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The 33 Most Popular Indian Dishes and Recipes To Try

Indian food is one genre of food that you need to try at least once in your life.

With gorgeous colors, sauces, and spices you’ll be mesmerized by the dishes as you enjoy the heat and intermingling flavors of each dish.

There are some areas that unfortunately don’t have many Indian food restaurants available.

Have no fear – Indian food tastes just as good made at home as in a restaurant (maybe even better!).

Here are 33 incredibly delicious Indian recipe ideas that you can cook at home tonight.

33 Incredibly Delicious Indian Recipes

What is the most popular food in India?

You may be wondering what the most popular food in India is – I’m sure you’ve heard of at least a few of them.

You might have had naan pop into your head at the mention of Indian food, or perhaps samosas or even mango lassi.

Take a look at the list below for some authentic, popular Indian dishes.

Easy Restaurant Style Butter Chicken Masala

What is the best Indian Chicken dish? Hands down, butter chicken. Butter chicken masala (also known as Murgh Makhani) is a chicken dish covered in a creamy sauce.

Most often, this delightful dish is served over rice or with naan.

If you’re seeking an authentic recipe, this is the one for you.

The whole recipe takes slightly less than an hour and incorporates less butter and cream than most other butter chicken masala recipes.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Looking for an Indian dish without the extra calories from a sauce like the Murgh Makhani recipe?

Try grilled tandoori chicken. This particular recipe is so easy you could make it every day (and you’ll want to!).

You’ll be left with juicy, tender chicken that is spiced to perfection once you make this recipe.

A nice tang is included due to the inclusion of Greek yogurt in the chicken marinade. Enjoy this delicious recipe with your family!

30 Minute Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Craving that yummy butter chicken, but low on time?

Try this instant pot butter chicken recipe for the same creaminess, but in only thirty minutes.

You can add all ingredients directly into the instant pot and cook for 10 minutes, letting the steam release naturally for another 10 minutes.

Make sure to exclude the butter, cream, and garam masala until the sauce has cooled slightly, so it maintains a thick texture. Yum!

Easy Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my absolute favorite Indian Recipes – the bright, creamy sauce that covers the chicken is good to the last drop and makes the perfect dip for naan.

This dish requires a little bit more time – about one hour and 10 minutes, but it’s worth it!

Adding fresh cilantro on top creates a nice, fresh contrast to the rich sauce.

Try this meal over rice so you can enjoy every bit of the savory sauce!

Spicy Chicken Vindaloo Curry

If you love spicy dishes, give this one a try! This spicy chicken vindaloo curry has an extra pop of heat due to ghost pepper chili flakes ensuring to keep you on your toes.

The best part about this dish is that you can customize it to your liking by altering the amount of heat as well as swapping out the protein.

Try using regular red pepper flakes for less heat – you can also leave these out of the recipe as serrano peppers are included. Add this recipe to your Indian menu repertoire for a way to impress any guest.

Lamb Rogan Josh

This lamb rogan josh meal offers a delightful tomato and curry sauce with just the right amount of richness.

The spices included in this dish will make your mouth water.

Slow cooking the lamb for almost two hours is the secret to the super tender final product.

Try it out if you’re craving bright spices.

Panjabi-Style Chole Chickpea Curry

Within Indian cuisine, there are many types of curries. The versatility of the dish is what makes it so great.

This Punjabi-style chole chickpea curry is no exception.

This meal is a great vegetarian option using chickpeas as a good source of protein. The whole herbs and spices offer a delicious freshness.

What is traditional Indian food?

So what exactly is traditional Indian food? Of course, naan is included in this list. How could it not be?

The warm, simple flatbread is a perfect accompaniment for the saucy and spicy dishes that are included on a list of Indian food specialties. Some other traditional food items include dhal, biryani, gulab jamun, and raita.

Take a peek below for a more in-depth look into traditional Indian food recipes.

Simple Garlic Naan Bread

This authentic recipe creates a side that works well with any Indian dish – especially those with sauces like curry. Use this garlic naan bread to soak up the delicious sauces.

You’ll need the following ingredients: flour, instant yeast, salt, sugar, warm water, oil, salted butter, garlic, and cilantro.

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl (except butter, garlic, and cilantro), let it rise, divide into dough balls, flatten, and cook each naan in a skillet. Add the garlic butter on top, and you’re ready to use your naan as a side for your next meal.

Achari Gobi, Cauliflower With Pickling Spices

If you want a healthier dish that is still incredibly tasty, try this achari gobi dish.

Roasted spices provide the perfect platform for elevating the taste of cauliflower.

Looking for more of a kick? Add some additional green chilies.

Hyderabadi Murgh Ka Salan

Serve up this delightful chicken curry, and you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood – everyone will want your recipe! Luscious chicken drumsticks swim in an amazing gravy.

