Indian dinner recipes

100+ Indian Dinner Recipes & Ideas

Updated: July 28, 2023, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Indian Dinner Recipes for any day of the week! Enjoy the wonderful flavors of authentic Indian cooking in the comfort of your home. From classic curry recipes, Biryani, pilaf, flatbreads and many more to enjoy for dinner, this post gives you a ton of variety to choose from both North Indian & South Indian cuisines. Explore these latest Dinner Ideas that are my hand-picked favorites! You will find vegetarian classics like Dal Makhani, Palak Paneer, Sambar, Vegetable Jalfrezi & meat populars like Chicken Biryani, Butter Chicken, Vindaloo & Jalfrezi.

Indian dinner recipes

These tried and tested recipes are a family favourite & are sure to please everyone. This collection includes restaurant and homestyle recipes which you can plan for your weekend and weeknight dinners.  

Easy Indian Dinner Ideas

If you are wondering what to make for dinner, then this may help you. Usually South Indians eat rice, curry, veggie stir fry, sambar and rasam for dinner. Some people also eat chapathi and vegetable curry.

Many people even love to eat only breakfast foods like Idli, crispy dosa for their dinner as it is easier to prepare. I have included only some Instant recipes below. For more you can check this link – BREAKFAST RECIPES.

South Indians also love their easy rice dishes like curd rice, coconut rice, ghee rice and coconut milk rice. I have included only a few rice dishes in this post. For more you may check this link – RICE RECIPES. You can also check DAL RECIPES here.

North Indians eat roti, sabzi, dal, chawal for their meal. A special dinner has dal makhani, chana masala or chole with bhatura.

You can also check these links for more choice
Sandwich Recipes
Pasta Recipes
Recipes using bread
Oats recipes
Ragi Recipes

I have divided this Post into Various Sections so it is easy for you to decide. Here is what you will find:

Latest Updates

New Dinner Recipes

This section includes new dinner recipes that have been published or updated recently.

Saag Aloo is a delicious and healthy dish of potatoes cooked with spices and plenty of leafy greens. It is a one-pot dish that gets done under 45 mins.

Methi Matar Malai is a North-Indian restaurant dish made with fresh fenugreek leaves and green peas. It is creamy, delicious and fragrant.

Brown Lentils aka Whole Masoor cooked in a simple and delicious way for a protein-packed and nourishing dish. It can also be cooked on the stovetop in a pot or in a pressure cooker.

Red Lentil Curry is a super fragrant and creamy dish of red lentils cooked with Indian spices and herbs. You will need a bowl of hot rice, millets, quinoa or flatbreads to enjoy this.

Gobi Paratha aka cauliflower parathas are a must try if you are a cauliflower lover. These crisp parathas have a spiced cauliflower filling that is delicious.

Gobi Paratha

Butternut Squash Curry with spinach: This is a simple and delicious curried dish made with butternut squash. You can substitute butternut with pumpkin, potatoes or mixed vegetables of choice.

Paneer Pasanda is a delicious dish of pan-fried paneer sandwiches served with a creamy and rich gravy. This dish is best served with Tandoori Roti or plain fluffy Basmati Rice.

paneer pasanda

Chole Recipe – Punjabi Chole Masala is chickpeas cooked in a delicious onion tomato masala with a special spice blend. My recipe also shares how to make a super fragrant chole masala powder.

Tofu Curry – This tofu curry is vegan, gluten-free and protein packed. This is one of those dishes made in a restaurant style but without the use of butter/ghee or cream. I also have a new Tofu Tikka Masala Recipe here.

tofu curry

Kadhi Recipe – Also known as Kadhi Pakora is a delicious dish of crisp fried pakoras in a flavorsome yogurt sauce. If you do not want to make the pakoras you can simply serve the kadhi with stir fried veggies or leafy greens. More details in the recipe post.

