Favorite Indian Dishes

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cbuonomo
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2008/01/02 11:01:48 (permalink)

Favorite Indian Dishes

I have a gift certificate to an Indian Restaurant and I need some menu suggestions. I have never had Indian food so please describe your favorites.
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    Sneetch
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/02 15:01:54 (permalink)
    as a newcomer to indian cuisine you might want to start with samosas, tandoori or tikka masala, and shag/mattor paneer. samosas are turnover filled with either meat (usually ground lamb or beef) or potatos and peas. tandoori is basically the indian version of BBQ - meats are marinated first in a mixture of yogurt and spices, then cooked in a tandoor oven (tikka masala is tandoori chicken that has been de-boned and served in a sauce of tomatoes, spices, and a bit of cream). paneer is a very mild indian cheese - with spinach it is shag paneer, mattor paneer is made with peas. the cheese is cubed and pan-fried, then mixed with the veggies in a mild sauce.
    none of the above dishes are very spicy - if you like spicy food you might want to try anything followed by the word "vindaloo" (vindaloo can be any variety of meat or veg in a spicy sauce). if you're lucky enough to find goat curry on the menu, try it(a little like beef stew but much more flavorful, and usually spicy too). i find that channa masala (chickpeas in sauce), bhindi masala (okra in sauce), and bhaigan bharta (eggplant w/tomato in sauce) tend to be spicy as well, and delicious. indian desserts are very very sweet - kheer (rice pudding), gulab jamun (fried cheese balls in syrup) are great. if there is mango khulfi (rich indian ice cream) on the menu don't miss out.
    hope this helped - enjoy your indian culinary adventure!
    #2
    improviser
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/02 16:08:47 (permalink)
    While I can't add much to the above (nice explaination Sneetch) , since it's been awhile since I was in an Indian restaurant, let me say that Indian bread (naan) is delicious.
    #3
    desertdog
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/02 17:00:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by improviser

    While I can't add much to the above (nice explaination Sneetch) , since it's been awhile since I was in an Indian restaurant, let me say that Indian bread (naan) is delicious.



    Not only delicious, but in my opinion a neccessity. There is (almost) nothing better than taking a nice piece of Tandoori Naan (plain, garlic, onion, etc.) and using it to wipe up the sauce from a nice curry dish.

    Sneetch is spot-on with the above mentionad recommendations. I have to say I have yet to find an Indian dish that did not agree with me taste OR spice wise, and most places keep the spices toned down unless you ask for it to be spicier.

    Anyway, my two cents. Enjoy a new world of excellent food!

    #4
    mar52
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/03 00:40:38 (permalink)
    If you dislike cilantro, be sure to tell them NO cilantro or your dish will sure to be covered with it when brought to your table.

    I love the rich curry dishes like Mahkni, kormas and masalas.

    The kebobs are always a good choice if you are leery of the other dishes.

    Don't be though as they are delicious! (sans cilantro)
    #5
    myterry2
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/03 05:33:15 (permalink)
    No suggestion...don't eat that food.
    #6
    tarragon
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/03 05:42:15 (permalink)
    One of my very favorite Indian foods is the Masala Dosa, which is a huge, stuffed (savory) pancake! It's not traditional pancake batter, though--it's made from rice & dal flour, and it's very delicious. Many Indian restaurants make the Dosas, even the small carry-out places. It's stuffed with a spicy potato & onion mixture, and served with small cups of sambar (a spicy soup-like mix) and a (usually) coconut chutney; very good for dipping the dosa into! It's definitely worth trying. [:P]
    #7
    Sneetch
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/03 12:14:55 (permalink)
    good point, improviser - how could i forget the amazing indian breads?! poori is my personal favorite - it's similar to american indian fry bread. those parathas stuffed with things are great - try the aloo paratha (potatoes inside...yum!)
    #8
    the grillman
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/03 12:41:50 (permalink)
    Darn, now I’m going to have to find some Indian food in the next couple weeks to satisfy this craving…..We tend to like the basics; tandoori grilled items, and the vegetable curries…..

