30+ Authentic Indian Curry Recipes

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Learn all you need to know about Indian curries and get some easy and authentic recipes that’ll get you cooking in no time. You’ll love this collection that includes 30+ traditional recipes from all over India!

A collage of 4 pictures of Indian curries

What is curry?

Curry is generally understood to be a spice-infused dish, usually, in a sauce or paste base in which vegetables, lentils, and meat are cooked.

The most popular Indian curries have an onion-tomato base to which coconut milk, cream, or yogurt is added to give it a creamy texture. There are curries in the South that use more indigenous ingredients like tamarind instead of tomatoes (after all the tomato was introduced to India less than 800 years ago).

Usually, the curries with more sauce (wet curries) are accompanied by rice and the dry ones (with reduced sauce) are served with Indian flatbreads such as roti or naan.

It’s also interesting how quite a few dishes take their name from various sources like their place of origin, the primary ingredients, cooking style, or cultural influences.  

  1. Place of origin – The popular Udupi Sambhar, a frequent accompaniment to dosas and idlis, for example, refers to Udupi in South Canara (now called Dakshina Kannada) and similarly Chettinad Chicken refers to the Chettinad area in Tamilnadu.
  2. Ingredients usedButter chicken or chicken makhani got its name because of the copious amounts of cream and butter used in the curry. Other examples would be Achari (pickled) chicken or Bhindi Dopiaza (okra cooked with twice the amount of onions), etc.
  3. Cooking style – An example would be Dum Aloo where whole potatoes are cooked in a spicy sauce on low heat for several hours (also called dum cooking). Other cooking styles include bhuna (stir-fry), tandoori (made in clay oven) to name a few.
  4. Cultural influences – Curries with names that are suffixed by Mughlai, Afghani, Parsi, etc indicate the culture it was influenced from.

The most common curries on any Indian Restaurant’s menu include the ubiquitous makhani, tikka masalas, korma, etc. However, there are many other curries that are just as delicious. Check out these 30+ different Indian curry types and hopefully, some of them will inspire you to try something new!

Curries named after a place of origin

Chettinad Chicken Curry

Chettinad is a region in central Tamil Nadu that is famed for its rich culinary heritage and repertoire of excellent dishes. An example would be this Chicken Chettinad dish – a spicy and aromatic chicken curry that is infused with curry leaves and chana dal and goes well with either rice or rotis or even dosas.

Chicken Chettinad Curry

An overheat shot of chicken chettinad served in a copper coated bowl. Accompanied by rice.
If you like spicy chicken curries then this fiery, aromatic Chicken Chettinad curry is right up your alley. Delicious to the core, you’ll want to lick your plate off. 

Goan Fish Curry

Goa (a state on the west coast of India) is famous for its beaches and good food especially the fish curries. These tangy curries use local ingredients like kokum and at times even vinegar, a result of Portuguese influence in the area. To top it up, they almost always have coconut added to it like in this fish curry recipe below. 

Goan Fish Curry

Goan fish curry served in a white bowl
A delicious and easy to make fish curry from the state of Goa.

Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan

This style of curry takes its name from the city of Hyderabad in the South of India. The city is known for its distinct cuisine which is a flavorful amalgamation of many different influences. Don’t be surprised when you see people chewing on a chili despite the curries being spicy, to begin with!.

Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan

Hyderabadi baghare baingan in a white and blue bowl
Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan is this delicious dish made from spice stuffed brinjal/eggplants simmered in a thick gravy of ground masala.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

These are basically curries that come from the gorgeous Kashmir region of India. The cuisine is distinctive and relies on yogurt, fennel, and cinnamon to make delectable dishes such as this Kashmiri dum aloo. You’d have noticed there’s no spice in the sense of heat and these are generally softer on the palette but nevertheless very flavorful.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Kashmiri dum aloo served in a white bowl with a red rim
Kashmiri Dum Aloo – Potatoes cooked in yogurt, fennel and ginger powder gives this dish a distinct, unique flavor and aroma.

These are just a few examples – there are many more like this such as the Kolhapuri chicken curry or Kundapur chicken curry

Curries named after ingredients

Achari Chicken

Curries that use the same spices that are used for making Indian pickles (achaar in Hindi) are called Achari.

Unlike the American version of a pickle, largely a cucumber preserved in salt and vinegar, Indian pickles have more ingredients – they are usually made from limes, mangoes and have a longer shelf life, and are used as an accompaniment to fire up the taste buds. The most common spices used are fennel, nigella, and red chilies.

These curries have a tangy flavor and can be mild to very hot. Mostly, these curries are dry with the spices coated around the chicken, paneer, or vegetable. They go really well with roti or naan. 

