Paneer is a soft cheese that maintains its shape and doesn’t melt at a high heat. Hence it is often used as a perfect alternative to chicken or meat for vegetarians in Indian cuisine.
This chutney is a great accompaniment to stuffed Indian breads called parathas, and works perfectly served alongside a simple dal.
Coleslaw is generally packed with mayonnaise, and this makes it a forbidden dish for diet-conscious eaters. By replacing the mayo with yoghurt and adding in a pinch of Indian spices, you can now eat as much as you want!
Usually this would be a starter to an Indian-themed dinner, but it makes a wonderful appetiser before any meal.
This version of raita is a simple homemade Indian recipe. In most Indian homes, a raita is made with a variety of vegetables or spices. Cucumbers add a subtle sweetness to the natural yoghurt and give it a wonderful texture.
As you cook this dish, the spice blend penetrates through the aubergine, making it succulent on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside.
Using frozen spinach makes this classic Indian dish a breeze to prepare; it comes together easily in no time. Saag is spinach and aloo are potatoes.
You can serve this dish as a side with some chicken or fish curry and a helping of rice. Throw in a salad, and you’ll have a complete, well-balanced meal.
The mild flavour of paneer works perfectly paired with peas; combined with spices, this makes a wonderfully light and delicious curry.
On days when you’re rushing to get dinner on the table, you can use this recipe as a filling for wraps or sandwiches, served with a big salad to complete the meal.
A simple everyday Indian dinner usually includes a dal, rotis, some rice and a vegetable side, so it is quite common to find quick and simple vegetarian dishes like this being prepared. Aloo are potatoes and gobi is cauliflower.
Serve this flavourful dish alongside a simple dal and rice. Baingan means aubergines.
If you plan to serve this at a dinner party, pair it with a rich chicken or lamb curry, a flavourful pulao, a dry vegetable side dish, and some raita or salad on the side.
This traditional potato and tomato curry is often served on brunch menus along with deep-fried Indian bread called puris.
A bhuna is an Indian dish in which all the spices are first sautéed in oil to bring out their flavour. Spicy but not too hot, this bhuna goes beautifully with chicken korma.
Pairing meat and rice in a one-pan meal is a great way to feed a big group. Top that with some aromatic spice and a handful of fresh herbs, and you’ve got a definite crowd pleaser. Chicken pulao can also be a main dish.
A kadhai is a deep, circular cooking pan, similar to a wok, with circular handles on either side. It is a basic tool of Indian cooking. Kadhai chicken is a drier version of regular curry; it is best enjoyed with warm roti, the traditional Indian bread.
Mushrooms are a great alternative to meat for most vegetarians, since they have a strong, meaty texture and can take on heavy flavours. This dish is a wonderful way to treat your vegetarian guests.
A jalfrezi is a type of curry in which marinated meat, fish or vegetables are fried in oil and spices to make a thick, dry dish. Since prawns tend to not have a strong flavour of their own, they are a perfect candidate to pair with the robustness of tomatoes, which makes them all the more succulent.
Because this curry is quite rich in flavour, you may want to serve it with something simple like naan or plain white rice to completely enjoy its robustness. Bhuna means to gently fry in oil to bring out the maximum flavour of the ingredients.
In India no railway journey would be complete without the smell of freshly cooked vadai at every station. Vadai make great starters and are perfect for lunch boxes.
A masala is a mixture of spices. Although the spice level is not too high in this dish, the undertones of the spices provide that much-needed depth in a curry. Serve it with an aromatic pulao and some cool raita on the side.
This is an aromatic lamb curry from Kashmir. If you do not like your food too spicy hot, leave out the chili powder. Serve with naan bread and rice.
This dish is best enjoyed when served with a side of freshly made warm rotis and a light chutney. It also works well alongside a flavourful pulao and some salad.
The heat from the spices and the tartness of the tamarind in this dish will help the delicate flavours linger on your palate for a long time. It is from Kerala, on the southwest coast of India.
A korma is a mild and creamy curry containing coconut milk and ground almonds. Serve with rice and naan bread for a curry feast.
Lamb pairs wonderfully well with potatoes, and slow-cooking them together always produces great results.
These naan taste authentic and make a great accompaniment to an Indian curry.
