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Top 10 Indian Dishes Popular In America

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean. Time for a little taste of India! In this video, MsMojo counts down our picks for the Top 10 Indian Dishes Popular In America. For this list, we’ll be looking at the Indian cuisine that the United States has taken a liking to. We’ll only be listing substantial dishes and not sides, so unfortunately you won’t be served any naan bread today. Special thanks to AlexCrilly-Mckean and Jorge Alán for submitting this idea on our interactive suggestion tool at

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Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean.

Top 10 Indian Dishes Popular In America

Time for a little taste of India! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Indian Dishes Popular In America.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the Indian cuisine that the United States has taken a liking to. We’ll only be listing substantial dishes and not sides, so unfortunately you won’t be served any naan bread today.

#10: Korma

If you want to expand your palate and get a bite of some real Indian food, this might be a really good place to start. Normally consisting of marinated lamb or chicken, the real stars of the show are the sauce, created by blending together coriander and cumin, as well as a fair dollop of yogurt. Lathered all over the meat, it can create quite a spicy dish. If you prefer things a little milder, you can always adjust the amount of yogurt put into the sauce to dull the fieriness of the first bite. If you want to add a little crunch just to finish the dish off, adding almonds or cashews only adds to the flavor.

#9: Tikka Masala

Even those who don’t know that much about Indian cuisine are sure to have heard of this selection of dishes, the most well-known of course being the chicken tikka masala. Notable for its orange color and abundance of creamy sauce, there’s actually no one specific way to make it. After allegedly being made on the fly in an Indian restaurant in the UK, there have been over forty different recipes when it comes to making the dish. Just so long as you have your choice of meat, toss in tomato puree, some kind of cream and various spices, chances are you’ll end up with some form of delicious tikka masala.

#8: Biryani

Looking for something a little drier? This rice dish might be right up your alley. Mainly consisting of rice, lentils and a choice of meat or vegetables as the main, biryani stands out as sharper than others due to the amount of spices that are added to bring out the fire in the dish. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and coriander among a plethora of other ingredients bring out the best of the chosen meat or veggie. Try it with mutton or boiled eggs, both of which are popular. Of course, if you were willing to pay a bit extra, you can add a little saffron to the dish for some outrageous flavor.

#7: Barfi

After experiencing such a spicy and filling main course, perhaps for dessert you’d like something extraordinarily sweet. Barfi is formed out of condensed milk and sugar, and its name comes from the Persian word for “snow.” Its intense sugary center not only makes for a tasty snack, but it easily accommodates a multitude of other ingredients to create delicious variations that can suit anyone’s preferences. These range from adding rose water, carrots, peanuts, chocolate, and yes, more saffron. Probably the most colorful Indian food you’ll ever come across.

#6: Chana Masala

While it’s more commonly sold via street vendors in India, it still can be found in various restaurants due to its popularity, especially in northern India. The basis for the meal revolves around the spicing of chickpeas with chillies, dried mango powder and ground pomegranate seed, producing a dry dish with a somewhat sour edge to it. Whether you choose to make a full meal out of it, or get the chance to grab it for the road, it will certainly quell that empty stomach and make a nice substitute from conventional snacks.

#5: Beef Vindaloo

Prepare your taste buds; this is a spicy one! Taking the traditional curry recipe and adding ingredients such as vinegar, potatoes and chili peppers, the vindaloo is one of the hotter dishes to be given the Western treatment. Conceived inthe southwest Indian region of Goa, it was originally made with pork as the main attraction, but is now made with other meats such as lamb and chicken for both religious reasons and general taste– but our pick has to go to its beef incarnation. Throw on some jasmine rice, serve on a cold night and you’ll be warmed up before you know it.

#4: Aloo Gobi

Chances are, after this dish, you won’t look at potatoes or cauliflower in the same way again. This vegetable dish uses intense spices and sauce to elevate the heat and lushness of what can be considered rather bland sides. The spices are mostly made up of kalonji, curry leaves and turmeric, which gives the meal its signature yellow look. You can choose to throw in extras such as cumin, ginger and onion, but the real stars of the show are the saturated veggies. Don’t be thrown off by the colour, this one’s a real delicacy.

#3: Samosa

We’ve all had them, and we never get tired of them! Whether you snag one at the supermarket on a whim or go out of your way to order them when you go out to an Indian restaurant, these savoury filled pastries have something for everyone. Stuffed to the brim with any vegetable or meat of choice, the U.S. has taken quite happily to these tasty triangles. Normally jam-packed with chopped meats such as chicken or lamb, or crunchy vegetables such as hardened peas, onions and pine nuts, samosas are a little taste of heavenly cuisine that can just as easily be made at home.

#2: Tandoori Chicken

Want to sink your teeth into something really good? Look no further than the spiced chicken that would eventually lead to the creation of the chicken tikka masala. Traditionally cooked in a clay oven known as a tandoor, the meat is lathered in yogurt and a mixture of spices, mostly red chili powder in order to give the chicken its crimson colour. It is then roasted and charred until it’s packing the heat of the tandoor and has achieved its delicious red, spiced skin. Alternatively, if you want to give it a go at home, tandoori chicken can also be prepared on your run-of-the mill barbecue grill. Is anyone else’s mouth watering?

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.



Palak Paneer

#1: Butter Chicken

Taking the best of the other entries, this dish is one of the finest representations of Indian cuisine–no wonder Western audiences love it so much! Its abundantly creamy, orange sauce is formed by mixing together ginger, garlic, lemon, lime, turmeric, chili and a few other spices. This is then marinated with the chicken for several hours to really bring out the flavor. Afterwards, it’s a quick visit to the tandoor before being served with a few garnishes such as butter, cream and green chillies. Tailored to meet everyone’s spice threshold, it’s no surprise that this dish is a spectacular one!

Do you agree with our list? What other Indian dishes do you love? With new top tens published every day be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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