Achari Chicken Recipe

Quick and easy recipe to make Achari Chicken or Pickled Chicken with the spices that you already have at home!

Chicken Dhansak

This is a curry that has its origin in Parsi cuisine. These curries have a sweet and sour taste and are mildly spiced. Dhansak generally consists of meat and vegetables cooked with lentils and sometimes spinach or fenugreek greens.

Murg Dhansak (Chicken Dhansak)

Murgh dhansak served with roti and cucumber slices
This delicious combination of chicken and lentils (murg dhansak) is a keeper. Savor it with rotis or naan.

Chicken Kheema

Minced meat is known as kheema or keema in India. Usually, ground meat is stir-fried with onion tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a number of spices before it is cooked to a gravy-like consistency.

Kheema Pav

An overheat shot of Kheema served with Pav
A popular street food in India, Kheema or Keema Pav is a robust, peppery minced chicken dish that tastes great with lightly toasted buns or pav laden with butter.

Chicken Makhani

Makhani refers to makkhan or butter in Hindi. A makhani curry may refer to the smooth silky thick texture of the gravy as well as the inclusion of butter and cream in the sauce. Makhani curries may have paneer or chicken as the main ingredient.

Authentic Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Chicken makhani served in a black bowl with rice and served with roti
This authentic and 30-minute Indian Butter chicken recipe is so easy and delicious that I guarantee that once you make it at home, it will soon be part of your weekly dinner menu.

Chicken Saag

Green leafy vegetables are called saag in India. When referring to curries, it generally means blanched green leafy vegetables that have been blended into a paste and cooked with herbs and spices. Potatoes, paneer, and meat are added to this green sauce to make a saag dish. 

Chicken Saag

An overhead shot of a hand holding a bowl of chicken saag which is served alongside rice.
Here’s a one-pot pressure cooker recipe for an Indian favorite, Chicken Saag, also known as Palak Chicken. This 30-minute creamy and flavorful chicken and spinach curry is tasty, healthy and a breeze to make!

Dal Gosht

Curries that contain goat meat (also called lamb or mutton in India) are named gosht. These curries can be made in any number of ways and sometimes combined with lentils as in the Daal Gosht recipe below. 

Dal Gosht

An overhead shot of Dal Gosht served with rice
Dal Gosht or Daal Gosht – is one of the very popular Mutton Recipes in Pakistan and India. It is basically mutton simmered with spices along with either toor dal and masoor dal, or sometimes both.

Methi Malai Paneer

Cream is called Malai in India. A malai curry almost always contains a paste of cashew or some other nut paste as the base along with yogurt and cream. The curries are mild and aromatic and tend to be a little on the sweet side. Spices like cardamoms and cloves give this dish its distinct taste and smell.

Methi Malai Paneer

Methi Malai Paneer served in an aquamarine bowl and placed on top of a stack of rotis
This Methi Malai Paneer recipe pairs paneer (cottage cheese) with fresh fenugreek leaves and cream to make this delectable dish that tastes great with any Indian bread!

Chicken Vindaloo

The word vindaloo is derived from the Portuguese word ‘carne de vinha d’alhos’ which means meat in a marinade of wine (vinho) and garlic (alho). A Goan specialty, Vindaloo curries are known for being spicy. While it is traditionally made with pork, other meats such as lamb or chicken have become popular replacements over the years. 

Authentic Goan Chicken Vindaloo Recipe

An overhead shot of Instant Pot Chicken Vindaloo
Learn how to make this fiery tangy Goan chicken vindaloo curry in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker in no time. It is gluten and dairy free too!

Curries named after cooking style

Bhuna Gosht

Bhuna means stir-fried. Whole spices are stir-fried in oil to release the flavor and then the rest of the ingredients are added. The most distinguishing feature of a bhuna dish is that the meat or vegetables are cooked in their own juices and no or very little water is added. This renders a sauce that is thick and viscous.

Bhuna Gosht

An overhead shot of Bhuna gosht served with onions and naan
To make Bhuna Gosht recipe, goat meat/lamb is simmered in a spice-infused onion-tomato sauce till it thickens tp a deep red/brown thick luscious gravy.

Prawn Balchao

Balchao refers to the method of cooking where the seafood is pickled in a spicy and tangy tomato-vinegar-based sauce. This style of cooking is popular in Goa. The curry is made with either fish or meat. It is almost like a pickle and can be stored for several days. 

Prawns Balchao

Prawns balchao served in a black bowl with a side of rice
Prawns Balchao is a fiery dish that finds its origins in Goa. Prawns are stir-fried first and then added to a pickled curry sauce to create a dish that makes your taste buds tingle and leaves you asking for more.

