46 of Our Favorite Authentic Indian Recipes

We're talking everything from tandoori, vindaloo, saag paneer, and much more

The tandoori and vindaloo at your local Indian restaurant represent only a tiny portion of the country's rich culinary tradition. From fiery stews to cooling yogurt drinks, we've collected 46 of our favorite authentic Indian recipes.

As a Hindu-majority country, India has a long history of vegetarian cooking. Rice, lentils, and greens are the staple foods of much of the country. Our lime rice is a refreshing side to pair with any dish. Shredded cabbage can also be paired with lime for a great alternative to coleslaw. Want lentils instead of rice? Look to our creamy dal spiked with sour green mango. Saag paneer, stewed spinach and fresh cheese, can be found on any Indian menu in America. We’ve got that recipe, but if you want to branch out from that traditional Indian recipe, try mixing paneer with peas, tomatoes, and fenugreek greens. Meat does show up in Indian cooking, particular amongst the country’s Muslim population. Butter chicken, another classic of Indian-American menus, is great when loaded with ginger and garam masala. Chettinad pepper chicken might be less familiar to you—it’s a Chennai staple of chicken flavored with fennel seeds, curry leaves, and urad dal, the skinned split black lentils that are a popular ingredient in southern India.

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Below, check the list of our 46 favorite authentic Indian recipes.

Mushrooms with Fennel and Ginger
Mushrooms with Fennel and Ginger
This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR's November 2017 cookbook club. Though we've tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Says Jaffrey: This very simple mushroom dish may be served with almost any Indian meal. It may also be served cold, as a salad. Get the recipe for Mushrooms with Fennel and Ginger »Matt Taylor-Gross
Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach
Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach
This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR's November 2017 cookbook club. Though we've tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Says Jaffrey: This earthy dish has a delightful flavour which comes from roasting the grains of dal before cooking them in water. In Bengal, it is generally served with rice and a fried vegetable — such as Delicious Fried Morsels — as a first or second course. You may serve is as part of any Indian meal. Get the recipe for Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach »Matt Taylor-Gross
Potatoes and Peas in Yogurt Sauce
Potatoes and Peas in Yogurt Sauce
This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR's November 2017 cookbook club. Though we've tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Says Jaffrey: Throughout India, yogurt is eaten in many forms, including those that require that it be heated. As yogurt curdles when boiled, it is first stabilized with chickpea flour. The pulse flour adds extra nutrition to the dish — a very important consideration for India's numerous vegetarians. This recipe comes from one such Benares family of Banias or businessmen. Karhis, eaten all over India, have endless regional variations and may be served with Plain Rise or with Indian breads. Other meats and vegetables can also be served at the same meal. Get the recipe for Potatoes and Peas in Yogurt Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross
Indian Sweet Coconut Porridge (Pongala)
Pongala (Sweet Sacred Coconut Porridge)
Pongala means "to boil over," referring to the moment the starchy water from this sweet rice dish bubbles above the lip of its clay pot. At the Attukal Pongala festival, pongala, the offering made to a Hindu deity, is cooked over fire and seasoned with jaggery (unrefined palm sugar) and coconut. Recipes can vary to include cardamom, cinnamon, banana, and raisins. Get the recipe for Indian Sweet Coconut Porridge (Pongala) »Michelle Heimerman
Stuffed Okra
Stuffed Okra
