5 Easy-To-Cook Indian Food Recipes For Beginners

5 Easy-To-Cook Indian Food Recipes For Beginners

Indian food is a treat to the eyes and the palate, and if you’re just starting out, it is one of the easiest cuisines to master. Just remember that there are some basic spices that are used in pretty much every dish, and you can never go wrong with onion gravy. We, at The Channel 46, have put together some tried-and-tested recipes convenient to make and taste delicious. These recipes are great for beginners and are super convenient when you’re pressed for time. Also, we’ve got you covered 24×7 with recipes for Desi breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.

1. Rava Upma

Start your day off on the right foot with this easy and healthy rava upma recipe. A breakfast staple across South India, upma can be made as fancy or as basic as you like. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of semolina (rava) 
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 teaspoon of urad dal 
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 8-10 medium-sized curry leaves (kadipatta)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2-inch ginger piece, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of ghee
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander (dhaniya), finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
Indian Food Recipes
Image Credit: vegecravings.com

Method:

  1. Take a thick-bottomed kadhai and dry roast the semolina until it is fragrant. Do not let it turn brown. Let it rest separately while you make the masala. 
  2. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal and the red chilli. When the dal turns golden brown, add the curry leaves. 
  3. When the curry leaves change colour, add in the onion, chillies, the ginger juliennes and saute well. 
  4. Once the raw smell of the ginger and onion has gone, pour in the water and let it come to a bubbling boil. 
  5. At this point, add in the sugar, the salt and the ghee to form a smooth mixture. 
  6. Start adding the rava while the kadhai is on a low flame while stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. 
  7. Let it simmer till all the water has been incorporated into the rava.
  8. Add the lemon juice and the coriander leaves for some freshness. 
  9. For some extra street style flavor, sprinkle some sev on top. 

Upma happens to be one of the popular breakfast, just apt for the busy mornings. You can also check out these 20 Indian breakfast recipes which are easy-to-make, healthy and filling.

2. Pav Bhaji-Style Anda Bhurji

Sounds like quite the treat, because it is! This creamy and flavourful dish is the desi version of scrambled eggs and goes really well with bread or even steamed rice. It’s perfect for breakfast as well as for those midnight cravings we all have after a long binge-watch of some Bollywood masala film.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin ( jeera)
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon of pav bhaji masala
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Image Credit: swatisani.net

Method:

1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, add the cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter. 

2. Then add the onions and the ginger and garlic paste and saute them until they are fragrant and golden. 

3. While they are cooking, crack the eggs in a separate bowl and add some salt and pepper. 

4. To the onion and ginger garlic paste mixture, add the red chilli powder and pav bhaji masala. Fry until it smells good. 

5. Add the egg mixture and scramble the eggs. Keep stirring continuously because eggs can get burnt easily. 

6. If you want an extra creamy flavour, add a dollop of butter at the very end and let it melt and mix through the eggs. 

3. Five-Ingredient Malai Paneer

The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. It is a white gravy dish, made really quickly, and can be enjoyed with some jeera rice or chapatis. Aside from the basic masalas, this dish only requires five other ingredients, which are very easy to find. 

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams of paneer
  • ¾ cup of curd (dahi)
  • 1 large tomato, pureed
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of refined oil
  • Salt to taste
Image Credit: archanaskitchen.com

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a kadhai and add some ginger garlic paste. Cook it until the raw smell goes away. 

2. Add the onions and saute them until they are translucent. Then add the pureed tomato.  

3. While the onions are being sauteed, take the curd in a separate bowl and beat it well till it becomes smooth. You can add a little water to make it less thick if needed. 

4. Add the salt and the garam masala powder to the sauteed mixture, cook it until it releases oil from the sides of the pan. 

