Top 5 Indian Recipes for Beginners in 2023

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indian food ingredients

Indian cuisine is famed for its complex array of flavours that tantalise your senses, but this cuisine also stands out as being particularly plant-friendly, using spices to bring life to cauliflower, peas, and potatoes as delicious dishes.

Indian main dishes are frequently served alongside side dishes such as raita and papadum, as well as refreshing beverages like mango lassi. Thus, your meal won’t end until every last mouthwatering bite has been devoured!

indian food for beginners

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala, one of the world’s most famous Indian dishes, provides an ideal introduction to its vibrant cuisine. Boasting yogurt-marinated broiled chicken in a rich tomato sauce spiced with cayenne pepper for maximum smokiness, richness, and sweetness (depending on how much cayenne pepper you add), Chicken Tikka Masala provides an unforgettable taste sensation reminiscent of its native country.

Chicken is traditionally prepared using a tandoor oven—a cylindrical clay oven capable of reaching temperatures as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit! However, you can easily recreate this experience at home using either a skillet or your own rotisserie.

While this dish makes heavy use of butter and cream, it remains quite healthy with the addition of plain yoghurt, vegetables, and spices such as chilli. Vegetarians may opt to replace chicken with chickpeas, extra firm tofu, or paneer (see details below) instead; simply serve with basmati rice to complete this hearty Indian meal!

Jalfrezi

Indian food is an incredibly varied cuisine. Newcomers to cooking may mistakenly believe it to be time-consuming, complex, and spicy, but this is simply not true!

Jalfrezi is an easy, flavorful Indian dish that combines meat or vegetables in a sauce with various spices and peppers for an irresistibly tasty meal. Originating during British Raj times as an effective way for cooks to dispose of leftover roast meat, jalfrezi has since been enjoyed worldwide.

Indian staple, typically served with either naan or rice as the main accompaniments. Vegetarians will appreciate having it alongside dal tadka or vegetable sabzis (curries). A wonderful introduction to Indian cuisine!

Dal Makhani

This dish can either be slow-cooked in a tandoor oven or made in the pressure cooker; both methods provide delicious results! Try it when craving Punjabi-style food, such as Dhaba-style dishes. This creamy and flavorful dish pairs nicely with both roti and rice dishes!

Make it vegan-friendly by swapping out butter for plant-based oil and adding dairy-free milk or coconut cream as desired, but the rich texture that makes this dessert so delectable will likely be lost.

Soak 3/4 cup whole black gramme (whole urad) and 1/4 cup rajma in water overnight to reduce their cooking time and make them easier to digest. Once they’re softened up, combine them with water, ginger-garlic paste, onions, whole spices, and any additional desired flavours, such as smoked paprika, for an additional spicy kick!

Lamb Vindaloo

Lamb Vindaloo is an easy and hearty curry that comes together quickly. Packed with vibrant tangy notes from vinegar and mustard, coconut milk gives it richness, while cayenne pepper provides extra heat if you like heat!

Starting by creating the marinade for your lamb, combine water, the Vindaloo spice mix, white vinegar, ginger, and garlic in a blender until they form a paste-like substance. Pour this onto the lamb and allow it to marinate for at least an hour if possible.

Once ready to cook, heat some ghee or olive oil in a deep, thick-bottomed pan and sauté onions until soft and changing colour before adding marinated lamb and cooking for two more minutes before combining all of your remaining ingredients and simmering on low until your lamb is tender enough for serving with either rice or naan bread.

Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer is an easy way to explore Indian cuisine without too much effort. Made up of leafy greens and cottage cheese (paneer), this dish can either be served over rice or as a standalone meal.

Garam masala, an aromatic blend that can vary depending on where it’s prepared, adds depth to this dish by imparting flavours such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and cumin.

For this dish, first start by cooking the paneer cubes in a large pan over medium-low heat until they turn golden brown and are removed from the heat source. When this step has been completed, move onto making your saag, which can include different leafy greens like spinach, methi leaves (methi), or chard.

Biryani

If you’re ready to branch out from tikka masala and dosa, biryani is an excellent way to do it. Crafted by layering fragrant rice with meat and herbs reminiscent of rosewater, saffron, and cinnamon, its satisfying ratio of meat-to-rice makes it one of the world’s greatest culinary experiences!

Start by creating the chicken marinade: combine vegetable oil, garlic, chilli peppers, ginger, mint, cilantro, garam masala, and cinnamon together in a bowl before adding saffron for up to one hour or overnight marination of chicken breasts.

While your chicken marinates, prepare the saffron rice by washing it three times with water and caramelising your onions over low heat in ghee. Store your finished product in an airtight container until needed! Chauhan suggests finishing off your Indian meal with kheer, India’s creamy dessert made of condensed milk, raisins, pistachios, and cardamom!