Kadhi recipe

Bombay Potatoes – Also known as Bombay Aloo (outside India) is a popular dry dish of spiced potatoes.

Dhaba Style Paneer Curry is delicious, flavorsome dish where Indian cheese is simmered in a spicy dhaba style onion tomato masala. Serve this over rice, flavored rice or any flatbreads.

paneer curry

Black Eyed Peas Curry is a delicious dish of curried black eyed peas also known as lobia. This recipe is easy to make if you have the soaked and precooked or canned black eyed peas. This curry goes extremely well with plain rice.

Black eyed peas curry

Top Indian Dinner Recipes

Paneer butter masala is a delicious & creamy Indian dish made with Indian cheese aka paneer, butter, spices & herbs. This recipe will help you to make the best butter paneer at home with minimal effort. This butter masala or makhani sauce can also be made ahead and refrigerated. This goes well with Jeera rice or butter naan. For more similar recipes check this collection of paneer recipes.

paneer butter masala for indian dinner recipes

Chana masala is a popular dish made by simmering chickpeas in a onion tomato gravy. Chana masala is made almost in every region of India with so many variations. This recipe will give an unique, flavorful and one of the most delicious curries.You can also check this Punjabi chole for variation. Both these dishes can be eaten with bhatura, paratha or poori.

chana masala

Kadai paneer is yet another amazingly flavorful dish made with fresh ground spice powder known as kadai masala. This post shares 2 recipes. First one to make a gravy version and the second to make a semi dry kadai paneer. Similar recipe made with kadai masala is this kadai mushroom.

kadai paneer for indian dinner recipes

Palak paneer needs no introduction as it is hugely popular among the Indians. This dish is prepared by adding Indian cheese or paneer to palak or spinach gravy. This recipe will give you one of the best delicious and creamy palak paneer you can make at home.

palak paneer

Rajma masala is a North Indian curry made by simmering red kidney beans in a spicy onion tomato gravy. Jeera rice goes very well with this.

rajma masala for indian dinner recipes

Veg biryani is a one pot simple, flavorful & delicious dish that can be made in just 30 mins. This is not a dum style biryani so it saves a lot of time and effort without having to spend much time in the kitchen. This goes well with a raita or plain curd. You can make this in a regular pot, pressure cooker or Instant pot.  You can also check this Vegetable dum biryani, Hyderabadi style paneer biryani and mushroom biryani.

veg biryani

Khichdi is similar to the South Indian Ven Pongal. It is a one pot healthy, wholesome & quick dish made with rice, dal, veggies, ginger and minimal spices. This 30 mins khichdi is only not nourishing but also comforts the tummy.

You can also make this with any whole grains like millets, quinoa, steel cut oats etc. Please use the search box to find – dalia khichdi, oats khichdi and steel cut oats. Serve khichdi alone or with some pickle or chutney and papads.


Bisi bele bath is hugely popular in Karnataka. It is made with rice, lentils, bisi bele bath powder and veggies. This is a spicy version of the khichdi. It takes about 50 to 60 mins including the preparation. You can just serve it with some papads.

Recipes that are popular on the same lines are these sambar rice, vangi bath & rava bath.

bisi bele bath

Fried rice is a classic dish made in Indo Chinese restaurant style. This post will teach you how to make the best veg fried rice using simple ingredients like rice, veggies and garlic. This can be made just under 15 mins if you have the precooked rice and some frozen or chopped veggies.

