Enjoying Indian side dishes is not only reserved for restaurant dining. There are plenty of Indian side dishes you can make in the comfort of your own home, and this collection of Indian recipes is perfect for all home cooks.
- Is It Difficult to Cook Indian Food?
- How to Make Indian Cooking Easier?
- Get To Know Your Indian Food
- Indian dishes
- Chicken Pakora
- [Street Food At Home]
- Turmeric Rice Recipe [Fluffy & Fragrant!]
- Bombay Aloo
- [Bombay Potatoes]
- Kachumber Salad [Authentic Indian Salad]
- Veg Pulao
- [Easy Indian Rice Dish]
- Paneer Butter Masala
- Easy Onion Bhaji Recipe
- More Easy Side Dish Recipes
Is It Difficult to Cook Indian Food?
For most of us, Indian is one of those cuisines we take away or only eat in restaurants because it’s so intimidating to make at home! I was completely guilty of this until I decided I would give it a try, and I did so by starting with some of the more straightforward dishes, which I have shared with you here.
It may seem challenging to make at home in most cases because we are not familiar with many ingredients, and we may not have them readily at home. Sometimes it’s also because we look at the long list of ingredients in a recipe, and we automatically think it must be hard to recreate.
Indian food names are foreign to us, so we don’t actually know what they all mean. Sometimes we may even stare at a menu in a restaurant and not fully understand what half of the dishes even are, let alone try to replicate it at home.
Some Indian side dishes or recipes are difficult to make, but that’s with any cuisine. I will probably never try some dishes simply because I don’t have the right equipment like a tandoor. But that’s no reason to put you off from trying the easier Indian side dishes such as ours.
How to Make Indian Cooking Easier?
Here are a few tips to help make Indian side dishes easier to make, which I adhere to religiously:
Stick to what you know: This is not the time to start experimenting with dishes you are not familiar with. Instead, pick an Indian side dish you like and find a recipe that seems easy enough for you to try. Pick something where you eat a lot of and have something to compare it to. Practise makes perfect, so don’t be disheartened if it didn’t quite turn out the first time.
Take it slow: Don’t start your first foray into Indian cuisine by trying to cook 4-5 different dishes at once! Maybe you can get your normal takeout but substitute one of the Indian side dishes you would typically order with one you would make yourself.
Get organised: Most of the long list of ingredients are mainly made up of whole and ground spices. And they are usually very obtainable in the spice section of your supermarket. These usually form the “foreign” part of the recipe. The rest of the recipe is usually your everyday ingredients like onions, coriander, lentils and potatoes.
Group spices together: In most Indian side dish recipes, you’ll start to notice a pattern. Whole spices are usually tempered in hot ghee (clarified butter) or oil. Next, other ingredients are added, and then all the ground spices are grouped together and added. So don’t think you need to layout all the spices separately. Instead, read the recipe and group them together.
Don’t be too ambitious…yet: For your first time, let’s not go overboard and try a cooking method you may not be familiar with. I’m not a natural baker, so it would take some time to be comfortable in ever attempting a naan recipe. But if you love making bread at home, maybe you can start here! Select a cooking method you are comfortable with, and that will make it easier.
Don’t be discouraged: If you find a recipe with an ingredient you’re not familiar with, don’t just close that tab on your laptop. Instead, take the time to find out where you can buy it and what it actually is. You may be surprised to find that it’s an ingredient that can be used in more than just Indian side dishes.
Have fun: Don’t take it so seriously! Have fun with it. Allocate some time to yourself in the kitchen and see how you go. That’s how cooking something new should always be.
Get To Know Your Indian Food
Indian cuisine may seem complicated because it has so many different influences. For example, the one dish could be called by several different names or may have some ingredients that differ based purely on Indian subcultures, religion, and region.
If ever you see so many different versions of the same Indian side dish, you’re not alone. Take korma, for instance. They are also called askhorma, qorma, kurma and kavurma, and there are Mughlai, Shahi, Kashmiri and south Indian versions.
So how do you know which is the one to cook? Well, you don’t! Just find a korma recipe that you feel will suit your palate and the way you cook. You don’t need to overthink it.
Let’s get to know some of the more popular Indian food to help you better digest what recipes you may like to try at home.
Deep fried food is very popular in India. They are usually street food, appetisers or served as a side dish with the whole meal. These deep fried items include bhajis/pakoras, samosa and Vada Pav.
Bhaji/Pakora: These are essentially deep-fried fritters of sorts. Thinly sliced onions or bite-size chicken pieces are dipped in a batter of chickpea flour (also called besan or gram flour) and then deep fried to perfection. Onion bhaji and chicken pakoras (or Indian chicken nuggets as I like to refer to them) are really easy to make at home.
