1 Simple Spice Mix, 8 Thrilling Indian Dishes

With garam masala on hand, these eight tantalizing Indian dishes are yours!

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1) Easy Garam Masala

Garam masala is a fragrant blend of ground spices that comes in countless variations. This basic recipe combines cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Compare it with Kashmiri Garam Masala, a dry-roasted spice blend that includes those seven spices plus bay leaves, fennel seed, and mace; or Tandoori Masala, which includes the seven plus garlic powder, ginger, fenugreek, and mace.

Some recipes below call for garam marsala plus other spices, like cayenne pepper or chili powder, or they highlight a bit more of a specific spice or two that’s also featured in the blend.

2) Chef John’s Tandoori Chicken
This is an easy variation on the Indian classic. Prep time is just 5 minutes, and cook time (after a 2-hour marination) is about 15 minutes on the grill. Watch Chef John make it!

3) Chef John’s Chicken Tikka Masala
This version calls for coconut milk instead of cream. Chef John calls it an “American version of a British version of an Indian curry.” Though its true origin is up for debate, there’s no arguing chicken tikka masala’s worldwide popularity.

4) Alicia’s Aloo Gobi
“Hands down the easiest and most delicious curry I have ever made,” says Alicia, the recipe submitter. “It’s my own personal twist on Aloo Gobi, a traditionally dry Indian dish consisting of potatoes and cauliflower. The coconut milk adds extra sauciness. Serve with basmati rice or, better, with breads such as roti, naan, or pita.”

5) Chicken Biriyani
A fragrant basmati rice dish featuring chicken simmered in a spicy sauce of yogurt, vinegar, tomatoes, ginger paste, and spices galore.

6) Indian Dahl with Spinach
The sweetness of a little coconut milk plays perfectly with the spices in this easy red lentil and spinach dahl. Garam masala gets a kick from turmeric, chili powder, and mustard seeds.

7) Kima
You’ll also find the name of this ground beef curry spelled Keema and Khema. Pro Tip: Use this spicy meat mixture as a stuffing for samosas.

8) Veg Biryani
Here’s a vegetarian version of biryani with fresh green beans, potatoes, and carrots.

9) Indian Butter Chicken (Makhani Chicken)
Don’t let the name fool you, there are only 3 tablespoons of butter used in this recipe — one for the sauce and two for baking the marinated chicken. Yogurt, tomato puree, garlic, cream, spices, and a touch of honey give this recipe many levels of tongue-titillating flavor.


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