It’s one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make: What to order at your favorite Indian restaurant. There are too many delicious options! The obvious answer is to show up with a group order for the whole table for everyone to share, family-style. Start with a snack like papdi chaat for an appetizer, add a few popular crowd-pleasers like murgh makhani (butter chicken) and rogan josh, something light, like kachumber (cucumber salad), and any house special naan.
- Papdi ChaatProbably the most popular North-Indian snack, vendors crowd the streets selling all kinds of delicious variations of chaat in this part of the country. Chaat parties also make a nice alternative to a sit-down dinner. Papdi chaat is a great introduction to this dish and a lot of fun to make. First, make the papdi (or papri) dough, and then form it into thin circles to deep-fry. Then top the wafers with potatoes and chickpeas and drizzle with a tangy, spicy, and sweet
- Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)Perhaps one of the most familiar Indian dish to the American diner, butter chicken first appeared in Delhi in the 1940s. It has a mild flavor that won’t blow out your tastebuds, but you can increase the white pepper or curry powder for a more assertive taste.
- Chole (Chickpea Curry)Northern India, classic and easy chole chickpea curry often appears as a favorite menu item and as a result, has become a worldwide sensation. It can also serve a crowd, especially if you serve it hot along with fried Indian leavened bread like poori or bhatura. Once you have the chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes, along with garlic and ginger pastes, some common Indian spices will bring it all together.
- Tandoori ChickenAlthough traditionally cooked in a clay oven, you can prepare the yogurt-marinated charred chicken in a regular oven (or on the grill). You do need to plan ahead, as the chicken should sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight to let the flavors develop. If you prefer, you can sear the marinated chicken cubes first on the stovetop to achieve that signature tandoori char.
- Chicken Vindaloo CurryThis is a mild and sweetly-spiced recipe for chicken vindaloo curry. Contrary to current belief, curries do not have to be hot and fiery. In fact, they never started out that way in India. Creating the curry paste is the most important part of this dish, so don’t skimp on the ingredients.