10 Easy Indian Recipes that Make Delicious Weeknight Dinners, from Curry to Tandoori
Posted On December 28, 2019
Indian cuisine has so far been limited to the magical realms of Indian kitchens and a smattering of restaurants around the globe that attempt to bring the unique potpourri of flavours to the world. Be it the piquant Punjabi palate, mouth-watering Marwari morsels, or succulent South-Indian soupçons, traditional Indian food has its own distinctive signature. The diverse taste is poles apart from the popular and predominant flavours of the rest of the world. Thus, to most of the modern world, the mesmerizing flavours of authentic, centuries-old cuisine is still shrouded in mystery.
For most people, searching for “Indian Restaurants near me now” is the satiation of the desire for classic Indian flavours. The services of these restaurants bring even the most rare and exceptional delicacies to them, the gastronomical delights of royalty! Indian comestibles have evolved with the civilization over centuries. It has absorbed into itself the innovations, conquests, battles and kingdoms, the very history of the land south of the Himalayas. As such, even now it carries the same aromas of the royal kitchens of old, from saag to sambhar. Even in the hidden hinterlands of the country, one can find a meal fit for the king. In every celebration, and even the comings and goings of the season will see a designated array of sweets and snacks or pakwaan. Bringing the entirety of these wondrous treats to your home may seem impossible, but bringing a small part of that culture to enrich your life is perfectly possible, and, with a little effort, exceedingly gratifying.
The preparation of this cuisine in countries outside of India poses surprising challenges to the cook. The very first step is often filled with doubt and dubiousness! The necessary ingredients are hard to find in the mainstream markets, and if found, may not lend to the dish the intricate relish or, as said in India, the swaad that the dish asks for. Further, the unfamiliar cooking style trips up many a seasoned chef. Even within Indian cuisine, the rulebook for the cookbook is different for tastes from different states. This uniqueness, and rarity prevents the home cook from enjoying this cuisine at home. To conquer these challenges, we have brought together ten easy-to-cook traditional Indian food recipes, which will prove to be a rewarding and royal experience for the entire family. Cooking these dishes is easy, and they can make for memorable family dinners even on weeknights. India is a conglomerate of living, breathing cultures that vary from region to region. The very variances are breathtaking, and the flavours ensconced and embedded in these cultures are similarly diversified. Travelling down the centre of the country, the flavours enmesh, differ, and subtly enhance to morph into an entirely new range of delicacies. This almost mellifluous fusion forms what is authentic Indian cuisine. The recipes enumerated here capture this intricate melange of cultures.
India is a conglomerate of living, breathing cultures that vary from region to region. The very variances are breathtaking, and the flavours ensconced and embedded in these cultures are similarly diversified. Travelling down the centre of the country, the flavours enmesh, differ, and subtly enhance to morph into an entirely new range of delicacies. This almost mellifluous fusion forms what is authentic Indian cuisine. The recipes enumerated here capture this intricate melange of cultures.
1. Onion Kulcha with Cholle
Cholle Kulcha has, over time, gained a national repute and a seat for itself in the breakfast menu across India. The dish, originating from Punjab, comprises a flat baked wheat bread, or the kulcha, served with a side of boiled and spiced Chickpea gravy, or Cholle. The porous bread is traditionally broken off by hand, and dipped into the gravy. Kulcha can have various toppings, including onions, cottage cheese, and boiled potatoes.
2. Cholle Bhatura
Another gem from Punjab, this dish tops the list of delicious Indian delicacies. A favourite across the globe, Cholle Bhatura is relatively easy to cook, consisting of uniquely prepared Chickpea gravy served with a thin fine wheat bread, or bhatura. Making a bhatura can take practice, but once perfected, it makes for a rewarding dinner.
3. Mix Pakoda Bhajia
Bhajias are a go-to snack for
more than half of India. Whenever it rains, tradition and whimsy calls for tea
and pakodas or bhajias. These are deep fried snacks made from a
variety of vegetables dipped in a spicy mixture of gram flour. Bhajias
can be of onions, cottage cheese, spinach, cauliflower, and potatoes.
4. Chicken Gilafi Seekh
Seekh Kebabs are one of
the many delicacies hailing back to the Mughal Empire in India during the 17th
century. Steeped in the tandoori cooking tradition introduced by the Muslim
conquerors, the dish survives today as a favourite among non-vegetarians across
the whole nation. Kebabs are flavoured minced meat dollops, skewered and cooked
slowly over a low coal fire. The multifarious condiments, spices and vegetables
that can be used in their preparation make them a highly varied dish.
5. Dal Khichdi
A dish that is present
in a majority of traditions across India, Khichdi, is a homely
preparation that is very easy to prepare. It consists of dal or yellow
lentils, and white rice. The two ingredients are mixed and boiled. Finally,
once the cooking stops, a hot preparation of condiments in clarified butter, or
ghee, is mixed into the boiled khichdi.
6. Butter Chicken
A symbol of Punjabi
cuisine across the world, butter chicken is an extremely popular delicacy.
Although the preparation process is long, it is straightforward. The dish is
sweet and spicy, with chunks of chicken in wonderfully flavoured gravy. Butter
is a very important ingredient, and gives the dish its identity. This gravy is
best enjoyed with naan bread or lachhaparathas.
7. Mutton Rogan Josh
Another gift of the
Mughal Empire, Mutton Rogan Josh hails from multiple states with a
Mughal history. The preparation is a gravy flavoured with a surprising range of
spices, from cardamom, saffron, cloves, black pepper, cashew nuts, raisins,
among others. The lamb gravy is often accompanied by naan breads, lachha
parathas, and roomali rotis. The cooking process is a little
involved, but it is a truly regal delicacy.
8. Chicken Biryani
Perfected in the Nizam
and Nawab cities of Lucknow and Hyderabad, biryani is a rice preparation
that is considered the epitome of the Mughal culinary expertise. The
ingredients gathered must be fresh, and of exceptional quality, such as the Basmati
rice. However, the procedure is uncomplicated. The delicacy is shared
by cultures across the Middle East and south East Asia.
9. Ghar Ki Thali
The thali is a regular
traditional dinner or lunch dish. This is a complete meal with balanced
nutrients, and very simple, but wholesome ingredients. A thali includes dal (lentils),
roti (flat bread), rice, papad (salty/spicy wafer crisps), two to
three kinds of vegetable preparations, a curd concoction, pickles, and a sweet
dish. The thali is a true representation of a culture, and each part represents
the state, culture, tradition and flavour of the community it belongs to.
10. Punjabi Lassi
Punjab is the land of
agricultural bounty. The sheer fertility of the land supports extensive dairy
farming as well. Punjab is known for its milk products, especially the large
tumblers of a drink called lassi. Lassi is made by whisking fresh,
creamy curd with sugar or salt, as desired. The simple drink is a wholesome,
and unpredictably filling dish.