If you eat eggs then you can also check this – egg fried rice.

veg fried rice

Veg pulao is another one pot rice pilaf which is super quick to make either in a pot or cooker. It can be made under 30 mins. The recipe can be made with mixed veggies or even with a single veggie like potato, mushroom or even with only peas. Peas pulao and Kashmiri pulao are other similar dishes.

veg pulao for dinner

Lemon rice is a refreshing dish made by tempering rice with spices, curry leaves lentils and peanuts. A generous amount of lemon juice and turmeric is used for a nice color and flavor. Serve it plain or with curd. Coconut rice is another similar recipe you can check.

lemon rice

Tomato rice is quite popular in Tamilnadu and great to have when you do not have much time. All you need to prepare is an onion, few tomatoes and herbs. The recipe can be done under 30 mins. You can also check this thakkali sadam which is made with precooked rice.

tomato rice

Traditional Indian Dinner

Aloo Paratha are the most popular stuffed North Indian flatbreads. These have a spiced potato filling and are super delicious. I have shared 3 easy ways to roll them perfectly. No matter even if you are a beginner you will easily make them.

aloo paratha

Sambar is a popular south Indian lentil soup made with mixed veggies, spices and herbs. This is eaten with rice, idli, dosa, ven pongal or even with vada. Each state has their own way of making sambar. I have shared my mom’s own best sambar recipe which is a rough adaptation from Karnataka and Andhra cuisines.


Rasam is another comforting soup made with spices and herbs. We usually eat rasam along with rice and veggie stir fry on the side. Rasam is very light on the tummy & makes you feel hungry very quickly. So fill up your meal with lots of veggies.

This post shares instant rasam recipe which tastes very close to the one served in south Indian restaurant meals /thali. You can also check this Andhra style Tomato rasam.


Dal makhani is another most popular restaurant dish made with black lentils, kidney beans, butter and spices. This slow cooked creamy and super flavorful dish is amazingly delicious. Serve it with butter naan.

dal makhani

Bhindi masala is a dish made with okra or ladies finger. Okra are stir fried and then simmered with a spicy and flavorful masala. This is one of those homestyle veggie dishes that is healthy and delicious. Serve this with plain rice, chapati or roti.

bhindi masala

Mixed veg kurma is a South Indian dish made by simmering mixed veggies in a kurma gravy. To cut down the preparation time, you can use frozen chopped veggies like carrot, beans and peas. I also have the Instant pot instructions for this recipe.

Aloo gobi is another simple dish made by stir frying potato and cauliflower. This post shares 2 recipes. First one is a semi dry dish or sabzi and the second one is a gravy dish.

aloo gobi for indian dinner recipes

Dum aloo is a delicious restaurant style dish made by simmering potatoes in a aromatic yogurt and cashew gravy. This is a great dish to make for occasions and surprise your family. I have the instant pot instructions for this recipe. Simple Potato curry and Aloo matar are some similar dishes.

Dal fry is the simplest and the most delicious lentil dishes from India. Made with basic ingredients this is healthy, nutritious and simple to make. I have included the instant pot instructions for this recipe as well. Serve this with plain rice, roti or Jeera rice.

Here are some fusion dishes which are not authentic Indian but loved by most Indians. So I have included them here.

Fusion Indian Dinner Ideas

Masala pasta is a super simple pasta dish made in Indian style with Indian spices. This is a kids’ friendly dish and will be loved by everyone.

masala pasta

Gobi Manchurian is another popular Indo-Chinese starter or appetizer made with gobi aka cauliflower. It can be served as a starter or as a side with noodles & fried rice. You are short of time you can also serve this with plain basmati rice. Make sure you make the manchurian a bit more saucy.

gobi manchurian

Hakka noodles is an Indo-chinese dish that you can make under 30 mins. This post shares the veggie version. You can also add in some eggs or even shredded chicken.

hakka noodles

Chilli paneer is another popular Indo-chinese appetizer made by tossing fried paneer in chilli sauce. This can be eaten with hakka noodles or fried rice or even with plain basmati rice.

chilli paneer

Garlic mushrooms is a unique and hot dish made by tossing mushrooms in a fresh made spicy chilli garlic sauce.

garlic mushrooms for indian dinner recipes

Instant Dinner Ideas (No Prep Ahead)

These Instant Indian dinner recipes are of great help when you need to cook something immediately and do not have much time. All these dishes can eaten with a chutney.