This is one of the best curry recipes you’ll ever see. Give this recipe a try this week and see what you think.

Malai Kofta

Wondering what the best Indian food for dinner is? Two words – Malai Kofta. Imagine fried potato/cheese balls covered in a lovely, creamy tomato sauce.

Is your mouth watering yet? Test it out for yourself.

Aloo Gobi Paratha

Craving papusas or gorditas, but with an Indian flair? Try aloo gobi paratha – this potato-filled flatbread is incredibly delicious and can be eaten alone or with a curry.

Fresh coriander adds a pop of freshness and citrus notes.

Ensure to cook each one in a pan on both sides before adding oil and continuing to cook.

Chicken Do Pyaza

If you’re wondering, what Indian food should I try? Chicken do pyaza is the dish for you!

Since there are quite a few types of curry (this one included), it’s a great idea to start here first.

This chicken do pyaza recipe calls for two different types of onions in the curry.

Try making the garlic naan recipe with this dish. The two complement each other perfectly.

South Indian Food Recipes

Depending on where exactly each recipe is from in India, the flavor profile changes.

South Indian recipes tend to focus a lot more on rice, stew, and lentil-type dishes.

Another difference is what each area uses to add sourness to the dish. Tamarind provides that flavor for South India, specifically in stews.

Check out the recipes below if you’re in the mood for South Indian food.

Chettinad Chicken Curry Recipe

So what is the tastiest Indian Curry? This recipe, hands down, is. Chettinad is a location in India where this recipe originates from.

Known for having a dark brown color, this meal utilizes roasted spices that create a flavor unique to the area.

The inclusion of star anise creates a sweeter flavor with hints of licorice.

South Indian Aloo Masala

What’s better than soft potatoes with spices and heat? Not many things.

This recipe includes seasoning like mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry leaves to create a bright yellow color and delightful flavor.

This is perfect as a side dish for dinner. Impress your vegetarian friends with this one and add it to your yummiest Indian food list.

Tomato Chutney

Chutneys are so versatile and add such a yummy flavor to anything they’re eaten with.

This particular recipe is super simple and creates a tangy, acidic taste with a bit of heat.

This recipe is so quick to make you can prep it from start to finish on your lunch break.

It’s even vegan and gluten-free, so those with food restrictions can munch on this happily.

South Indian Wedding Nei Choru

You can never go wrong with rice dishes. This particular dish hails from the “Land of Spices,” aka Kerala.

Bay leaf, cinnamon, green chili, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, and mint leaves provide a delectable sweet, spicy, fresh flavor.

Fried cashews add a nice crunch into this dish and a pleasant change to the texture.

Try this recipe with lamb rogan josh and see what you think.

Best Homemade South Indian Sambar

This dish is a perfect way to showcase South Indian food as it is a lentil stew.

You can expect a sweet, tangy, nutty taste when eating this sambar.

Sambar is a great meal that is hearty and full of nutrients.

Perfect for a healthy alternative that will fill you up and make your taste buds dance.

North Indian Food Recipes

The north of India offers different flavors in the form of garam masala and amchoor, also known as mango powder.

You can also expect to see more bread-like dishes and curries in this region.

A few food examples that are dominant in this area are naan, samosas, and palak paneer.

Get ready for a ride through the flavors of North India.


Sweets are always the best part of any meal, in my opinion.

This dessert is intended for and usually used during Holi – the Spring Festival of Colors.

You can expect a similar texture to Gulab Jamun – soft, syrup-covered, and sweet – the flavor and shape are what make it unique.

The circular discs are fried, then soaked in syrup, and served with fruit.

If you want sweeter malpuas, soak them for longer in the syrup. Enjoy!

Kadai Paneer

Named after the specific cooking dish that this meal is prepared in, get your taste buds ready for an explosion of flavor!

This recipe mixes together tomato chutney, roasted spices, and paneer to create the best masala.

Using good-quality dried red chilies adds a smoky spiciness to the dish that ties it all together.

Make sure you leave the Kadai paneer for 15 minutes before serving to ensure the paneer has soaked up the sauce.

This is the perfect warming dish to serve in winter.

Aloo Kachori

Aloo Kachori is a well-known North Indian dish that involves a thin, circular bread (think thicker tortillas) that is stuffed with a potato mixture.

The best part? The whole bread is deep-fried after.

A yummy, flavor-rich option that can be eaten as a snack, side dish, or main dish.

Each time you make this recipe, expect about 30 minutes of work. Try this one out at home!

Aloo Gobi

If you want a healthier side dish, this is perfect for you.

Combining potatoes, cauliflower, and spices – you can expect this dish to be simple yet flavorful.

Serve this dish to the side of rice for a meal veggie booster.

For an even healthier recipe, try steaming the cauliflower and potatoes instead of frying them.

Carrot Halwa

Do you love sweet puddings? Then you’ve met your match.