    One place near work has a great spicy cauliflower curry; served over basmati rice, excellent. Chicken Korma is usually boneless chicken cooked in a mild curry sauce, and great if you don’t like a lot of heat. Avoid anything labeled “vindaloo” if you don’t like hot food.

    The cucumber-yogurt dip is good, too, especially with the naan (bread)

    Your best bet might be to find a lunch buffet to try additional items; Sneetch had some great suggestions.
    #9
    billyboy
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/03 13:08:23 (permalink)
    cbuonomo, what city do you live in? Some folks here might know of places in their area that have good Indian food. I live in NYC and know of a few places and I used to eat Indian all the time when I lived in Boston. Sneetch has a lot of great suggestions. I don't touch anything "vindaloo" as it's just too spicy for me. Nan bread is wonderful and great for mopping up sauces (which many Indian dishes come in). I love Tikka Masala and can't get enough of it. Saag Paneer and Mutter Paneer (peas and cheese as I like to call it) are one's I get a lot too. There is a similar dish of cauliflower and potatoes that I like too. Papadams are lentil crackers that many places serve and are a nice start to a meal. Indian cuisine lends itself well to vegeterians, so if you are or a dining companion is, it's a great way to go and the non-meat foods are just as flavorful as the meat based foods. Depending on where you live, buffets can be a great way to go to sample lots of different things and finding out what you like and don't like. Happy eating!!
    #10
    westley
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/08 12:42:47 (permalink)
    I love chicken tikka masala (chicken in a smooth sauce), navatran korma (mixed veggies in a creamy sauce), and saag (spinach that's been kind of pureed).

    I normally love meat, but I mostly stick to veggie dishes when eating Indian. Most Indian restaurants (aside from the more upcale ones) use inexpensive dark meat chicken, which I dislike.
    #11
    hotdogger
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/24 23:32:43 (permalink)
    The Indian hot dogs are delicious.
    #12
    iqdiva
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/25 00:00:29 (permalink)
    Samosas are my favorite !
    #13
    zataar
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/01/25 07:48:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by westley

    I love chicken tikka masala (chicken in a smooth sauce), navatran korma (mixed veggies in a creamy sauce), and saag (spinach that's been kind of pureed).

    I normally love meat, but I mostly stick to veggie dishes when eating Indian. Most Indian restaurants (aside from the more upcale ones) use inexpensive dark meat chicken, which I dislike.


    Most of the upscale places I've been to use a lot of dark thigh meat, not because it's less expensive, but because it doesn't dry out in the long cooking process that many Indian dishes require.
    #14
    chef2be
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/03/03 22:28:16 (permalink)
    Most indian Places usually have a buffet for lunch and/or weekends you should go then so you can try the most popular things on the menu.
    #15
    Earl of Sandwich
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/03/04 05:46:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sneetch

    as a newcomer to indian cuisine you might want to start with samosas, tandoori or tikka masala, and shag/mattor paneer. samosas are turnover filled with either meat (usually ground lamb or beef) or potatos and peas. tandoori is basically the indian version of BBQ - meats are marinated first in a mixture of yogurt and spices, then cooked in a tandoor oven (tikka masala is tandoori chicken that has been de-boned and served in a sauce of tomatoes, spices, and a bit of cream). paneer is a very mild indian cheese - with spinach it is shag paneer, mattor paneer is made with peas. the cheese is cubed and pan-fried, then mixed with the veggies in a mild sauce.
    none of the above dishes are very spicy - if you like spicy food you might want to try anything followed by the word "vindaloo" (vindaloo can be any variety of meat or veg in a spicy sauce). if you're lucky enough to find goat curry on the menu, try it(a little like beef stew but much more flavorful, and usually spicy too). i find that channa masala (chickpeas in sauce), bhindi masala (okra in sauce), and bhaigan bharta (eggplant w/tomato in sauce) tend to be spicy as well, and delicious. indian desserts are very very sweet - kheer (rice pudding), gulab jamun (fried cheese balls in syrup) are great. if there is mango khulfi (rich indian ice cream) on the menu don't miss out.
    hope this helped - enjoy your indian culinary adventure!


