a plethora of intense flavours come from the keema.
When it comes to an Indian takeaway, everyone has their go-to meals, whether it be chicken tikka masala or daal.
Indian cuisine as a whole is one of the most popular choices available, however, the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has meant that many restaurants are closed.
Despite this, people are looking on the bright side by learning new cooking tips and developing their skills.
Recreating their Indian takeaway favourites is one way to show off their culinary skills.
This can be something simple like an appetiser or something more complex like a curry.
With a variety of Indian foods, we present a selection of dishes that you can replicate at home for your own takeaway feast.
Starters are what provide the beginning of a delicious meal. Usually, they are light dishes filled with flavour and set out what the rest of the meal offers.
Here are a couple of Indian takeaway favourites to make yourself.
Not only is papdi chaat a popular street food but it is also a delicious starter to go for when enjoying an Indian takeaway.
Papdi chaat can also be great as a light snack when at home. All you need is a bunch of shop-bought items and you are good to go.
For an added level of texture, garnish the papdi chaat with a few pomegranates.
- 28 papdis
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 cups curd, whisked
- 1 cup potatoes, peeled, boiled and chopped
- 6 tbsp green chutney
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 8 tbsp tamarind
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- Pomegranates (to garnish)
- Coriander leaves (to garnish)
- Sev (to garnish)
- Crush all the papdis on to your serving plate.
- On top of the crushed papdis, add the potatoes, curd, green chutney and tamarind.
- Sprinkle over a bit of salt, the chaat masala, cumin seed powder and the chilli powder.
- Serve it straight away after garnishing it with coriander, sev and pomegranates.
Lamb Keema Samosas
Samosas are an Indian takeaway classic. They consist of a savoury filling which is stuffed into pastry and deep-fried.
Once done, the exterior is light and crispy but when you take a bite, a plethora of intense flavours come from the filling.
They are usually served as a starter. Some have a meat filling while others are vegetarian. This particular recipe contains lamb keema.
- 250g lamb mince
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-inch ginger, finely chopped
- 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- ½ tsp chaat masala
- Oil, for frying
- 6 Mint leaves, finely chopped
For the Pastry
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp carom seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- In a food processor, add the flour, ghee, salt and carom seeds. Allow it to mix while adding water, a little at a time until the mixture becomes firm yet smooth.
- Once done, divide into equal portions then cover and set aside.
- In a pan, heat some oil then add the garlic, ginger, green chillies and onions. Fry until the onions soften.
- Add the chilli powder, garam masala, dry mango powder, chaat masala, lamb mince and salt. Fry until the lamb has cooked.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Set aside to cool.
- Assemble the samosas by filling a small cup with water and setting aside. Meanwhile, on a floured surface, roll each pastry portion into a 6-inch diameter circle. Cut each circle in half.
- Lightly spread the water along the edge of the semicircle. Fold each one into cones and seal the sides.
- Pick the cone up and fill with two tablespoons of the meat filling. Gently press down then close the top into a triangle shape, pinching the edge until it is completely sealed.
- In a deep wok, heat the oil on medium heat. Once hot, place the samosas in and fry until they start to rise. Flip over and continue frying until golden.
- Once done, remove from the wok and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Serve with chutney.
This recipe was inspired by Archana’s Kitchen.
A side dish is what accompanies the main course. In Indian cuisine, sides usually include varieties of rice and bread that are eaten with the main dish.
They tend to balance out the flavours as they usually have a much more mellow flavour than the intensely spiced dishes.
Naan bread is one of the most common sides to have alongside Indian food so it is no surprise that it is a popular choice when ordering a takeaway.
There are different varieties but one of the most popular types of naan bread is garlic naan. It follows a similar process to how a plain one is made but there is the addition of garlic.
It adds a stronger and spicier flavour to the naan and it gives off wonderful aromas.
When combined with it’s cooking method, there is a subtle smoky flavour that pairs well with the garlic.
- 420g + 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm milk
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 2 Garlic cloves, grated
- Nigella seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp oil
For the Garlic Butter
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- In a bowl, whisk together 420g all-purpose flour and the salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add the water, sugar and yeast. Mix until it becomes frothy on top. Once done, add to milk, yoghurt and oil. Add in the flour mixture and garlic and mix well.
- Gradually add the remaining flour if the mixture is too sticky. Knead until the dough becomes smooth then transfer to a greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm area for at least one hour.
- Lightly punch the dough in order to release the air.
- Grease your hands with oil and divide the dough into eight parts. Cover and let them rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the garlic and coriander.
- Heat a pan on high heat. Take a dough ball, apply a little oil and roll into an oval shape.
- Sprinkle some nigella seeds onto each naan then transfer onto the pan. Cook until bubbles start to appear then brush with some of the garlic butter.
- Use a tong to remove the naan from the skillet, flip and place directly on the flame. Cook for 20 seconds until both sides are golden.
- Remove from the heat and brush with more garlic butter.
This recipe was inspired by Cook with Manali.
