New to Indian Cuisine? Here are 5 Dishes to Try (and Where to Try It)

When it comes to international cuisines, I’ve always been curious and intimidated with Indian. Curious because their dishes are always so colorful and fragrant, and intimidated because the flavors are distinct and some of them can be pretty hot.

When I found out about Ram’s Indian Cuisine, I knew it was the right time to properly educate myself on the country’s cuisine. This new home-based restaurant popped up during the pandemic but is quickly making a name for itself for authentic Indian flavors. How authentic? The dishes are based on founder Hilda Malhi’s husband, who is Indian.

Ram’s Indian Cuisine uses only healthy and organic spices and ingredients. Everything is made from scratch and cooked only on the day of an order’s delivery. Everything is fresh and delicious. I haven’t been to India but when I opened my orders, the aroma transported me to my trips to Singapore and Malaysia, where I had my share of Indian food.

Here are the dishes I tried, and some of the Indian food you can eat to introduce yourself to this lovely cuisine:

Chicken Tandoori

Chicken tandoori is a roasted chicken dish smothered in yogurt and different spices. The name is derived from the tandoor, the cylindrical clay oven where it is traditionally cooked. With advances in technology,  there are now many ways of cooking it (Ram’s version is baked). Theirs is fragrant and the meat is flavorful, and each bite reveals the different spices used in the recipe. There’s also a hint of lemon, adding a tangy and refreshing twist. The dish is so juicy that we enjoyed mopping up the sauce with the chicken.

Dal

Photo by Ram’s Indian Cuisine

Dal is made from soaked kidney beans and cooked with onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices called rajma masala powder. Ram’s version is made up of dried mango, nutmeg, coriander, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, ginger cumin, cardamom, and more. This simple looking dish packs a surprising amount of flavor, made creamier by the addition of yogurt. Best enjoyed during the cold weather.

Chapati

Chapati is a type of unleavened flatbread, similar to roti. It can be enjoyed in different ways, such as eating it on its own or paired with other dishes like dal, curry, and masala. It’s also made with wheat flour, making it a healthier alternative to rice! It’s just as filling and we enjoyed eating it with the brown dal. Since Indian dishes usually come with powerful flavors, the subtle and earthy taste of the chapati was a great complement to the Ram’s spread.

Chicken Masala

When you want to experience the complexity of India’s cuisine, we recommend the masala. This flavorful dish takes chicken and drenches it in a rich curry sauce made up of different spices. It’s hard to tell what these spices are since there are so many versions of it, but common ingredients include tomato, cream, coconut cream, and the masala spice mix. Ram’s Chicken Masala is generous with their sauce, which means there’s plenty to go around during a meal. Drape it over rice or dip your chapati in it. We just want more of the sauce.

Beef Biryani

Biryani is already quite popular and for good reason: it has rice and it’s delicious. For those not familiar, biryani is a rice dish seasoned with all sorts of spices. Again, the spices used vary per region, but they could include saffron, nutmeg, coriander, and more. The result is always an aromatic dish that will make you want to eat more. Ram’s version is generous with beef cubes, which add a premium and decadent touch to the meal. It can be enjoyed on its own because of the mix of beef and spices.

Ram’s Indian Cuisine

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