Diva Tasting: Indian Dishes Made Easier …

Beginner Indian Dishes

Moong Dal-Lentil Soup


1 ½ Cups Yellow Lentils (Moong Dal)

13 Cups Water

1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander

1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger Root

2 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric

½ Teaspoon Ghee

2 ½ Teaspoons Sea Salt

1 Dash Red Pepper Flakes, Or To Taste (Optional)

2 Tablespoons Ghee

4 Cups Chopped Baby Spinach

2 Teaspoons Cumin Seed

1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, Or To Taste


Step 1 In a large soup pot or Dutch Oven Rinse dal in a colander until water runs clear. Add to a large pot with water and bring to a full boil, about 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms, reduce heat, and add coriander, ginger, turmeric, and ghee. Boil gently for 2 hours.

Step 2 Season soup with salt and red pepper flakes. Remove from heat and puree using a stick blender. Add spinach and return to a gentle boil over low heat.

Step 3 Meanwhile, heat ghee in a small saucepan over high heat. Add cumin seeds and fry until brown, about 30 seconds. Turn off heat and immediately add cayenne pepper. Pour fried spices into the soup, cover, and let soak for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, stir, and serve.

One of the two dishes I order most often in the restaurants. Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 (14.5 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes

5 Tablespoons Plain Greek Yogurt

2 Cloves Garlic, Roughly Chopped

1 (1 Inch) Piece Ginger, Coarsely Chopped

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 Onion, Chopped

2 Tablespoons Masala Curry Paste

5 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces

Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste

½ Cup Water

1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro


Step 1 Combine tomatoes, yogurt, garlic, and ginger in a blender and process until smooth.

Step 2 Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and fry until soft, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in curry paste and fry until fragrant, 1 minute more, stirring once or twice. Add the tomato mixture and chicken to the pan and mix together. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat.

Step 3 Mix water and flour together in a bowl. Stir into the chicken mixture in the frying pan. Return pan to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately. Serve with Jasmine Rice and limeade. Serves 4

Spinach Curry


5 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach

4 Tablespoons Canola Oil, Divided

1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds

1 Onion, Chopped

1 Green Chile Pepper, Chopped

3 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 (1/2 Inch) Piece Ginger, Minced

2 Tomatoes, Diced

½ Cup Water, Or As Needed

1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder

1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

½ Teaspoon Red Chile Powder

¼ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

Salt To Taste

8 Ounces Paneer, Cubed

½ Teaspoon Garam Masala

4 Teaspoons Heavy Cream

1 Pinch Red Chile Flakes


Step 1 Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to keep spinach bright green.

Step 2 Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds to hot oil so they sizzle. Add onion, chile, garlic, and ginger. Cook until onion is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

Step 3 Transfer tomato mixture to a blender; add blanched spinach. Blend to a thick, smooth paste; thin with a few teaspoons water if needed.

Step 4 Heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add coriander, cumin, chile powder, and turmeric. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach paste and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add water and cook for 5 minutes more. Season gravy with salt.

Step 5 Add paneer to the gravy and mix well to coat. Cook 5 minutes more. Add garam masala and cream. Stir and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Garnish with chile flakes.

Tandoori Chicken


½ Teaspoon Curry Powder

½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

¼ Teaspoon Paprika

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

¼ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

4 Tablespoons Water

6 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves


Step 1 Preheat grill for high heat.

Step 2 In a medium bowl, mix curry powder, red pepper flakes, salt, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric with water to form a smooth paste. Rub paste into chicken breasts, and place them on a plate. Cover, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

Step 3 Brush grate with oil. Place chicken on the grill, and cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Serve with Basmati rice, roasted green beans, jasmine tea and naan. Serves 6

Indian-Spiced Chickpeas and Greens


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Or As Needed

1 Onion, Finely Chopped

1 Red Chile Pepper, Seeded And Sliced

1 (14 Ounce) Can Chickpeas, Drained

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

½ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

1 Pinch Ground Cinnamon

1 Pinch Sea Salt

1 Lemon, Zested And Juiced

2 Cups Roughly Chopped Kale, (Or Your Favorite Greens)


Step 1 Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and chile pepper; saute until onion is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add chickpeas, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt; saute for 5 minutes. Pour in a splash of water, followed by lemon zest and juice. Season further to taste if desired.

Step 2 Fold kale into the mixture until just wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Serve with Jasmine rice and naan. Serves 4

Curry Cashew Chicken


For the Spice Mix:

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste

1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

2 Teaspoons Paprika

½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

½ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

2 Teaspoons Garam Masala

For Chicken and Sauce:

2 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

2 Tablespoons Butter, Divided

1 Yellow Onion, Chopped

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

4 Garlic Cloves, Minced

1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger Root

1 Cup Chicken Broth

2 Cups Cold Water

¾ Cup Whole Roasted Cashews

Cup Sliced Green Onions

Cup Freshly Chopped Cilantro

1 Lime, Juiced


Step 1 Mix salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, and garam masala together in a small bowl.

