List of Iconic Indian Foods that you must Order from Restaurants

When your tastebuds crave contrasting flavors, spices, textures, and novelty, Indian meals and dishes are the way to go. However, when you visit an Indian restaurant, you may get overwhelmed by the variety of options that confront you. 

Indian cuisine is similar to its geography, diverse, and cohesive at the same time. Each part of the country is linked to unique, stimulating flavors with vibrance like no other. Therefore, when considering dishes to try from this country’s cuisine, getting puzzled is common. However, worry not, as we detail the list of must-try Indian dishes you must try at least once in your life from Indian restaurants. 

Iconic Indian Foods List

Here are some of the most popular, scrumptious, and flavourful Indian dishes for you to try once in an Indian restaurant so that you can come again later:

  1. Biryani

A delightfully fragrant rice dish loaded with aromatic spices and tender meat, Biryani will completely stimulate your senses. It will indulge you in its warm aroma first and then hit your tastebuds with power-packed flavors. 

This loaded dish begins with basmati rice preparation (long-grain rice), tender meat (chicken, beef, mutton, and seafood in coastal areas), and a yogurt marinade with a blend of beautiful whole and ground spices. It gets topped with nuts, dried fruits, fresh herbs, and caramelized onions.

Three cooking approaches standardly used are: 

  • Slow-cooking the parboiled rice and raw marinated meat together
  • Raw meat layering and uncooked rice
  • Partly cooking the two elements separately and steaming them together

Whatever cooking method and components get used, the end result will be a mix of deep, complex, and intricate flavors that satisfy all your taste levels.

  • Dal Makhani

A favourite dish of all times for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, Dal makhani is something your tastebuds would want more of repeatedly. This black lentil (urad dal) dish contains red kidney beans as well that turn into a thick consistency stew. The makhani in Dal makhani refers to butter, which means this dish is ghee-rich (clarified butter). With this rich stew base, ginger, garlic, and chilies get tossed with tomato sauce to give it a savoury taste. You can enjoy it with any of the country’s flatbread and accompanied with any meat or vegetarian main. 

  • Tandoori Chicken

This bright red tandoori chicken recipe is a treat for your mouth and your eyes alike. Its cooking method and yogurt and spice marinade give it the flavour you can’t hide from any time. This delicious preparation begins in a tandoor, which is like a clay oven. Here, the chicken (usually on the bone) gets cooked with smoky aromas and flavour-infused meat. 

The meat exterior gets cooked until crispy while the insides stay on the juicy and tender side due to the marinade. The tandoori masala is a mix of spices that may vary with different chefs, but the most common are garlic, ginger, onion, cayenne, garam masala, and red chili powder.

  • Chicken Tikka Masala

Smoky flavours, spice blends, and a yogurt marinade come together to complement a chicken and make it more interesting. Although the origin of this dish is debatable between British and Indian, the flavours you will receive at an Indian restaurant won’t match others. 

  • Butter Chicken

Discussing the must-try Indian dishes and not mentioning butter chicken is a crime you should never commit. It is a dish with a velvety smooth tomato sauce with onion, butter, and cream, and it includes chicken chunks. Although mildly spiced, the power-packed flavors make it a perfect ranking Indian main dish. Accompany it with a flatbread and you’re good to go.

  • Masala Dosa

This South Indian delicacy may look like a crepe with savory fillings, but the taste is otherworldly. The dosa batter is of fermented lentils and rice that are cooked for a crisp exterior and soft interior. The most popular fillings for the dosa include onion, potatoes, chutney, coconut, and fresh coriander. Usually, it is accompanied by sambar, another south Indian relishing, and tomato, mint, and coconut chutney. It isn’t just appetizing for your tastebuds but also gluten-free and gut-friendly. 

  • Seekh Kabab

Seekh kabab finds its name from the time when Gengis Khan’s soldiers used their swords (seekhs) to grill the spiced meat in fire. Today, minced lamb or mutton is used for seekh kebabs, which get seasoned with yogurt, onion, ginger, garlic, garam masala, and coriander. After being cooked and skewered on the grill, you get it served with mint chutney, salads, and other sides like flatbreads.

Whether you have it as a main dish or an appetizer, it will surely satiate your appetite and leave a fine flavor imprint on your taste profile. 

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We cordially invite you to dine at Food Village. To make a reservation, please call us at

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