In Indian Restaurant, I have always been fascinated by the diverse flavors and aromas of the cuisine. Whether it’s the fiery spices I have had the privilege of traveling to different parts of the world, and one of the things I enjoy the most is trying out new cuisines. One of my favorite cuisines is Indian food. The diversity of spices, flavors, and textures in Indian cuisine is unparalleled, and it’s no wonder that it has become one of the most popular cuisines globally. If you’re looking to try out authentic Indian cuisine, there are a few things you need to know to find the best Indian restaurant near you.
What to look for in an authentic Indian restaurant
When looking for an authentic Indian restaurant, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, check the menu to see if it offers a range of dishes, including vegetarian options. Authentic Indian cuisine has a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, which are just as delicious as meat-based ones. Secondly, check if the restaurant uses traditional cooking methods such as tandoor ovens, which are used to cook dishes such as naan bread and tandoori chicken. Finally, check if the restaurant uses fresh spices and ingredients. Indian cuisine is known for its use of fragrant spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, so fresh ingredients are crucial to achieving authentic flavors.
Dish #1: Butter Chicken
One of the most popular Indian dishes is Butter Chicken. It’s a mildly spiced dish that’s perfect for those who are new to Indian cuisine. The dish is made with marinated chicken, which is cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce. The secret to a good butter chicken is the spices used in the marinade. The chicken is usually marinated in a mixture of yogurt, garam masala, and other spices for several hours, which helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. The sauce is made with tomatoes, cream, and butter, which makes it rich and creamy. Butter Chicken is usually served with rice or naan bread.
Dish #2: Biryani
Another popular Indian dish is Biryani. It’s a rice-based dish that’s usually made with meat, but there are vegetarian options available as well. The rice is cooked with a blend of spices, including saffron, which gives it a distinctive aroma and flavor. The meat or vegetables are cooked separately with spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, and then layered on top of the rice. The dish is then baked in an oven, which helps to infuse the flavors. Biryani is usually served with raita, a yogurt-based side dish.
Dish #3: Samosas
Samosas are a popular Indian snack that’s perfect for those who want to try something new. They are triangular-shaped pastries that are usually stuffed with spiced potatoes, peas, and onions. The pastry is made with flour and water, and then deep-fried until crispy. Samosas are usually served with tamarind chutney, which is a sweet and sour sauce made with tamarind, sugar, and spices.
Dish #4: Saag Paneer
Saag Paneer is a vegetarian dish that’s made with paneer, which is a type of cheese that’s popular in Indian cuisine. The dish is made with spinach, which is cooked with onions, garlic, and spices such as cumin and coriander. The paneer is then added to the spinach mixture and cooked until it’s soft and creamy. Saag Paneer is usually served with rice or naan bread.
Dish #5: Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken is a popular Indian dish that’s made by marinating chicken in a mixture of yogurt and spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric. The chicken is then cooked in a tandoor oven, which gives it a smoky flavor and a slightly charred exterior. Tandoori Chicken is usually served with rice or naan bread.
Vegetarian options at an Indian restaurant
Indian cuisine has a wide variety of vegetarian options, which are just as delicious as meat-based dishes. Some of the most popular vegetarian dishes include Chana Masala, which is made with chickpeas in a spicy tomato-based sauce, and Aloo Gobi, which is made with potatoes and cauliflower in a fragrant spice blend. Another popular dish is Palak Paneer, which is similar to Saag Paneer, but with a creamier spinach sauce.
Desserts to try at an Indian restaurant
No Indian meal is complete without trying out some desserts. One of the most popular desserts is Gulab Jamun, which is a sweet pastry ball made with milk solids and soaked in a sweet syrup. Another popular dessert is Kulfi, which is a type of ice cream that’s made with condensed milk and flavored with spices such as cardamom and saffron.
In conclusion, Indian cuisine has a wide variety of dishes that are perfect for those who want to try something new. When looking for an authentic Indian restaurant, make sure to check if it offers a range of dishes, uses traditional cooking methods, and uses fresh ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes include Butter Chicken, Biryani, Samosas, Saag Paneer, and Tandoori Chicken. Vegetarian options are also available and are just as delicious as meat-based dishes. Don’t forget to try out some desserts, such as Gulab Jamun and Kulfi, to complete your meal. So, step out of your comfort zone and try something new at your local Indian restaurant.