This recipe creates a carrot pudding by slow-cooking carrots, sugar, milk, ghee, and nuts.
Additional ingredients you will need include cardamom powder and raisins.

A super easy recipe that yields a delightful, sweet treat.

You’ll want to go back for a second, and maybe even a third serving.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Dum aloo is a meal you can find throughout India – what you’ll see changing is the flavor profile/recipe in each region.

Pressure cooked, then fried potatoes are the star of this dish.

Adding small holes to the potatoes allows the rich gravy to seep in and flavor the interior of the potatoes as well.

This meal will provide a spicy, sweet, and tangy taste that is unforgettable.

Vegan Indian Food

Many dishes from India are vegetarian, but how many are vegan, or which ones can you make vegan?

Take a look at the list below for some amazing vegan Indian food ideas. You won’t be disappointed.

Red Lentil Dahl

Let’s start off with this super simple recipe that answers the question – what is a healthy Indian dish?

This red lentil dahl is filled with protein from the lentils. You still get a creamy flavor without any dairy.

The best part is that this recipe only takes 20 minutes, so it can be ready in a pinch.

Try adding some non-dairy yogurt and fresh herbs on top for an extra punch and tanginess.

Chickpea Spinach Curry

This budget-friendly recipe is also nutrient-rich (spinach) and filling.

A tomato and onion gravy add richness without adding too many calories.

One of the easiest recipes to double, you can anticipate a beautiful red/yellow color to the dish and a spicy, tangy flavor.

If you have a large family – this recipe will fill them up easily.

Baked Onion Pakora

Ready for a crispy, yummy snack dish? This baked onion pakora recipe is great to munch on while at home or a perfect appetizer to take with you to your next get-together.

Thinly sliced onion is mixed with rice and chickpea flours and seasonings; as water is added in, it creates a batter around the onions.

Baking instead of frying these pakoras is a great alternative way to avoid access oil.

Serve with ketchup or sauce of choice and enjoy!

Instant Pot Palak Paneer

This spinach and cottage cheese curry will warm your belly and excite your tastebuds as you eat it.

Palak paneer is normally vegetarian in nature – swap the paneer and cottage cheese out for firm tofu (paneer) and a vegan cottage cheese dupe.

Pan-fry the paneer or tofu first to give it an added texture before cooking in a hot pot.

This creamy dish goes perfectly with basmati rice.

30-Minute Chana Masala

If you’re still asking yourself why is Indian food so popular? You haven’t tried this delightful vegan dish yet.

Chickpeas are combined with garlic, ginger, tomatoes, onion, and spices to produce a chickpea curry that is suitable for serving every night of the week.

This dish offers super easy clean-up as well – you can refrigerate this chana masala for 5-6 days or put it in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Pull it out and continue enjoying the yummy flavors.

Low-Calorie Indian Food Recipes

If you’re watching your figure or have dietary needs that require lower-calorie foods, have no fear, there are plenty of dishes from India that fit into this category and keep you satisfied.

Even if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, the following recipes will delight you with full flavors and spices.

Bajra, Whole Moong, and Green Pea Khichdi

This is the best khichdi recipe you will come across – think comfort food, but made healthier.

Make sure you take time to soak moong dal and bajra for about five hours before creating this recipe.

Afterward, add the moong dal, bajra, and green peas to a pressure cooker with water. Add in tomatoes, fried cumin seeds, onions, and spices.

Keep the mixture on heat while you mash it to the perfect texture. Voila! You’re ready to eat your masterpiece.

Stuffed Nachni Roti

This recipe uses whole wheat flour as a good source of fiber.

The middle is a scrumptious vegetable filling. Expect a soft exterior and yummy, veggie-filled inside.

Stuffed nachni roti only takes about 30 minutes to cook, so it’s a great recipe if you’re low on time.

Plus, you can grab one or two to take on the go with you. Yum!

Nutritious Lehsuni Methi Roti

Another delicious take on a healthy roti dish. This is an excellent side for the bajra, whole moong, and green pea khichdi that won’t add a lot of calories.

You’ll need fenugreek, garlic paste, whole wheat flour, instant dry yeast, sugar, oil, and salt.

That’s it. You have an easy peasy, good for you bread.

Moong Dal and Spinach Soup

Looking for something with no oil included and lots of nutrients? You’ve come to the right recipe.

Yellow moong dal, spinach, cornflour, low-fat milk, and salt combine to create the best soup for health-conscious people.

You’ll also get a healthy dose of protein, vitamin a, and iron as you eat this. Try a bowlful for lunch this week.

Indian food is filled with so many bright spices and flavors.

It can be hard to pick between the recipes since they are all delicious and mouth-watering. It’s amazing how versatile and customizable each dish really is.

You can adjust the heat in nearly every dish, and plenty of substitutes are available.

Enjoy these amazing, delicious Indian food menu ideas.

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