
Here’s a recipe for curry puffs that looks pretty good, if you want to make it yourself.
23. Sabudana Vada
Coming from Maharashtra, India, they’re a tasty snack that are eaten during religious festivals.
It’s basically a deep fried fritter that has a nice crispy, but also melt-in-your-mouth texture. I think I could probably buy a whole bag full of this snack!
And if you want to try them, you can eat them with a nice hot chai, and apparently they’re served with a spicy green chutney, which sounds pretty good!
I might make this sabudana vada recipe here!
24. Dahi Papdi Chaat
Being a popular street food from Delhi, you’ll also be able to find it under the name of Aloo papdi Chaat, or Sev Papdi Chaat, when you visit India.
You get this nice bowl that’s filled with crunchy puris, and then topped with ingredients like black chickpeas and potatoes. And then you finish it off with chutneys and yogurt.
Here’s the recipe for dahi papdi chaat if you want to try it in your own kitchen!
25. Gobi Pakora
These deep-fried fritters are the kind of comfort food that’s eaten in India during the monsoon season.
But they’re basically these marinated cauliflower florets, dipped in a spiced batter (yum), and then deep fried until golden brown.
So if it’s a rainy day for you, then here’s a Gobi Pakora Gobi recipe that you can try yourself!
26. Dahi Vada (Dahi Bhalla Chaat)
“Dahi” means yogurt, and “Vada,” just means deep fried fritters (or dumplings), and that’s exactly what you’re getting.
You’re going to be having some tasty fried lentil dumpling fritters, that are sitting in a tasty sounding creamy whipped yogurt.
And if you want to make this North India dish at home, then here’s a good looking dahi vada recipe.
27. Chicken Makhani (Or Butter Chicken)
It’s a classic, and the idea of not mentioning this one seems a bit strange. 🤷♀️
Chicken Makhani is a chicken dish where you cook the meat in a tomato based sauce.
And traditionally, it’s cooked in a tandoor, which is a clay or metal oven with a cylinder-like shape.
Here’s what a tandoor looks like. Cool right?
And with ingredients like whole milk, butter, cardamom, and garlic, you get this tangy, creamy, and savory dish that’s basically the perfect comfort food.
Lastly, if you want to make this creamy dish yourself, then here’s a tasty looking recipe for chicken makhani.
More Great Recipes to Try
I love rice dishes, and the Indian food, biryani, is one of them!
I mean there’s just something about taking a big bite of warm super flavorful and fragrant savory rice.
Here are the main ingredients for this dish:
- Lamb, goat, or chicken – If you’ve never had goat before, in my experience, it tastes like lamb. Very delicious!
- Spices – You’ll get spices like saffron, cardamom, biryani masala, and nutmeg.
- Fruits and Veggies – Onion and lemon.
- Yogurt – The meat is marinated in yogurt and spices, before being added to the rice.
And if you want to make this at home, here’s a biryani recipe I found that looks great!
29. Tandoori Chicken
Cooked at a high temperature in a tandoor oven, tandoori chicken has this sort of tangy, savory, almost barbecued flavor.
Side Note: If you want to make it at home, there are other methods too!
Originally from Punjab, it’s marinated in yogurt and colorful spices, and you end up getting one of the most amazingly colorful and tasty Indian foods.
This is the kind of recipe you can also make at home if you want to impress friends and show them that yes, you are a better cook than them. 😌
I’m joking… kind of.
But really, if you do want to make this for friends or just yourself, then here’s a recipe for Tandoori chicken. 🙂
30. Aloo Gobi
With the words “aloo” meaning potato, and “gobi” translating out as cauliflower, you’re getting a tasty dry curry dish with potatoes and cauliflower.
It seems simple enough, and I’d love to try the traditional recipe, since a lot of restaurants apparently make this dish semi-dry with a gravy.
Or, if you just want to try it at home, then here’s a good looking aloo gobi recipe to check out!
31. Rogan Josh
Coming from the Kashmiri cuisine, rogan josh is an Indian food that’s supposed to be really good comfort food.
You’re getting this nice slow cooked dish with lamb (yum), yogurt, and of course, tasty herbs and spices.
When you’re in India (or at just the right restaurant), you can try a Kashmiri food spread called a Wazwaan, and rogan josh is something you’ll see among all the other dishes.
And if you want try this right away (because who doesn’t), then here’s a good looking rogan josh recipe here!
