Indian food has a mysterious quality that makes it highly addictive – maybe it’s the unbeatable taste combination of sweet and savory in all their dishes that pushes the flavor to that unbelievable factor, or maybe its the uncanny combination of spices that makes it so delicious. Either way, it might be a world of cuisine you have yet to discover – and you should definitely start out with these mouthwatering dishes.
1. Papri Chaat
This meal will be hard not to stuff down your throat all at once: deep-fried dough wafers that are floating in a flavor-bursting blend of chickpeas, yogurt, and spicy red and green chili and tamarind sauces served in a bowls is a way to understand the true essence of Delhi street food that is super addictive. It’s indulgent, and hard to get tired of.
2. Saag Paneer
If cheese is your obsession, this vegetarian-friendly meal is going to be your new favorite. You can make it at home or you can buy the paneer from the store and we won’t tell on you. Fresh Indian cheese is melted with garlicky spinach for a hot and comporting bowl of deliciousness is simply divine served over rice.
Dosas are a kind of pancake which are made from a rice and black lentil batter. Whereas lentils are more of a cake-like texture, dosas are cooked on a hot griddle and stuffed with a choice of fillings. There are a diverse variety of dosa recipes from the different regions of India. Any type of pancake is good in my book. And a pancake burrito is a win-win situation.
4. Chana Masala
This dish is probably the best thing you can do with garbanzo beans. They´re super versatile, made to be sopped up by buttery bread, and a great source of protein for vegetarians. Soaked in this spicy sauce, Chana Masala is a hearty dish that will have you craving it on chilly nights, and is equally good served cold the next day!
Vindaloo is from Goa, India and packs a punch with heavy use of vinegar and chilis. Sometimes this dish is served chicken or lamb mixed with potatoes. However, traditional vindaloos do not include potatoes. In Goa, the authentic vindaloo is a dry sauce-based dish using garlic, vinegar, jaggery and Kashmiri chili. Vindaloo always tastes better the next day as the meat gets properly marinated. A leftover lover’s dream come true.
6. Butter Chicken
This is the ultimate comfort food of India. In the dish, chicken is marinated overnight in yogurt and spices, then cooked with a special Makhani sauce comprised of tomato puree, butter, and spices which give it its distinct flavor. Super popular in Punjabi cuisine, and a famous non-vegetarian delicacy.
The Indian version of fried rice – this aromatic dish is cooked with spices such as saffron (giving it its yellow tinge), and a protein such as marinate chicken or mutton, but vegetarian and seafood varieties can be completed. Perfect for large groups.
8. Dahi Vadas
The interesting bites are lentil dumplings dipped in yogurt and topped with a spicy savory tamarind chutney and other sauces depending on the regional recipe. They make for an amazing appetizer or snack.
9. Tandoori Chicken
This beats fried chicken any day. Tandoori chicken is roasted chicken marinated in yogurt and a tantalizing blend of spices which are slow cooked at a super high temperature in a transitional oven called the tandoor. Other meats and seafoods can be served this style, and the taste is truly incomparable.
10. Sag Aloo
This nutritious dish uses spinach as a base, and is mixed with potatoes. The addition of ginger and black mustard seeds, cumin and turmeric make the combination of a few basic ingredients taste very complex. It’s a vegetarian’s dream come true, and will turn around any spinach-hater’s opinions.
The cousin of samosas, these fritters are native to the Indian state Uttar Pradesh. A few basic ingredients are fried, such as onion, potato, eggplant, cauliflower, and chili peppers, and are then dipped in gram flour, and deep fried. Nom nom nom.