Biryani is not a conventional side dish but it can be eaten alongside various curries if you’re looking for a contrast in flavours.
This chicken biryani is a delicious example. The chicken is marinated which gives an extra level of flavour. The heat from the spice mix is offset by the chicken marinade as it uses yoghurt.
There are a number of chicken biryani variations in different regions of the country which provide unique tastes and varied cooking methods.
This recipe uses fresh tomatoes to give the whole a slightly acidic, yet sweet taste.
- 300g rice, cooked and cooled
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 Green cardamom pods
- 1 Onion, finely sliced
- 160g tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 green birdseye chillies, slit lengthways
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tsp garam masala, to garnish
- A handful of coriander leaves, to garnish
For the Chicken Marinade
- 600g boneless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
- 3 tbsp yoghurt
- ½ chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- In a bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients and add the chicken. Mix well then place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- In a saucepan, heat oil then add the green cardamom and cumin seeds. Fry for a few seconds.
- Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for three minutes. As they soften, mash them with the back of the spoon.
- Stir in the tomato puree then add the chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Cook for one minute.
- Add the coriander powder and stir well. Gently add the chicken and mix well. Cook for four minutes to seal the chicken pieces.
- Season, then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for five minutes. Stir halfway to prevent sticking.
- Remove from the heat and spoon over half the rice followed by half of the garam masala and coriander leaves.
- Layer the remaining rice and add the rest of the garam masala and coriander leaves.
- Put the lid back on and place on a low flame for five minutes.
- Turn the heat off and allow the biryani to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with your choice of raita.
This recipe was adapted from Maunika Gowardhan.
Main dishes are what make up the whole meal. They can make or break the entire eating experience.
In Indian takeaways, there are a number of popular options, both meat and vegetarian. Here are a few which can be replicated at home.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala is arguably the most popular Indian takeaway dish.
Pieces of marinated chicken are cooked before they are stirred into a richly-flavoured tomato sauce.
Although it is not a traditional Indian dish, it is a major part of many Indian restaurants and takeaways and it is one which you can make at home.
- 900g chicken, boneless and skinless
- 6 Garlic cloves, chopped
- 2-inch piece ginger, minced
- 4 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 cups whole milk yoghurt
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 170g tomato puree
- 6 Cardamom pods, crushed
- 790g can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ tsp dried chillies
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- A small bunch of coriander, chopped
- In a bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin. Divide the mixture in half then add one half to a bowl with yoghurt and salt. Add the chicken, mix well then marinate in the fridge for at least three hours.
- In a deep pot, add the oil then add the onion, tomato puree, cardamom and dried chillies. Cook for five minutes until the onions are soft and the paste has darkened.
- Add the other half of the spice mixture along with the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and scrape up any bits stuck to the pot. When boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
- Pour in the cream and add the coriander. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking tray with foil. Place the marinated chicken onto the tray and cook for approximately 15 minutes per side.
- Remove from the oven and let the chicken cool slightly. Cut into small pieces and add them to the sauce to finish cooking.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken tikka masala with rice and naan.
This recipe was adapted from Macheesmo.
Butter chicken is hugely popular within Indian cuisine as it is pieces of tender, smoky tandoori chicken cooked in a rich, buttery and spicy sauce.
There are distinct flavours of fenugreek leaves and cream but it is the Kashmiri red chilli powder which gives the sauce it’s recognisable colour.
This particular recipe calls for the tandoori chicken to be made prior to making butter chicken.
- 750g cooked tandoori chicken
- 1½ tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 green cardamom pod, lightly crushed
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 4 Cloves
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 Green chillies, slit lengthwise
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 150ml double cream
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp dried fenugreek powder
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves, chopped (to garnish)
- Make tandoori chicken to suit your taste preference then set aside.
- To make the sauce, heat a large saucepan and add the butter. Add the green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves and fry for 20 seconds.
- Add the onions and cook for five minutes or until they start to change colour.
- Stir in the ginger and green chillies. Fry for a further minute then add the chilli powder, garam masala powder along with the tomato puree. Stir well.
- Gradually pour in the double cream, stirring continuously to ensure everything has fully combined. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a splash of water.
- Stir in the honey and fenugreek powder.
- Place the chicken into the pan and simmer for around 10 minutes. Garnish then serve with roti or naan.
This recipe was inspired by Maunika Gowardhan.
Rogan Josh is an Indian takeaway favourite and it is one of the best curries to replicate at home.
The first thing that you notice with this North Indian dish is the aroma of spices used to cook the meat.
When considering the meat, the lamb is extremely tender and it soaks up the rich sauce to give it a burst of flavour.
It is a mouthwatering dish and this authentic recipe will show why it is such a favourite within Indian cuisine.
- 1kg Lamb shoulder, boneless and diced
- 2 Red onions, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 2-inch piece ginger, finely chopped (keep a little aside to garnish later)
- 2 Green chillies (more if you want more spice)
- 4 tomatoes, chopped or ¾ tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2½ tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp medium curry powder
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 300ml water
- Salt to taste
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Bay leaves
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 3 Cardamoms popped – only seeds required
- Heat oil in a large, deep pan. When hot, add the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for 10 minutes until golden.
