If you love Indian food, you've most likely tried one of these popular Indian curry dishes and want to try making one at home. Or, you're looking to discover something new! You'll find popular recipes, like Butter Chicken, as well as recipes that you'll never find at an Indian restaurant.
Each region in India has it's own distinct type of cuisine. I've included family recipes from both North and South India so that you can discover a new curry or a desi blogger to follow for more delicious, authentic recipes to try.
This roundup only begins to scratch the surface of all the different Indian curries out there, but I hope you try and fall in love with something new.
What is an Indian Curry?
An Indian curry refers to a variety of saucy dishes made with spices, vegetables, and usually a protein like lentils or meat. The term "curry" is derived from the Tamil word kari, meaning "sauce".
There are dozens of different types of curries, much like there are several different pasta shapes and sauces to toss them in. Curries vary from region to region within India. While some curries share the same base, there are several that are unrecognizable from the next one because they use entirely different techniques, ingredients, and combinations of spices.
Indian curries are not to be confused with other curries you may see in Thai, Japanese, Caribbean, and other cuisines that may start off with a paste, seasoning blend, or curry powder.
Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes
A majority of Indian curry dishes are vegetarian. They are typically made with a base of beans, lentils, or paneer as a protein. Otherwise, they focus on filling vegetables such as potatoes, leafy greens, jackfruit, etc.
A lot of Indian curries are actually naturally vegan and gluten-free. If not, it's easy to substitute paneer for tofu, ghee for neutral oil, and asafoetida for fresh onion and garlic.
They're often served with roti and a sabji, which is a dry spiced mixture of vegetables.
Lentil and Bean Recipes
This collection of curries are made with a variety of beans and lentils. They're best served over Basmati Rice or with an Indian bread like roti or puri.
Whole Masoor Dal
Kala Chana Masala
Vegetable and Paneer-Based Curries
This collection of curries use paneer, potatoes, or vegetables as their main ingredient.
Methi Malai Matar Paneer
Echorer Dalna | Bengali Style Jackfruit Curry
Eating non-veg Indian curries are just another level of deliciousness. The meats are marinated or braised in spices for maximum flavor.
You'll have to check out the queen of Indian non-veg recipes, Tanvi at Sinfully Spicy. I frequently use her recipes in my own home.
Chicken, lamb, goat, and fish are the most popular meats consumed by desis. However, you will find some Indo-Americans or Indian regional dishes that include pork. Cows are considered holy in Hinduism so there are far and few recipes, however beef curries like nihari are common in Pakistani cuisine.
Enjoy these popular, authentic chicken curry dishes!
You won't find Chicken Tikka Masala here. Why? While it's popular at Indian restaurants, it actually originated in Scotland! I want to focus here on curries you commonly find cooked in Indian households.
Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
We mostly see fish curries come from Bengali, Kashmiri, and Goan cuisines.
Fish Curry (Fish Masala)
Goat and Lamb Curries
Lamb (or mutton) and goat make for succulent Indian curries, especially when slowly braised.