Being influenced by the Portuguese dish, carne de vinha d’alhos vindaloo is a marinated and slow cooked meat dish.
The cooks in Goan, India took this Portuguese recipe, and substituted the red wine out for palm vinegar and spices. Of course, there are other variations, but I think it’s pretty cool to know the history!
Here’s a good looking vindaloo recipe if you want to try it yourself!
33. Chicken Tikka Masala
Essentially, you’re getting charred tender chunks of chicken (which were marinated in herbed yogurt and spices 👌), and then simmered in an amazing spicy onion tomato sauce.
Also, there are different stories of its origin. However, it’s assumed that it might have been created by someone from India, who was living in the UK.
So go ahead and try it at a restaurant, or at home with a chicken tikka masala recipe like this!
Apparently, there are two different ways to have Korma in India.
In North India, Korma is made with ingredients like nuts, seeds, yogurt, and a brown onion paste. And in South India, you’ll see it made with coconut, seeds, no onion paste, and the yogurt is optional.
With its origins in traditional Mughal cuisine, it’s an amazing dish that has braised meat, and a delicious tomato based sauce.
Also, here’s a good looking Korma recipe to try at home this week!
35. Matar Paneer
Coming from Northern India (Punjabi), there are a LOT of different variations for Matar Paneer.
But normally, you’re going to find that it has ingredients like peas, cashews, tomatoes, spices, and of course, paneer (cheese).
Also, with all the amazing flavors of the garlic, cinnamon, garam masala, and other ingredients, I think this would be great to get at a restaurant. Or if you want to serve it up at home, with a bowl of basmati rice, then here’s a good Matar Paneer recipe!
Originating from Persian times, this soup has quite a few variations, and is made in many different countries. So we’re looking at locations such as the Middle-East, South and Central Asia, and Northern Africa.
And the Indian version sounds very good!
It’s a tomato soup, but much lighter, and more flavorful than some western version.
And if they don’t have this flavorful soup at an Indian restaurant near you, then here’s a good Shorba recipe you can try at home!
37. Chana Aloo Curry (Chickpea Potato Curry)
I love chickpea dishes, and this ones look amazing!
So with this Indian food, you’re getting tasty ingredients like potatoes, chickpeas (of course), garlic, tomatoes, cumin, garam masala, and so many other good flavors!
And if you want to make it yourself, then here’s an at home recipe for Chana Aloo Curry.
38. Palak Paneer
A delicious sounding dish from Punjabi, and when you visit India, you’re definitely going to be finding it in restaurants, since it’s more common there than in homes.
And with this Indian food, you’ll see it be made with tomatoes, chilies, garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon, cream, and other tasty ingredients.
So if you’d like to try it yourself, rather than at a restaurant, then here are two version for you. The first one is an Instant Pot Palak Paneer recipe, for more convenient nights (and pictured above). And here’s a link to a more traditional way of cooking Palak Paneer.
39. Chicken Karahi
There are a lot of different versions of Chicken Karahi online, but many of them are the “restaurant” version. But we’re not doing restaurant versions here!
Nope, authentic only.
And with a bit of hunting, I found a recipe done by an Indian food blogger, who’s parents used to make it every Sunday evening.
It’s basically a tasty ginger and tomato based masala curry, that’s thick and comes from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.
And if you’re curious about this Indian food, then here’s the authentic Chicken Karahi recipe here.
40. Dal Makhani
Coming from the north, Dal Makhani is an Indian food that’s a creamy, spicy, lentil, and bean dish. Also, it’s very common! Common enough to be called the “Queen of All Dals.”
Also, it’s made with butter, and you can add cream to make it extra delicious. I think this dish sounds like the perfect thing to eat on a cold fall evening.
And if you think so too, then here’s the recipe for Dal Makhani, if you don’t feel like heading to a restaurant.
41. Dal Tadka
The Indian food, daal, can refer to any type of lentil, and for this dish, you’re getting some tasty spiced split pigeon pea lentils (also called arhar dal).
The lentils are finished and topped with a delicious sounding tempering of ghee/oil, and spices like cumin, chili, and garlic (that’s the ‘tadka’ part).
There are different variations of this dish, but it really does look like a great recipe to make at home. And if you do want to do that, then here’s a good Dal Tadka recipe here!
42. Indian Goat Curry
This North India style recipe uses yogurt, garam masala, and coriander, and it looks absolutely delicious!
