LOOKING for: Simple & easy Indian 'style' recipes

shamboMarch 18, 2007

I really enjoy Indian food, but rarely get a chance to get it at local restaurants. My friends don't enjoy many ethnic foods and my husband is on a strict low sodium diet. I thought maybe I could try making some simple dishes at home to satifsy my craving. An advantage, of course, is that I could control the salt level.

I'm looking for simple to prepare dishes that don't require grinding spices and with ingredients readily available at most grocery stores. Because of the salt restriction, I can't use most prepared bottled sauces.

Thanks for your help.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love Indian food. Here are a few recipes that I've been making for over 25 years. Easy recipes.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Chicken pieces (Legs and thighs)Remove Skin
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger root
4 black or 8 green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups chicken broth
fresh cilantro

Saute the onions in vegetable oil (about 1/4 cup). Cook until they turn
light brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add garlic, ginger
and the spices. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes over low
heat. Do not burn.

Add chicken and cook turning to coat well with the spices. Add the
tomatoes and some chicken broth. Cover and cook until chicken is
tender. Serve with Basmati rice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Cauliflower And Potatoes In A Spicy Curry Sauce
1 small head of cauliflower
3 russett potatoes
1/2 cup oil
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/4 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 to 2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 to 3 cups of chicken broth
Fresh chopped coriander (Same as cilantro)
. Break cauliflower into about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Peel the potatoes and
cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces

Heat the oil over medium heat and when hot add the onions and saute
until golden, add garlic and cumin seeds. Cook for a minute or two.
Do not burn. Add the rest of the spices. Stir and add the potatoes and
the cauliflower. Toss with the spices and cook for a few minutes and
then add the grated ginger, tomatoes and chicken broth. Cover and
simmer until the vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and add chopped
coriander (cilantro leaves)

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Mung Bean and Cauliflower Stew
Adapted from: Classic Indian Cooking by: Julia Sahni

I have substituted different lentils for the mung beans.

1 cup yellow split mung beans
(moong dal)
2/3 cups finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/3 small cauliflower cut into 1 1/2 inch flowerets, about 2 1/2 to 3 cups
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Chicken broth


12 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh coriander (Same as cilantro) leaves chopped.
. Put the mung beans in a deep pot along with chopped onions, ginger, and
3 cups chicken broth. Add turmeric, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat
and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the mung beans
are cooked but are still very firm.

Add potatoes, cauliflower, salt, and 2 more cups of broth and cook for
an addition 15 minutes or until the vegetable are tender and the beans
are thoroughly cooked.

To make the Tadka

Heat the Ghee or oil over high heat in a frying pan. When it is very
hot, add cumin seeds, and fry until they turn brown (about 15 seconds).
Add red pepper, stir for a moment and immediately pour the contents of
the frying pan into the stew. Add lemon juice and chopped coriander
leaves. Stir well to mix. Check for salt and serve.

I usually serve this with Basmati rice and chapati (Indian Bread).

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup warm water

extra flour for dusting rolling surface

Note: Recipe can be adjusted. Just keep the ratio of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour at 2 to 1.

ie. 1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup all purpose.

Place flour in food processor and add salt. Mix well.

Slowly add warm water and process until flour forms a soft dough.
Knead in the machine for 50 to 60 seconds. Wrap in plastic and let the
dough rest for at least 30 minutes.

Knead dough again and divide into equal size balls , approximately 20
to 24 depending on size.

Dust with flour and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.

Roll each ball into a thin 7 to 8 inch circle.

Heat heavy frying pan and place chapati on pan and bake until small
brown spots appear. Flip over being careful not to puncture. Cook of
flip side and then remove and place directly on to the gas flame. Bread
will puff up. If you don't have a gas burner then skip this process.

