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What is your Favourite Indian Dish?

Years ago there was this amazing restaurant in Bermuda name Bombay Cycle Club. They were my exposure to what amazing Indian Food tasted like. I first experienced Baingan Bharta and Tandoori Lamb Chops there and they are yet to be matched anywhere else I have eaten. I have eaten Indian all over the World but this place had such a high level of good food that it became an addictive staple in my weekly dining. Sadly it closed down, not because of the food...or so I was told.

So what Indian Dishes excite your palate?

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  1. Murg Methi is probably my fav, but I don't encounter it all that often.

    I once had Tandoori Chilean Sea Bass that blew me away. Once. Haven't seen it since.

    Other greats are Murg Xacutti, Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicen 65.

    Whatever I order, I specify for the chef to make it as hot as he's willing to.

    1. it may not be exciting... but one of my comfort dishes when I am sick is Korma with paneer...

      1. Hands down, paneer shahi masala.
        Soooo good.

        But I don't get to have it that often since my partner's stomach can't handle the spices in Indian food *sob*

        1 Reply
        1. re: ursy_ten

          This is probably my top dish as well. I love paneer!

        2. I don't have the broadest experience of it, as I tend to choose the same items when I have Indian, but I do love butter chicken with some naan.

          And those sticky dough balls thing for dessert,

            1. re: ipsedixit

              When we first were married and I was discovering Indian cooking, I swear I made gulab jamun once or twice a week for a year. Maybe it's time to have it again, altho' now I love jalebies or rasmalai.

              For savory, hands down, the prosaic palak paneer, but only at Koshi's in Bangalore. With lots of fresh naan (I'm making naan today, and I have spinach, hmmm, dinner ideas!)

              1. re: pine time

                Making naan, eh? Lucky squirrel.

                My favorite Indian dessert is pistachio kulfi. Problem is, it can vary in quality a great deal. But the good stuff, IMO, is the best "ice cream" on the planet.

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  If it ever cools off, I'll do pooris on the patio to avoid the oil smell in the house. Love Indian breads.

                  1. re: pine time

                    I'd love to make my own pooris.
                    Poori masala is one of my favoutite Indian dishes.

            2. My favorite dish is probably mutton biryani, of course if you ask me in a few months when we're deep in winter, I might say a bowl of haleem topped with matchsticks of ginger and green chilli and a slick of butter and lime. Rogan josh, would be another favorite when spring lambs hit the market.

                1. Mutton or Chicken Biryani!! Absolutely!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chowshok

                    A good biryani is just music for the soul.

                  2. Chicken Shashlik, followed closely by Lamb Vindaloo.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Really is, and I can't have it at home since H hates any level of spice/heat (and lamb, soooo)

                    1. I know exactly what you're saying. We often joke that the resto near us puts crack in as an ingredient in everything. That's why it's so hard to pick favorites. Even so, some of mine are:

                      malai kofta
                      bengan bartha
                      chicken tikka
                      onion bahji
                      all of the kormas
                      OMG! There's just too much that's too good!

                      20 Replies
                      1. re: rainey

                        I know, I tried to answer this question and I couldn't. I love anything with paneer, all kormas, anything with lots of methi, samosas, pakoras, vindaloos, chana masala, etc. Ever since 660 Curries was the COTM on the Home Cooking board, I have been making a lot of Indian food at home and expanding my horizons that way - I have yet to find a recipe that I didn't love.

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          What is methi? Someone else mentioned that too and I have yet to encounter it on a menu in SoCal.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              And to be precise it's usually the leaves of fenugreek (kasoori methi) as opposed to the seed.

                              1. re: JungMann

                                Right. Incidentally, I wonder if fenugreek is grown commercially anywhere in the US? More Indian restaurants in American might make dishes with fenugreek if it were more readily available.

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  The leaves dry beautifully so one doesn't *need* fresh leaves to make a good methi murgh. In fact I rather prefer to use dried kasoori methi like a herb in saucy curries even though I have access to fresh leaves.

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    I use dried as well, because that is all I have access to. Also use them for aloo methi, which is basically fingerling potatoes sautéed till done in lots of butter and methi, and then sprinkled with garam masala. Still, I would like to try fresh, just to see what difference it would make.

                                    I wonder what climate methi would flourish in?