You can serve it with some paranthas (flat bread – recipe above in the snacks and appetizers section), basmati rice, naan, or roti.
Here’s the recipe for Indian Goat Curry if you can’t find it on the menus of your favorite Indian restaurant.
43. Vada Pav
A deep fried potato dumpling sandwich… let that sink in for a moment.
It’s a tasty looking street food you can get in Mumbai, and you can put some yummy chutneys on it like spicy dry garlic chutney, and a nice tamarind chutney.
Sounds like a great filling meal to get on the go!
And if you don’t want to wait to go to Mumbai, then here’s a good looking Vada Pav recipe here!
44. Goan Fish Curry
In the western state of Goa, India, you get this tasty looking fish curry that has a nice sounding rich coconut sauce.
Also, you’re getting other great ingredients like curry leaves, green chilis, cumin, and ginger, so you know it’s gonna be packed with flavor.
Here’s a great looking recipe for Goan fish curry!
Claimed by one Indian food blogger to be the most popular comfort food for Indians, Khichdi is a tasty looking dish that’s made with rice and moong lentils.
You’re also going to be getting other flavors in this dish like cumin seeds, ginger, ghee and other tasty ingredients.
Oh, and if you want to try this recipe at home, then here’s a great recipe for Khichdi. This Indian food blogger shows you how to make it with multiple methods in the kitchen.
46. Seekh Kebab
Seekh Kebabs are essentially delicious, ground spicy lamb skewers. Also, they come with some incredible flavors like Garam Masala, garlic, ginger, coriander, and other super delicious ingredients.
And they sound like a great thing to try when you’re having guests over for a barbecue. But if you just want to try it tonight by yourself, or with family, then here’s a good recipe for Seekh Kebabs.
47. Chana Masala
Chana masala sounds like an amazing comfort food dish. You’re getting tasty chickpeas that are simmered in an amazing tomato, garlic, and, onion curry.
A lot of Indian household are going to make this dish differently, so I think it could be fun to experiment and try different versions of this Chana Masala.
48. Malai Kofta
When you break down the name, Malai comes from Hindi, and means cream. And when you translate Kufta out, it just means “fried balls.” So when you translate it all out, is just meaning fried balls that are dunked in a cream sauce.
A comfort food coming from North India, you’re getting some crispy Paneer dumplings, which are served with a delicious sounding creamy Indian sauce that’s PACKED with flavor.
Here’s the recipe for Malai Kofta if you want to try it yourself!
49. Aloo Gajar Matar
A tasty looking and popular stir fry that’s eaten during the colder weather, Aloo Gajar Matar comes from North India, and is apart of Punjabi cuisine.
Also, it has some amazing and delicious ingredients like potatoes, peas, carrots, and spices such as garam masala, mango powder, cumin, and more.
And lastly, this Aloo Gajar Matar recipe looks like a great one to try!
With different variations, keema curry is an Indian food with minced meat, and is very popular in India.
Also, you’re going to be seeing it used in different recipes such as naan, samosas, and biryani.
I love ground meat recipes, so this sounds like a great recipes to try. And if you feel the same, then here’s a good recipe for keema right here.
51. Bateka Nu Shaak
Being served with daal and rice, this potato curry is a great Indian recipe to try at home, or at a restaurant.
It has a lot of great flavors, and looks like a really good meal to have if you want some serious comfort food.
And if you want to try this Gujarati food, then here’s a good recipe for Bateka Nu Shaak.
52. Saag Paneer
Saag paneer is an Indian food that’s made with ingredients like Swiss chard and fried Indian cheese.
And whether you want to enjoy it with rice or roti, it sounds like a great recipe to have for a nice dinner in, or to try at an Indian restaurant.
Here’s a good looking recipe for saag paneer right here if you’re curious.
53. Misal Pav
Misal pav great looking Indian food that you can get on the streets of Maharashtrian, India.
It’s a sprouts curry that’s topped with ingredients like onions and tomatoes, and served with soft Indian dinner rolls called pav.
And if you’re curious about the recipe, then here’s a good one for Misal Pav right here.
54. Pav Bhaji
Coming from Mumbai, this Indian street food has some tasty looking smashed and spiced veggies, and fluffy bread to go with it.
From the way it’s described, it sounds incredibly flavorful, and an Indian food you don’t want to miss.
