Authentic Indian recipes are known around the world for their richness, variety, and spice! It’s home to hundreds of different regional dishes, each bursting with its own distinctive flavors and cooking techniques. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to authentic Indian recipes, this article can be your guide to all things Indian cuisine.
Indian cuisine is a fusion of foreign ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques. Many authentic Indian recipes call for exotic spices like cardamom, cumin, and coriander. Some recipes also call for rare ingredients such as cinnamon, green cardamom pods, or rose petals to give an aromatic flavor to the dish. The different regions in India have their own distinctive authentic Indian recipes and style with each state boasting its own specialties.
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From the best way to eat Indian food to some great regional dishes, our piece on authentic Indian recipes can help you discover just how flavorful the world of Indian cuisine can be!
About Authentic Indian Recipes and Why you Should Love It
Indian cooking can be traced back to ancient times. Most popular authentic Indian recipes are a result of over 3,000 years of development across various regions in India. India is home to more than a dozen culinary cultures, each one with its own distinctive set of spices and flavors.
Indians are well known for their extensive use of spices, which gives food its characteristic taste. One spice that is often used in cooking is ginger. Ginger helps to increase circulation and prevents nausea or stomach aches after eating too much spicy food.
Other popular spices include black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, and turmeric powder. Often these spices are blended together in order to make spicy condiments like chili sauce or garam masala (a blend of ground ginger, garlic, and various other spices). Garlic has many health benefits including acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and improving heart health because it lowers cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
Actually, you can’t afford not to love authentic Indian recipes. India has so many dishes and recipes to offer that there is something for everyone. I’ve heard people say that the food is too spicy for them but in all my years living here, I have never had a dish that was too spicy for me. All the spices in Indian food are great for digestion and leave you feeling energized.
The use of ginger in most authentic Indian recipes gives the food a natural antibiotic effect so it’s not uncommon to see someone with a cold or flu leaving an Indian restaurant looking noticeably better than when they came in. If all this wasn’t enough to convince you, then take it from a personal experience.
5 Most Popular Food From India
Here we have listed the 5 most popular authentic Indian recipes and food with short descriptions.
The most popular appetizer from India, samosas are fried dough wrapped around a filling (often ground lamb or mashed potatoes with spices) and shaped into triangular pastries.
In addition to being the second most popular entrée on the menu, butter chicken is also the dish that introduced Indians to using tomato sauce in their cuisine.
A staple in any Indian restaurant and a popular bread for home cooks, naan is leavened dough that’s cooked by slapping it between your hands on a hot grill or stovetop burner until it puffs up like a balloon before being brushed with ghee and sprinkled with spices.
Palak paneer is another vegetarian favorite that consists of fresh spinach simmered with lightly spiced cubes of house-made cheese.
Gulab jamun gets its name from the syrup made out of milk solids, sugar, and water. It’s often eaten as dessert but can be eaten anytime because it contains no dairy!
FAQs on Indian Foods
Why is The Food from India Always Spicy?
Authentic Indian recipes are known for being spicy because it has been cooked over an open flame for hundreds of years. The spices used in Indian cooking are also known for their ability to bring out the flavors of the main ingredients. They don’t add flavor, but rather enhance what is already there.
What is the Origin of Indian Cuisine?
The origins of authentic Indian recipes date back to ancient times, but were greatly influenced by foreign cultures in the wake of invasions from Central Asia (modern-day Afghanistan) in the first millennium BC. Over time, these foreign influences blended with indigenous concepts to create a unique blend of regional cuisines that have become known as Indian cuisine today.
What are Some Common Ingredients in Indian Foods?
The ingredients used in authentic Indian recipes vary from region to region depending on where they came from. Some common ingredients include rice, wheat flour, lentils, butter oil, onion, and garlic. Other ingredients include chilies, ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and turmeric powder.
What is One Popular Dish from India?