5. On a low flame, add the curd to the mixture and blend them to make a smooth gravy. Incorporate the sugar. 

6. Check for seasoning and then add the paneer pieces. Cover it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. 

7. Sprinkle some dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) for garnishing and serve hot. 

Also check: North Indian Matar ka Nimona

4. Super Simple Chicken Curry

The flavor of this chicken curry recipe has so much depth and nuance, that it’s hard to believe that it’s this easy to make. It doesn’t even require any fancy ingredients, as we find all the masalas used in the masala box of every household. Whip out this chicken curry at any party or potluck for a dish that’s bound to impress! 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Indian Food Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 700 grams of boneless chicken
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste 
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin (jeera) powder
  • ½ teaspoon of coriander (dhaniya) powder 
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • ¾ cup of curd (dahi)
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil 
  • Some coriander leaves (dhaniya)
  • Salt to taste

Method:

1. Add the ginger-garlic paste and the chopped onions to a pan and saute them until they release their fragrance. 

2. Add all the masala powders, except the garam masala powder, and cook them on a low flame. Use 2 tablespoons of water to assimilate them into the mixture better. 

3. Add the chicken pieces and cook for a few minutes. 

4. As the chicken softens, add the curd and 3/4ths of the coriander leaves and combine them well. 

5. Add a cup of water and season it. Put in the garam masala powder. 

6. Cover it and let it cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat. Keep checking in on it every 5 minutes. 

7. If your gravy has almost dried up but your chicken still needs to cook, add about ¾ cup of water and let it simmer. 

8. Once the chicken is cooked through and your gravy is of the consistency you want, check the seasoning and remove it from the stove. 

5.  Three-Ingredient Halwa

This simple halwa will remind you of your childhood. With just three ingredients, it’s easy to make if you have some unexpected guests, or if you just want to treat yourself! 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ? cup of ghee
  • ½ cup of wholewheat flour (atta)
  • ½ cup of sugar. 
Image Credit: archanaskitchen.com

Method

1. Heat the ghee and roast the flour till it gets lightly browned and fragrant. It should take about 5-6 minutes. 

2. Carefully add a cup of boiling water to the flour mixture. It will bubble and splutter, so be cautious. Keep stirring so that no lumps remain.

3. Add the sugar and mix until all the ingredients are smoothly incorporated. The consistency should be on the drier side.  

4. Serve hot!!

There are a few things that every beginner should know about Indian cooking: 

  • Always try to use a thick-bottomed pan or kadhai, as it prevents the spices from getting overcooked too quickly and ruining the delicate taste of the curry. 
  • Soak your onions in cold water for 10 minutes before you cut them so they won’t sting your eyes. 
  • Remember that cooking done with care is an act of love, so don’t worry if your first few attempts aren’t MasterChef material! 

Bon Appétit! 

© Ruchie Verma.

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26 thoughts on “5 Easy-To-Cook Indian Food Recipes For Beginners

  1. These are a few quick recipes. At my place my little one is a big umma fan. I make umma so frequently that now I don’t even measure how much I am taking rava and water.

  2. These are no-fuss and super easy recipes, Ruchi! I hate spending too much time in the kitchen , so i am surely going to try the 5 ingredient Malai Paneer soon as it looks very interesting and different. The Chicken Recipe is very tempting too.

  3. I don’t like upma much, instead of upma poha works for me. It is also a super easy recipe for beginners. I remember this is the first breakfast recipe which I ever learnt. Paneer is always a saviour for me.

  4. Beginners often get afraid looking at long ingredient lists and complicated cooking methods. I loved how you’ve simplified cooking for them. Atta halwa is my favourite!

  5. Quick and delicious recipes is my all time favourite. These recipes are not only easy and quick to make but involved less number of ingredients so I can learn easily

  6. I don’t like cooking and for the first time in my life, I have spent so much time in the kitchen during the lockdown. I survived on such easy to cook recipes only. I am gonna try malai panner next.

  7. Can I just compliment you? You are doing such a fab job. Loved all the recipes, esp 5-ingredients Malai paneer. I feel like I MUST make it tomorrow.

  8. Wow Ruchie these were mouth-watering recipes. My mind has got inspired already for the Sunday cooking now., Would love to make the malai paneer and halwa today.

  9. yum!!! For a sunday morning, this is a perfect article to read 🙂
    I am definitely going to try these easy recipes to make for a nice sunday brunch!

  10. Such tempting pictures and simple recipes. I wish I could cook all of them at home. However, I am going to try these when I’ll visit my mom’s house.

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