How to Order Indian Food

If you’re an adventurous foodie looking to explore the vibrant flavors of Indian cuisine, walking into an Indian restaurant with an extensive menu can be both exciting and overwhelming.

The aromatic spices, diverse regional specialties, and unfamiliar names might leave you wondering where to begin. But fear not! In this guide, we’ll provide you with practical tips to help you read and order from an Indian menu like a pro.

Decoding the Indian Menu

Indian menus can be quite different from what most Americans are accustomed to, but with a little understanding, you’ll navigate them with ease.

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the structure of the menu. Look for sections like starters, main courses, biryanis, and desserts. As you peruse the descriptions, keep an eye out for terms like “curry,” “biryani,” “tandoori,” and “masala,” which are commonly used in Indian cuisine.

  • Curry: A rich and flavorful sauce-based dish made with spices, herbs, and a variety of ingredients.
  • Biryani: A fragrant rice dish cooked with aromatic spices and layered with meat, vegetables, or both.
  • Tandoori: Refers to dishes cooked in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor, resulting in a smoky flavor.
  • Masala: A blend of ground spices used to flavor dishes.

Choosing a Starter

When it comes to starters, you’ll find plenty of delicious options from which to choose. Popular Indian appetizers include samosas, pakora (fritters), and kebabs.

Samosas are deep-fried pastries that usually contain potatoes or peas mixed with spices, while pakoras are batter-coated vegetables or paneer (Indian cheese) fried until golden brown. Kebabs are minced meats mixed with herbs and spices, grilled on skewers over charcoal.

Familiarize Yourself with Regional Specialties

Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse, with each region boasting its own unique culinary traditions. Explore beyond the usual suspects and delve into the regional specialties.

North Indian cuisine is known for rich curries and tandoori delights, while South Indian cuisine offers an array of dosas and coconut-infused dishes. Bengali cuisine showcases seafood delicacies and sweets.

Trying dishes from different regions allows you to experience the breadth of Indian flavors.

Starters and Appetizers

Begin your culinary adventure with a selection of starters and appetizers. Popular choices include samosas (crispy pastries filled with spiced potatoes or meat), pakoras (deep-fried fritters), and chaats (savory snacks with a burst of flavors).

Whether you prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian options, you’ll find a delightful array of choices to tantalize your taste buds.

Main Courses

Curries and Tandoori Delights

Indian curries are the heart and soul of the cuisine. They come in a variety of flavors, from mild and creamy to spicy and robust.

Classic dishes like butter chicken, tikka masala, or vindaloo offer a great starting point. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the tandoori section of the menu, which features marinated meats or vegetables cooked in a clay oven. These are typically eaten with naan (flat bread).

Chicken tikka, tandoori fish, or sheekh kebabs are popular options that showcase the unique flavors of tandoori cooking.

Biryanis and Rice Dishes

For rice lovers, biryanis and rice dishes are a must-try. Biryanis are aromatic rice-based dishes cooked with a blend of spices, meat, or vegetables.

Chicken biryani, mutton biryani, or shrimp biryani are excellent choices. If you’re looking for something lighter, consider options like pulao, lemon rice, or tomato rice.

The fragrant rice paired with flavorful accompaniments will transport you to culinary bliss.

Accompaniments and Bread Options

Indian cuisine offers a delightful variety of accompaniments that enhance the flavors of your meal.

Raita, a refreshing yogurt-based dip with cucumbers or mint, provides a cooling contrast to spicy dishes. Pickles, ranging from tangy lime to spicy mango, add a burst of flavor to your plate.

Don’t forget to explore the bread options. Naan, a soft and pillowy bread, pairs perfectly with curries, while roti and paratha are great for scooping up flavors.

Special Diet Considerations

Indian cuisine caters to various dietary preferences and restrictions. If you have specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan, rest assured that there are plenty of options available at O’Desi aroma.

Vegetarian dishes are abundant in Indian cuisine, with choices like paneer tikka, baingan ka bharta (roasted eggplant), or vegetable biryani.

Communicate your dietary preferences to the server, and they will guide you toward suitable options.

Desserts and Sweet Endings

No Indian meal is complete without indulging in a sweet treat. Indian desserts are a feast for the senses, with their rich flavors and delicate textures.

Treat yourself to gulab jamun (deep-fried milk dumplings in a sweet syrup), rasgulla (soft cheese balls in sugar syrup), or kheer (rice pudding).

These desserts offer a delightful balance of sweetness and aromatic spices, leaving a lasting impression.

Effective Communication with Staff

When it comes to ordering from an Indian menu, don’t hesitate to ask questions.

The staff of O’Desi aroma is here to assist you and provide guidance. Seek clarification about unfamiliar terms or ingredients, and feel free to inquire about spice levels, popular dishes, or recommendations based on your preferences.

By communicating effectively, you’ll better understand the menu and make informed choices.

Dive in With Your Fingers!

Indian food is meant to be shared and eaten with your hands. Dine the way locals do by using your fingers to scoop up the delicious flavors from your plate.

There’s no better way to experience Indian cuisine than to embrace its traditions and enjoy every bite!

At O’Desi aroma, you can savor authentic flavors and explore India’s culinary traditions from the comfort of your own home. Order today.

Bon Appétit!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Be among the elitest to receive updates on special menus,
exciting offers, ODA Pedia, ODA Meter, ODA Vida & more!

Your Email Address

    Follow Us

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Be among the elitest to receive updates on special menus,
    exciting offers, ODA Pedia, ODA Meter, ODA Vida & more!

    Your Email Address

      Follow Us