One popular authentic Indian recipes favorite from is Chicken Tikka Masala. Chicken Tikka Masala, also known as Butter Chicken, is a dish originating in Northern India and is made by roasting chicken with spices, as well as tomatoes and onions until tender. It gets its creamy texture from the use of butter or ghee that is added at the end.
Is it Difficult to Cook an Indian Meal?
Indian cuisine can be a little intimidating to someone who is new to it, but with a little bit of guidance, it will seem easier than you ever imagined. Just like cooking any other dish, there are some basic cooking techniques that every beginner should know and use for authentic Indian recipes. Start by learning how to roast spices and dry them before grinding them in order to maximize their flavors.
25 Easy Authentic Indian Recipes
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1. Creamy Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup with Curry
This vibrant authentic Indian recipe for a velvety Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup is simply delicious and a perfect way to warm up on cold days! A creamy soup blending tender carrots with fresh ginger, coconut milk, garlic and curry powder is full of zesty flavor. And it can be made on the stove or in an Instant Pot!
And you’ll never let leafy carrot top greens go to waste again once you make this herby Carrot Top Pesto!
2. 1-Pot Cauliflower Dal Green Curry
When winter comes and the nights get cold, I crave comfort food…but I still want my greens. That’s literally where inspiration for this authentic Indian recipe came from: “How do I eat so many cooked greens?”
I love this dish because it’s both Indian- and Thai-inspired, using both split mung beans (or moong dal), and my go-to Thai-inspired green curry paste. Let me show you how it’s done!
This authentic Indian recipe for a 1-pot meal starts with soaked moong dal (a.k.a. split mung beans). While that’s happening, you can prep your fresh green curry paste (or opt for store-bought!) and veggies.
3. Homemade Garlic Naan
This Homemade Garlic Naan recipe is truly the best in authentic Indian recipes. Even if you’ve never made bread at home before, this soft, chewy, garlicky flatbread is easy to make and well worth the effort. You’re going to love serving it with your favorite Indian dishes.
I recently perfected my homemade white bread recipe, but even still, loaves of bread (especially sourdough) make me nervous. But flatbreads? Oh man, I can make one heck of a flatbread without breaking a sweat, because it’s nearly impossible to do it wrong.
And the best of all of the flatbreads? My most favorite to make? It’s homemade naan without a doubt.
4. Indian Raita Recipe
The raita is such a favorite side to round off any meal and today, I’m teaching you everything about it. It’s a simple authentic Indian recipe, fifteen minute recipe that has so many variations and can become spicy or plain, sweet or savory. I’m including authentic Indian recipe for vegetable, cucumber, boondi and mint raita to start you off!
Let’s start with the main ingredient here – yogurt or curd as its called in India. These are not cheese curds, but basically plain yogurt. Not Greek, because we don’t want to make tzatziki here (which has some similarities to raita but is from Greece and is made mostly with cucumbers and really thick Greek yogurt).
Raita on the other hand likes to be thick, but also has a more liquid consistency (also a choice thing) and is way more versatile.
5. Tandoori Cauliflower Recipe
This authentic Indian recipe for tandoori cauliflower makes for a filling and flavor-packed vegetarian dish. Who said vegetables had to be boring? Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower = the BEST cauliflower recipe ever! The DIY tandoori paste is made with yogurt and staple pantry spices and is so flavorful.
Serve the delicious cauliflower with an easy to make tahini cilantro sauce for a healthy and crazy delicious side dish recipe. Calling all cauliflower lovers! I’ve found my favorite cauliflower recipe and I’m sharing it with you today. This roasted tandoori cauliflower has won my heart.
Calling this my fav cauli recipe is a big thing. There are no less than 14 cauliflower recipes on this blog, and that doesn’t include recipes that call for things like cauliflower rice as a side. We’re kind of cauliflower obsessed over here. Are you the same?