This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR's November 2017 cookbook club. Though we've tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Says Jaffrey: This absolutely delicious dish is a great favorite with my family. The okra is stuffed very simply with coriander, cumin, and lots of amchoor, a tart, green mango powder that is sold in most Indian grocery shops. If, for some reason, you cannot find it, leave it out. Instead, sprinkle about 2 tsp of lemon juice over the top of the okra just when you are ready to cover it for the final 5 minutes of cooking. Stuffed okra is very versatile and may be served with almost any meal. Get the recipe for Stuffed Okra »Matt Taylor-Gross
Indian Fried Banana Dumplings (Unniyappam)
Unniyappam (Fried Banana and Rice Flour Balls)
These sweet, fried rice flour balls are a typical prasadam, or "offering," sold at Hindu temples in Kerala or at local sweet shops. The runny batter, which includes banana purée, grated coconut, and jaggery syrup, is spooned into a ghee-coated appachatti pan (a specialty pan with divots), which is then heated over an open flame, cooking the batter into crispy cakes. (If you have an aebleskiver or takoyaki pan, those work too.) Fried unniyappam can be stored for up to a week and reheated in a moderate oven before serving. Get the recipe for Indian Fried Banana Dumplings (Unniyappam) »Michelle Heimerman
Indian Veggie Burgers (Vada Pav)
Vada Pav (Indian Veggie Burgers)
These starchy sandwiches are a popular beachside snack in Mumbai. Fluffy Goan-style white rolls are filled with a crispy fried potato patty, sweet and spicy chutneys, and a garlicky powdered chile-coconut condiment. Get the recipe for Indian Veggie Burgers (Vada Pav) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Indian Fried Banana Cakes (Mangalore Buns)
Indian Fried Banana Cakes (Mangalore Buns)
In the tropical Udupi-Mangalore region on India's southwestern coast, you'll find a sweet and fragrant puri made with mashed ripe bananas and cumin. The combination works better than you might expect, and these sweet, earthy doughnuts, called Mangalore buns or banana puri, are served hot, for breakfast with tea, or for a with spicy coconut chutney as a snack. It's a tempting way to use up overripe leftover bananas, too. Get the recipe for Indian Fried Banana Cakes (Mangalore Buns) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Indian Stir-Fry Roti (Baghari Masala Roti)
Baghari Masala
Yamini Joshi of the League of Kitchens doesn't let her leftover roti go to waste. She fries it up with chiles, onions, and spices to make Baghari masala roti, a savory snack similar to Mexican chillaquiles, Jewish matzobrei, and Sri Lankan kothu roti. Get the recipe for Indian Stir-Fry Roti (Baghari Masala Roti) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Spiced Indian Cake Balls (Roti Laddu)
Roti Laddu
This buttery confection is a quick and simple treat commonly given to small children in India. Clarified butter (ghee), jaggery, and spices are kneaded into dry leftover roti to make a rich, shaggy dough that is then pressed into snack-sized balls. Get the recipe for Spiced Indian Cake Balls (Roti Laddu) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Indian Roti and Lentil Stew (Dal Dhokli)
Dal Dhokli
Yamini Joshi of the League of Kitchens suggests this quick lentil stew as a way to use up leftover roti. The flatbread is sliced into noodle-like pieces, then simmered in the broth until tender. Freshly ground spices, spicy chiles, and tomatoes toasted in ghee make up a "tarka"—a savory finishing touch to spoon over the stew at the table. When cooking for her own family, Joshi minces the fresh chiles finely. When she is catering or teaching one of her classes at the League of Kitchens, she leaves them in larger pieces for anyone who might prefer to pick the spicy bits out. Get the recipe for Indian Roti and Lentil Stew (Dal Dhokli) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Steamed Cardamom-Spiced Rice Flour Balls (Mandaputtu)
Mandaputtu (Steamed Cardamom-Spiced Rice Flour Balls)
Local to Kerala, these chewy, lightly granular sweet rice balls are made by binding green mung bean flour and rice flour with cashews, coconut, raisins, and cardamom, using melted ghee and jaggery syrup. Their flavor profile—sweet but strongly spiced—is typical of South Indian sweets. At the Attukal Pongala festival, where they're created as an offering to a Hindu goddess, they're steamed in special pans with individual divots, but a bamboo steamer or steamer insert works just as well. Get the recipe for Steamed Cardamom-Spiced Rice Flour Balls (Mandaputtu) »Michelle Heimerman
Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce
Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce
For this recipe, skinless salmon filets are cooked in a spice-filled mustard sauce. Get the recipe for Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce »Farideh Sadeghin
Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs)
Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs)
Ground beef is stuffed with a spiced onion mixture and then fried until crisp and savory in this favorite street food of Muslim Indians. Get the recipe for Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs) »Ingalls Photography
Whole Mung Bean Pancakes (Pesarattu)
Whole Mung Bean Pancakes (Pesarattu)
Among the most beloved dishes in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is the pesarattu, a savory pancake made with a batter of whole mung beans. Get the recipe for Whole Mung Bean Pancakes (Pesarattu) »Ingalls Photography
Creamy Fenugreek and Spinach with Cheese (Methi Malai Paneer)
Creamy Fenugreek and Spinach with Cheese (Methi Malai Paneer)
This dish is made with fresh Indian cheese called paneer, peas, and whole peeled tomatoes, along with plenty of tangy fresh fenugreek greens. Get the recipe for Creamy Fenugreek and Spinach with Cheese (Methi Malai Paneer) »Ingalls Photography
Indian Tomato Rice
Indian Tomato Rice
Flavored with sweet plum tomatoes and aromatic spices, this rice dish is perfect alongside roast chicken. Get the recipe for Indian Tomato Rice »Ingalls Photography
Hyderabadi-Style Steamed Chicken and Rice (Kachi Yakhni Biryani)
Hyderabadi-Style Steamed Chicken and Rice (Kachi Yakhni Biryani)
In this version of biryani from Hyderabad, hrice and meat mingle, cooking together in one pot, the ghee steaming, to create the harmonious version of the dish known as kachchi biryani. Get the recipe for Hyderabadi-Style Steamed Chicken and Rice (Kachi Yakhni Biryani) »Ingalls Photography
Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread)
Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread)
Unlike some other staple Indian breads, which are unleavened and crafted from durum wheat flour, or atta, fluffy naan is made with all-purpose flour and yeast. Traditionally, the dough is slapped against the chimney wall of a clay tandoor oven and baked over wood fires, but many home cooks make it on the stovetop. Get the recipe for Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread) »Ingalls Photography
Pork Vindaloo (Spicy Goanese Pork Stew)
Pork Vindaloo (Spicy Goanese Pork Stew)
Goan vindaloo is different than the well-known British version, with a vinegar tang and flavors of chiles, tamarind, black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. Get the recipe for Pork Vindaloo (Spicy Goanese Pork Stew) »Ingalls Photography
Malabar Mussels
Malabar Mussels
In this Anglo-Indian recipe mussels are cooked with tomatoes in a richly spiced coconut broth. Get the recipe for Malabar Mussels »Ingalls Photography
Kashmiri Lamb in Chile Sauce (Mirchi Qorma)
Kashmiri Lamb in Chile Sauce (Mirchi Qorma)
Tender lamb simmers in a fiery sauce in this Kashmiri dish. Get the recipe for Kashmiri Lamb in Chile Sauce (Mirchi Qorma) »Ingalls Photography
Chettinad Pepper Chicken (Koli Milagu Masala)
Chettinad Pepper Chicken (Koli Milagu Masala)
A signature dish of the South Indian city of Chennai, this spicy chicken recipe is flavored with fennel seeds, curry leaves, and urad dal, the skinned split black lentils that are a popular ingredient in southern India. Get the recipe for Chettinad Pepper Chicken (Koli Milagu Masala) »Ingalls Photography
Andhra-Style Sautéed Spinach (Palakoora Vepadu)
Andhra-Style Sautéed Spinach (Palakoora Vepadu)
This dish of fresh spinach sautéed with an array of spices is typical of Andhra Pradesh. Get the recipe for Andhra-Style Sautéed Spinach (Palakoora Vepadu) »Ingalls Photography
Red Lentils with Green Mango (Malika Masoor Dal)
Red Lentils with Green Mango (Malika Masoor Dal)
