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Indian restaurants and the vibrant, colorful, soaked-in-tradition cuisine they serve will probably never be defined as bland, boring or uninspiring. Backed with a variety of frequently used spices and seasonings, you're sure to be treated to an explosion of flavors each and every time you dine.
What are some Indian food staples? Well, rice, beans and curries are commonplace, as are the spices and seasonings that are added to nearly every dish. These can include chili pepper, cumin, saffron, turmeric, ginger, coriander and garlic – and don't forget the versatile garam masala, which is a mixture of – among other spices – cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
All right, now to the hearty meats and breads. Indian restaurants, no matter where they're located, are likely to serve oven-baked flatbread known as naan. Most naan is made with a combination of white flour, salt, a yeast culture and yogurt. Once the dough rises, it's flattened and cooked. From there, the sky's the limit as to what can be added to the naan for flavor. Popular flavorings include raisins, spices, meats, vegetables and cheeses. As for meat dishes served in Indian restaurants, you're sure to find classics like butter chicken, rogan josh (a lamb dish), chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken. For non-meat treats, dishes can include chickpea curry (among the many, many curries), palak paneer (cheese and spinach) and a multitude of tasty lentil offerings.
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