6. Easy Chicken Biryani
This delicious Chicken Biryani authentic Indian recipe is easy to make and is ready for the table in 30 minutes! Wonderfully aromatic and flavorful, it’s sure to be a hit at your dinner table!
Biryani is a super popular dish across the globe and that’s no surprise. With its heavenly aroma and its mouth-watering flavor combinations, biryani is downright delicious. Today I’m sharing a quick and easy Chicken Biryani recipe that we’re confident you’re going to love.
7. Dal (Indian Lentil Curry)
You think it’s impossible to make a Dal like Indian restaurants without hunting far and wide for exotic spices? Think again! Full of flavor, economical and nutritious, this authentic Indian recipe for Dahl lentil curry is outrageously delicious. And it’s easy!
Dal is probably the most essential staple dish in Indian cuisine. And it’s one of the most magical and economical foods in the whole world. A handful of lentils, a few spices, and just a bit of TLC transforms into a pot of deliciousness that’s nutritious and makes your taste buds dance.
8. Style Lamb Vindaloo Curry
When people think of a authentic Indian recipe for lamb vindaloo curry, it’s recipes like this restaurant style vindaloo that come to mind. Make it… you’ll love it! Authentic vindaloo curry owes its origins to Portuguese controlled Goa in the fifteenth century where the dish was served with pork meat.
The name vindaloo was most likely a mispronunciation of the similar Portuguese dish carne de Vinho e Albos or meat with wine and garlic. So the Goan cooks called this new and much loved Vinho e Albos ‘vindaloo’ and the name stuck. Notice the ‘aloo’ at the end of ‘vindaloo’.
9. Goan Fish Curry
This Goan fish curry is really easy to make, packed with flavor & spice, and ready in less than 30 minutes. A delicious authentic Indian recipe that’s way better than take out.
India has a large stretch of coastline and so fish is common in the cuisines of these areas. There are definite regional variations in the flavors used, although some spices are common, as is coconut milk.
Part of this hot-sour flavor comes from incorporating Portuguese influences (the use of wine/vinegar or similar in cooking) into the more typical Indian flavors. Goa has a diverse history with a good 450 years under Portuguese rule, which has influenced the flavors of the region’s cuisine.
10. Chickpea Curry
This creamy south authentic Indian recipe for Chickpea Curry with coconut milk and spices like fennel seed and cardamom is aromatic and so delicious, you might have a hard time stopping yourself from eating it straight out of the pot.
It is super easy to make authentic Indian recipe and there’s nothing here that’s not absolutely great for your health. The curry is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free, so everyone can eat it. Serve it with basmati rice for a satisfying and tasty dinner.
Tasty chickpea recipes like Chana Masala are perennial favorites hereabouts. But when we want something that’s different and just as delicious, I make this South Indian inspired authentic Indian recipe for Chickpea Curry with coconut milk. It is fragrant, not too spicy, and simply divine.
11. Rogan Josh
Rogan Josh – an Indian lamb curry with a heady combination of intense spices in a creamy tomato curry sauce. The lamb is fall apart tender and packs a serious flavor punch!
While this authentic Indian recipe calls for a lengthy list of spices, you won’t need to take a trip to an Indian store to get them – they’re even sold at my local grocery store! Rogan Josh is one of the heavy hitters at Indian restaurants, a firm favorite alongside Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala and Tandoori.
I’d say Daal is up there too, but let’s be honest – if you can only order one curry, it probably won’t be daal (unless you’re with a vegetarian). Right?
12. Easy Chicken Madras Curry
Ever wondered how to make easy chicken Madras curry from scratch? Many people have asked me whether they can make an authentic Indian recipe for a curry house style curries like this chicken Madras without a base curry sauce.
You might know that I have an easy chicken Madras curry authentic Indian recipe here on the blog using a curry house style base sauce. But as you will see with this recipe, the answer is most definitely yes. You can make chicken Madras from scratch!
