Although, as a cuisine, Indian food can be separated into many different regional signature styles; as a whole, every dish originating from this fascinating country combines a wealth of shared cooking techniques. These similarities form the foundations on which a number of well-known, traditional Indian dishes were created; many that we still know and love today.
As a nation, India boasts one of the most vegetarian-friendly cuisines; but this shouldn’t overshadow the delicious range of traditional Indian meat dishes available. As one of the most popular Indian restaurants in Milton Keynes, the team here at Kakori make these dishes day in day out and are ready to share their top 8 favourite Indian meat dishes with you.
The Top 8 Traditional Indian Meat Dishes
With such a vast amount of dishes available within the Indian cuisine, it’s hard to pick just 8. However, when looking for some of the more traditional dishes, it’s slightly easier to whittle them down and delve a little deeper into why many of them are at the very heart of Indian culture as we know it.
While our list includes many familiar dishes that you have more than likely tried for yourself, the tradition behind their cooking methods and history are relatively unknown. Without further ado, get your tastebuds ready, as we take you through some of the most traditional meat dishes that have derived from this delicious cuisine.
1. Butter Chicken
2. Rogan Josh
5. Tunde ka Kabab
6. Tandoori Chicken
7. Kati Roll
1. Butter Chicken
Originating in a small Indian restaurant named Moti Mahal, tucked away in the streets of Daryaganj, New Delhi, butter chicken was created right in the heart of this Asian metropolis. During the 1950s, the restaurant was owned by a man called Kundan Lal Gurjal, who unwittingly stumbled upon a dish that would become an international favourite.
Using leftover sauces, mixed with a gravy made from tomatoes and butter, pieces of chicken would be added to form a dish that used everything up so that there was no waste. Little did the chefs know that this dish would soon become one of India’s, and indeed the world’s, favourite Indian delicacies.
If you’d like to follow in the steps of these creative chefs, test out your culinary skills with this butter chicken recipe from Gordon Ramsay; you’ll be transported to New Delhi as soon as the sauce touches your lips.
2. Rogan Josh
This particular Indian dish originates from the Kashmir Valley region of India. Rice and meat have been staple foods for Kashmiris for centuries, and this continues in the form of dishes such as this. Most commonly enjoyed with lamb, Rogan Josh in its original form was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals – people who occupied central India during the 18th Century. It is thought that this dish was heavily influenced by Persian culture, but has taken on its own format under Indian cuisine.
The traditional Kashmir preparation of the meat and sauce doesn’t include tomatoes like the modern version, but it is said that the dish inherited the tomato as an ingredient from a Punjabi adaptation of the recipe.
Take a look at this delicious traditional Rogan Josh recipe from Rick Stein and recreate the classic at home.
While this may bring the famous English chant ‘Vindaloo’ to mind, it’s actually more commonly known as one of the hottest Indian curries you can sample. Made popular in the region of Goa, this fiery delicacy may not be the hottest curry out there but would provide any spice fan with a tasty main dish. Its roots date back to the period in which Goa saw heavy Portuguese colonisation; because of this, many Goan dishes are influenced by this European cuisine, with Vindaloo deriving from the Portuguese phrase carne de vinha d’alhos, meaning, meat in garlic wine marinade.
Pork was generally the meat of choice in this dish, which the Goan’s then marinated in palm vinegar, dried red chilli peppers and spices, to create the traditional Indian version of Vindaloo. Restaurants in Goa, to this day, serve Vindaloo with pork along with the original recipe. To try out the authentic recipe for yourself, head over to Whisk Affair.
With similar origins to the Rogan Josh, the Biryani is thought to be a Mughal dish, inspired by Persian cuisine; although many different regions of India claim to have created this one-pot dish, so the history remains a little hazy. A biryani has always been a tasty mixed rice dish, containing many spices and any choice of meat. The traditional ingredients vary depending on the region, but generally, meat is the main component which is infused with things like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and tomatoes, to name just a few.
There are a huge amount of variations of this dish, as you will see from our menu and those around the world – so it’s a favourite for many of our customers. If you’d like to try your hand at this traditional Indian dish, test out this recipe from Maunika Gowardhan, a popular Indian chef and food writer from Mumbai.
5. Tunde ke Kabab
A slightly lesser known Indian dish perhaps, but traditional nonetheless; the Tunde Ke Kabab originates in the Lucknow region of India. Its main ingredient is traditionally buffalo meat, mixed with 160 spices – so the story goes. The name is said to derive from a popular eating spot in Lucknow, known as Tunday Kababi, famous for serving this melt in the mouth buffalo meat kebab. If you want to follow in the footsteps of the famous chef said to have created this dish, take a look at this recipe from India Today and have a go for yourself.
6. Tandoori Chicken
A hugely popular dish here in the UK and possibly one of our bestsellers, Tandoori chicken derives from the Indian Subcontinent, specifically the Punjab region, and continues to be eaten all over the world. It is said that the very first documented form of the dish dates back to 3000 BC, due to the remains of chicken bones and tandoor ovens being unearthed throughout Punjab archaeological sites.
Its name comes from the way in which it is cooked; in a Tandoor – a clay oven cylindrical in shape. The meat is coated in a spice-infused yoghurt sauce and coloured using cayenne pepper along with red chilli powder. The marinated meat is cooked on skewers inside the tandoor oven, giving it the tasty charcoal finish that it is so widely known for.
7. Kati Roll
With the popularity of street food increasing year on year, this next dish originating from Kolkata in West Bengal is India’s answer to food on the go. History suggests that the Kati or Kathi Roll was created by a popular restaurant named Nizam for the busy office commuters in Kolkata needing food on the go. The Bengali word, Kati, translates to Stick, which refers to the skewers on which the meat was cooked before being rolled up inside a paratha bread to form this delicious dish.
What’s not to love about Indian cuisine wrapped up to enjoy on the go? If you like the sound of this as much as the people of Kolkata, create this delectable street food for yourself using this recipe from Times Food.
Last but not least, we finish with a taste of British India and a dish that is said to have been created in the Provinces of India during British governance. As a way to use up leftovers, the Jalfrezi was born by frying up meat along with chilli and oils. The dish is still stir-fried to this day and accompanied by a thick spicy sauce, usually including green chilli peppers. Take a look at this tasty recipe from Urban Rajan for an authentic version of this popular dish.
Enjoy A Traditional Taste Of India
There truly are so many delicious meat dishes to sample within the Indian cuisine – too many to count in fact. We’ve tried to cover many regions of India in order to give you a real taste of the country’s history and how it has helped shape many traditional Indian dishes.
The very best way in which to get a true taste of traditional Indian cooking is to try out our highly reputed Indian takeaway in Milton Keynes. Our chefs originate from India and know exactly how to cook the food so it tastes as authentic as possible. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more traditionally cooked curry out of India itself – come and visit us at Kakori and see for yourself!