- Add the whole spices into the mixture and stir for a few minutes.
- Gently add the lamb and cook for two minutes or until the lamb starts to brown.
- Sprinkle in the garam masala, coriander powder, paprika and curry powder and stir. Add the tomatoes and puree then let the mixture cook for a few minutes.
- Mix in the turmeric and lemon juice and continue stirring for a few minutes until the mixture covers the meat nicely.
- Add the water and bring to the boil. When boiling, cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Let it cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take the lid off and cook for a further 10 minutes to let some of the water evaporate.
- Once cooked, discard any large whole spices. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and ginger strips. Serve with rice or naan bread.
Saag paneer is a popular vegetarian option when ordering a takeaway. It looks like a time-consuming dish but it really isn’t, meaning you can make your own at home in no time.
It is a dish which has plenty of flavours and is gluten-free. It is also very vibrant, with its green colour coming from the spinach.
Saag paneer is a recipe which only takes 20 minutes to cook which means you will be able to have a healthy, delicious meal in no time.
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
- One packet of cubed paneer
- 1½ tsp garlic paste
- 1½ tsp ginger paste
- 500g fresh spinach
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp garam masala
- ½ lemon, juiced
- In a bowl, melt the ghee and stir in the turmeric and chilli powder. Add the paneer and mix well to ensure each piece is fully coated. Set aside.
- Place the spinach into a colander and pour over boiling water. Drain and leave to cool. Squeeze out most of the water then roughly chop. Blitz together the onion, garlic, ginger and green chilli.
- Heat a large non-stick pan and add the paneer.
- Cook for eight minutes and stir regularly to ensure that they become golden all over.
- Remove and set aside, leaving any remaining spices in the pan.
- Put the onion mixture into the pan and season with salt. Fry for 10 minutes or until the mix becomes caramel coloured adding some water if it begins to look dry.
- Add the garam masala and fry for a further two minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook for three minutes, adding 100ml water to release all the flavours from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the paneer and cook for two minutes to heat through.
- Squeeze some lemon juice and serve with naan.
Tarka daal is a popular vegetarian dish when ordering a takeaway.
This simple dish is enjoyable thanks to its mild flavours and creamy texture. It is perfect alongside naan as the soft bread scoops up the wonderful flavours.
Ingredients like garlic and ginger give it unique flavour combinations to create a hearty meal.
- 100g split chickpeas
- 50g red lentils
- 3 Garlic cloves, grated
- 10g ginger, grated
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 Whole dried chillies
- 1 Small onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tomatoes, chopped
- ¾ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Salt, to taste
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- A handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- Wash the lentils and chickpeas then place into a saucepan filled with one litre of water. Bring to a boil, removing any impurities. Add the turmeric, garlic, ginger and salt. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a deep saucepan. When hot, add the whole dried chillies and cumin seeds. When they have browned, add the onion and cook until golden.
- Pour some of the lentils into the pan and scrape the base to extract all the flavours then pour everything back into the lentils.
- Cook for 10 minutes, mashing some of the lentils. Add a little water if it becomes too thick.
- Remove from the heat, garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
This recipe was adapted from Red Online.
A dessert provides a fitting end to the entire meal. It is usually light and refreshing, cleansing one’s palette after they have enjoyed the richly flavoured Indian dishes.
Although ordering a dessert from an Indian takeaway is not too common, some people enjoy a dessert with their favourite meals.
Kulfi is essentially an Indian ice-cream but it is denser and has a richer consistency.
One of the most popular flavours is pistachio. It is a thick and creamy dessert which has subtle flavours of pistachio. Not only that, but crushed ones are also added as a garnish to give a slight crunch.
This is one dessert which can be enjoyed whenever you like and is not that difficult to make at home.
- 1-litre full-fat milk
- 200ml condensed milk
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
- 3 tbsp pistachios, grounded
- 10 Saffron strands
- Place a heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. Pour in the full-fat milk and bring to a boil.
- Remove two tablespoons of the milk from the pan and place in a small bowl. Soak the saffron strands in it and set aside.
- As the milk boils, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula.
- Allow the milk to cool for 10 minutes until it reduces and has a thick consistency. Add the condensed milk and quickly stir to mix completely.
- Add the soaked saffron to the milk and mix well. Stir in the ground pistachio and cardamom powder. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
- Pour into airtight moulds and freeze for four to six hours. Five minutes before serving, remove from the freezer.
- Remove the kulfi from the moulds and serve with chopped pistachios.
This recipe was inspired by Rachna’s Kitchen.
This array of starters, mains and sides ensure that you can enjoy your takeaway favourites while your local is closed during this difficult period.
While some dishes may not taste exactly like the one you’re used to, the homemade versions are more authentic because you have control of the ingredients.
These recipes can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences but they will provide a satisfying and healthier alternative to your regular Indian takeaway.