10 Popular Foods eaten for Dinner in India

The last meal of the day is always an important one. We look at 10 popular foods that are eaten for dinner in India.

It is a royal Indian rice dish

In India, there are a number of dinner foods that are both tasty and nutritious.

Dinner is the last meal of the day so it is important to have something that will please the tastebuds.

With the vast selection of cuisine available in India, tastes and cooking styles vary from state to state, enough to make any foodie drool.

Meals vary from state to state. From regal Biryani to wholesome Sabzi, there is a huge choice when it comes to dinner.

Here are 10 of the most popular foods that are eaten for dinner in India.


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When it comes to dinner in India, Biryani is one of the most appetising, and popular dishes.

It is a royal Indian rice dish with a distinctive blend of ingredients and prepared in a unique way.

Once the meal of choice for the Mughal empire, this rice dish is one of the most popular Indian meals across the world.

Traditionally, Biryani was made with meats such as deer, quail or goat but different versions are now available, including chicken and lamb.

Vegetable Biryani is also popular as there are a lot of vegetarians in India.

The dish consists of flavoured rice layered with marinated meat or vegetables and cooked in an oven to let the multitude of flavours infuse with one another.

Vegetable Sabzi

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Many Indians are vegetarians so it is no surprise that Vegetable Sabzi is commonly enjoyed during dinner.

Popular all over India, the dish is simply a variety of vegetables cooked with spices.

The versatility means that Vegetable Sabzi is slightly different in each region.

Not only is it flavourful but it is also healthy. This can be affected by the way you prepare it.

Using rapeseed oil or olive oil instead of ghee, alternative vegetables and different spices are all factors in reducing calories.

Vegetables like sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkins, butternut squash, mixed greens, broccoli and celery are also superb additions.

Aloo Gobi

Popular Foods eaten for Dinner in India - aloo gobi

A traditional dish enjoyed at dinnertime in India is Aloo Gobi.

This vegetarian meal is made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices.

Due to the use of turmeric, Aloo Gobi has a distinctive yellow colour.

Other common ingredients include garlic, ginger, onion, coriander stalks, tomato, peas, black pepper, asafoetida and cumin.

It is typically eaten alongside roti, a staple flatbread.

Butter Chicken

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One of the most famous Indian dishes is Butter Chicken.

The chicken is traditionally cooked over charcoal and at the same time, it is basted with butter and oil to keep the meat moist.

Meanwhile, a tomato-based sauce is made with various spices.

It has a creamy texture, thanks to the heaps of butter that is added.

The chicken is added to the sauce and finishes cooking.

This popular dinner food is usually enjoyed with rice and naan.


10 Popular Foods eaten for Dinner in India - rajma

This popular dinner option consists of red kidney beans cooked in a thick, spicy tomato-based sauce. The base of the sauce is made with onion, garlic and other spices.

It goes well with naan, roti, or rice. In North India, rajma-chawal (rajma and rice) is a popular dish.

Like daal and other legume-based vegetarian curries, Rajma is a staple food in North India, particularly Punjab.

Rajma is also appreciated as a delicacy for special occasions.

But the kidney bean did not originate in India. It was actually brought to the country from Portugal during the Age of Discovery.

Chana Masala

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Chana Masala is a popular Indian street food, seen at most stalls. But it is also commonly enjoyed at dinner.

Also known as Chole Masala, this vegetarian dish is made with chickpeas and cooked in a tomato sauce with onions and loads of spices.

This includes garlic, ginger, chillies and sometimes dried mango powder.

It may be eaten with puri but it is also enjoyed with different types of flatbread.

Fish Curry

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Fish Curry is enjoyed all over India, mainly due to the fact that fish is cheaper than meat and poultry.

Given that the average monthly salary in India is Rs. 32,000 (£340), opting for fish is more budget-friendly.

The type of Fish Curry varies across the country.

In the South, Fish Curries tend to be cooked with coconut milk while in northern states, tomato-based curries are common.

The type of fish used also depends. Some of the most common types of fish include cod, tilapia and snapper.

It is usually enjoyed with rice.

Daal Makhani

The moreish nature of this dish is one of the main reasons why it is so popular as a dinner meal.

Daal Makhani is a North Indian dish that features whole black lentils and kidney beans.

It is cooked with lots of butter and cream and then simmered on low heat to give it a unique flavour.

As the majority of the Indian population is vegetarian, Daal Makhani provides a good source of vegetarian protein.

In India, it is often consumed on special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, religious celebrations, and national holidays.


Saag is an Indian curried stew made of green leaves such as spinach, mustard leaves, collard greens and basella.

When it comes to vegetarian curries, Saag is one of the most popular ones in India.

Sometimes it is combined with potatoes or paneer. Both of these are delicious in their own unique way.

Saag can be eaten with naan or roti. It is not common to eat saag with rice, although it is eaten with rice in the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha.

In Northern India, saag is eaten with Makki di roti, a thick roti made from corn flour and is yellow in colour.

Bombay Aloo

In India, Bombay Aloo is a common side dish as it compliments other flavourful dishes.

It will go well with any vegetarian curry. It is also great with meat dishes.

The sauce can vary in consistency but Bombay Aloo is usually on the drier side.

Potatoes are a staple for many in India. Bombay aloo turns the humble ‘tater’ into a sexy, silky, smooth treat.

These popular dishes are commonly enjoyed at dinner in India, whether it is the main meal or a side dish.

Given that a lot of Indians are vegetarian, it is no surprise that many of the foods are meat-free.

They vary from region to region and their popularity has seen them enjoyed in many other countries, both at home and in restaurants.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”