13. Tarka Dhal
Try our tarka dhal authentic Indian recipe from Indian recipe writer Maunika Gowardhan, then check out her chilli paneer, our Saag paneer and more Indian vegetarian recipes.
Maunika says, “This is a classic Tarka Dhal that is flavored with ghee, garlic and chilli. The tarka gives it so much flavor. If you are opting to make this vegan, I would recommend using rapeseed oil. If you are not able to get hold of Kashmiri chilli powder, you can swap it for mild paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper for the required heat.”
14. Butter Chicken Curry
This is my healthier veggie-loaded butter chicken curry that is packed with flavor and easy to make. It has become one of the most popular authentic Indian recipes on my website.
This butter chicken recipe is one I eat on a regular rotation in my house and it’s a favorite of mine. It fits perfectly into my plan AND it delivers a dish packed with so much flavor. I never want to compromise on that.
It contains lean protein, is low in fat and I’ve packed as many vegetables into it as I possibly could. The cauliflower and carrots are roasted, adding so much crunch and texture and helping make it economical as well as super delicious. This is my veggie-loaded healthier butter chicken curry.
15. Mango Chicken Curry
Mango chicken curry is an incredibly delicious curry authentic Indian recipe. The fresh or frozen mangos give the curry the perfect sweetness without adding any sugar. This easy 30-minute dinner recipe is sure to become a family favorite!
The smaller, yellow mangos that have an oblong shape, have far more flavor than their larger round cousins. If you see Ataulfo or Alphonso mangos, in your grocery store, opt for them. They are widely available so it shouldn’t be hard to find them.
The flavor of mangos can vary from quite tart if they are under ripe to almost sickly sweet if they are overripe. Because of this, you may need to adjust the curry slightly at the end, depending on the ripeness of your mangos.
16. Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi is a vibrant dish made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices. Our twist on this popular authentic Indian recipe serves it with runny poached eggs for a quick and healthy midweek meal
Make this aloo Gobi for a comforting dinner then check out our easy spinach, chickpea & potato curry, Saag Chana masala and other vegetarian curry recipes. Also try our our Saag Aloo, Aloo Gobi, aloo Tikki Chaat and Aloo Gobi Mattar for more Indian-style potato dishes.
17. Instant Pot Vegetable Korma
Easy & Creamy Vegetable Korma made in the Instant Pot. This authentic Indian recipe for restaurant style creamy vegetable korma curry is a perfect blend of vegetables with a creamy coconut based sauce. A vegan & gluten free curry that pairs perfectly with naan or rice
I was never a fan of korma curry, until I made this creamy coconut based vegetable korma curry. Either the korma curries that I had tried used to be too sweet or too coconut-y for my taste. However when I made this curry, my husband said this is the best authentic Indian recipe for a Vegetable Korma he has ever had. So here it is for you all as well!
18. Kadai Chicken
Kadai Chicken is a delicious Indian chicken curry where chicken is cooked with freshly ground spices. This spicy authentic Indian recipe goes well with naan or any other Indian bread. Kadai Chicken which is also known as Karahi Chicken or Karahi Murgh is cooked in an Indian vessel called Kadai, which is a heavy-bottomed pot or a wok, hence the name.
Anything that is cooked in Kadai with this special Kadai masala, gets the name such as Kadai Chicken, Kadai Paneer, Kadai Mushrooms, and so on. To make Kadai Chicken, chicken pieces are marinated in a spicy ginger garlic paste and then cooked along with big chunks of onions and capsicum in a spicy rich tomato gravy.
19. Indian Flatbread and Dip
If you have chosen to follow a vegan lifestyle, you know that the various Eastern hemisphere cuisines provide a lot of menu inspiration. Indian is often the evening’s answer with its vegetable-forward dishes and convenient delivery. However, you might miss the cheesy naan bread if you’re vegan. It’s one of our favorites for sure. But, miss it no more!