Also, here’s a good recipe for Pav Bhaji if you want to make it yourself.
55. Kathi Rolls
If you like paratha, and you want to use it for a wrap, then this Indian food is perfect for you.
Kathi rolls uses the paratha to wrap up chutney sauces, grilled meats, veggies, and even eggs.
It’s a yummy looking dish that was made in the 1930s by a famous restaurant in Kolkata, and is something you’ll commonly see on the streets in Bengali.
And if that sounds good to you, then here’s a recipe for kathi rolls right here!
Frankie is an Indian food that comes from Bombay, and is something you can grab on the street.
It’s essentially a wrap that can be eaten as a snack, or at different meals of the day. Also, it has tasty ingredients like spiced mashed potatoes. 👌
It sounds like a fun thing to either grab in India, try at a restaurant, or make at home with a frankie recipe like this!
57. Dubki Wale Aloo
If you love potatoes like me, then I think this should probably be on your list of foods to try this week.
It’s also packed with a LOT of herbs, fresh ingredients, and spices. So while it might be quite a bit of work, I think the end flavors will be incredible and worth it.
58. Ki Sabji
I like garbanzo beans, or also called chickpeas.
Also, it’s a great side to make if you want something healthy but flavorful.
And being packed with ingredients like cardamom, coriander, and garam masala, you won’t be missing out on taste.
59. Punjabi Kadhi Pakora
This is super creamy delicious comfort food that I think you need to make tonight… or at least this week.
Also, it’s topped with crispy onion fritters, so I really don’t think you need any more explanation for a recipe like this!
60. Peerkangai Kootu
Coming from the south, Peerkangai Kootu is an Indian food that honestly looks incredible!
It has ridge gourd, coconut, moong dal, and a tasty looking tadka (the fried oil, spices, and herbs that go on top).
Also, the total time for making this is just 37 minutes. So if you want to feel like a cooking genius, and make something tasty, it’s not gonna take you hours to make. 🤷♀️
If your local Indian restaurant serves kulfi, get it.
I remember the first time I had this Indian food.
I was in Istanbul, eating at one of my favorite Indian restaurants, and the menu had labeled it as Indian ice cream (or something similar).
And that’s exactly what it is!
The cooking process is a bit different than western ice cream though.
It can be made by slowly simmered whole milk, cream, cardamom, and other tasty ingredients. So while the process is longer, I think the results are potentially a lot better!
This kulfi recipe by this cook looks so good! You might want to give it a try for dessert.
More Great Recipes to Try
62. Gulab Jamun
I’m pretty sure that whenever my husband and I eat at an Indian restaurant, we get this Indian food every time. 😂
But it’s so good!
They’re these doughy fluffy balls soaked in a sugary syrup, that’s been flavored with cardamom and rose water. They’re oh so good!
Here’s a gulab jamun recipe. I like how she gives very thorough instructions, since it’s a recipe that can be messed up if not done just right.
63. Gajar Ka Halwa
A traditional North Indian food, you’re getting a delicious bowl filled with simmered, fresh, grated carrots, full fat milk, ghee, sugar, cardamom, chopped nuts, and so many other delicious ingredients.
So basically think of carrot cake, but in a bit of a pudding form, and with a lot more spices.
It’s a very popular dish in India, which means you’re probably going to be finding it everywhere in the country. But here’s a recipe for Gajar Ka Halwa so you can have it at home as well.
64. Almond Halwa
With cardamom and saffron, this Indian food kind of feels like a luxurious dessert you’d get at a really nice restaurant.
Also, it looks so sweet and refreshing, I could see myself making this at home!
65. Ras Malai
A very popular East Indian dessert made with saffron, cardamom, nuts, and milk. It looks really good!
Also, this Indian food is a classic, so you might be able to find it at some Indian restaurants. But if you can’t, then here’s a good recipe for Ras Malai here.
Pitha are delicious looking rice flour dumplings, that can either have a sweet or spicy filling. But since this is the dessert section, we’re going to be sticking with the sweet.
So you’ll be seeing ingredients like jaggery (a type of cane sugar) and coconut.
Now Pitha is a common snack in India, and if you want a nice sweet snack for after dinner, then I think this is a great option for you.
Here’s a Pitha recipe you can check out now!
I love rice pudding, and this North Indian version of this classic dessert sounds amazing. 👍
It looks rich, creamy, and refreshing. Also, you’re getting tasty ingredients like cardamom, cashews, pistachios, saffron, and even rosewater.
