Indian Recipes Is Your Gateway To Delicious Dishes Loaded With Spices

This cuisine is all about the different flavor combinations you can create!

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Give an Indian curry a taste, and you'll be greeted by a burst of different flavors, tastes, and aromas all working together to create a harmonious and delicious dish. This is what many Indian food is like.

What is Indian food?

Your first thoughts of Indian food might be any of these: curry, tikka masala, samosa, tandoori, biryani, chutney, naan, and garam masala. These are all associated with the country and its food but among the diverse world of the cuisine, this is just a tiny portion of what comprises Indian food. 

Not all Indian dishes are spicy hot but more accurately, Indian dishes should be considered spice-laden dishes. This is because India is heralded as home to the Spice Capital of the world: Kerala! This means that spices are a long list of different flavors, tastes, and aromas that explain how one dish in one region of the country in the world can be totally different from a similar dish in another region. 

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Not only that, but did you also know that the saucy dish many non-Indians know as "curry" varies from region to region just like our local adobo recipe? Where premixed spice blends and pastes may be a convenience to many of us unfamiliar with Indian spices, local Indians create the spice blend used in their dishes according to the recipe being made. This is how dishes in India vary from household to household and region to region. 

What are the most common herbs and spices in Indian dishes? Here's a quick list of 12 you might know and already use: 

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  1. 1 Turmeric 
  2. 2 Cumin 
  3. 3 Cardamom 
  4. 4 Coriander 
  5. 5 Ginger 
  6. 6 Garlic 
  7. 7 Onions 
  8. 8 Cinnamon 
  9. 9 Star Anise 
  10. 10 Mustard seeds 
  11. 11 Cloves 
  12. 12 Black peppercorns 

It's an exciting world of flavors and aromas when it comes to Indian food. Care to try some of its unique dishes? Here are Indian-inspired recipes to try: 

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Photo by Keith Sigua

1 Curry Recipes 

Did you know that there is no such thing as "curry" in India? Just like there are no French fries in France, ordering a "tortilla" in Spain means you want a potato omelet, and "zucchini" and "eggplant" in the United States of America is known as a "courgette" and "aubergine" elsewhere, "curry" in India actually means "sauce" or "gravy" or describes a dish with a sauce or gravy. 

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In essence, curry is a dish made with a spice blend and spice blends can range as vastly as you can imagine. Each region of India actually has a popular spice blend but that doesn't mean it's the only kind you can find in the region. Of the kinds of curry, here are some popular ones: 

  1. 1 Jalfrezi - a spicy hot curry with green chilies, tomatoes, onions, and coriander that's stir-fried rather than simmered in a sauce 
  2. 2 Madras - a yellow-tinted curry similar to our chicken curry because of the turmeric but with a lot more heat 
  3. 3 Rogan josh - a nutty and spicy hot Kashmiri-based dish commonly made with paprika and mutton or lamb
  4. 4 Tikka masala - a roasted meat dish in a creamy and rich butter-based sauce 
  5. 5 Vindaloo - considered to be one of the spiciest curries, a tangy vinegar-based curry with few spices but lots of heat 
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For those who prefer to go vegetarian, there is aloo gobi which is a potato, cauliflower, and green peas curry dish. 

2 Tandoori Recipes

When someone says it's a tandoori dish, all that really means is that the dish has been roasted in a special vessel called a tandoor. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven heated up with charcoal so, in essence, it's the Indian style of barbecuing their meat and other ingredients. Tandoori can also mean the ingredient that is commonly used in the yogurt-based marinade recipes: a bright red-orange natural dye that makes the meat cooked in the tandoor so unique in both looks and flavor. 

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3 Biryani Recipes 

Rice is life when it comes to Asian food and in India, this is a common staple. Biryani may not be an original Indian dish (It originated from Persia or West Asia.) but it's a common one nonetheless. it's a dish made of rice and meat but the unique way this is prepared is what makes it super appetizing.  Meat is cooked in a large cooking vessel before rice is added. This is covered so the rice can not only steam and cook but the flavors from the meat contribute to the overall dish, too. Sometimes, saffron is used to dye the rice a pretty yellow hue. 

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Just like there are different kinds of curry around the country, there are different kinds of biryani, too. Among these, the Hyderabadi Biriyani is the most popular and known. This is a dish cooked in layers and covered with dough as the "lid" to seal in the moisture so the rice can cook and the meat can tenderize. 

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4 Chutney Recipes 

What would Asian cuisine be without its marriage of flavors and tastes? In Indian cuisine, the many side dishes include chutney. This is a kind of spread, a jam, or relish that becomes a delicious sweet and spiced touch to dishes with a different flavor profile. While it is commonly made of fruit simmered in spices and herbs, it can also be made of vegetables. 

Photo by At Maculangan
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5 Flatbread recipes 

Rice may be popular in many Asian countries of the world, bread is just as popular here and elsewhere, including in India. Bread in India usually means flatbreads since the majority of these bread are quick bread that takes minutes rather than hours to make. This makes it fast and easy for any cook to make at home since these are commonly paired with saucy dishes and used as a means of scooping up food from their plate. 

Three of the most popular Indian bread include these:

  • 1 Chapati - a quick and basic unleavened bread made from flour, water, and salt that is "slapped" until flattened and cooked on a tava or flat pan 
  • 2 Paratha  - similar to chapati but is flakey and layered like puff pastry because of the ghee-brushed layers created by the numerous folding of the dough 
  • 3 Naan - a yeast-leavened bread similar to pita bread that is normally cooked in a tandoor and served with tandoori dishes 
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Photo by Majoy Siason

6 Gulab Jamon Recipes 

Desserts are plentiful in India because they too have a sweet tooth. The most popular of these desserts have to be these: gulab jamon. These are essentially fried milk balls soaked and drizzles with an aromatic sugar or honey syrup. Take a bite and it's like condensed milk bombs! 

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Interested in other cuisines that will make you hungry? Check these recipe round-ups of dishes that span the world! 

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