Butter Chapatis, roll and wrap in a clean teatowel and place in low
oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining Breads.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This one is easily halved & it's made to be reheated:

INDIAN CHICKEN (serves 10)
2 TBL butter
2 TBL vegetable oil
8 small chicken breasts, skinned, boned & quartered
1 cup chopped onions
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 TBL ground ginger
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup drained canned tomatoes
1 cup clear chicken stock or yogurt
1/2 cup ground cashews
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 TBL cornstarch
1 cup cream

In a 3 1/2 qt Dutch oven or deep skillet heat the butter & oil. Brown the chicken, about 8 pieces at a time & drain on paper towels.
To the pan add the onions & garlic & cook 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the salt, ginger, chili powder, tomatoes & stock. Mix lightly, cover & cook 15 minutes.
Ad the nuts & coconut, cover & cook over low heat until the chicken is tender, about 10 minutes longer.
To the cornstarch slowly add the cream, then stir into the cooking liquid. Stir constantly until the sauce returns to a boil. Simmer over low heat another 5 minutes. If desired, cool & refrigerate. Near serving time, bring up to room temperature. Reheat over very low heat & serve with basmati rice.~~

SHRIMP CURRY (serves 6)
2 TBL butter
4 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups water
3 large tomatoes, peeled & chopped
2 large apples, peeled & chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 TBL shredded coconut
1 TBL chopped ginger
1 TBL sugar
1 1/2 TBL curry powder or more
1 1/2 TBL flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 1/2 lbs raw shrimp, shelled & deveined

In a large skillet heat the butter, add the onions & garlic & cook until light brown. Add the water & bring to a boil.
Add the tomatoes, apples, celery, coconut 7 ginger.
Blend the sugar, curry powder, flour, salt & pepper. Add enough cold water to make a paste & add gradually, stirring to the boiling mixture. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.
Add the shrimp & cook 5 minutes longer. Serve over rice.~~ Craig Claiborne

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 5:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are a couple of easy curries that I make without grinding spices:

1. Peel and chop 1 onion, 1 apple, and fry in 2 TBS oil
Add 1 TBS curry powder, 1 level TBS flour and fry gently for 1 minute.

2. Blend in 3/4 pint stock (1 1/2 cups or 12 fl oz), bring to boil, add 1 TBS chutney, 60 grams (1/3 cup) sultana raisins, simmer 30 minutes.

3. Dice 225 grams (8 oz) cooked chicken or beef, add to sauce, season with salt.
Simmer very gently for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve with long grain rice.

Source: Sharwoods Curry Powders


Here's a copycat recipe I made after having this dish in an Italian restaurant. I think mine is just as good if not better than the original:

2 - 3 portions
1 lb turkey breast, cooked and cut into chunks
butter - 1 heaping TBS
flour - 1 heaping TBS
milk - about 1 1/2 cups
heavy cream - about 1 1/2 cups
1 chicken stock cube or spoonful of chicken bouillon mix
1 heaping TBS curry powder (I used Sharwoods's mild)
fettuccini noodles for 2 - 3 servings
fresh ground pepper

1) Put water on to boil for noodles.
2) If turkey is not already cooked, it can be done in microoven with 3 TBS water until just done
3) Melt butter in saucepan, take off stove and mix in flour to make a roux, gradually adding warmed milk a few drops at a time and stirring to keep smooth.
4) Put back on low heat and finish adding milk, then cream
a little at a time and stirring. Crumble in chicken stock cube and curry powder. Stir to blend.
5) Add turkey chunks and heat gently, keeping warm while cooking noodles in pot of water.
6) Drain noodles, add butter and fresh ground black pepper.
Pour sauce over noodles and mix. Serve on hot plates and top with grated parmesan.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 6:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love Indian food too, and since I moved from Houston, I haven't been able to find a good restaurant here that serves it. So I've been buying Indian cookbooks and learning to cook it.

Here are a couple of easy recipes.

BIRYANI PULLAU (Indian Vegetable Rice)

2 cups uncooked Basmati Rice
4 cups water
4 tablespoons oil
teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1-pound vegetables (mixed or any vegetable or vegetables)
1 tablespoon Masala (curry powder of your choice)

Rice: Wash rice 2 times with water. Then add double the amount of water (4 cups) and salt and put into a microwave container for 20 minutes. Then cook in microwave without lid for 8 minutes; stir then put lid on and cook another 5 minutes.