And while this Indian food is made for festivals and celebrations, you can make this at any time you want. It also sounds like a great breakfast!
Here’s a great looking recipe for Kheer right here!
Falooda is a dessert drink that has multiple layers. So you’re getting rose syrup, sweetened milk, ice cream, vermicelli, jelly, and then topping it off with nuts and rose petals (optional).
It’s a drink you can find in many different countries, such as India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and it honestly looks delicious!
Being a tasty looking frozen drink, I can’t wait to try it myself. In fact, this falooda recipe right here looks very good!
69. Mishti Doi
Coming from Bengal, Mishti Doi is a sweet yogurt made with curd culture, milk, and jaggery (or sugar).
This Indian food is traditionally set, or baked, in earthenware, which gives a nice flavor to this yogurt, and it can be made with date palm jaggery (sounds tasty!).
Here’s a good recipe for Mishti Doi here.
If you like fudge, then here’s an Indian version of this tasty dessert.
It’s a sweet that can be made for festivals (or just because), and has yummy yet simple ingredients like milk, sugar, ghee, and pistachios.
And whether you’re making this Indian food at home with a barfi recipe like this, or enjoying it at a festival (like Holi, Rakhi, or Diwali), I think it’s going to be very tasty.
71. Kaju Katli
Another tasty looking Indian fudge recipe, but this one is made made with cashews.
It’s been described as melting in your mouth, and I’m all for it. 🙌
You’re going to be seeing this dessert sold as a traditional North Indian sweet, and being made with delicious ingredients like cardamom powder, saffron, or rose water. Sounds amazing!
And if you wanna try this Indian food, then here’s a good Kaju Katali recipe here.
72. Mysore Pak
Mysore Pak is a sweet Indian food you’re going to traditionally find in South India.
Believing to have originated in the Royal kitchen, it’s a delicious looking dessert that’s made with gram flour, ghee, sugar, and other simple ingredients.
The texture is apparently very good because of the oils, and you’re going to find it in a lot of South Indian sweets shops.
Also, being such a simple dessert, you might want to try this Mysore Pak here!
Malpua is an Indian style pancake that has crispy edges, and a soft tasty center.
They’re soaked in sugar syrup, and can be made with jaggery (or sugar), and cardamom. But there are plenty of other great ingredients that can be added into this Indian dessert, so you have the option of trying different flavors as well!
Coming from north, you’ll find this Indian food being made during different festivals. Or you can make it at home with this Malpua recipe here.
74. Besan Ladoo
Besan Ladoo is an aromatic North Indian sweet, that’s been made into ball shapes. It has tasty flavorful ingredients like cardamom, and they just look like they’re fun to eat.
Also, you’ll find this Indian food being commonly eaten and made for special occasions, like weddings and festivals.
You’re going to be finding this very popular Indian dessert being sold at street stalls and sweets shops.
They’re crispy and juicy, and they look like they’re very tasty!
And if you want to try this deep-fried golden dessert, then here’s a good recipe for Jalebi here!
Phirni is a slow-cooked sweet pudding, that’s made with ingredients like saffron or cardamom, milk, rice, and nuts.
It’s something served during special occasions in North India, and it looks like a very refreshing, and creamy dessert to have.
And if you want to try this Indian pudding yourself, then here’s a good looking recipe for Phirni.
It’s a Indian milk cake, and that honestly sounds so delicious!
Spiced and flavored with ingredients like cardamom, sweetened condensed milk, saffron, and rosewater, you’re getting a very rich and creamy cake that sounds like the perfect dessert.
Also, if you want to try this Rajasthan recipe now, or you can’t find it at Indian restaurants, then here’s a nice recipe for kalakand here!
If you’re craving layered flaky goodness, then this fritter that’s been fried in ghee, and soaked in sugar syrup, is probably going to hit the spot.
Coming from Odisha, you’ll find it being commonly made and eaten at festivals.
Also, being similar to baklava, it’s made with thicker pastry sheets, and is a lot harder. Crunch lovers unite!
Spongy and sweet, this is a tasty looking Indian dessert that’s made by curdling milk, and separating the paneer and whey with a muslin cloth.
Then the drained ingredients are kneaded and rolled into balls, and cooked in sugar syrup until they’re just the right texture .
When you’re in India, you can get them at festivals, or you can potentially get them at the Indian restaurant in your town or city.