Traditional naan combines yogurt, wheat flour, water, and baking powder to form a stretchy dough that is rolled out like a pizza before being pan-seared. We’ve come up with a vegan alternative that incorporates many of the same ingredients (with the exception of cashew yogurt instead of dairy yogurt) and cooking technique. However, it eats slightly differently than traditional naan.
20. Vegetable Jalfrezi
How to make mix veg jalfrezi authentic Indian recipe. A tasty and flavored dry curry recipe made with a combination of vegetables in a unique street style tomato sauce. It is basically an Indo Chinese street cuisine curry recipe that has a strong influence on Chinese stir-frying technique with a hint of Indian spices.
It is generally served as a side to the choice of roti or naan bread recipe but can also be served with dal rice combo meal. I am always a huge fan of unique recipes which adopts the best from all the cuisine and presents you a fusion recipe. Jalfrezi is one such fusion and unique recipe. Like all other Indo Chinese recipes, even the jalfrezi variant comes from the Bengal streets.
21. 30 Minute Indian Pumpkin Butter Chickpeas
Sharing my fall twist on a classic authentic Indian recipe inspired dish with these 30 Minute Indian Pumpkin Butter Chickpeas. I’ve swapped the chicken for autumn pumpkin and chickpeas and replaced the heavy cream with rich and creamy coconut milk.
These pumpkin butter chickpeas are the perfect healthy, but still super cozy and delicious, alternative to the classic Indian dish we all love. It has a quick 30 minute cooking time and uses all pantry staple ingredients. This is the perfect warming fall dinner for any night of the week.
Warm chapatis are ideal for mopping up saucy curries or Dhals – and they’re really easy to make at home with only a handful of ingredients. Chapati is a popular Indian flat bread made with wheat flour. Easy chapati authentic Indian recipe that anyone can make at home that yields soft and puffy chapati.
Chapati is a type of Indian flat bread, it’s very popular in India. It is a staple and made of really simple ingredients: wheat flour, salt and water.
This easy and authentic Chapati recipe is from my friend Reem. I have personally tried her homemade chapati; I was instantly hooked on the soft, fluffy wheat bread.
23. Easy Curried Potatoes (Vegan Irish Bombay Potatoes)
I have never eaten better curried potatoes than these Irish Bombay potatoes, and I’ve eaten more than my fair share. Curried potatoes can be made in a variety of different ways, from parboiling to frying, with a thousand herb and spice combinations. But we’ve kept things simple here.
This authentic Indian recipe is truly one one of the tastiest Indian side dishes that you’re sure to find yourself making again and again.
24. Sweet Potato Curry
Super-easy authentic Indian recipe for sweet potato curry, made with only a handful of ingredients. Ready in just over 30 minutes, perfect for a quick and nutritious family mid-week dinner!
That’s right. I’ve been having this meal on repeat last week, and I think once you try it, you may do the same! Made with eight basic ingredients, ready in just over 30 minutes and VERY budget friendly (less than £2.40 per portion!).
What’s not to like?! Also, it’s vegan-friendly, healthy and nourishing. I guarantee it will keep you satisfied, without feeling sluggish or stuffed! It is an easy meal that the whole family will enjoy. Perfect for a mid-week dinner, or whenever you are short of time, but still want eat healthy and nutritious meal.
25. Easy Vegetable Biryani
This easy vegetable biryani authentic Indian recipe is a meatless delicacy perfect for vegetarian or vegan folks out there. It is loaded with a variety of fresh vegetables and is equally flavorful and tasty compared to any meat biryani.
This veg biryani is prepared using commonly available fresh vegetables. Therefore, it is nutritious and healthy.
Biryani is our all-time authentic Indian recipe favorite. Especially for Tushar–he is a crazy fan of it. He always looks for opportunities to make it. Whenever we plan on inviting our friends or guests his suggestions start with including biryani in the menu.
While we enjoy this delicious meat version of it, our vegetarian friends have to manage with other meatless dishes
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