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8 Popular Indian Dinner Recipes – What do Indians have for Dinner ?

Indian Dinner Recipe 1

Introduction to Indian Dinner Recipes

Any typical Indian full meal consists of salty, sweet, spicy, and hot flavors. Indian Dinner recipes generally contain starch like rice or chapati, a non-veg dish like fish or meat, one or two vegetables, and finally, in some households, the dinner ends with a sweet dish.

Indian dinner recipes vary according to the region. In the central and northern regions, roti is very popular. They also love naan which is thicker than rotis and is baked in an oven. Mostly rotis are made with flour or atta. The people in these regions also love rice. The most common rice grain preferred by all is known as Basmati rice which is beautifully fragrant long grain rice. In regions like the state of Punjab, dairy products like dahi (yogurt), ghee, and milk are very commonly used in every meal. White butter is also something that people prefer to have with rotis and naans. 

The non-vegetarians in these regions love their chicken tikka and tandoori chickens cooked in a spicy flavored sauce with dollops of ghee. A dessert that is one of the very common Indian dinner recipes is kheer (rice pudding).

In Western Indian states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, there are a lot of vegetarians. The common Indian dinner consists of a thali which is a huge plate where all the dishes are taken together. Indian vegetarian dinner recipes in these households consist of roti or rice followed by a sabzi (vegetable curry) and a bowl of dal (lentil). Non-vegetarians in areas like Goa and Maharashtra love their fresh fish curries and mutton recipes like lal maas which is a spicy red mutton curry.

In South India, dinner recipes contain many vegetarian recipes seasoned and spiced with Indian spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, and also coconut. Non-vegetarian dishes like fish and chicken are also consumed during dinner. Moreover, in some households, food like idli (steamed rice cakes), poppadoms, and dahi vada is also very commonly consumed during dinner.

 Let us now look at some of the common Indian dinner recipes that people love.

Veg Biryani

Veg Biryani is a delicious and aromatic Indian dinner recipe that’s loved by people of all ages. It’s a flavorful dish that combines fragrant basmati rice, a medley of fresh vegetables, and a blend of aromatic spices to create a truly satisfying meal. This one-pot wonder is not only easy to make but also a favorite choice for vegetarians and vegans.

To prepare Veg Biryani, start by sautéing onions and spices in ghee or oil to build a rich flavor base. Then, add your favorite veggies like carrots, peas, and bell peppers, followed by long-grain basmati rice. The magic happens when you layer the rice and veggies, infusing them with saffron, mint, and coriander. Cover and let it all steam together until the rice is fluffy and infused with the enticing aroma of the spices.

Serve your Veg Biryani hot with a side of cooling raita or pickles for a satisfying, wholesome Indian dinner. It’s a dish that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala is a delightful Indian dinner recipe that’s perfect for those who crave a rich and creamy dish without any meat. This vegetarian favorite features paneer, a type of Indian cottage cheese, cooked in a luscious tomato-based gravy that’s generously flavored with butter and aromatic spices. It’s a comfort food that’s both satisfying and indulgent.

To make Paneer Butter Masala, start by sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger in a bit of butter until they turn golden brown. Then, add ripe tomatoes, along with a blend of spices like garam masala, turmeric, and coriander. Let it all simmer until the tomatoes are soft and the mixture becomes a thick, fragrant gravy. Finally, add chunks of paneer and let them soak up all the delicious flavors.

This creamy, buttery dish is often served with naan, roti, or rice and is a favorite at Indian dinner tables. It’s a mouthwatering option for vegetarians and anyone who loves the combination of rich, buttery goodness with the subtle heat of Indian spices. Paneer Butter Masala is sure to be a hit at your next dinner gathering.

Rajma Chawal

Rajma Chawal, a beloved Indian dinner recipe, is a comforting and hearty dish that consists of red kidney beans (rajma) cooked in a flavorful tomato-based gravy, served alongside aromatic steamed rice (chawal). It’s a classic North Indian dish that’s cherished by people across the country for its delicious and wholesome flavors.

To prepare Rajma Chawal, you’ll start by soaking the kidney beans overnight, which helps them cook faster and become tender. Then, you simmer the soaked beans with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices, such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala. The result is a rich and slightly spicy gravy that coats the beans, infusing them with all those wonderful flavors.

Rajma Chawal is typically served hot, with a side of steamed rice, and often accompanied by pickles, yogurt, or a fresh salad. It’s a satisfying and wholesome meal that’s not only delicious but also a great source of protein and fiber. This Indian dinner recipe is a real crowd-pleaser, perfect for gatherings or a comforting meal at home.

Kadhi Chawal

Kadhi Chawal is a popular and delightful Indian dinner recipe that hails from the northern regions of India. It’s a combination of two main components: Kadhi, a tangy yogurt-based curry, and Chawal, which means rice. This dish is known for its unique flavor and comforting qualities.

To make Kadhi, you’ll whisk together yogurt, gram flour (besan), and a variety of spices to create a smooth and tangy base. This mixture is then cooked until it thickens, while continuously stirring to prevent lumps. In a separate pan, a tempering of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chilies is prepared, which is added to the Kadhi to give it an aromatic and flavorful touch.

Kadhi Chawal is traditionally served with a side of steamed rice. The combination of the creamy Kadhi and fluffy rice makes for a delicious and satisfying meal. The tangy notes of the Kadhi balance the simplicity of rice, creating a perfect harmony of flavors. This vegetarian dish is a staple in many Indian households and is enjoyed for its unique taste and comforting appeal.

Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa is a beloved Indian dinner recipe that’s adored not only in India but also around the world. This South Indian dish is essentially a thin, crispy rice crepe filled with a spiced potato filling, making it a flavorful and satisfying choice for dinner.

To create Masala Dosa, you start by preparing a fermented batter of rice and urad dal (black gram). After letting it ferment for a few hours, you can make thin crepes by spreading the batter on a hot griddle. The crepe is paper-thin and incredibly crispy, which makes it a perfect contrast to the flavorful potato masala inside.

The potato masala is made by sautéing a mixture of potatoes, onions, and a blend of spices like mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry leaves. The resulting filling is a fragrant and mildly spicy mixture that pairs beautifully with the crispy dosa. The dish is often served with coconut chutney and tangy tamarind sauce, enhancing its taste even further.

Masala Dosa is not only a delightful Indian dinner option but also a popular breakfast choice. The combination of the crispy dosa and the savory potato masala is a culinary experience that’s a must-try for anyone looking to savor the diverse and delectable flavors of Indian cuisine.

Dal Makhni

Dal Makhni is a classic Indian dinner recipe that’s cherished for its rich and creamy lentil-based preparation. This dish originated in the northern regions of India and has gained popularity worldwide for its delicious taste and comforting qualities.

To make Dal Makhni, whole black lentils (urad dal) and red kidney beans (rajma) are simmered together with a medley of spices, including garam masala, garlic, ginger, and a touch of cream or butter. The slow cooking process allows the lentils to become incredibly soft and absorb all the flavors, resulting in a thick, creamy, and hearty stew-like consistency.

Dal Makhni is traditionally served with steamed rice or Indian bread like naan or roti. The creaminess of the dish, combined with the warmth of the spices, creates a balanced and flavorful profile that is loved by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Whether enjoyed at home or in an Indian restaurant, Dal Makhni is a satisfying and indulgent choice for dinner that leaves taste buds delighted and stomachs content.


Khichdi is a comforting and wholesome Indian dinner recipe that’s a favorite across the country. This simple yet delicious dish is made from a combination of rice and lentils, often seasoned with mild spices. It’s known for its easy preparation and its ability to provide a warm and nourishing meal.

To make Khichdi, rice and lentils are cooked together until they become soft and meld into a creamy, porridge-like consistency. Commonly used lentils include moong dal or toor dal. The dish is typically seasoned with cumin seeds, asafoetida, and turmeric, which impart a subtle yet inviting flavor.

Khichdi is often served with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) or yogurt, and sometimes with pickles or chutneys on the side. It’s a versatile dish that can be customized with various vegetables or spices according to individual preferences. Khichdi is not only a soothing and nutritious dinner option, but it’s also often recommended as a go-to comfort food, especially when feeling under the weather. It’s a dish that embodies the simplicity and heartiness of Indian cuisine.

Machcher Jhol and Rice

Machcher Jhol and Rice is a delightful and heartwarming Indian dinner recipe, hailing from the eastern state of West Bengal, India. This classic Bengali dish consists of fish (Machcher) cooked in a light and flavorful curry (Jhol), typically served with steamed rice. It’s a dish that’s not only a culinary delight but also a cultural symbol of Bengal’s rich gastronomic heritage.

To prepare Machcher Jhol, a variety of fish, such as Rohu or Katla, is used. The fish is gently simmered in a fragrant broth made with spices like mustard seeds, turmeric, and green chilies, which lend the dish its characteristic pungent and tangy flavor. It’s a relatively light and aromatic curry, often favored for its ability to enhance the natural taste of the fish.

Machcher Jhol is traditionally served with steamed rice, creating a harmonious combination. The simplicity of the curry’s flavors and the softness of the rice make for a comforting and satisfying meal. It’s a dish that beautifully showcases the Bengali love for fish and their skillful use of spices to create a culinary masterpiece that’s cherished by both locals and food enthusiasts around the world.


Exploring Indian dinner recipes is like taking a journey through the diverse and vibrant culture of India. The Popular 8 Indian Dinner Recipes offer a taste of the rich and flavorful dishes that have become staples in Indian households. From the aromatic biryani to the comforting chole bhature, these recipes bring an authentic Indian dining experience to your table. Try them out and savor the flavors of India.


Q1. What makes Indian cuisine so unique?

Indian cuisine is renowned for its use of various spices and cooking techniques. The blend of flavors in Indian dishes is what sets it apart and makes it truly unique.

Q2. Are these recipes suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! These recipes are suitable for cooks of all skill levels. The instructions are very easy to follow for beginners.

Q3. Can I adjust the level of spiciness in these dishes?

Yes, you can customize the level of spiciness to suit your taste. Simply adjust the amount of chili or spices used in the recipes.

Q4. Are these recipes time-consuming to prepare?

While some dishes may take a bit more time, most of these recipes are designed to be relatively quick and straightforward.

Q5. Can I substitute ingredients if I can’t find the exact ones locally?

Yes, you can substitute ingredients with similar alternatives if you can’t find the exact ones locally. Indian cuisine is adaptable and allows for ingredient substitutions.

Q6. Which of these recipes is the most popular in India?

It’s challenging to pinpoint a single most popular recipe, as Indian cuisine varies by region. However, dishes like biryani, butter chicken, and masala dosa have a widespread following.

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