If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting authentic Indian food, you’ve never experienced the mouth-watering layers of flavors the cuisine is famous for. On the flip side, if you’re a fan of the delicious Indian dishes served up at local restaurants, you know the culture’s cuisine is decadent, rich, fresh, and powerful.
The savory and spicy concoctions we’ve grown to love at places like Tandoori Nites and Maharaja Indian Cuisine are certainly worth splurging on, but we also thought it might be fun to show our readers how you can create your own Indian feast at home. With simple ingredients, a little patience, and a whole lot of love, we’ll show you how to dish up your own Tikka Masala from the comfort of your kitchen.
For a fanciful feast in your home, gather the essential pantry staples that weave together the complex tapestry of Indian cuisine. You may even have them already on-hand. From Basmati rice to legumes and lentils, fresh herbs like bay leaves, mint, and cilantro, to the long list of flavorful Indian spices, creating beautiful Indian food at home starts with these ingredients.
The blueprint for delicious Indian food begins with something called a Masala Dabba. It’s a basic spice box that holds six to eight spices, making it easy to add spice while cooking. Our Ten Spice Essentials include: cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, Garam Masala, mustard seeds, and asafetida. From there, the skies the limit. You can master the art of making fluffy naan, savory samosas, rich curries, the ever-popular tikka masala, sumptuous matar paneer, and the decadent chicken makhami, affectionately known as butter chicken.
For the sake of space, we’re sharing a simple recipe for a vegan version of butter chickpeas with tofu from the comfort of your home.
Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas with Tofu
1 14 oz. package firm tofu
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
1 can coconut milk
1 c. tomato puree
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. garam masala
1 tbsp. plus one tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/8 c. cilantro, finely chopped
2 c. cooked rice for serving or naan
Remove tofu from packaging, rinse, and pat dry. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion. Cook until translucent. Add in garlic. Stir for two minutes to combine. Whisk in coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger, salt, and pepper. Cook until mixture thickens, about five minutes. While sauce cooks, finely cube tofu and place in crockpot along with garbanzo beans. Pour sauce mixture over the top and cook on low for five hours. Once chickpeas are complete, garnish with cilantro and serve alongside rice or naan.
Order In Indian Food at Home
Maharaja Indian Cuisine
678 N. Wilson Way, Stockton
Royal India Cuisine restaurant
7610 Pacific Ave., Stockton
Tandoori Nites Restaurant
8102 Kelley Dr., Ste. B, Stockton
Friends Indian Restaurant
1040 W. Kettleman Ln., Unit 4, Lodi
1301 W. Lockeford St., Ste. D, Lodi