Or, if you just want to make it a home, then here’s the recipe for Rasgulla here.
A sweet that has a fudge-like texture, you’ll find it being made in different ways.
So for instance, you might find it being made with milk powder, sugar, and ghee. Or you might see condensed milk as well.
It look like the perfect soft and delicious sweet to have after a big meal, and if you want to make it, then here’s a Peda recipe here!
A sweet coming from Bengali, it’s a popular dessert in India that’s also eaten during fun festive occasions.
There are a lot of ways to make this dessert, but traditionally you’ll find it being made by curdling milk, and draining the whey and cheese (or chenna).
Then it’s kneaded until smooth, and cooked on a low heat with powdered sugar.
This Indian food really does look good, and if you think so too, then here’s a recipe for Sandesh here!
A Indian sweet cake with a tasty looking texture, it’s dipped in sugar syrup, and a tasty sounding sweet thick milk sauce.
83. Soan Papdi
The texture for this Indian food looks amazing. It’s flaky, airy, and it’s described as being melting in your mouth. 👌
Traditionally you’re using chickpea or gram flour, ghee, saffron, and/or cardamom powder, and of course sugar.
And if you want to try this North Indian dessert, then here’s a recipe for Soan Papdi here.
Lassi’s are a classic. They’re this refreshingly cold, perfectly creamy yogurt drink that originated in Northern India.
I’ve had so many different types of lassis, and they’re all very good!
And here are some flavors to look out for:
- Pineapple ginger
- Sweet but plain
They really do pair well with Indian food!
Oh, and if you want to make a lassi yourself, then I’d check out Cook with Manal, she makes a few different flavors of lassi.
85. Masala Chai
I love ordering masala chai with the rest of my Indian food!
Masala chai is one of the most comforting rich and creamy drinks, and it makes for a perfect pre-dinner, or after dinner, drink.
Basically, you’re steeping black tea, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, and other delicious spices, in milk to make this creamy Indian drink.
Here’s a recipe for masala chai if you want to do it yourself.
86. Masala Chaas
An Indian summer drink, Masala Chaas is made with yogurt, water, and spices like ginger, chili, cilantro, and chat masala.
So you’re getting a very nice savory and refreshing drink!
It’s described as an Indian buttermilk, and is especially popular in southern India.
Here’s a recipe for Masala Chaas if you’re curious to try it out!
87. Aam Panna
This one looks like an amazing summer drink!
You’re getting a cooling beverage from Northern and Western India, that’s drunk when it’s very hot out!
It’s made with unripe green mangos, and Indian spices like cardamom, black salt, and sugar.
And if this sounds like fun to try, then here’s an Aam Panna Recipe here!
I keep on talking about Indian summer drinks, but it’s hard not to when they all look and sound so good.
And this one is a North Indian drink that’s made with ingredients like water, cumin, cardamom, and mango powder.
It sounds so interesting because there are ingredients I wouldn’t normally think to put in a drink. But, I know that the combination is probably going to taste amazing.
Here’s a link to the recipe for Jal Jeera so you can check it out yourself!
89. Nimbu Pani
I love lemonade, so I’m excited to try this Indian version of the classic drink.
And unlike the western version, you’re going to get ingredients like chat masala, and black salt. So it’s still a sweet drink, but with different ingredients.
I can’t wait to try this Indian version of lemonade; it looks really good. Also, here’s a recipe for Nimbu Pani, if you want to give it a try yourself.
90. Masala Haldi Doodh
This drink looks so pretty, but also very delicious!
And what makes this drink golden is the turmeric. So that means you’re getting a creamy, spiced, sweet drink, that also have some amazing health benefits.
If this sounds good to you, then here’s a nice looking recipe for Masala Haldi Doodh here.
Also called, Indian filter coffee, it’s a coffee that’s served in a metal tumblr, which sits in a deep saucer that helps it cool down.
It’s sweet, strong, and has a nice bubbly froth on top. Also, if you want to make it yourself, you’ll need to use a traditional Indian filter.
Here’s a recipe for Kaapi, and instructions for making it yourself, if you can’t find it at Indian restaurants.
92. Paneer Soda
A typical South Indian drink, you’re getting refreshing flavors of rosewater, soda, and sugary goodness.
You’ll see it at Indian weddings, but it can also be a simple and delicious summer drink.