Samosa: No doubt you would have tried a samosa at some point in your life. It is usually spicy potatoes, with or without meat, wrapped in dough shaped in a pyramid and deep fried.
Vada Pav: These are like Indian sliders. A Mumbai favourite is deep fried potato patties (vada) in a burger bun (pav). They are crazy good!
As important baguettes, brioche, or Boule de Pain are to French cuisine, Indian cuisine also has a whole host of bread that a meal would simply be incomplete without.
Naan: This is the most popular of all of the flatbreads. Made with wheat and yeast to rise, it is cooked in a traditional Indian oven called a tandoor.
Roti: This is the most common of bread that we cook at home. The dough is typically rolled into thin circles and cooked on a skillet. If you don’t want to make this from scratch, you can buy the frozen version and heat it up at home. Never quite the same but desperate mid-week meals call for simple measures!
Paratha: This is a layered flatbread that has ghee placed between the layers and then pan fried. Paratha bread can also be stuffed with ingredients such as potatoes or cauliflower.
Dosa: Of South Indian origin, dosa is like a thin crepe or pancake made from a fermented batter made of rice and lentils. It, therefore, has a slightly sour taste.
Can’t have Indian without rice! But even then, there are so many different types.
Jeera rice: Simple North Indian rice dish flavoured with cumin seeds. You’ll find that cumin is an integral spice in Indian side dishes.
Turmeric rice: Also known as yellow rice, we show you how to make this basmati rice dish with turmeric and spices.
Saffron rice: Also yellow rice but made with saffron, spices, raisins and nuts.
Pulao: Pulao rice dishes are one pot dishes where the rice is cooked with ghee and a whole bunch of spices. There are many different versions, and we show you how to make a veg pulao.
Biryani: Perhaps the most popular rice dish in India. It is traditionally cooked with meat, and it is a layered dish whereby the flavours of the meat will infuse into the rice when cooked in an oven or a heavy-laden pot.
There are many different types of “curries” in India. I’m not sure if you know, but there is no such thing as curry in India.
Curry is actually a word created by the British to collectively refer to all the different types of dishes. But to us, that’s what these are, types of curries
Tikka masala: Tikka in Hindi means “small pieces or small chunks”. Masala is the term used for mixed spices. Essentially, small chunks of, e.g. paneer (Cottage cheese) or chicken are cooked in a sauce made with a spice blend, and you get either Paneer Tikka Masala or Chicken Tikka Masala.
Rogan josh: This type of “curry” is thicker in sauce, has a red tinge, and is usually cooked with lamb or mutton. “Rogan” means red in Hindi, and “josh” means passion. This dish is, therefore, nice and hot in heat and spiciness.
Vindaloo: This type of “curry” originated from Goa and is typically made with pork. The meat is usually marinated in vinegar and garlic; hence you’ll find that it has a tangy taste.
Korma: the word korma means to braise. So, as you can imagine, there are many types of korma “curries”. The meat in korma dishes is marinated in yoghurt and then braised on high heat. They are, therefore, a dish with a nice creamy sauce.
Indian side dishes don’t have to be difficult at all, and I hope that I have inspired you to try at least one dish from the collection below. Come Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights), and perhaps you can impress your family and friends with an Indian side dish or three!
This turmeric rice recipe is a fantastic Indian rice side dish to serve up for any meal. Fluffy and fragrant, this is a recipe you’ll keep coming back to.
Chop. Toss. Serve. This classic Indian salad is all done in under 15 minutes with no cooking required.
Simple everyday ingredients such as tomato, onion and cucumber make this kachumber salad a midweek favourite.
Creamy, buttery and a flavour bomb in your mouth! This authentic paneer butter masala recipe is a wonderful vegetarian Indian side dish filled with aromatic spices enveloped around mild and milky cottage cheese.
Bring this popular Indian street food into your kitchen and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to make. This onion bhaji recipe is aromatic, crispy and perfectly fried—a delicious addition to any meal.
We hope we have manged to inspire you try some of these easy to make at home Indian side dishes. Your family and friends will be so impressed and you’ll surprise yourself how easy it can actually be!
More Easy Side Dish Recipes
Cooking up a storm and need a good side dish or two? We have a comprehensive collection of side dish recipes for you to choose from. Here are some recipe you may like:
- Korean Side Dishes Recipes (Banchan 반찬)
- Air Fryer Parsnip Fries
- Salt and Pepper Tofu with Sweet Chilli Jam
- Easy Sautéed Mushrooms with Soy Sage Butter
- Red Brussels Sprouts and Zhoug Sauce
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