                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                      I live in NYC, where there are lots of Indian markets - I can get fresh methi leaves any time of year, although I don't know where they're imported from. However, I usually choose to buy the frozen type - they are SO convenient. They come chopped up just like frozen spinach, in a bag with small blocks that weigh about 2 oz each (so you don't have to use the whole bag at once or hack portions off a frozen mass).

                                      Oddly enough, I rarely encounter it on menus at Indian restaurants in NYC - I only learned about it when I started doing my own Indian cooking at home.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        Got a tip from the thread on favorite potato dishes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9131.... It looks like DockPotato is in Ontario and had good luck growing it. I'm in Minnesota and was able for a few years to get fat bundles of fresh methi from a local grower, but that grower doesn't seem to be at my farmers's market any longer. I'm definitely going to be planting some containers with methi next year. It looks pretty easy: http://fenugreeklove.wordpress.com/20...

                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                          We get fresh methi year round in Los Angeles & there is nothing like fresh aloo methi. fave dessert would be gulab jamun (especially when it made by my mother & stolen from the pot). my favorite snack would be pani puri because it is the perfect combination sour sweet spicy & salty. I love a good lamb vindaloo or chettinad chicken. These dishes are ubiquitous at Indian restaurants but they are not usually executed well.

                                      2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        It may be a regional thing, but here in SoCal, you can get fresh methi at any Indian or middle eastern market. You can also buy frozen, which is also good.

                                        1. re: boogiebaby

                                          Minnesota and SoCal--sounds like fenugreek may be a rather tolerant plant.

                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                            My parents who also live near me grow it in a shaded flower bed near their patio. It grows like a weed -- they always have some growing!

                                            1. re: boogiebaby

                                              May see if I can get aholt o' some seeds!

                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                You can sow the ones you buy from the indian store. Just soak them overnight, then sprinkle a bunch in the soil and cover. Take about a month to get to harvesting levels.

                                                1. re: boogiebaby

                                                  So, that really works? I get to be a skeptic at times, and despite how easy it seems...I, well, think about the seedstock and viability. So, the fenugreek seeds we buy as spices will germinate? I'm eager to try this next growing season.

                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                    It's certainly worth a try, but it's also good to be aware that for some herbs, cilantro for example, that some strains have been bred for their seed production (coriander), and others have been bred for their leaf production, so your mileage may vary.

                                                    I'm going to try it with cilantro - a big bag of coriander seeds at our local indian shop is dirt cheap and if the experiment fails, I'll still have bucketloads of coriander, so I really have nothing to lose!

                                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                                      Yes. We buy our seeds from the middle eastern or indian market. Soak, Sow and wait.

                                  2. re: rainey

                                    Love the list, Raney. If I had unlimited access to kormas and onion kulcha I'd die with a huge smile. Bengan Bartha would have me positively glowing. We are talking ultimate comfort foods here.

                                  3. Can't really pick one but a well-prepared navratan korma can be ethereal.

                                    1. Alleppey fish curry from Kerala.

                                      1. Difficult but If I had to chose, Chettinad Fish Curry.

                                        1. For me, it's definitely Tikka Chicken Masala. Love the stuff. After that would be butter chicken.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                            I don't eat much Indian Food and don't have too much experience, but I love love Tikka Chicken Masala as well as Tandoori chicken.

                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                              Chicken tikka masala is delicious, though probably not originally Indian, but rather a British riff on Indian flavors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_...

                                              Every time I go to the vegetarian Indian buffet one town away, I eat something that would be my new favorite Indian dish, if I had any idea what it's called and what it contains!

                                              Looks like most of the responses on this thread are northern (Punjabi) dishes. It seems that in America, unless otherwise made clear, Indian restaurant means northern Indian. There ARE restaurants specializing in other regional Indian cuising, and also places that serve dishes from all over the subcontinent. There is considerable variety, and these places are well worth seeking out.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  My fav local Indian joint is run by Hyderabadis and about half the menu is southern Indian. There are also multiple Indo-Chinese dishes. Yes, I'm lucky in this regard.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    "Place of origin Disputed - India or United Kingdom" direct from Wikipedia. So it could be either. :)

                                                    I'm still going for India!

                                                  1. Vendakka Thoran/ Okra with Coconut, Chilis and Curry Leaves
                                                    Pork Vindaloo with Sannas
                                                    or May be
                                                    Beef Ularthiyathu with Mashed Tapioca.

