What to Order From an Indian Restaurant?

Last Updated on November 6, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Have you ever been to an Indian restaurant and had no idea what to order? With so many choices on the menu, it can be tough to decide what to get. But don’t worry – we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll give you a few suggestions on what to order from an Indian restaurant. So the next time you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll know exactly what to try.

Popular Indian Dishes

When it comes to Indian food, there are a few dishes that are particularly popular. If you’re not sure what to order, you can’t go wrong with any of these classics:

  • Chicken Tikka Masala: This dish is composed of chunks of chicken that have been marinated in spices and yogurt, then grilled and served in a tomato-based sauce. It’s creamy, flavorful, and one of the most popular Indian dishes.
  • Butter Chicken: Another chicken dish, butter chicken is also very popular. The chicken is simmered in a gravy made from tomatoes, cream, and butter, resulting in a rich and decadent dish.
  • Saag Paneer: This vegetarian dish features cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) that have been cooked in a spinach-based gravy. It’s hearty, filling, and packed with flavor.
  • Chana Masala: This is a popular dish made with chickpeas that have been simmered in a spicy tomato-based gravy. It’s delicious, nutritious, and perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a meatless option.
  • Naan: This is a type of flatbread that is often served with Indian food. It’s soft, fluffy, and slightly charred from being cooked in a tandoor (a traditional clay oven).
  • Samosas: These are fried pastry pockets that are usually filled with potatoes, peas, and spices. They make a great appetizer or snack, and they’re sure to satisfy anyone’s craving for something crispy and fried.

Best Indian Dishes to Order at a Restaurant

Now that you know what some of the most popular Indian dishes are, it’s time to decide what to order when you’re at a restaurant. If you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest trying one of these lesser-known but equally delicious dishes:


  • Papadum: This is a thin and crispy disc-shaped flatbread that is often served with Indian food. It’s typically made from lentil or chickpea flour and is flavored with spices like cumin, chili pepper, and black pepper.
  • Bhaji: These are fried vegetable fritters that are popular in India. They’re usually made with potatoes, onions, and spices, and they make a great appetizer or snack.

Indian Breads

  • Roti: This is a type of flatbread that is made from whole wheat flour. It’s typically served with curries and other dishes, and it’s perfect for soaking up all the delicious flavors.
  • Paratha: This is another type of Indian flatbread, but it’s made with maida (refined wheat flour). It’s usually served with curries or stews, and it’s perfect for mopping up all the delicious sauce.

Main Dish

home cooked chicken biryani
  • Aloo Gobi: This is a popular vegetarian dish made with potatoes, cauliflower, and spices. It’s typically served with rice or bread, and it makes a delicious and hearty main dish.
  • Chicken Biryani: This is a classic Indian dish made with chicken, rice, spices, and often raisins and nuts. It’s a filling and flavorful dish that is perfect for a special occasion.
  • Lamb Rogan Josh: This dish is made with lamb that has been cooked in a gravy made from yogurt, spices, and tomatoes. It’s rich, hearty, and perfect for a cold winter day.

Indian Drinks

  • Lassi: This is a popular Indian drink made with yogurt, water, and spices. It’s refreshing, cooling, and perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day.
  • Masala Chai: This is a spiced tea that is popular in India. It’s made with black tea, milk, spices, and often sugar. It’s a comforting and warming drink that is perfect for sipping on a cold day.


  • Gulab Jamun: These are fried balls of dough that are soaked in a syrup made from sugar and rose water. They’re sweet, sticky, and absolutely delicious.
  • Rasmalai: This is a popular Indian dessert made with cottage cheese dumplings that are soaked in a sweet milk gravy. It’s rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious.

Tips on Ordering Indian Food

Now that you know what some of the most popular dishes are, here are a few tips on ordering Indian food:

  • When in doubt, ask the waiter or waitress for suggestions. They will be more than happy to help you choose a dish that you’ll enjoy.
  • If you’re not sure what something is, don’t be afraid to ask. The staff at an Indian restaurant will be more than happy to explain what a dish is and what it contains.
  • If you’re looking for a lighter option, try ordering a soup or salad as your starter.
  • When ordering main dishes, keep in mind that most Indian dishes are meant to be shared. So, if you’re dining with others, consider ordering a few different dishes to share.
  • And finally, don’t forget to order some naan bread! It’s the perfect way to soak up all the delicious sauce from your curries and stews.

How to Eat Indian Food?

If you’re eating with your hands, be sure to use your right hand only. The left hand is considered unclean in India.

When using utensils, be sure to use your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right [1].

Indian food is typically served on a thali, which is a metal platter with small bowls around the edge. Each bowl contains a different dish. Start with the rice, and then work your way around the other dishes.

When you’re finished eating, place your utensils on your plate to indicate that you’re done.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more food if you’re still hungry. Indian hospitality is famous, and the staff will be more than happy to bring you more food.


Indian food is delicious, hearty, and perfect for sharing with others. So, next time you’re in an Indian restaurant, be sure to order some of the classics like roti, chicken biryani, and gulab jamun. And don’t forget to ask for more if you’re still hungry!


Lauren Beck
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