Did you know there are curry recipes that date back to the early 1800’s? Great dishes have a tendency to stick around, which is why it pays to master the best Indian curry recipes and meals.
If you’re ready to wow your guests, check out our top picks for curry meals below and get cooking!
What is Curry
Love it or hate it, curry is the staple of practically any authentic Indian dish. However, curry comes in a wide variety of flavors that is often changed depending on the recipe and its origins.
From fiery hot to sweet and zesty, there’s a great curry out there for everyone. All you have to do is an experiment until you find the perfect one.
What Goes Into the Best Indian Curry
while the methods and additional flavors may vary from dish to dish and restaurant to restaurant, there are some key ingredients that can be found at the base of any good curry recipe.
Onions, carrots, bell peppers, celery, ginger, garlic, turmeric, masala, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek leaves are all essential ingredients to start off your curry sauce. As you see will find with the meals below, this recipe will add or take away certain ingredients depending on the type of dish.
The good news is you don’t need a passport to try authentic Indian curry. Most of these dishes can be found here in the US.
Butter chicken is an Indian comfort food classic known around the world. True to its name the dish involves a rich buttery sauce that pairs beautifully with pillowy naan bread.
As delicious as the dish is, it’s also relatively easy to make with affordable ingredients. However, we highly recommend using a solid clay baking dish to capture its traditional flavor. This dish is also incredibly tasty the next day
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala can be found in any good Indian restaurant and is a common favorite among Indian food fans. each chicken piece is marinated and then grilled in a traditional tandoor pot before being tossed in bold and flavorful curry.
If you’re wondering where this popular dish gets its interesting name from, the word tikka actually means “pieces” referring to the bits of chicken found in the curry.
Goan Fish Curry
If you’re trying to avoid eating meat and are looking for a flavorful seafood alternative, Goan Fish Curry is a great option. The dish inherits in name from the town where it was first created, Goa India.
When served with aromatic Jasmine rice this classic dish will quickly become a favorite. The key to this dish is the fresh flavor of the sweet coconut base that perfectly complements the spice of the curry.
Those craving a heartier, meaty texture should give pork vindaloo a try. This dish is not for the faint of heart, it’s curry sauce is packed with spice and really brings in the head. While the dish has the “pork” part in it, you can really pair it with any type of meat, however, Goans prefer it with pork.
Surprisingly the term Vindaloo is actually derived from the Portuguese word vin d’alho which translates to “garlic wine”
It’s true that the dish has a complex and interesting history, you can click here to read more now on the subject.
Not to be confused with Tikki Masala, Channa Masala is a known vegetarian curry dish most commonly associated with street food. Unlike many of the other dishes on this list, Channa Masala is drier in flavor and is intended to be paired with other dishes such as rice or a meat-centered main dish.
This dish is commonly paired with a popular fried bread called bhatura.
Chicken Khorma is a decadent Indian Curry dish that can be prepared either with meat or vegetable. Whatever the base you prefer, the dish uses a method of marinating in yogurt before cooking in rich coconut milk.
Some prefer their Chicken Khorma on the sweeter side and will add on jaggery, an Indian unrefined sugar. You can also find the dish commonly referred to as Navratan Korma.
Another delicious seafood-based curry dish is Maacher Jhol which features the light and fluffy Bengali fish curry. While the dish commonly uses local Indian fish, it can be used with practically any type of fish available.
This curry also features a more zesty flavor since it features mustard as one of its primary ingredients. Try out this dish with a freshly caught dish for unbeatable flavor.
Another great option for vegetarians is Palak Paneer, a northern Indian dish that mixes the bold flavor of curry with creamy sauteed spinach. In some cases a type of cheese known as paneer is also added to the dish, however, this is not a necessity if you’re looking for a vegan option.
Even carnivores can enjoy this dish paired with jasmine rice as a flavorful side dish.
Since chicken is an affordable and easily accessible meat option, you’ll find it featured in many Indian dishes. However, each recipe gives such unique flavor no two chicken dishes are alike. In Chicken Chettinad, you’ll find a savory spicy flavor that’s perfect for heat lovers.
The curry features roasted coconut and chili that have been ground together to make the base of the sauce. Any Indian restaurant worth its salt has a Chicken Chettinad recipe that has been passed down from family member to family member.
Last, but certainly not least, is Chicken Jalfrezi. This dish relies on savory herb based curry that is the perfect mix of meat, vegetables, and spices. In essence, the recipe is very similar to that of stir fry and is a quick and easy Indian dish that can impress even the pickiest dinner guests.
Be sure to reserve some extra sauce for dipping in leftover naan bread.
Enjoying a World of Flavors
Mastering the best Indian curry recipes is just one way to wow your guests with an eclectic pallet. There are still countless recipes from various cultures to experiment with and try.
We invite you to dive into our travels blogs to find inspiration for your next exotic meal!