                                                    1. chana masala, I just adore chickpeas and this is a wonderful vehicle for them. I prefer my homemade as it must have tamarind in it.

                                                      aloo gobi, cauliflower and potatoes what's not to love.

                                                      As far as restaurant dishes, butter chicken. I've just never been able to make it at home the way I like it.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                        I chop up aloo gobi pretty small and use it as a veg samosa filling. Really tasty.

                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                          I love chickpeas no matter what why intestine thinks, I should yet this to help introduce me to more Indian food.

                                                        2. Lamb posanda and any of the veg dishes with chickpeas. I love all the breads, although I can't keep straight which is which. Mango lassi is my favorite Indian restaurant beverage.

                                                          1. I have so many!

                                                            Hyderabadi chicken biryani
                                                            Vadas with coconut chutney
                                                            Stuffed karela
                                                            Aloo parathas
                                                            Shahi paneer
                                                            And my all time favorite... Malai Kofta. I could eat a good Malai Kofta every day if it wasn't so unhealthy!

                                                                1. I love Indian food but haven't been able to memorize the names. Sometimes the buffet doesn't label the food or calls it something different. I know the basics (butter chicken, tandori chicken, naan) but the curries and masalas confuse me.

                                                                  I think part of the difficulty is that one dish can look exactly like another and yet taste differently.

                                                                  1. Gajar Ka Halwa --- I *always* leave room for this dessert.

                                                                    1. Among the Mughal/Dehli-style dishes: for carnivorous, it's hard to beat a good butter chicken (murgh makhni), made with leftover tandoori chicken; for veggie, I really like aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower).

                                                                      BUT: the Indian food that I've found most exciting in the USA is served up at a place near Detroit called Neehee's. They're all vegetarian (which I am not, myself), and more South Indian in style. They emphasize various street foods. They do amazing dosas, chatpati chaat, oh my:


                                                                      p.s., in case you wonder, I am not affiliated with this business, but that model of vibrantly fresh and seasoned, even if vegetarian, Indian food is one that I wish were more common in the USA.

                                                                      1. Just one?

                                                                        Leaving aside lime pickle and brinjal pickle, and stuffed naans, I'd say it's a toss-up between dal makhani and sag gosht. Or maybe butter chicken or navratan korma. Or mattar paneer. Or some good chaat.

                                                                        I like them all! Too bad they don't always like me back - I have to limit my intake, unfortunately.

                                                                        1. absolute fave: lightly seasoned, wet channa daal with fresh rice, served with little sides like spicy mixed pickle, plain yoghurt, and dahi mirch

                                                                          gol gappe

                                                                          Sindhi biryani (my homemade one)

                                                                          yakhni pullao

                                                                          karhi pakora


                                                                          khaman dhokla with peanut-chile-cilantro chutney

                                                                          tomatoey, oily goat curry served with airy, fresh phulki roti

                                                                          dam ka qeema with paratha

                                                                          egg stuffed paratha

                                                                          breakfast combo of pooris with sooji ka halva, spiced potatoes, and chickpeas

                                                                          galawati kabab

                                                                          soft, well made seekh kababs

                                                                          roghni naan that tastes like a New York street cart pretzel

                                                                          and for dessert:

                                                                          gulab jaman


                                                                          and falooda

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                            Are you willing to share your Sindhi biryani recipe? Mine comes from a Moslem lady in Mumbai, and it's quite good, but it would be fun to compare.

                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                              You have a biryani recipe from a Muslim woman from Mumbai? You meant a Sindhi biryani recipe, or what style of biryani did you mean?

                                                                              I put my recipe on my (amateur and seldom updated) food blog called Lucky Delicious but we are not allowed to link to our own blogs here.

                                                                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                Thanks, I'll look for your blog.

                                                                                My explanation was poor--the lady lives & has a catering business in Mumbai, but she was from Hyderabad and specializes in that style of biryani. While it's written for lamb, she also gives ideas for shrimp, chicken or beef, but I've found it works best with lamb.

                                                                                My prior recipe was from the 1st Indian cookbook I ever bought, when I was a newlywed, by Madhur Jaffrey. I think she toned down the seasoning, but I prefer her style of layering the ingredients. So now, I mix the 2 recipes to create my own version.

