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Top 10 Indian Dishes


Writing this post made me soooooo hungry as does most of my writing. I'm sure that'll come as NO suprise to anyone! Besides FACE TIME, I have a Japanese dystopian series that I write, and it also makes me crave sushi, tempura, soba, etc. while I’m drafting. I thought I would be safer with FACE TIME, but Lee and Laura’s first date is Indian dinner in Manhattan’s East Village, well known for good curry. Lee also travels to Mumbai during the course of the novel, and then suddenly I was craving curry like mad! I couldn’t get enough. So here are my top ten favorite Indian dishes from appetizers to desserts! (This list is vegetarian, as many Indians are vegetarians, and I tend to only eat the vegetable dishes.)


1. Idli – These fluffy, savory cakes are usually breakfast but we get them for appetizers when we go out to eat. They’re about 2 inches round in shape, light and airy, and are really good for soaking up sauce.

2. Samosas – Samosas are my favorite Indian appetizer. These fried pyramids are usually stuffed with onions, potatoes, sometimes peas, and plenty of Indian spices. I smother them in tamarind sauce which is a sweet, savory dark brown and red sauce. The two go well together.

3. Paratha – This flat bread is good to have as a side dish to any curry. They are usually pan-fried and whole wheat and sometimes they are stuffed with onions, potatoes, cauliflower, or paneer (cheese). I usually get them plain since they’re an accompaniment to the main meal.

4. Pakora – Obviously I am way into the Indian appetizers, no? Pakora are delicious and I jump at every opportunity to try new ones. They’re basically battered and fried vegetables and paneer. Typical pakora can be onions, hot peppers, cauliflower, potatoes, or eggplant. If you like Japanese tempura but want something a little spicier, try this!


5. Dosas – My whole family goes nuts for dosas. My girls, both picky eaters, eat the plain version. I love the masala dosa. My husband gets some crazy onion chili rava masala dosa. The Indian men my husband works with eat dosas for breakfast which is why I had Lee eat them for breakfast while he was in Mumbai. I remember the first time I saw a dosa in a restaurant. I said, “What is that HUGE burrito thing?!” loudly and embarrassed everyone I was with. But I got one and never looked back. A dosa is a large lentil crepe wrapped around a filling of your choice. Dip it in coconut chutney. It’s heaven in your mouth.

6. Malai Kofta – This is my favorite meal and every place I’ve had it makes it differently, so it’s always a crapshoot as to what I’m going to get when I order it. Malai Kofta is usually large potato and vegetable balls in a sauce. The sauce can either be just cream or creamy tomato with Indian spices. If you look at this link to Google images, you’ll see how there are two different colored sauces. This meal tastes really good with rice and bread, and the creamy consistency of the veggie balls mixed with the sauce is decadent. One of my favorite meals of all time (not just Indian!)

7. Vegetable Korma – This is also a creamy curry dish as well with mixed vegetables. It also goes well with rice and bread. The best part of a korma dish is the spices. I really love this when I have a cold.

8. Chana Masala – For chickpea lovers! This tomato chickpea dish can be anything from mild to very spicy. The chickpeas are very filling, warm, and inviting. This is a great meal for a rainy day.

9. Gulab Jamun – The first time I had this dessert, I was so happy. There’s nothing better than donuts, until you take warm donuts and you soak them in a sweet, hot syrup. I never pass up on this dessert. It gets me every time! And I’m usually stuffed at the end of an Indian meal, yet I always have room for gulab jamun. Always.

10. Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding) – I love this rice pudding. It’s a thinner base than the traditional American-style rice pudding, and the ground cardamom gives this a distinct Indian flavor. Best with almonds, as far as I’m concerned, and I always eat around raisins.


I hope this gives you a chance to go out and enjoy some Indian dishes today! If you’re still not sure what to get, try the lunch or weekend buffet at your favorite Indian place. It’ll give you a chance to try many different things without committing to just one dish. If you have a favorite Indian dish, leave it in the comments! Let’s share!

S. J. Pajonas