Indian Main Dishes

India’s vibrant food reflects the country’s amazing diversity

by0| PUBLISHED Jul 16, 2015 11:32 PM
Indian Main Dishes
Carved out of ten former districts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangan officially became India’s 29th state in June 2014. For this eponymous dish from Telangana home cook Padma Reddy, the skin is removed from the chicken to allow the flavors of the marinade—coconut, lime, garlic, ginger, cardamom, mace and more—to penetrate. Get the recipe for Telangana-Style Curried Chicken Stew ». Ingalls Photography

India's food reflects its geographical variation—the north eats wheat, the south consumes rice, and the coasts thrive on coconut milk and fish—as well as its religious diversity. While ingredients and specialties vary depending on the part of the country you consult, there is one common element: the masterful use of spices. From Portuguese-influenced pork vindaloo from the coastal region of Goa to Bengali fish simmered in mustard oil–scented curry, these main dishes are some of our favorites from each corner of this vast and varied country.

Curry is a catchall term used to describe richly spiced dishes popular in South and Southeast Asia. They are hugely important to the cuisine of India. Much of India's population is vegetarian, so meat-free curries are common. Try a vibrant, hearty cabbage and potato curry from the western state of Gujarat or a simple daikon curry flavored with an aromatic blend of coriander, cumin, turmeric, and other spices.

In other parts of India curries are often made of meat. In our Telangana chicken curry, the poultry is marinated in coconut, lime, garlic, ginger, cardamom, and more. Coconut is also used in our mild Rajasthani white chicken curry. Along parts of India's coast seafood has a place in the kitchen. Check out our green mango-infused south Indian fish curry and Goanese shrimp curry with a rich, chile-spiked coconut sauce.

Indian cooking isn't all rich stewed dishes. For something different try shami kebabs—ground beef stuffed with a spiced onion mixture and then fried until crisp and savory. These patties are a popular street food amongst Indian Muslims.

Find all of these recipes and more in our collection of Indian main dishes.