Step 2 Cut a chicken thigh in half lengthwise along the crease. Halve the thicker portion to end up with three 2-inch pieces. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.

Step 3 Transfer chicken to a bowl. Add oil and about 1/2 of the spice blend; mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.

Step 4 Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan over high heat until melted and golden brown. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Return chicken and accumulated juices to the bowl.

Step 5 Heat remaining butter in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, remaining spice blend, tomato paste, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices.

Step 6 Combine water and cashews in a blender; blend on high speed until very smooth. Stir cashew cream into the pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in green onions and cilantro; taste for seasoning. Squeeze in lime juice. You can use real cream but with this recipe cashew cream works best. Serve with Basmati rice, garlic naan. Serves 8

Chicken Madras


2 Onions, Coarsely Chopped

2 Red Chile Peppers, Stemmed And Seeded

1 (2 Inch) Piece Fresh Ginger, Grated

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

1 Splash Water, Or As Needed

Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

¼ Cup Madras Curry Powder

6 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Large Chunks

1 (14 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes

½ Cup Chopped Cilantro, Or To Taste


Step 1 Place onions, chile peppers, ginger, and garlic in a blender with a splash of water. Blend into a smooth paste; season with salt and pepper.

Step 2 Heat oil in a large, high-sided pan over medium heat. Cook paste until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 3 Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add Madras curry powder; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix into the paste.

Step 4 Cook and stir chicken in the spice paste mixture until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour in tomatoes. Fill the tomato can halfway with water and pour in too. Simmer over medium-low heat until liquid is reduced, about 50 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter cilantro on top. Serve with jasmine rice, garlic naan, jasmine tea. Serves 4-6

Note: Substitute 1 pound of vegetables or seafood for the chicken, if preferred.

Red Lentil Curry


1 Cup Basmati Rice (Prepared)

8 Cups Water, Divided

1 Cup Red Lentils (Masoor Dal), Rinsed

½ Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion (Optional)

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

1 Teaspoon Salt, Or To Taste

½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper (Optional)

½ Teaspoon Cayenne Powder (Optional)

½ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

1 Cup Broccoli Florets (Optional)

1 Cup Diced Tomatoes (Optional)

1 Cup Frozen Peas (Optional)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Or As Needed

1 Cup Sliced Cremini Mushrooms (Optional)

1 Tablespoon Peeled, Finely Grated Fresh Ginger

2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Grated


Step 1 Rinse rice in several changes of water and transfer to a container. Cover with water and let soak at room temperature, 15 minutes to 1 hour. Drain. I Skip this and just prepare my rice.

Step 2 Combine 3 cups water with red lentils in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, skimming any scum that collects on the surface. Stir in onion, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and turmeric. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 3 Stir broccoli, tomatoes, peas, and salt into the pot. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes more.

Step 4 Combine drained rice with remaining 1 1/2 cup water in another pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Step 5 Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, ginger, and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour over lentils; stir to distribute. Cook lentils until flavors combine, about 5 minutes. Serve lentils with rice and Naan. Serves 6

Chicken and Onions


4 Tablespoons Water

6 Cloves Garlic Minced

2 Serrano Chile Peppers, Stemmed

1 (2 Inch) Piece Fresh Ginger, Peeled And Thinly Sliced

¼ Cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)

3 Pounds Chicken Drumsticks

Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

1 Large White Onion, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Dried Fenugreek Leaves

2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander

1 Teaspoon Garam Masala

½ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

3 Plum Tomatoes, Diced

¾ Cup Milk

½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro


Step 1 Puree water, garlic, serrano chile peppers, and ginger together in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Step 2 Heat ghee in a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in hot ghee until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Step 3 Cook and stir garlic puree in the 6-quart saucepan until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add fenugreek, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric to onion mixture; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 4 Stir tomatoes into onion mixture; cook and stir until tomatoes are lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chicken, milk, and cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover saucepan, and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter using a slotted spoon. Continue cooking sauce until slightly reduced, 5 to 7 more minutes. Stir cilantro into sauce and pour over chicken. Serve with jasmine rice and naan. Serves 4

Must have bread for every Indian Dish!!!!

Easy Naan


1 Cup Warm Water

2 ½ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

2 Tablespoons Sugar, Or More To Taste

3 Tablespoons Milk

1 Egg, Beaten

2 Teaspoons Salt, Or To Taste

5 ½ Cups Bread Flour, Or As Needed

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced (Optional)

¼ Cup Butter, Melted


Step 1 Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl. Let stand until bubbly and frothy, about 10 minutes.

Step 2 Stir in milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Place dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Step 3 Punch down dough and knead well. For garlic naan, knead in garlic at this point.

Step 4 Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of golf balls. Roll into balls, cover with a clean cloth, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Step 5 Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 6 Roll out 2 balls of dough into elongated ovals. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and cook under the broiler until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Brush butter on both sides and flip. Continue broiling until the second side is firm and golden, 2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining dough.

Note: Most grocers now stock ready made individual naan in the deli sections.


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