Baingan Bharta

A bharta is a mash. It is generally made with aubergines or potatoes, sometimes onions, tomatoes, capsicums are also added to enhance the flavor. The vegetables are normally chargrilled or boiled which softens the exterior and the skin is then peeled off, following which the vegetable is then mashed before being cooked.

Baingan Bharta Recipe

Bhaingan bharta served in a brown and white bowl served with naan
Making Baingan Bharta (roasted eggplants) is easier than you think. All you need is patience and a good recipe :-). Make this delectable dish today!

Dum Aloo

When the curry is cooked in a sealed pan over low heat, it is generally said to be Dum cooked. Once all the ingredients are added to the pot, it is generally sealed so the meat or vegetables cook in their own juices under pressure.

Instant Pot Punjabi Dum Aloo Recipe

An overhead shot of Instant Pot Dum Aloo recipe served in a white bowl and garnished with fenugreek leaves, cilantro and yogurt
This easy and delicious Punjabi style Dum Aloo gravy is perfect for families who want to savor this lovely dish without spending hours in the kitchen. Leverage your pressure cooker and make it in about 30-minutes. 

Chicken Karahi or Kadhai

The Indian version of the wok is called a kadhai. This curry is essentially cooked in the kadhai and renders a sauce that is thick and coats the main ingredients that could be any kind of meat, fish, or vegetable. The main ingredients are stir-fried in the Kadhai before they are covered and cooked mostly in their own juices or with very little water. You may also see this type of curry referred to as balti. 

Chicken Karahi

An overhead shot of chicken karahi garnished with ginger julienne
Chicken Karahi or Chicken Kadai is a spicy, homestyle chicken curry with fragrant spices and fresh ginger.

Malai Kofta

The word Kofta has Persian origins and means ‘to grind’ referring to the ground meat used in making them. Though koftas are traditionally made from meat in the middle east, you’ll find vegetarian versions in India. Malai koftas are especially popular and is often found in restaurant menus – find the recipe below.

Malai Koftas

Malai Kofta served in a black bowl
Malai Koftas are these delicious veggie dumplings that are soft on the inside and crisp outside. They are soaked in a creamy tomato-based sauce and served with naan.

Vegetable Korma

A korma sauce traditionally was made from yogurt, almonds, and saffron along with a few spices. Over the years, turmeric has replaced the expensive saffron, and almonds are often substituted with cashews.

The word korma is derived from the Urdu word qorma which means to braise. Braising involves cooking at high heat followed by slow cooking to finish off the dish.  This technique works particularly well for chicken since it locks in flavors and makes the meat succulent. If you prefer a vegetarian version, follow the recipe below. 

Vegetable Korma

Vegetable Korma served with naan in a black bowl
Easy Vegetable Korma made in the Instant Pot – this creamy curry has just the right amount of spice and pairs beautifully with naan or rice.

Dal Tarka/Tadka/Baghaar

Tadka means tempering. Most Indian gravies go through this process –  either in the beginning or at the end. Some curries even call for tempering twice. This Dal tadka recipe is a classic example of when the tempering is done before adding the rest of the ingredients. 

Tadka dal – one pot lentil soup

One pot recipe for Tadka dal (or lentil soup)
One pot recipes are the best! That’s why you’ll love this Tadka dal (tempered dal) recipe – make it in an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker – and you’ll have your meal ready in no time.

Curries named after cultural influence

Mughlai Kesar Murgh

This cuisine came to India with the Mughals. The curries are rich and cooked with aromatic spices, essences, dried fruits, and nuts. Most modern Mughlai dishes are cooked with nut pastes which form the base for a thick and creamy curry that is mildly hot.

Mughlai Kesar Murgh (Mughlai Chicken with saffron)

Mughlai Kesar Murgh served in a black metal bowl with raita and pickle
Mughlai Kesar Murgh is a creamy, chicken-based dish loaded with spices such as cloves, black cardamom, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Savor this dish with naan.

There are a few more curries that may not fit in the categories listed above but certainly, deserve to be called out.

Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish originated in England ( surprise, yes!) when boneless grilled pieces of chicken tikka were added to the mildly hot and aromatic gravy. Though it originally used chicken as the main ingredient, you can now find, Paneer Tikka Masala, Mutton Tikka Masala, and even Mushroom Tikka masala on many menus.

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala served in a black bowl with garlic naan dipped in it
Making chicken tikka masala at home is easier than you think! Learn how to make this iconic dish in an Instant Pot quickly and effortlessly. You'll never do takeout again!

