India continues to stand out for their rich culture, technological advancements, and religious beliefs. However, in all of these, one of the most outstanding things about India is the food! The best Indian foods are an assortment of meals drawn from different cultures all across the Asian continent.
Indian foods are made with different aromatic spices. These give popular Indian dishes a distinctive taste that differentiates them from other meals. For this reason, most Indians in the United States find it challenging to adapt to eating other meals that are not traditional Indian dishes.
In this article, we will talk about some of the most popular and best Indian dishes. We will also show you how to find the groceries to make your Indian cuisine and you can find them here on OjaExpress.
What is the Best Indian Food?
The best Indian foods contain lots of healthy organic ingredients. Aromatic spices, rice, turmeric onions, grains, and pulses are some of the regular ingredients you’d find in them. When you visit Indian restaurants, you will be wowed at the long list of Indian cuisine you’d have to choose from. To make it easy, here’s a list of some of the best Indian food you should try out.
Chicken Makhani (Butter chicken)
The first Indian cuisine on our list is the Chicken Makhani. This meal locally called murgh makhani is one of the most popular Indian dishes. It consists of chicken cooked in tomato sauce. Traditionally, Indians cook this meal in a cylindrical oven called a tandoor oven. This oven gives it its authentic Indian flavor and taste. Thus, some people mistake it for Tandoori chicken instead of murgh makhani. But if you can’t find a tandoor oven, you can also use a pan or grill to make your butter chicken.
Other essential groceries you need to make butter chicken include garlic, cardamom, butter, Khoa (whole dried milk), and different aromatic spices. Vegetarian options involve using tofu in place of chicken, after mixing it with corn starch.
Masala dosa is another popular dish in the Indian subcontinent. The main ingredients include rice, lentils, fenugreek, and potatoes.
Samosas are deep-fried pastries made with potato and vegetable fillings. They’re an Indian food that is also popular in other parts of the world. Indians make samosas with peas, onions, lentils, and minced meat which could be beef, lamb, or chicken. In India, samosas are usually served as a snack or just a compliment to the main dish.
Naan bread is a special Indian bread. It is used in making a wide variety of meals in the Indian subcontinent. It is a crispy oven-baked flat and leavened bread. It has a unique taste that stands somewhere in between garlicky, buttery, and sour. The not-so-tasty taste makes it the ideal wrapping for a wide variety of intensely sweet and spicy dishes.
There are different kinds of naan bread. The type you use depends on the kind of Indian food you want to cook. There’s the classic butter and garlic naan bread which goes with several Indian delicacies. There’s paneer naan which is made of cheese. There’s the plain, no-fuss naan bread and the chili naan, which goes alongside spice fiends. In most Indian restaurants, this Indian bread is a part of almost all soup or sauce meals.
If you’re visiting an Indian restaurant, Aloo Gobi is a purely vegetarian dish you’d always find on their menu. It’s a dry Indian dish made with cauliflower (aloo gobi), potatoes, and an assortment of aromatic spices. A generous sprinkling of turmeric gives it its warm yellow-orange color. Some other main ingredients include curry leaves, kalonji, garlic, black pepper, onions, tomatoes, mustard seeds, coriander stalks, ginger, and peas.
Matar Paneer is native to Northern India. It is one of the vegetarian options you’d find at most Indian restaurants. It is a blend of farmer’s cheese (paneer), peas, and tomato sauce spiced with chana masala or garam masala. For the best experience, pair it with cream, yogurt, or any Indian bread.
Also from Northern India comes this spicy curried meat sauce called Rogan Josh. It is a staple in many homes in the Kashmir region. It is a gravy sauce that contains chunks of braised lamb, spiced with garlic, browned onions, red chili powder, black pepper, and other aromatic spices. Some Indian chefs add a little yogurt to thicken this multi-course meal. The yogurt gives it a delicious creamy base taste. It gets its brilliant reddish color from dried Kashmiri chilies. These chillies are extremely spicy, so ensure to de-seed them before using.
Tandoori is another spicy and delicious Indian Cuisine you should try out. It is native to communities in North India. It is a special traditional delicacy cooked in a cylindrical clay oven called tandoor. Chunks of chicken are spices with tandoori masala, cayenne pepper, or red chili pepper and marinated in yogurt. Indians in America can easily get ethnic groceries to make this meal, and enjoy it with crispy naan or boiled basmati rice.
Chicken Tikka Masala
This is another traditional Indian dish cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt. It is a staple on the menu of most Indian restaurants. To make this meal, you need Kashmiri chili, red chili powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and ground cumin.
