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 regional 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 regional Indian recipes.