Indian food is so diverse that it could be hard to sample all of its dishes in one lifetime. However, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite dishes that you can find at most Indian restaurants. We recommend ordering multiple main dishes and sharing them with your companions, as this is the best way to enjoy a meal at a restaurant. With a few sides, plenty of rice (which is typically included), and a sweet ending, you can’t go wrong.

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What To Order In An Indian Restaurant?

When dining at an Indian restaurant, there are several popular and delicious dishes you can order. Here are some recommendations:

1. Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a popular dish in Indian cuisine. The chicken is typically marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices, then cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) for a smoky flavour and tenderness. Afterwards, it is simmered in a rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, often with the addition of butter or cream.

The sauce of Butter Chicken is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and a blend of aromatic spices such as garam masala, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek. The result is a luscious and flavorful gravy that complements the tender chicken pieces.

Butter Chicken is traditionally served with naan bread, which is perfect for mopping up the sauce. However, it is also commonly enjoyed with steamed rice or fragrant basmati rice. The combination of the creamy chicken and the bread or rice creates a satisfying and comforting meal.

If you’re a fan of creamy and mildly spiced dishes, Butter Chicken is a fantastic choice to try at an Indian restaurant. Its popularity has made it a staple in many Indian restaurants worldwide.

2. Biryani

Biryani is a beloved and flavorful rice dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is known for its aromatic spices and the combination of meat (such as chicken, lamb, or shrimp), fragrant basmati rice, and sometimes vegetables.

The preparation of biryani involves cooking the meat and rice separately before layering them together. The meat is typically marinated in a blend of spices and yogurt, which tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavours. The rice is parboiled and seasoned with whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaves, as well as saffron strands for added colour and aroma.

Once both components are prepared, they are layered in a pot or a pan, with the rice forming a layer on top of the meat. The pot is then sealed tightly, either with a lid or dough and cook over low heat, allowing the flavours to meld together and the rice to absorb the aromas of the spices and meat.

The result is a fragrant and flavorful dish with tender meat and fluffy, aromatic rice. Biryani can be enjoyed on its own or paired with accompaniments such as raita (a yogurt-based condiment with vegetables or herbs) or curry, which adds an extra dimension of flavour.

Biryani comes in various regional variations, such as Hyderabadi Biryani, Lucknowi Biryani, Kolkata Biryani, and many more, each with its unique blend of spices and cooking techniques.

Whether you choose chicken, lamb, shrimp, or a vegetarian version, biryani is a delightful and satisfying choice when dining at an Indian restaurant.

3. Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is a popular Indian dish that is loved for its tender and smoky flavours. It is prepared by marinating chicken in a mixture of yogurt and a blend of aromatic spices, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and Kashmiri red chilli powder. The marinated chicken is then cooked in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor.

The tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven that is heated with charcoal or wood, reaching high temperatures. This intense heat and the unique environment inside the tandoor impart a smoky and charred flavour to the chicken while keeping it incredibly moist and juicy. The marinade helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with the flavours of spices and yogurt.

Tandoori Chicken is typically served with mint chutney, which is a tangy and refreshing condiment made with fresh mint leaves, yogurt, and various spices. The mint chutney complements the smoky flavours of the chicken and adds a cool contrast to the spiciness.

In addition to mint chutney, Tandoori Chicken is often accompanied by naan bread. Naan is a soft and fluffy Indian bread that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, which makes it an ideal pairing with Tandoori Chicken. The naan can be used to scoop up the chicken or to make delicious wraps with the chicken and chutney.

Tandoori Chicken is a popular and flavorful choice at Indian restaurants, and its distinctive flavours and cooking method make it a must-try dish for many.

4. Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a delicious and popular vegetarian dish in Indian cuisine. It is made with a combination of spinach (palak) and paneer (Indian cottage cheese), creating a flavorful and creamy dish.

To prepare Palak Paneer, fresh spinach leaves are blanched and then pureed to form a vibrant green base. The pureed spinach is then cooked with a variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, and garam masala. This combination of spices adds depth and flavour to the dish.

After the spinach is cooked with the spices, cubes of paneer are added to the sauce. Paneer is a non-melting cheese commonly used in Indian cuisine, and its mild and creamy taste pairs wonderfully with spinach. The paneer absorbs the flavours of the sauce while retaining its soft and chewy texture.

Palak Paneer is often finished with a touch of cream or butter, which adds richness and enhances the creamy texture of the dish. However, for a healthier version, you can omit the cream or use alternatives such as coconut milk or cashew cream.

Palak Paneer is typically served with naan bread or steamed rice. The soft and fluffy naan bread is perfect for scooping up the creamy spinach and paneer, while rice provides a neutral base to balance the flavours.

With its nutritious spinach and protein-rich paneer, Palak Paneer is a wholesome and satisfying vegetarian option that is loved by many. Its creamy texture, vibrant flavours, and versatility make it a popular choice in Indian restaurants.

5. Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature is a beloved North Indian dish that consists of two components: chole (spicy chickpea curry) and bhature (deep-fried bread). It is a filling and flavorful combination that is commonly enjoyed for breakfast or lunch in India.

Chole, the spicy chickpea curry, is made by simmering cooked chickpeas in a flavorful and tangy tomato-based gravy. The gravy is seasoned with a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and amchur (dried mango powder). It often incorporates onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies for added depth of flavour.

The chole curry is rich and hearty, with a perfect balance of spiciness and tanginess. The chickpeas soak up the flavours of the spices and the thick gravy, resulting in a satisfying dish.

Bhature, the accompaniment to chole, is a deep-fried bread made from fermented dough. The dough is typically prepared with all-purpose flour, yogurt, semolina, and a leavening agent like baking powder. It is then rolled out into small, circular shapes and deep-fried until puffy and golden brown. The bhature bread is soft, fluffy, and slightly crispy, making it the perfect vehicle to scoop up the flavorful chole curry.

When served together, the combination of the spicy and tangy chickpea curry with the deep-fried bread creates a delightful contrast of flavours and textures. It is often garnished with chopped onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon for added freshness.

Chole Bhature is a popular street food and restaurant dish in North India. It is a favourite among food enthusiasts due to its bold flavours and indulgent nature. If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious option, Chole Bhature is a fantastic choice to try at an Indian restaurant.


In conclusion, Indian cuisine offers a wide array of delicious dishes to enjoy at a restaurant. Whether you’re a fan of creamy curries, flavorful rice dishes, tandoor-cooked meats, or vegetarian delights, there is something to suit every palate. These are just a few examples of the many delicious dishes you can explore in Indian cuisine.

Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, Indian restaurants offer a variety of options to satisfy your taste buds. Don’t hesitate to explore the menu, try different dishes, and ask for recommendations to fully experience the diverse and flavorful world of Indian cuisine.

If you haven’t found an Indian restaurant yet, you can find some of them on the list of the best indian restaurant perth on the Ask Perth Website. 

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