Craving Indian Food? 5 Starter Recipes

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Around this time in the winter, dinners start to become predictable. Soup is in heavy rotation as are whole-grain casseroles or baked pasta with loads of greens. Routines set in and I start to turn to what what's easy, filling and delicious. But lately I've been craving food with a warmer kick—spicy food, food that isn't always in my weekly repertoire.

Truthfully, I don't cook much Indian food at home. I love it, and there's a great little spot by our house with a pretty magical (and inexpensive) lunch buffet. But I find that when I'm inspired to actually cook something, I never have the right spices and I start to feel a touch overwhelmed by the thought of it.

But we had a dinner party recently and decided to tackle a number of Indian dishes that were new to us. I usually like to test out new recipes before serving them to friends, but this was an exception: I was craving Indian food and there simply wasn't enough time to fully test each one. So I went with recipes from a few writing friends and colleagues, and dabbled with a couple other sites that I've come to trust. The result? We had quite the successful feast; below are a few of the recipes we tackled.

Do you have any relatively basic but delicious Indian recipes you love?

5 Starter Recipes:
1. Kerala-Spiced Peas (pictured) - Leela Cyd Ross for The Kitchn
2. Saag Panner - 101 Cookbooks
3. Red Lentil Dhal - Dana Treat
4. Chana Masala - Smitten Kitchen
5. Chicken Tikka Masala - Food and Wine

Related: Make Indian Food at Home: 20 Great Recipes, from Chutney to Chapati

(Image: Leela Cyd Ross)

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