7 real Indian dishes you should try instead of the Westernized knockoffs
It's a scientific fact that Indian food tastes good, mainly thanks to the abundance of spices and flavors.
There's also quite a variety in Indian cuisine, with dishes ranging from North to South and sometimes by kitchen to kitchen. Punjabi, Bengali, Rajasthani, Goan, Gujarati, and Maharashtrian are just the tip of the delicious iceberg.
And that doesn't even take into account all of the Anglicized versions of classic Indian dishes, from curry to chutney.
Here are nine authentic Indian dishes you should try instead of the Western knockoffs.
Instead of chicken tikka masala, order chicken tikka
And while the sauce does add a lot to the flavor of the dish, a much more authentic meal to try would be chicken tikka, boneless chicken pieces baked on skewers after marinating in spices and yogurt (basically tandoori chicken, but without the bone).
Instead of eating naan with every meal, try making rotis instead
Roti is the bread-of-choice in India. Roti is unleavened wheat-flour bread that is thinner than naan, and can be paired with just about anything from honey and cream for breakfast to curries.
Instead of dishes made with curry powder, try using a more unique mixture of spices
But the word "curry" was coined by the English and is an oversimplification of Indian cuisine, which uses a variety of spices (masalas) all individually added as you cook so that the mixture is much more unique and varying depending on the region and sometimes by specific kitchen.
A few of the key spices to have on hand are turmeric powder, cumin seeds, coriander power, cinnamon, red chili or cayenne powder, cardamom, ginger, garlic, and mustard seeds. Don't be afraid to branch out and experiment.
Instead of mango or "Major Grey's Chutney," try different kinds of chutneysMajor Grey's Chutney with mango, vinegar, raisins, lime juice, onion, tamarind, and other spices.
But there are so many different chutneys to try, most of which are less jam-like and more runny than the Anglo-Indian counterparts.
In Indian cuisine, chutneys can range the gamut from sweet to savory. Pineapple, coconut, olive, walnut, and fig are just some of the variants - it it's a fruit, spice, or herb, you can make a chutney with it.
Instead of eating kedgeree, try the much more authentic khichdi
It likely originated from khichdi, a rice and lentils dish that varies heavily by region. No matter what recipe you choose, it's generally considered to be comfort food and makes a fantastic side. It ranges from plain (lentils, rice, and salt) to chock-full of veggies and spices.
Instead of ordering mulligatawny soup, try rasam over riceMulligatawny, loosely translated as "pepper water," is made with chicken or lamb broth, vegetables, and lots of spices.
It's based on a sauce known as rasam that's typically eaten with rice, though it can also be eaten as a soup. It's usually prepared with tamarind juice, tomato, chili pepper, pepper, and cumin, though there are many different kinds of rasam to enjoy.
Instead of the Anglicized comfort food meatball curry, order malai koftaMeatball curry is an Anglo-Indian comfort food classic with minced beef or chicken, coriander, chilies, potatoes and more all simmered into a delicious and easy meal.
For a more authentic and still tasty counterpart, try malai kofta. It's a North Indian meal with fried vegetable balls and tomato-based gravy with coriander, cumin, chillies, cardamom, cream, and more. This is a good one for any vegetarians out there, too.