You will find this meal in Indian restaurants in New York City and every other place. You can also get all these ingredients on OjaExpress, and enjoy this delicious Indian cuisine with garlic butter rice or Naan bread just the way it’s done in India.
Anyone who has lived in the streets of India would attest that Chaat is one of the favorite snacks of the average Indian. They’re sold on roadsides, especially on the busy streets of New Delhi. There, school kids, office workers, and every other person buy them as snacks or dinner.
You’ll find Chaat in almost all regions in India, but the mode of preparation may differ. Hence, there’s the Samosa Chaat, Bhel Puri Chaat, and Pani Puri Chaat. Generally, Chaat consists of fried dough prepared with aromatic spices, peppy chutney, and assorted vegetables to give a fluffy crunchy delight. It is native to the West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh regions of India.
Idli (Indian Rice)
This fermented rice meal is rich in proteins and fiber and does not contain oil. The main ingredients include white rice, black gram lentils, and fenugreek or methi seeds. Where there’s no parboiled white rice, you can use brown rice or basmati rice. You can serve your Idli with any kind of sambar or chutney.
What Indian Food is the Healthiest?
Eating out could ruin your dietary goals. This is because you don’t exactly know the ingredients used in making those meals. Food served in most restaurants in New York and other American cities may contain additives, sugar, salt, and fat, which may not be compliant with your weight loss journey. This is one of the reasons why cooking at home trumps eating at restaurants.
Here are some of the healthiest and best Indian dishes you should try out. These meals typically contain only natural ingredients with no additives, so you can’t get it wrong while eating them.
Chaiwalas are a spectacular site you will always see in the streets of India. They’re tea shops where you can drop by and take a steaming hot cup of healthy tea. Masala Chai is one of the most popular Indian delicacies to try out.
It is a delicious brew of black tea spiced with herbs and aromatic spices. The traditional Indian recipe contains cinnamon sticks, ground ginger, black tea leaves, green cardamom pods, and ground cloves. The good news is that some tea shops in New York City and other US cities now sell masala chai packaged in a tea bag.
Lassi is another healthy Indian drink you can make in the diaspora. Like many other Indian foods, it is yogurt based and contains fruits like bananas or mangos. You need to also spice it up with cardamom flavor to get the best taste.
Khichdi is a tasty Indian dish made with Indian rice and lentils. It contains lots of fiber and is easy to digest. Some of the main ingredients include pearl millet (called bajra), mung beans, and roasted moong dal. Some people also add shrimp and other seafood alongside vegetables.
What Makes Indian Foods Healthy?
Some people regard Indian food as unhealthy because of the high carbs content of some recipes. While this may be the case for some Indian foods you’d find outside India, traditional Indian dishes contain lots of healthy ingredients.
These ingredients promote brain function, improve immunity and fight inflammation. Even the aromatic spices widely used in Indian dishes have lots of health benefits. Here are some of the ingredients that give Indian meals their healthy properties.
There’s a rich variety of cooking oils in the Indian subcontinent. From coconut to mustard seeds and peanuts, Indians make oils from the healthiest sources. These healthy oils are used to cook the main course of different meals. They are heart-friendly and reduce the concentration of bad cholesterol in the body. This, in turn, reduces your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Mustard oil also reduces inflammation and slows down the growth of cancer.
Originally, Indian dishes were made with pink salt, black salt, and rock salt. These salts are rich in antioxidants and have low sodium levels. Hence, they’re healthier than regular table salt.
If you’re looking to boost your immunity, then you should infuse Indian curry into your dishes. Some of the best Indian dishes contain a generous amount of Indian curry. They’re useful for reducing inflammation and diabetes and fighting coronary heart disease.
Lime juice is an essential component of many Indian dishes. They are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Indians use this juice as an additive, for marinating minced meat and to add a sour taste to meals.
Pickles and Chutneys
If you’re looking for probiotic foods that’ll restore your gut flora, then you should make pickles with rock salt and healthy mustard oil. To enjoy the goodness of the traditional Indian chutney, add some ground seeds and leafy vegetables.
Where Can I Find the Best Indian Food Ingredients?
You can find Indian food ingredients in international grocery stores all over the U S. However, many of these stores do not have the original traditional Indian ingredients. In some other cases, the ingredients may have stayed on the shelf for too long and lost their freshness. This is why you need OjaExpress.
OjaExpress is an international grocery delivery service that delivers original and fresh imported food ingredients. We source the best and healthiest Indian food ingredients from the remotest parts of India and bring them to you in the U.S. Check out our store today and search for the ingredients you need, and we will deliver them to you quickly. We also show you where you can find international and popular street food from around the globe, in the United States.