And if you want to try to home, like how I do, then here’s a good recipe for Paneer Soda
93. Goli Soda
Also known as Nimbu Masala Soda, you’re getting a delicious carbonated lemon, flavored drink, and it’s very popular in India.
So whether you’re traveling through the hot summer streets of New Delhi, and want to grab some from the street vendors, or you want to make it at home, I think it’s worth giving it a try. It sounds really good!
Traditionally from the northern states of India, Thandai is normally served during festivals like Holi.
Also, you’re getting this nice, refreshing, cooling, and creamy drink, with flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, and rosewater.
And if this creamy drink sounds really good to you, then here’s a Thandai recipe for you to try!
Translated out too “sweet drink,” it’s a very simple and delicious sounding beverage. Made with jaggery, cardamom, and other nice spices, I think I’d like to try this one very soon!
And if you want other flavors, there are other versions of this drink with ingredients like dried ginger, lemon juice, or honey. All of which sound great!
Coming from the Darjeeling district in India, Darjeeling tea is often called the “Champagne of teas.”
Just make sure that the tea is actually Darjeeling tea, a mainly black tea that also has properties of oolong. I say that since a lot of teas from that area are labeled as “Darjeeling,” even if they’re green or white tea.
- The leaves originally come from China, so it’s kind of crazy to think that something that’s so well known to India, came from another region!
- Darjeeling was started by an Englishman named, Archibald Campbell, who was experimenting with different teas in a private garden in the Darjeeling area.
Another tasty looking variant of a lemonade (or limeade), you’re getting lemon or lime juice, sugar, salt, and other spices.
It’s something you can get at street vendors or just make it at home. Also, it’s another great drink to have during the hotter months!
You’re going to make this drink by boiling green tea leaves with ingredients like cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom.
Oh, also, you’ll sometimes see it made with Kashmiri roses, and it’ll be served with sugar, honey, and crushed nuts (like walnuts or almonds).
99. Kashmiri Noon Chai
Noon chai looks like so much fun to drink! It’s pink and made with milk, cardamom, and tea, and comes from Kashmir, India.
Also, it looks super comforting for cold days, and can be served with biscuits, as told by an Indian food blogger
Here’s a recipe for noon chai if you want to try it yourself!
100. Sattu Sharbat
A healthy summer drink made with roasted black chickpea flour, a sweetener, some black salt, and other ingredients.
It’s a cooling drink for the hot summer months, and can either be made savory or sweet!
I think it’s a good drink to have if you want some good health benefits, and a new flavor to try, so here’s a recipe for Sattu Sharbat right here!
101. Adrak Chai
A different type of chai drink to try!
If you like ginger, then this is going to be a great drink for you.
It’s a creamy milky hot tea made with ginger roots and tea leaves.
So not only are you going to be getting something that’s comforting, and can go great with dessert, but you’re also going to be getting some nice health benefits in there too.
Also, I personally think it sounds like a great recipe to try during the holidays, but maybe that’s just me. 🤷♀️
And if you’d like to try it out yourself, then here’s a recipe for adrak chai here.
102. Assam Tea
Named after and indigenous to the region of Assam, India, you’re getting a nice breakfast tea that you can pair with some milk!
It’s a back tea with nice full-bodied flavors, and would probably go great with some freshly baked cookies (in my opinion!)
Fun Fact: Certain breakfast teas that we know and love, like Irish breakfast tea, are apparently going to have 100% Assam tea. But you’ll also see it being used in boba or masala chai tea.
With thick, creamy coconut milk, it’s a great drink coming from Goan, India.
It apparently has good cooling and digestive properties, which can go great with the heavily spiced foods on the western coast of India .
Also, the pink comes from Kokum curry which I think it’s pretty cool!
And if you want to try this tart, sweet, creamy drink, then here’s a recipe for Solkadhi right here.
104. Badam Doodh
Being a protein packed, tasty flavorful milk, you’re gonna get a nice drink filled with cardamom, saffron, and almonds!
I love almond drinks, and I also love flavored milk drinks, so this one sounds really good! 👌
Also, it’s said to be a very healthy drink, and can be served either chilled or warm. So it’s up to you on how you want to have this drink.
And with whatever way you choose to have it, here’s a badam doodh recipe for you try out.
105. Mohabbat Ka Sharbat
Coming from old Dehli, it has delicious flavors of watermelon and rose syrup.