Murgir Jhol

This spicy chicken stew comes from the state of Bengal and is distinguished by the presence of mustard in it. It is a thin gravy that may contain fish, meat, or vegetables.

Murgir Jhol

A saucepan with murghir jhol
Fall in love with this Bengali chicken curry or Murgir Jhol of succulent chicken and potatoes cooked till tender in a tantalizing broth.

Paneer Jalfrezi

Jalfrezi is an anglicized version of the word jhal porhezi where jhal means spicy food and porhezi (derived from the Persian word parhezi) means suitable for a diet. This curry is a throw-back to the times when Brits ruled India and is a fusion of Anglo-Indian influences. It contains green chilies that are stir-fried with tomatoes and onions to create a thick sauce in which meat or vegetables are cooked. Check out this Paneer Jalfrezi recipe below – it is absolutely delicious!

Paneer Jalfrezi

paneer jalfrezi garnished with cilantro in a silver bowl
Paneer Jalfrezi combines Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer and vegetables in a spicy onion tomato sauce. Make this restaurant-style version at home using a few basic pantry ingredients.

Fish Moilee

Moilee or Molee simply means stew. Fish Molee (Fish Molly or Meen Moilee) is a Kerala style Fish Curry where fish is cooked in a coconut milk-based gravy. Enjoy this curry with a bowl of steamed rice or appam.

Fish Molee (Meen Moilee)

Fish Molee served in a grey bowl
Fish Molee (Fish Molly or Meen Moilee) is a Kerala style Fish Curry where fish is cooked in a coconut milk-based gravy. Enjoy this curry with a bowl of steamed rice or appam.

Gujarati Kadhi

Kadhi is a thick yogurt-based curry that is mildly flavored. Chickpea flour or lentil paste is used to thicken the curry which may contain lentil balls or vegetables. There are many varieties of Kadhi and each region of India has its own version. Some may be sour, others may be sweet and sour. Some are very mild with very little spices; others may be more robust.

Gujarati Kadhi

Gujarati Kadhi served with rice, potato sabzi and rotis
Kadhi is a simple yogurt-based curry that will bowl you over with its sweet and sour taste. Pair with rice and a vegetable dish for a complete meal.

Mirchi ka Salan

In certain cultures and regions, curry is known as salan. So, any gravy-based dish can also be called salan. Mirchi ka salan or Green Chili salan is a famous curry from Hyderabad.

Mirchi ka salan

An overhead shot of Mirchi ka salan in a metal kadhai
Mirchi Ka Salan or curried chili peppers is a spicy and tangy dish originally from Hyderabad. Large green chilies are cooked in tamarind, peanuts, and a myriad of other spices to create this delicious curry.

Paneer Pasanda

This curry is derived from the word ‘pasanday’ meaning loved by all. It is mildly flavored with a cashew base. Though normally cooked with meat, it may also be made with Indian cottage cheese called paneer.

Paneer Pasanda Recipe

An overhead shot of Paneer Pasanda
Paneer pasanda or stuffed paneer curry is a delectable dish of paneer sandwich cooked in onion-tomato cashew nut gravy.

Rajma Masala

Masala is a mixture of various spices, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, etc. Any curry that contains a mix of spices and herbs can be termed a Masala curry. The taste, ingredients, and heat quotient of a masala curry depends entirely on the cook. It can range from mild to extremely hot depending on the cook.

Punjabi Rajma Masala Curry

An overhead shot of rajma chawal served on a gray plate.
This quick & easy one-pot Punjabi rajma masala curry is super simple to make and loaded with rich and delicious flavors.

Shahi Paneer

Shahi cuisine normally contains highly aromatic spices and herbs along with nuts which creates a very thick and rich curry. It may contain meat, vegetables, or paneer as the main ingredient.

Shahi Paneer

Shahi paneer in a copper bowl
Creamy Shahi Paneer in this rich and exotic gravy made with onions, nuts, and cream! Pair it with naan to make it a meal.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of Indian curries – there are probably quite a few regional ones that I may have missed. If you know of one that should be part of the list, please leave me a comment and I’ll add them in.

What to serve with curries?

Soft and fluffy rotis, pooris, plain or jeera rice, naan, tandoori roti – all pair really well with curries. Typically, curries with a lot of sauce are consumed with rice and for rotis, most people prefer dry curries. There is no hard and fast rule – you be you! Enjoy your curries with any kind of bread or rice dish you like 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this list of authentic and easy Indian curries. Please feel free to share it with your friends who share our love for Indian food. 



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An overhead shot of Gujarathi kadhi along with rice, rotis and a side of lemon

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