Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy
This classic Punjabi dish, called masaledar chholay, is often served as part of a big Sunday lunch, along with raita, naan and salad.
Poached Salmon with Cucumber Raita
Gently simmering salmon in a flavorful white-wine broth is a classic cooking method that gives the fish a delicious flavor and a delicate texture. Serve this hot or at room temperature. Raita, the cooling condiment served in India, makes a superb sauce.
Curried Vegetable Roti
This multiculti recipe is a cross between doubles (a Trinidadian sandwich of fried bread and curried chickpeas) and a kathi roll (essentially an Indian wrap). Grace Parisi folds Indian roti bread around a filling of zucchini, okra, chickpeas, tomato and spinach in a creamy, tangy, curried yogurt sauce.
Indian Barbecue Chicken
For this sweet and tangy chicken, Marcie Turney blends tamarind and other Indian flavors into her molasses barbecue sauce.
Alex Hozven worked with an herbalist to create an ayurvedic spice blend, designed to improve digestion and balance within the body.
Indian-Style Mustard Greens
Cooks in northern India make this dish, called sarson ka saag, when winter greens are in season. Sanjeev Kapoor's daughters like spreading the greens on makki ki roti (cornmeal bread), adding a cheese topping and grilling the bread to make a kind of pizza.
Sautéed Zucchini with Ginger and Dill
This is a light and lovely way to prepare zucchini, which gets quickly sautéed with garlic, shallots and ginger, then tossed with fresh dill. Padma Lakshmi likes to stir dried pomegranate seeds (called anardana in India) into this dish for a bit of crunchy tang.
Goan Shrimp Curry
Sanjeev Kapoor and his wife, Alyona, love beach vacations in Goa. Kapoor prepares this shrimp curry in typical Goan style, so it's tangy, spicy and vibrant.
Spiced Potatoes (Aloo Bhaji)
Art dealer Surajit Bomti Iyengar serves these tender potato sticks for brunch at his Calcutta apartment. The recipe is from his designer friend Devika Datt Duncan. The potatoes are cooked with panch phoron, or Bengali five-spice powder—a mix that includes fennel, cumin and mustard seeds—then tossed with turmeric.
Curried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast
"Chicken might be my overall favorite meat for feeding a crowd," Kristin Kimball says. She sometimes roasts it with Indian spices she picks up on her biannual trips to Manhattan—like the curry in this one-pan recipe of yogurt-marinated chicken with butternut squash and brussels sprouts.
Curried Cauliflower and Green Bean Salad with Lemon Yogurt
Mark Peel, chef at Los Angeles's esteemed Campanile, opened the Point, a casual new breakfast-and-lunch spot, in Culver City. Here he flavors roasted cauliflower and green beans with a mild curry powder.
Grilled Tandoori-Style Chicken Drumsticks
Skinless chicken legs have only slightly more fat than breasts and are much tastier, especially when marinated in spicy yogurt, as they are here. Chaat masala—a spice blend with an intriguing tang from green mango powder—makes this northern-Indian dish extra-delicious. Try it sprinkled over chickpeas or popcorn.
Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake and Orson in San Francisco swears by this yogurt smoothie (known as a lassi in India) if she's overindulged: the pinch of turmeric here is great for the liver.
Many of Madhur Jaffrey's books have an Indian slant, but she's most famous for her 1999 tome Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. While she often follows the Indian tradition of serving several small dishes together, the lentil-vegetable curry here is a Western-style main course. Eaten over rice with yogurt, it's a very satisfying meal.
Spinach Simmered in Yogurt
At Bedla House, a homestay in Udaipur, husband-and-wife owners Vijay and Soban Singh Bedla invite guests into their kitchen to watch them cook. Peggy Markel loved the way Soban grabbed spices without stopping to measure quantities, adding just the right amount of coriander and turmeric to this wonderfully rich spinach dish simmered in yogurt.
Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
Peggy Markel saw okra (which in India is known as ladyfingers) at markets all over Rajasthan. To add complexity to a simple stewed okra-and-tomato dish, Soban Singh Bedla showed Markel how to cook whole cumin seeds, turmeric and chile powder in oil before adding the vegetables, which brings out the spices' depth of flavor.
Indian-Spiced Chickpea Salad with Yogurt and Herbs
Chef Jerry Traunfeld, inspired by a trip through India, flavored this creamy chickpea salad with aromatic herbs and Indian spices, among them mustard, cumin and fennel seeds.
Curry-Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas
This Indian twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dish of roasted butternut squash is supereasy: After tossing the squash and chickpeas with curry and cayenne, Melissa Rubel Jacobson roasts them, then drizzles the dish with a cooling cilantro-spiked yogurt sauce.
Indian-Spiced String Beans
In the Indian state of Kerala, this curry-scented dish is a type of mezhukkupuratti, which means "coated in oil." It can be prepared with any type of vegetable; string beans are a seasonal favorite at Philipkutty's Farm. The hot green chiles and a full teaspoon of ground black pepper give this side dish an extra burst of heat; you can reduce the amount of both for a less spicy dish.
Buttery Pigeon Pea Dal (Mitti Handi Dal)
Dal—a thick stew or puree of beans or legumes—is a staple in every corner of India. At the Nadesar Palace in Varanasi, chef Sanjeev Chopra has an elaborate method for cooking his nicely spiced dal very slowly in an unglazed clay pot, over a wood fire, but it's also great cooked simply in a saucepan on the stove with butter and cilantro stirred in at the end.
Spicy Chickpea Salad
Rajat Parr was born in Kolkata in 1972 and didn't leave until he was 22, which explains why Indian flavors are such a big part of his cooking. This salad, for instance, is a twist on the classic Indian street food called chana chaat.
Spiced Millet Stew with Onions
Rice, a staple in much of India, doesn't grow in the desert climate of Rajasthan, so people eat millet instead, cooking the grains in buttermilk or yogurt rather than water. At Chhatra Sagar, a luxury camp near the city of Amjer where guests stay in beautiful hand-stitched tents, Peggy Markel discovered this millet stew at a morning cooking class. Vibrantly flavored with spices and chiles, the dish has the texture of pleasantly grainy mashed potatoes and is a great accompaniment to Rajasthan's tandoori meats.
Keralites in the Backwaters region sauté large tiger prawns—raised in the brackish waters of the area's rice paddies—with onions and a complex masala paste of garlic, ginger and eight different spices. Make the masala paste in large quantities and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week; it's great as a rub or in a marinade for fish and chicken.