Wheat dosa are instant dosas made with whole wheat flour and water.

wheat dosa

Oats dosa are another healthy instant crepes made with oatmeal, spices and herbs.

oats dosa for indian dinner recipes

Chilla are gram flour pancakes made without fermentation.


Akki rotti is are karnataka style flatbreads made with rice flour, curry leaves and spices.

akki roti for indian dinner recipes

Meat & Seafood Dinner

Egg Curry is a simple dish of boiled eggs simmered in a spicy and flavorsome curry base. This comforting and delicious curry is made in numerous ways all over India. But this Punjabi style egg curry is a favorite with many Dhaba food lovers. Egg Masala, Egg Butter Masala & Egg Bhurji are some of the other choices.

egg curry

Chicken Biryani is a layered dish of chicken & rice, cooked with yogurt, spices and herbs. My easy recipe is will help you whip up a quick and flavorsome dish without having to go through the hassle of long hours of cooking. This Hyderabadi biryani and Chicken dum biryani are the other options you can try out. A biryani is a meal in itself, all you need is a Raita on the side.

chicken biryani

Butter Chicken is curry lovers favorite! This authentic butter chicken is the best you will make. Spiced Yogurt marinated chicken is grilled to perfection and later simmered in a delicious, creamy and rich tomato gravy. For a variation you may take a look at this similar Chicken Butter Masala. You will need either Butter naan, roti, paratha or basmati rice to serve with this butter chicken

butter chicken

Chicken Curry made the simplest way. It has tons of flavors with a delicious sauce. If you have never made an Authentic Indian Chicken curry, you are missing out a lot. Its’ time for you to give this chicken curry a try. Chicken Chettinad, Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry, Achari Chicken are some more choices for you.

chicken curry

Tandoori Chicken is India’s greatest grilled chicken dish where chicken is marinated overnight with spices, yogurt and spices. It is later grilled to perfection on a grill or in the oven. You can also air fry this. Tender Chicken Kebabs and Malai Chicken kabab are other options for you.

tandoori chicken

Chicken Tikka Masala, a full flavored Indian dish of chicken tikka simmered in a super flavorful and delicious tikka masala gravy.

chicken tikka masala

Chicken Korma, made the authentic North Indian way with a small personal twist, this dish tastes delicious, easy to make and goes well with basmati rice, roti, naan or parathas.

chicken korma

Mutton Curry is an Indian dish of goat/lamb meat simmered with onions, tomatoes, spices, yogurt and herbs. This comforting and fall-apart tender mutton is simply delicious! Plan it for a weekend dinner as red meat takes time to cook. I also share the pressure cooker instructions for this recipe.

mutton curry

Keema is South Asian Version of minced mutton/meat, cooked with plenty of spices, herbs and other pantry staples. If you want to make the chicken version, take a look at this Chicken Keema and the Egg version, do check out this Egg Keema.

mutton keema

Fish Curry made with fish, spices, coconut and herbs. If you are a sea food lover, you are surely going to love this easy and flavorsome fish masala. For variations, you may check this Salmon Curry or Fish Tikka Masala.

fish curry


What is the best indian food for dinner?

South Indian dinner ideas – chapatti – veg kurma, ghee rice – soya chunks curry, Bisi bele bath & sweet corn vada.
North Indian dinner ideas – Paneer tikka, poori – potato masala, jeera rice – butter paneer/ chana masala, kulfi or kheer.

What should I eat for Indian dinner?

Non-Vegetarian dinner ideas – Chicken curry / butter chicken/ chicken tikka masala with butter naan, roti, cumin rice or ghee rice.
Vegetarian dinner – Dal makhani / Vegetable korma/ potato curry/ paneer butter masala with butter naan, roti, paratha, cumin rice or pulao.