                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                  I noticed your Sindhi biryani has aloo bukharay. My father uses that nowadays, but the Pakistani biryani I remember eating at home and friends' houses never included dried fruit, nor did it have the hot and sour flavor you describe. (I don't think we even had amchoor in the house!) The Pakistani biryani I remember was very smokey and spicy. When I was a very picky toddler I remember thinking chicken biryani tasted "dusty" which is still what chicken tastes like to me when there is too much ground cumin in the masala so I imagine this was a cumin heavy dish. I also remember there were usually fried potatoes in the biryani and maybe carrots. Any idea where this recipe got its birth?

                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                    There is no particular Pakistani biryani. Rather, there are many many kinds of biryani made all over Pakistan as well as in India. It's kind of a gross generalization, but you could say that in Pakistan, Karachi people of North-Northwest Indian and also Hyderabadi Indian origin are more biryani people, while Punjabis are more pullao people. I think everyone makes biryani and considers it "theirs" these days, though, at least in urban centers. Regionally you have for example Baloch style biryani that has channa daal in it and reminds me of Gulf Arab biryani.

                                                                                    What was your dad's family's original language(s) and locale in India before partition? You said your dad had a Konkani background, right (or did I make that up)? Did he belong to a particular ethnic community that you know of? That may give you a clue on his style of biryani...or it may be that he picked up the recipe from a book, or cooking show, or neighbor, or who knows. I guess you can ask him. I'd be interested to know what he says.

                                                                                    One time a Sindhi friend of mine told me that there is not really such a thing as Sindhi biryani and that it was made up by Shan Masala and that spurred others to make their biryani in that way in this supposedly Sindhi style. I have no idea if that is true or not, but I found that interesting. It's still my favorite style of biryani either way.

                                                                            2. While I like most curries, I would have to say my favorite dish is a good well-made dosa.

                                                                              1. I prefer Southern Indian vegetarian fare over the Northern Indian curries and I like a thali with several curries, several dals, a couple of sweets, a couple of pickles, the starches, etc. instead of Western style with a ‘main’ and a couple of ‘sides’ so it’s hard for me to name a single favorite dish. If I had to though, I’d pick what are really snacks but rich and filling enough for me: dahi puri or a khasta or raj kachori which are like dahi puri on steroids.

                                                                                For meat dishes I’m more fond of Pakistani than Northern Indian dishes (that may just be due to the particular restaurants I frequent) but as far as one dish from India, I’d pick a Kerala style fish curry.

                                                                                As for sweets the most amazing I have had have been from a Bangladeshi sweet shop here, I particularly like chom chom and kala jamun but there are still many I haven’t tried. Oh, and then there are the fruit salads offered by several Kerala restaurants here, sesame ladoo, barfi.........

                                                                                1. Baigan bartha (eggplant, tomato, onion curry)

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                    I had a superb rendition of the Baingan Bharta at Masala Kraft, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai - served in a huge, hollowed-out aubergine. Perfect flavours & textures - it was unforgettable.

                                                                                    1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                      Enclosing a pic of the dish :-)

                                                                                  2. Wow, that is a great question.

                                                                                    While we love various tandoori dishes, and curries, when it comes down to the "favorites," it is normally a Naan, and maybe with either a lentil dip, or a yogurt.

                                                                                    Still, that does not diminish the tandoori, or the curries.


                                                                                    1. Matar paneer.

                                                                                      Followed closely by potato & pea samosas.

                                                                                      And channa masala.

                                                                                      1. So many; here are some standouts

                                                                                        Guttu Venkaya Kura

                                                                                        Mysore Masala Dosa

                                                                                        Goat Korma https://groups.google.com/forum/#!top...

                                                                                        Lake Palace Eggplant Cooked in the Pickling Style

                                                                                        Goat Biryani (must be well-executed of course


                                                                                        Seekh Kebab

                                                                                        Vindaloo (any protein)

                                                                                        Fish Xacuti

                                                                                        Sour Gujarati dal, e.g. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                                                                        Machli Hara Masala (as prepared at Moghul in Edison, NJ


                                                                                        Methi Malai Mutter (ditto)

                                                                                        Bindi Masala

                                                                                        Chettinad Masala (any protein or veg.)