Seven of the Most Popular Indian Curries

There are numerous variations on curry, and you can easily modify a recipe to suit your tastes. These are a few of our favorites.

February 20, 2019
Seven of the Most Popular Indian Curries

It’s easy to see why Indian curries have become so popular around the world. These dishes are comforting, flavorful, and easy to make at home. Because India is such a diverse country, each region has its own twist on this classic dish. Try these curry recipes yourself and discover the unique flavors that are used in different parts of India.


What are Curries?

The word curry can refer to a few different things, like curry powder or curry leaves. However, most people use the word curry to describe an Indian meat or vegetable dish served in a thick, flavorful sauce. This sauce is flavored with a mix of herbs, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. There are numerous variations on curry, and you can easily modify a recipe to suit your tastes. These are a few of our favorites.


Butter Chicken

Butter chicken originated in India’s capital territory of Delhi in the mid-20th century. Since then, this easy chicken curry has become one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world. This curry chicken gets its indulgent flavor from its yogurt-marinated chicken pieces. The chicken can be marinated for up to a full day, allowing the meat to develop a deep, creamy flavor. After marinating, the chicken is cooked in a tomato curry sauce. The mild spicy kick of the sauce and the creamy texture of the yogurt make for a mouthwatering combination. Add a simple cilantro garnish, and serve to family or friends with rice or naan. Try this prepared butter masala simmer sauce, tastes just like homemade! WATCH VIDEO BELOW.


Chicken Tikka Masala

If you’re looking for easy chicken recipes, tikka masala is a great one to try. Like butter chicken, chicken tikka masala is a staple in Indian restaurants across the globe. Chicken tikka masala also involves marinating chicken in yogurt for a creamy flavor. This chicken is then grilled or cooked in a cast iron skillet before it’s added to the curry sauce. The tikka masala curry sauce is made with coconut milk, tomatoes, and curry spices for a silky, mildly spicy finish that perfectly compliments the chicken. However, tikka masala can also be made vegetarian. Our recipe includes variations using paneer, tofu, and cauliflower. All are equally delicious in the tikka masala sauce! Try this prepared tikka masala simmer sauce, perfect when in a time crunch!


Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is an easy and unique recipe that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. This dish is popular in the northern regions of India. It’s a great example of the flavorful vegetarian meals that you’ll find across the country. Palak (the Hindi word for spinach) is the main ingredient in this curry. The spinach blanched and pureed. It’s then cooked with onions and a variety of spices to develop a deep, earthy flavor. Paneer, a popular Indian cheese, is cubed and added to the curry sauce, which is usually served with rice. Palak paneer proves that healthy ingredients don’t have to be boring.


Chana Masala

Chana masala, also known as chana chole, is another popular vegetarian dish from Northern India. Chana masala got its start in the Punjab region, but it’s now enjoyed worldwide. This spicy curry is made with chickpeas, which give the dish protein, iron, and a hearty texture without adding meat. Onions, garlic, and tomatoes give this curry its delicious base flavor, while Serrano chilies give it heat. The best part? This dish comes together in about 20 minutes. Serve it with naan or rice and you’ll have a quick, healthy, and inexpensive dinner ready in the amount of time it would take to order delivery. 



Vindaloo is a spicy, savory curry that originated in the states of Goa and Konkan on the western Indian coast. Vindaloo is usually made with pork, but other meats (like chicken) are common substitutions. This curry’s flavor comes from marinating the meat in a mixture of vinegar and spices. In restaurants, vindaloo is among the spiciest curries you’ll find. In India, this heat is usually balanced out with a bit of sugar. Making vindaloo at home allows you to customize the spice levels.


Goan Fish Curry

Goa is located on the coast of India, so it’s no surprise that this region incorporates a lot of seafood into their cuisine. Goan fish curry is a great example of the classic flavors you’ll find in Goa. This curry is known for it’s mild, slightly tangy flavor and bright yellow color, thanks to ingredients like coconut milk and turmeric. Make this curry with a firm white fish such as cod or haddock and serve over rice. Goan fish curry’s mild flavor, quick prep time, and unique taste make it perfect for entertaining. Try this curry flavor with this delicious goan coconut simmer sauce!


Rogan Josh

Rogan josh is a hearty curry that is perfect for the winter months. This curry originated in the Northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s traditionally made with lamb meat, though goat is often substituted as lamb meat can be hard to find in this region. Rogan josh is known for its deep red color, which comes from deseeded Kashmiri chilis. These chilies provide a mild, smokey flavor that is unique to this region of India. This warming dish is just as easy to make and provides a nice alternative to the chicken curries you might be used to eating.


Best Sides for Indian Curries

There are many delicious sides to enjoy with your Indian curry. Most curries are served with rice, which is inexpensive and easy to prepare. White or basmati rice is common in India, but you can be creative and prepare any type of rice you like. Flatbreads like naan or roti are also common side dishes. You can purchase flatbreads at an Indian grocery store or make them yourself. They are surprisingly easy to make!

Serving your curry with sauces or condiments is another great way to customize the flavor. Chutney is common in India and can change the flavor profile of your curry. Put some on the table while you serve your curry, and your guests can customize their meal. Also consider raita, a cold sauce made of yogurt. It’s the perfect balance for spicy foods.

Check out Nomads Marketplace for more great resources on Indian cooking, as well as all the ingredients you need to create these easy, delicious curry recipes at home.


WATCH NOW: How to Make the Creamiest Butter Chicken

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