These Indianised crepes are traditionally served as a light evening snack with chutneys. However, you can also serve them during brunch as a change from the regular sweetened versions.
Dosas, traditionally served as breakfast food, are made from a batter of split, skinned urad beans that have soaked overnight. It is important to use the creamy white split beans and not the strong flavoured and tougher black beans, and to soak the beans overnight.
You can make a big batch of this chutney and store it in clean airtight glass jars in the fridge. It will stay fresh for about a week but it can also be frozen.
The tamarind is a tropical Asian tree that has edible fruit. Tamarind chutney, made from that fruit, is a classic Indian dip. It varies in taste, depending on the region that it comes from. The southern part of India tends to make it more sweet than sour; northern India prefers its chutneys to be more tart.
Chutneys started out as a way to make use of leftover ingredients. In most cases, they are prepared fresh, to be consumed immediately.
Yoghurt-based dips don’t keep well and will lose their fresh flavour quickly. Use within a few hours of preparation.
Kulfi is Indian ice cream flavoured with pistachio, rosewater or mango. This version uses coconut and soya milk to replace the traditional slow-cooked sweet milk. It is delicious and lighter than the original. Kulfi moulds are conical in shape and can be purchased at some Asian stores; however, silicone muffin pans work really well too.
Coriander leaves are regularly used as a garnish on Indian curries, but using them as a base for the curry itself brings out a whole new side of this popular herb.
When hosting a dinner party, you can make this pulao a day ahead, since it keeps well and the flavours will infuse more richly. Just heat it in a microwave right before serving and fluff out the rice with a fork to prevent breaking the grains.
These are perfect finger food to pass around a party; they are amazing served either warm or at room temperature.
This soup is a wonderful addition to a light summer lunch. Serve it chilled in shot glasses for a fun treat.
When choosing a fish for this recipe, opt for one that has a subtle and mild flavour, to prevent it from overpowering the overall taste of the batter.
You can vary this recipe seasonally, depending on what herbs are available in shops at the given time. The flavour and texture of the dish will change, but it will be worth the effort every time.
On busy weekdays, turn these meatballs into large burger-sized patties and serve them between toasted buns with salad and chutney on the side.
Serve these tikkas with sides of naans and raita for a simple dinner, or pair them with a choice of curries, salad and pulao for a more exotic meal.
These spongy rice and coconut pancakes are much loved in the Christian communities in the southern Indian province of Kerela, where they are served with spicy curries and vegetable stews. However, they are also popular on their own with fresh chutneys or, for a breakfast treat, with coconut and sugar or syrup.
There are many variations of this delicious coconut milk-based curry all over Southeast Asia. Because there is a strong Indian influence in the culinary culture of southern Vietnam, this variation uses Indian curry powder.
Make this dish on cold winter nights when you're yearning for something hearty and comforting.
This recipe is a breeze to make and is a definite crowd pleaser. Add it to your next party menu to treat your guests to a delicious surprise.
Dum is a way of steaming food in a pan with a tightly closed lid. You can serve this dish as a side with some dal and a flavoured pulao. It will also go well when paired with a light chicken curry and warm naans. Add a bowl of raita to complete the meal.
The spices make this bean salad really special. Lovely on its own or alongside some spiced grilled meat or fish.
This addictive flatbread is the perfect complement to any curry dish. Naan is traditionally baked by being slapped onto the wall of a tandoor oven.
Rajma are red kidney beans. Turn this dish into a one-pan meal by serving it alongside some crusty bread for dipping.
This curry comes from the southern part of India, an area that is abundantly rich in both coconuts and seafood.
A sambal is a chilli-based sauce or dish. Serve this curry with a side of plain basmati rice and some cool sliced cucumbers.
India is well known throughout the world for its abundance of delicious, juicy mangoes. The mango in this curry adds a delightful freshness to a simple everyday meal.
These cutlets are a much healthier way to enjoy the goodness of fishcakes; they don't need the addition of cream or mayonnaise to be delicious.
Indian cuisine favours strong robust flavours, and there is no better way for them to come through than in a relish like this one.
These are bound to disappear fast, so make sure you save yourself a piece or two before handing them out. Some people call them pakoras.
This is a perfect example of how fusion cooking can give you the best of both worlds.
