Goan Shrimp Curry
Sanjeev Kapoor prepares this shrimp curry in typical Goan style, so it's tangy, spicy and vibrant.
Chicken Tikka Masala
This classic masala is often the first dish many try when exploring Indian food. We love Grace Parisi's version because it's easy to prepare and its slightly spicy tomato cream sauce is addictive. The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so plan accordingly.
Roast Chicken Dosas
A dosa is an Indian-style crepe that's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Fried Shrimp-Stuffed Crêpes (Pantras)
For dinner parties at his stunning apartment, Surajit Bomti Iyengar serves pantras (fried stuffed crêpes) as an appetizer. They're well worth the effort of making crêpes (which are surprisingly easy to prepare once you get the hang of it). Coating the crêpes with egg and bread crumbs makes them fantastically crispy when fried.
Tandoori Leg of Lamb
The tandoor oven is India's version of a grill. Here, Steven Raichlen follows the traditional method of tandoori marinating—a wash of lemon juice followed by a long bath in a yogurt-based marinade—using a tender, succulent leg of lamb. After grilling the lamb, Raichlen says, make sure it rests for at least 15 minutes before carving.
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.
Spiced Potatoes (Aloo Bhaji)
Art dealer Surajit Bomti Iyengar serves these tender potato sticks for brunch at his Calcutta apartment. 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.
Fresh Vegetable Curry
Vikram Sunderam blanches the carrots, squash and green beans individually before cooking them in the curry sauce. Instead at home, cook the vegetables directly in the sweet and spicy curry sauce.
Spicy Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas are rich in both types of dietary fiber, which are important for maintaining heart health and for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Chef Pam Anderson uses them as the base for this Indian-flavored creamy (though cream-free) soup, which she prepares by first pureeing it, then simmering it, to save time. "Pureed beans give you richness without having to enrich the soup," she says.
Green Pea Samosas (Hare Mutter Ki Samosa)
Sanjeev Chopra has advice for filling his delightful vegetarian samosas: "Mash the peas, but not too finely; you want little pieces, for texture." He makes his own buttery dough, but frozen empanada wrappers, widely available in supermarkets, are an excellent substitute.
Freshly ground whole cardamom seeds add extra flavor to this frothy sweet-and-tart yogurt drink, but preground cardamom powder is okay too.
Grilled Sour Cream-Marinated Shrimp
At an Indian restaurant, this dish might be cooked in a tandoor oven, but Suvir Saran loves to char the shrimp on the grill. Instead of marinating shrimp in homemade yogurt that's been drained for hours, as is traditional, Saran opts for sour cream—it's not only faster, but he thinks it's tastier.
Flatbreads with Cucumber Raita
Marcie Turney serves raita (a classic yogurt sauce). It's great as a snack on its own or with grilled meat.
Indian Coconut Fish Curry
Inspired by the cooking of the Malabar coast, this fish curry is tremendously flavorful, thanks to tamarind, coconut, garlic and ginger. Kingfish (a type of mackerel) is traditional, but this recipe calls for salmon, whose richness is delectable with the complex spices.
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. 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.
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.
Suvir Saran rolls the savory flatbread dough into a cone shape before griddling, flattening it to create extra-flaky layers.
Crispy Turkey Kathi Rolls with Mint-and-Date Dipping Sauce
Kathi rolls, a popular street food in India, are made by rolling vegetables or meat in roti, an Indian flat bread. In her fabulous take on the recipe, Padma Lakshmi wraps flour tortillas around a succulent filling of ground turkey, fresh ginger, curry and basil, then pan-fries the rolls until crispy for decadent hors d'oeuvres that can be eaten as finger food.
Lamb Rogan Josh
Vikram Sunderam relies on plenty of spices, like cardamom, cloves and cumin, to flavor this succulent lamb stew (the name translates roughly into "red lamb").
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.
Whole black lentils, split Bengal gram (split dried chickpeas) and red kidney beans all need to soak overnight for this soothing, creamy bean dish. At home, use quick-cooking split yellow peas and canned beans make this recipe fast but still totally satisfying.
Coconut Pudding with Pineapple and Candied Cashews
Cooking the pineapple mixture in this dessert is key because raw pineapple contains an enzyme that prevents a pudding from setting.
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.
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.
Pickling-Pot Lamb Curry (Martabaan Ka Meat)
During mango and lemon seasons, most Indian housewives put up pickles in their mataman, an earthenware pickling pot. Hemant Oberoi ingeniously uses his pot, custom-made to absorb high heat, to cook this outstanding curry and infuse the lamb with pickle flavor. Spicy Italian pickled peppers are a great alternative to mango pickles.
Curried Cauliflower and Green Bean Salad with Lemon Yogurt
Mark Peel flavors roasted cauliflower and green beans with a mild curry powder.
Sautéed Liver with Indian Spices
Jennifer McLagan's cookbook, Odd Bits, shares offal recipes for home cooks that taste better than they sound—as in her spicy Indian-style liver.
Crispy Okra Salad
The usual Indian way of preparing okra is to cut it into rounds. But when Suvir Saran was seven, he insisted that the family cook slice the okra into wispy strips. The supercrunchy result was a hit and became a family legend.
Red Cabbage Stir-Fry with Coconut
Asha Gomez tops a cabbage stir-fry with fresh coconut, a Keralan staple. Home cooks can substitute shredded dried coconut (not sweetened) for the fresh kind; it’s easier to find in stores.