    Excellent recommendations. I love Indian food but like Pakistani food even better. Chicken Masala or chicken tikka probablyu my faves, followed by kofta curry.
    #16
    BT
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/03/04 22:43:26 (permalink)
    My standard Indian meal: Samosas, chicken vindaloo with rice pilaf, mango chutney, raita and plain naan . And by the way, make it clear to the waiter that you do NOT want him to tame the heat in the vindaloo for an American palate--make it authentic.
    #17
    BT
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/03/04 22:46:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by zataar

    quote:
    Originally posted by westley

    I love chicken tikka masala (chicken in a smooth sauce), navatran korma (mixed veggies in a creamy sauce), and saag (spinach that's been kind of pureed).

    I normally love meat, but I mostly stick to veggie dishes when eating Indian. Most Indian restaurants (aside from the more upcale ones) use inexpensive dark meat chicken, which I dislike.


    Most of the upscale places I've been to use a lot of dark thigh meat, not because it's less expensive, but because it doesn't dry out in the long cooking process that many Indian dishes require.


    I've tried a fair amount of Indian cooking at home and I generally prefer white meat (breast) but have come to the same conclusion as zataar: for both Indian and Thai curries, thigh meat is best because breast meat is far too dry.
    #18
    fabulousoyster
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/03/05 14:07:25 (permalink)
    A side of dahl and some basmati rice, sop it up with the naan.

    I just made some dahl on Sunday:

    yellow dahl split peas (1 cup)
    boiling water 2 cups
    1/2 tsp salt
    4 cloves garlic minced
    1/2 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp garam masala VERY IMPORTANT INGREDIENT.
    1 shallot chopped

    Wash and drain the dahl. In boiling water, add the dahl and all the above ingredients. Uncovered, stir often, low flame,cook for about 30-40 minutes till beans al dente. You can add some boiling water, it will get thick!

    In frying pan:

    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 tsp cumin SEEDS
    2 cloves garlic sliced

    Now, let the frying pan with the oil get hot, add the garlic sliced and cumin seed cook till lightly browned. Carefully, pour that hot oil mix into the dahl, it may splatter. Mix. You now have a wonderful side with some hot cooked basmati rice and some naan. Sometimes, thats all I have is my dahl with rice. Delicious, indian, fragrant, made in your home.
    You could add some spinach leaves while boiling, some hot pepper, I like it just like above.

    #19
    scbuzz
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/03/05 15:48:04 (permalink)
    One of my favorite dishes is Lamb Saag. It's a thick, creamy spinach sauce with the lamb chunks cooked into it. I had it just the other day.
    #20
    pimple2
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/06/28 02:21:48 (permalink)
    Hi fabulousoyster,

    If you love dal, you will love this site where people have contributed their favorite home recipes:

    http://www.anothersubcontinent.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=227&st=0&p=1311#entry1311

    If you want to get a little more adventurous and branch out into authentic Indian cooking, beyond curry powder and pre-packaged garam masalas, you might discover a fantastic universe because a great many varieties of legumes, whole and split in several different ways, partially, fully, skinned but left whole, etc. are central to the Indian diet. However, India is as large geographically as Western Europe, and far more diverse ethnically, so there is NO Indian cooking, just as the food in Chinese Take-aways is NOT Chinese, or even Cantonese/Toisanese.

    What you et is asrage restaurant cuisine. let me give you all an example. Smeone upthread wrote of eating "shag" another "saag." It tell me the former picked up his beaings from a restaurant run by Bangladeshis, who manae a grea may ofthe "Indian" restarants in the US. They d a pretty ba job of cooking the pseudo-North Indian Punjabi fodbut cook their own food like a dream. Unfortunately, no one will be adventurous enough to teach hisher taste bud to learn a different syle or a dferent palette of flavors. So they keep cooking 10th rate food when they are extremely talented, 1st rate cooks in their own metier.