15 mins Healthy Dinner Recipe

coconut oats recipe

Coconut Oats Dinner

4.99 from 75 votes
South Indian style coconut oats is a simple to make breakfast or snack dish with rolled oats. The recipe just takes 15 mins to make 2 servings. It doesn’t need a accompanying side dish. But it can be served with a bowl of plain yogurt.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time7 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup coconut fresh grated
  • tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • ½ tsp cumin or jeera
  • ½ tsp urad dal or skinned black gram (optional)
  • ½ tsp chana dal or bengal gram
  • 2 tbsp peanuts or cashews as needed
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¾ tsp ginger grated or chopped
  • 2 green chilies – slit of chopped
  • salt as needed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or as needed
  • 2 to 4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida or hing


  • Rinse rolled oats and drain them in a colander.
  • Gently fluff up immediately and set aside.
  • Heat a pan with oil.
  • Add mustard, cumin , urad dal, chana dal and peanuts.
  • Fry them until the peanuts are golden.
  • Then add in hing, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves.
  • Saute them quickly until the curry leaves turn crisp.
  • Then pour 2 tbsp water. This will soften the dals slightly.
  • Add turmeric and salt.
  • Then add in oats. Gently give a good stir.
  • On a very low heat cook covered until the oats turn slightly hot. This only takes about 1 to 2 mins.
  • Turn off the heat. Add coconut and coriander leaves.
  • Mix well and check salt. If needed add more and sprinkle lemon juice over the salt.
  • Mix well and serve coconut oats with pickle or yogurt.


Rolled oats are steamed and pressed to flatten them so they can be used without cooking for longer.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Coconut Oats Dinner
Amount Per Serving
Calories 550 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Sodium 172mg7%
Potassium 436mg12%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 40IU1%
Vitamin C 32.5mg39%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Indian dinner recipes & ideas

This post was first published in April 2014. Updated & republished in March 2023.

100+ Indian Dinner Recipes & Ideas

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
This is the only site that I refer for any kind of recipes. All the detailing are very apt and useful for beginners. Thank you so much.

5 stars
Very good.

I really had no idea how to cook and after marriage I started cooking your recipes.. My family loves it so much.. Each and everything I tried from your recipes has tasted so good… I couldn’t believe I cooked them.. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

So nice

Very good

I’ve cooked so many of your vegetarian recipes the last few weeks and they have all been stellar. I rarely eat out at restaurants lately knowing what I’m cooking at home ultimately tastes better. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and being so thorough in your instructions!

Wow! I’m in love with this page. So many delicious recipes to try out. I have made a few so far and they turn out delicious. Thank you

Thank you Swasthi. Can you please put the other new recipes too here. It’s nice and easy to decide the dinner menu for the week.


This page is very useful. I come here to plan my weekly menu as both of us (I & my husband) are working. Thank you for the amazing recipes.

Very good recipes
Thanks for sharing

Thanks for all the detailed recipes didi… It’s very helpful for me when I search for new recipes to try. Thanks again?

Great. Your receipes are simple and write ups are wasy to follow. Ingredients also easy to get. Not much of tongue twisters. But taste is tongue pleaser. God bless

Wonder full

i love this curry extra hot.

That’s nice to see variety foods and recipes. I saw that you are not marketing and you are publishing the recipes that are tested. And you have been doing it from 2012. That’s quite good amount of time. Good luck.

Very nice Recipees.
Thank you.

Dear Swathi,

I had written to you before after trying your upma which I know really well now. Lately I have been making your tomato rice and it is delicious! Your proportions are perfect. Trying your aloo palak today.


Hi Swasthi,I tried your butter chicken and garlic butter rice.Excellent,every body thought so.Hope you keep sharing more wonderful dishes.

Hello there! Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes for trying !! I hope you will share more in the future!

Dear swathi Madam,
it was an honour to watch your cooking skills and your recipe. thanks a lot- but we expect more. please continue the innovation in cooking so that we can learn a lot from you as ametures in cooking. expecting a lot of recipes – south indian .