It originally came from a street shop run by a guy named Nawab Qureshi.
It quickly became a very popular drink, and now you’ll see a lot of street vendors selling it themselves.
But here’s a Mohabbat Ka Sharbat recipe if you just want to make it at home!
Staple Ingredients of India
Indian ingredients are incredibly diverse.
This huge country has so many climates and regions that have been affected by trade, and hundreds of years of tradition. And that means the foods are going to change quite a bit.
But here’s a more generalized understanding of what staple ingredients are grown or eaten where:
- North India mainly grows wheat.
- Western India is going to grow a lot more coarse grains such as millets and sorghum.
- The south and east of India grow rice.
Other Staple Ingredients in India Include:
- Urad (black gram)
- Peanut oil
- Coconut oil
- Mustard oil
- Gingelly oil (sesame oil)
Vegeteables: In India, you’re going to find indigenous veggies like eggplant, different leafy greens (saag), and gourd.
Also, there are vegetables that were brought over by other countries, such as Portugal and England. So for instance, the Portuguese brought over cabbage, potatoes, different chilies, corn, and tomatoes. And the British brought over different types of cauliflower, lettuce, and carrots.
Fruit: You’re going to be seeing a lot of jackfruit, mangoes (India’s national fruit), papaya, bananas, pomegranate, apples, and peaches.
Dairy: There’s going to milk, yogurt, and ghee used in Indian cooking.
Meat: You’ll see Indians mainly eat mutton and chicken, since many don’t eat beef, and the Muslim population won’t eat pork. But you’ll also find fish such as carp, kingfish, catfish, mackerel, prawns, and squid being eaten.
There are many incredible spices that are used in Indian cooking.
So for instance, you’re gonna be seeing…
- Black salt
- Fennel seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Chili peppers
But of course, it changes by region. So for the north of India, you’ll be seeing different tasty spices such as cumin, coriander, cloves, and turmeric. But in the south, you’ll be seeing foods made with mustard seed and fenugreek.
And there are plenty of spice blend such as garam masala, where a certain mix of spices are toasted, and then ground into a powder.
Typical Indian Meals
Normally, Indian meals are going to depend on things like…
- Social class.
But here’s a generalized idea of what you’re looking at:
The Main Meals: In India, you’re going to be seeing some people eat breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner.
Grains Grains, such as rice and wheat, will be used or served with different Indian meals. Also, you’ll also be seeing lentil dishes such as dal.
Sides and Sauces: To accompany these meals, there will be different vegetables, fish, and meats, as well as yogurts, chutneys, pickles, and salads.
Drinks: Certain drinks such as milk, water, lassis, or buttermilk with be served with the food.
After Meals: And lastly, at the end of meals, there will be seasonal fruits, or even mukhwas, which is used as a breath freshener.
How the Meals Are Eaten: The different dishes are all served at once, with no courses. And when a dish is eaten by hand, you’ll traditionally see people using their right hand, or using some flatbread to grab the food.
Celebration Time and Indian Food
There are many festivals and celebrations all around India, so you’ll be seeing plenty of different sweets, drinks, and other foods being made for these special occasions.
So for instance, during Holi, the festival of colors, you’ll see plenty of snacks like dahi vada, sweets, and thandai served during the celebrations.
For the festival of lights, Diwali, you’re going to be able to grab some really cute lamp shaped sweets called, Diya Peda.
And then there’s the south Indian harvest festival, Pongal, where Indian foods like, Sakkarai Pongal and Payasum, are eaten.
I think it can be so cool to try foods that are traditionally eaten during special cultural celebrations, so if you do visit India during a certain holiday, you might want to make a checklist for things to try!
Here’s a fun video if you want to learn even more about Indian food!
Indian Food FAQ
Based on my personal opinion, here are some great options for Indian dishes to try as a beginner:
– Tikka masala
– Corn pakoda (corn fritters)
– Paneer butter masala
All of these recipes are either creamy, mild, or just have a bit of spiciness. Enjoy!
Here are 3 traditional foods from India:
– Rogan Josh: A lamb curry dish.
– Chaats: Deep fried savory snacks.
– Vada Pav: A sandwich stuffed with spices and a potato patty.
According to the Times of India, last year, the most widely ordered dish in India was biryani.
Makes sense, it tastes so good!
Indian food can be an incredible experience, so get adventurous and give it a try.
It might become one of your favorite cuisines!