The complex flavors of Indian food might make you consider it a cuisine best left to restaurant chefs, but it's surprisingly easy to re-create some of India's classic dishes in your home kitchen. You'll want to stock up on spices such as cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric and ginger, which you'll use in many of the recipes below. And while restaurant Indian food can be high in salt, making these dishes yourself allows you to control the sodium content — always a wonderful benefit of home cooking.
See also: 10 tasty pie recipes for fall
1. Aloo Chokha
by Sanjeev Kapoor
This delectable potato preparation makes use of a flavor combination common in Indian cuisine: coriander, red chile, garlic and cumin. The recipe calls for mustard oil, but it's fine to substitute vegetable oil. You could serve this as a side dish with tandoori chicken or tikka masala.
Per serving: 291 calories, 1g saturated fat, 36g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 5g fiber, 401mg sodium
by Suneeta Vaswani
Tandoori is traditionally made in a tandoor, a clay oven buried in the ground — the Indian version of barbecue. For this recipe the chicken is cooked on a charcoal grill or baked in an oven, after marinating for anywhere from two to 12 hours. It isn't difficult, but it does take time.
Per serving: 195 calories, 2g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrates, 29g protein, 1g fiber, 571mg sodium
by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
In the headnote to this recipe, the authors point out that "In Indian cooking, cardamom, cloves, coriander and cumin seeds are all considered 'warming spices' that heat the body from within, making this an excellent winter dish." They're absolutely right: This is a comfort food that's perfect for a chilly night.
Per serving: 185 calories, 1g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 5g fiber, 418mg sodium
by Padma Lakshmi
This variation on the traditional Indian dish aloo gobi replaces the potatoes with cashews and the cumin with anise seeds. The result is lighter, with a bit of a crunch.
Per serving: 223 calories, 2g saturated fat, 20g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 4g fiber, 250mg sodium
Next page: 4 more delicious homemade Indian recipes. »