Vegetables: Heat oil in skillet and then put in cumin seeds for a few minutes until they turn brown. Then put vegetable/vegetables into the skillet and cook until crisp tender; add Masala then mix vegetable mixture with the rice.


1/2 gallon milk
juice of two lemons
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala

1. Heat the milk in a saucepan, stirring, until it boils. Add the lemon juice and stir over medium heat until the mixture curdles. This takes about 2 minutes.
2. Add the spices and cook for a minute more.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the mixture through a cheese cloth. Tie up the cloth and press as much liquid as possible out of the cheese mass.
4. Place the cheese cloth filled with cheese between two plates and cover with a heavy object, such as a pot of water. Let sit for two hours, occasionally draining off the run-off liquid.
5. Unwrap the cheesecloth. The paneer is ready to be cut.


2 quarts milk
1/2 cup white vinegar

Bring milk to boil over high heat and then add the vinegar and stir until the milk curdles. Strain through a piece of cheesecloth then fold up to form a bag. Tie the bag and flatten under a heavy weight. Set the cheese bag in a cool place for 3 to 4 hours and then open the cloth and cut.
You can deep fry it until it is golden brown and then set aside for later use.

I have made it, and not browned it, but wrapped it very good and put it into a baggie and frozen it for up to 3 months without any problems. I just let it thaw out and used it as I normally would.

Garbanzo Stew

This entrée is a great introduction to Indian food, spiced with garam masala, curry & turmeric. Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cumin, nutmeg & black pepper.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
4 cups chopped seeded tomato (about 1.5 lbs.) or use canned, undrained
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (15.5 oz) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 5 minute or until tender. Stir in tomato and next 5 ingredients. Cook 8 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in chickpeas and garam masala; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Salt to taste. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve over Peanut Rice (recipe below). Yield: 4 servings (serving size is 1 cup rice + 1 cup stew).

Peanut Rice

2 ¼ cups water
1 cup uncooked white basmati or Texmati rice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup dry-roasted peanuts
½ cup frozen petite green peas, thawed

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice, salt & turmeric; cover, reduce heat & simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in peanuts & peas.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 7:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for your recipes. They're just what I was hoping for, and I plan to make all of them eventually.

Tonight I made Ann's chicken curry because I had almost all the ingredients on hand (I subbed 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom for the pods). I used left over roasted turkey. I really enjoyed it, but the best news is that my husband also liked it. In fact he told me he'd be happy if I made more Indian dishes. Because of all the spices, the lack of salt was not noticeable.

Sharon, thanks for posting your recipes. I knew I had seen them on the Cooking Forum. I searched for them but only found one. Tomorrow I'll buy some chutney & cream.

Ann, thanks for posting the cauliflower & potato recipe. I also remember seeing it before, but my search proved fruitless. I love lentils and want to try the cauliflower/mung bean dish too.

Ginger, I'm eager to make your recipes. Should I use unsweetened coconut? Should it be the large flake kind?

Lt, palak paneer is one of my favorite dishes. Making the paneer sound easy enough, so I may try it. And thanks for the garbanzo recipe; I love them.

Again, thanks for all your help.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:10PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
RECIPE: Poached salmon
Planning this years New Years Eve dinner and would...
RECIPE: anise liquid ..?
In making biscochitos, I find the anise seed is not...
RECIPE: simple cabbage preparation
I'm looking for one or more simple ways to prepare...
RECIPE: Sauce for Meat
Years ago my Grandmother use to do a lot of canning....
RECIPE: Nut filled crescent rolls
Hi all, when I was a young girl, my mom would get together...
Sponsored Products
Gather Round Coaster Set
$22.99 | Dot & Bo
Whistler Bronze Gilt Three-Light Pendant
$207.00 | Bellacor
Chain Reaction Giclee Glow 10 1/4" Wide Pendant Light
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
Dublin Leather Swivel Bar Stool
Grandin Road
Home Decorators Runner Rug: Corolla Green 2' 6" x 8'
Home Depot
Tommy Bahama 425 Thread Count PrimaLoft Down Alternative Pillow
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™