Dried green mango adds sour pungency to this creamy lentil dish. Get the recipe for Red Lentils with Green Mango (Malika Masoor Dal) »Ingalls Photography
Bengali Milk Sweets (Sandesh)
Bengali Milk Sweets (Sandesh)
For these simple bite-size confections from Bengal, milk is turned into homemade paneer cheese and then combined with sugar and cardamom to yield a dense, fudge-like treat. Get the recipe for Bengali Milk Sweets (Sandesh) »Ingalls Photography
Malabar Fish Fry
Malabar Fish Fry
Fried fish seasoned with turmeric and chile powder is a popular dish on India's Malabar Coast. While small bullseye fish or sardines are traditionally used, salmon, shrimp, or snapper, as we've used here, also work. Get the recipe for Malabar Fish Fry »James Oseland
Rajasthani White Chicken Curry (Safed Maans)
Rajasthani White Chicken Curry (Safed Maans)
Yogurt tempers the heat of this coconut chicken curry, a variation on a classic lamb dish from the state of Rajasthan in western India. Get the recipe for Rajasthani White Chicken Curry (Safed Maans) »James Roper
Indian Vegetable Fritters (Pakoras)
Pakoras (Indian Vegetable Fritters)
Crispy chickpea-battered vegetable fritters are a popular street-food snack throughout India. This recipe calls for potatoes and onion, but cauliflower florets, eggplant slices, or plantains can also be used. Get the recipe for Indian Vegetable Fritters (Pakoras) »James Roper
Cilantro Yogurt Chutney
Cilantro Yogurt Chutney
This creamy yogurt-based chutney is made with cilantro, lime, and fresh green chiles. Get the recipe for Cilantro Yogurt Chutney »Ingalls Photography
Plantain with Sesame Seeds and Peppercorns (Yellu Molaghu Vazhaipazham)
Plantain with Sesame Seeds and Peppercorns (Yellu Molaghu Vazhaipazham)
Often served in south India as thevasam, or memorial food, this curry is flavored with a simple combination of sesame seeds and black peppercorns. Get the recipe for Plantain with Sesame Seeds and Peppercorns (Yellu Molaghu Vazhaipazham) »Ingalls Photography
Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Curry Leaves
Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Curry Leaves
In this earthy legume stew, chickpea flour serves as a thickener and adds a nutty undertone. Get the recipe for Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Curry Leaves »James Oseland
Samosas (Potato Dumplings with Tamarind Chutney)
Samosas (Potato Dumplings with Tamarind Chutney)
This classic savory snack is terrific paired with sweet and tart tamarind chutney. Get the recipe for Samosas (Potato Dumplings with Tamarind Chutney) »Penny De Los Santos
Sweet Yogurt with Saffron and Pistachios (Shrikhand)
Sweet Yogurt with Saffron and Pistachios (Shrikhand)
Pistachios, cardamom seeds, and saffron are mixed into yogurt to make this cool and creamy dessert. Get the recipe for Sweet Yogurt with Saffron and Pistachios (Shrikhand) »Todd Coleman
Mango Lassi
Mango Lassi
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as strawberries or—as in this recipe—ripe mangoes, resulting in a refreshing drink that's as thick as a milkshake. Get the recipe for Mango Lassi »Ingalls Photography
Lime Juice with Seltzer, Black Pepper, and Sugar (Nimbu Pani)
Lime Juice with Seltzer, Black Pepper, and Sugar (Nimbu Pani)
This bubbly limeade gets a spicy kick from a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper. With its lip-smacking tang, it's the perfect refresher to combat the summer heat. Get the recipe for Lime Juice with Seltzer, Black Pepper, and Sugar (Nimbu Pani) »Ingalls Photography
Hyderabadi-Style Sweet Lassi
Hyderabadi-Style Sweet Lassi
This lassi is made with Rooh Afza, a rose-scented syrup made with botanicals and sugar. Get the recipe for Hyderabadi-Style Sweet Lassi »Ingalls Photography
Spiced Tea (Masala Chai)
Spiced Tea (Masala Chai)
Cardamom gives this Indian drink a bright, piney sweetness tempered by a creamy base of evaporated milk and black tea. Get the recipe for Spiced Tea (Masala Chai) »Todd Coleman
Spiced Mango Drink (Aam Panna)
Spiced Mango Drink (Aam Panna)
This thirst-quenching north Indian drink is made by boiling unripe mangoes until tender and blending them with sweet jaggery, pungent black salt, asafoetida, and other spices. Get the recipe for Spiced Mango Drink (Aam Panna) »Ingalls Photography