This Indian take on an American classic is a good way to introduce kids to different flavours by experimenting with their long-time favourites.
This light, creamy soup gives a wonderful taste of south India and is perfect for when you’re craving something comforting.
Flavoured with aromatic cumin and fennel seeds, this is a delicious and healthy soup to warm up a chilly evening.
For best results, make sure to use fresh prawns, as they are packed with flavour. If you are in a hurry, you can also pan fry the prawns on a high heat until they turn opaque and are cooked through.
The dish literally takes minutes to bring together, but if you let it sit for a short time, the flavours intensify.
This recipe is wonderful served as an appetiser or as part of a tapas menu. It is a breeze to prepare and takes absolutely no time to cook.
For this recipe, it is important to marinate the lamb for as long as possible to infuse maximum flavour. The marinated meat can easily be frozen for later use, and an extra batch can be saved for a busy day.
Tandoori chicken is one of the most popular dishes in Indian cuisine. The flavours of the traditional dish are fairly easy to recreate and the chicken legs cook extremely well in a regular convection oven or over a barbecue.
Minced meat (keema) is a wonderful way to feed a large crowd on a low budget; combined with frozen peas (matar), this recipe is a definite winner at any picnic.
Lamb often requires plenty of time to cook, and it is best to let it simmer over a low heat. Make sure to check on it at regular intervals; prevent it from drying up by adding in a bit of water as needed.
In south India, curry leaves and black pepper are commonly used to flavour meat dishes. In this recipe, freshly ground black pepper adds a mild smokiness to the lamb, and the yoghurt gives it a slight tang.
Kofta are balls of minced meat. A great idea is to make an extra batch of the meatballs and freeze them, uncooked, so that you can bake them in the oven and serve them with mild chutney as appetisers on a later date.
Serve this dish on a platter of fresh, crisp lettuce and thinly sliced onions. Sprinkle with some fresh lemon juice and serve with warm, crusty bread.
The spicy, tart flavours of this dish will awaken your senses and transport you to a whole new world of flavour mixing.
Serve this dish over a bowl of plain white rice, along with some chilled, sweet real lemonade to complement the tanginess.
Since paneer is fairly quick to cook, it hardly takes any time to bring this dish together. To minimise the time you have to spend away from your dinner guests, you can keep all the ingredients prepped and ready to go.
As with most curries, leftovers of this dish will taste even better the next day, since the flavours will have had longer to blend in.
This recipe is perfect for a week-night meal when you want comfort food with minimal effort.
As they are chock-full of protein, lentils are a great addition to a vegetarian diet. They can easily take on varied flavours and add richness to your daily meals.
To bump up the nutritional value of this dish, throw in a handful of mixed frozen vegetables like carrots and peas along with the paneer, and cook until they get warmed through.
Boiled chickpeas mixed with onions, chillies, spices and a mix of chutneys are usually enjoyed as a quick snack sold by street vendors in northern India. Here is a quick, delicious, home version.
This side is best served with a rich curry or a heavy lentil dish. The cumin adds a delicate trail of sweetness to the dish and will leave your kitchen smelling heavenly.
A dosa is a crepe or pancake made from a batter of rice flour and ground pulses (peas, beans or lentils). In instant dosa flour, all the ingredients are already prepared and assembled, so the rest is easy. Serve these with a variety of chutneys or a light curry for a simple and delicious dinner. Any leftovers keep really well, and are great for lunch the next day.
Serve this rice dish alongside an array of kebabs or grilled chicken. It also works well by itself, with a dollop of chutney, as it is traditionally served.
You could serve this either as a first course or alongside a spicy meat curry. For a quick fix, add in a few extra veggies, like tomatoes, and turn it into a nice, filling lunch or light dinner.
A quick, simple sauté of fresh okra (bhindi) in a blend of spices is a common, everyday dish, cooked in most Indian homes. Adding in yoghurt (dahi) takes this recipe to a whole new level.
These stuffed peppers make a delicious and easy midweek dinner, and they are perfect if you have vegetarian guests at a dinner party.
These crisp and spicy little battered bites are delicious with plain yogurt for dunking. Serve them as a snack with drinks, or with a selection of Asian-style dips and relishes.