    So the gentleman who remarked that he liked Pakistani restaurants better was right on target: his tastebuds are impeccable because the Pakistanis are for the most part cooking their type of food: naans,kebab,tandoori, gravied meat dishes, each of which has special name[not 'curry']. Pakistanis from Punjab will cook all the Punjabi dishes, lamb with spinach etc. very well indeed, these are their native foods.

    Dosa is specialty of southern India, often identifed with certain vegetarian cuisines in the US, and you do NOT go to Paksitani, Bangladeshi or North Indian restaurants for a good dosa. There are actually very few satisfactory south Indian restaurants in the US.
    #21
    uncledaveyo
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/08/02 01:26:05 (permalink)
    I really enjoy that acorn mush, and the fresh venison.
    #22
    Robearjr
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/08/02 09:42:24 (permalink)
    I love the chicken mumtali that the Palace of Asia in Fort Washington, Pa serves. Chicken, in a coconut creme sauce with cashews and rasins. I don't see this dish at a lot of other places, so I normally go with the Chicken Korma, which taste similar although it - at least around my house - lacks the fruits and nuts I find in the Chicken Mumtali.
    #23
    Earl of Sandwich
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/12/11 08:40:47 (permalink)
    My fave is Chicken Tikka Masala. I like the Pakistani version best. Garlic & onions sauteed in ghee. Add chicken cubes. Add spices. Add yogurt, then coconut.
    #24
    rumaki
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/12/11 09:17:34 (permalink)
    Some upscale Indian restaurants here in the U.S. offer "thali" platters, which give you the opportunity to try small portions of lots of things in a "balanced" presentation (typically a bread like naan or poori, poppadums and chutneys, dal and raita, some kind of rice, and small portions of a meat/lamb/poultry or vegetable curry, as well as accompanying vegetables). Usually thali platters come in either "veg" or "non-veg" varieties. I love them, especially if I am dining alone. This is much nicer that eating off a buffet steamtable.

    That said, my very first trip to an Indian restaurant (in London) many, many years ago, I had chicken biryani. Fell in love with it then, and for a long time, never ordered anything else in an Indian restaurant. It's basically an Indian version of Chinese fried rice. You can pick your main ingredient (chicken, lamb, vegetable), and it will be cooked with basmati rice. YUM!

    Here's a link to my current favorite London Indian restaurant. It's in Hammersmith, so it is off the beaten path for most tourists. It's a neighborhood place, but the quality of the cooking is high. The service is always good, the decor is simple but welcoming (and very clean), and the place is very reasonably priced. Their homemade chutneys vary with the season and are always delicious. I'm heading to London next week, and this will be a first stop!

    http://www.agnirestaurant.com
    #25
    firecommander3565
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/12/11 10:18:34 (permalink)
    Mutter paneer is my all time favorite dish. Try it you can't go wrong.
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    Sandy Thruthegarden
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/12/11 21:40:27 (permalink)
    I used to like Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Makhani best, and I still order them occasionally. I hardly ordered anything else. Now I'm thoroughly hooked on the Lamb Curry our local Indian restaurant serves. I also love Garlic Naan.

    We had different Balti dishes in an Indian restaurant in London but haven't seen it served around here. It's cooked in a metal pot and is spicy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balti_(food)
    #27
    brittneal
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    RE: Favorite Indian Dishes 2008/12/12 07:39:17 (permalink)
    I hate it all. When I was working in columbus for 10 years i was on the go so much I lived in motels. When Id go in the office they were always cooking and it was all I could do to keep from vomiting. It must have been the sae family that owned 5-6 different motels. All the food smelled the same and the smell just made me Ill
    #28
    tigeraspen
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    Re:Favorite Indian Dishes 2009/02/21 21:31:22 (permalink)
    Great Masala Dosa in a little hole in the wall next to the Maveli Twin Cinema in Valley Central, NY
    #29
    Karyyk
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    Re:Favorite Indian Dishes 2009/04/09 08:01:20 (permalink)
    Lamb Rogan Josh is another great Indian dish. It's not quite as spicy as a my personal favorite, the vindaloo (at least, not in my experience...every place seems to prepare it differently), and seems to be a bit more earthy/savory. Good stuff...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogan_josh
    #30
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