Tamarind and Cumin Drink (Imli Ka Pani)
Tamarind and Cumin Drink (Imli Ka Pani)
Sour tamarind is tempered with vibrant cumin and sweet jaggery sugar in this refreshing drink. Get the recipe for Tamarind and Cumin Drink (Imli Ka Pani) »Ingalls Photography
Orchata (Indian Almond and Rosewater Drink)
Orchata (Indian Almond and Rosewater Drink)
Of all the heat-beating cold drinks in India's southwestern Goa state, perhaps the most lush is the orchata. Not to be confused with Mexican horchata, orchata is a clean, simple drink made from ground almonds and sugar, faintly accented by rose, and is prepared most often for special occasions. In Maria Teresa Nenezes' Goan cookbook and memoir, The Essential Goa Cookbook, she writes of the drink offered at her sister's wedding party in 1935: "Trays of wine, liquors, the special xaropes, or syrups, of Goa … We children concentrated on orchata, and of course, sampled every tray that passed us!" Get the recipe for Orchata (Indian Almond and Rosewater Drink) »Jasmine P. Ting
Solkadi (Indian Kokum and Coconut Drink)
Solkadi (Indian Kokum and Coconut Drink)
At the base of the flavor of solkadi is the tart kokum fruit, a member of the mangosteen family that grows on the western coast of Maharashtra. Its purple pelt is peeled away from its flesh, soaked in the fruit's juice, then salted and dried in the sun. This solam (dried peel) then soaks in a glass of water, staining it a pale pink. The water is added to freshly pressed coconut milk, and then mixed with a bracing shower of salt, green chili, and nubs of garlic. Recipes can vary, but this is the preferred recipe of Mumbai-based writer Meher Mirza and her family. It's the perfect partner to spicy Maharashtrian seafood. Get the recipe for Solkadi (Indian Kokum and Coconut Drink) »Jasmine P. Ting
Panagam (Indian Ginger and Lime Drink)
Panagam (Indian Ginger and Lime Drink)
Amber-hued panagam is South India's armor against the ruthless summer sun. Made from jaggery, lime juice, cardamom, and ground ginger, it extinguishes thirst quickly and thoroughly. The drink is often served on the holy days of Rama Navmi and Narasimha Jayanti, spring Hindu festivals which fall in April or May. Get the recipe for Panagam (Indian Ginger and Lime Drink) »Jasmine P. Ting
Paratha (Flaky Indian Flatbread)
Paratha
An India-born cook who teaches classes for New York City's League of Kitchens, Yamini Joshi taught us this reliable paratha—or flaky whole wheat flatbread—recipe. Made using atta or chapatti flour, a hard durum wheat flour found at Indian markets, it can be used to make any number of atta-based flatbreads, such as roti. Because it is enriched with layers of ghee between the dough, it takes on a layered, flaky texture and chewiness. Enjoy it as a part of a full Indian meal, or, on its own, drizzled with melted ghee or honey. Get the recipe for Paratha (Flaky Indian Flatbread) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Roti (Indian Whole Wheat Flatbread)
Roti (Indian Whole Wheat Flatbread)
Most Indian breads are simple, unleavened, and made every day. Yamini Joshi, a Mumbai-born cook at the League of Kitchens in New York City, includes this nutty, whole wheat flatbread in her daily repertoire. The dough can be mixed in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (bring it to room temperature before rolling it out into roti), and the bread can be eaten alone or repurposed to make any number of layered or filled Indian flatbreads, called parathas. To get this dough to properly puff and brown, you must use a gas flame. You can find chapati or atta flour—a finely ground whole wheat flour made from hard durum wheat—at Indian markets or online. Get the recipe for Roti (Indian Whole Wheat Flatbread) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Spicy Mint, Cilantro, and Chia Seed Chutney
Mint and Cilantro Chutney
The addition of chia seeds in this chutney thickens the juices and emulsifies the mixture into a spreadable, smooth sauce that doesn't separate. If you prefer it milder, remove some of the chile seeds before blending. Use the chutney as a condiment for pakoras, samosas, and tandoori roasted meats. Get the recipe for Spicy Mint, Cilantro, and Chia Seed Chutney »Matt Taylor-Gross