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An Authentic Indian Vegetarian Meal Recipe

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Aanvi is a full-time mom and part-time healthcare worker. She's glad to be able to share her well-researched articles.

A North Indian Authentic Indian Meal consisting of spicy vegetables, hot buttered bread (Paratha), with side of rice and spicy mango pickle.

A North Indian Authentic Indian Meal consisting of spicy vegetables, hot buttered bread (Paratha), with side of rice and spicy mango pickle.

Love Indian Food?

Passing by an Indian restaurant mesmerized by the aroma of Indian food makes many of us want to attempt a home-cooked Indian meal. The freshness of the ingredients used and the aroma from the spices come together to create some of the most delicious dishes in the world. Indian food is known to be one of the most popular foods around the globe.

However, it can be a bit intimidating as sometimes there are so many ingredients, including spices, that are combined to create an authentic Indian meal. But before you put away the thought of ever cooking an authentic Indian meal, it's important to understand what an authentic Indian meal consists of and that it is not as complicated as it seems.

A Thali (pictured above), typically served in a round style or round plate, consists of choices of vegetable dishes along with buttered Indian bread and other condiments.

A Thali (pictured above), typically served in a round style or round plate, consists of choices of vegetable dishes along with buttered Indian bread and other condiments.

Variations in Indian Cooking

Although you will find certain variations in the types of foods and spices used throughout the Indian Sub-Continent and the Indian restaurants you eat in, the general concept of an Indian Meal remains consistent in most regions.

Some exceptions include, the southern regions of India which serve battered and fermented rice dishes as oppose to the bread. However the concept of vegetables curries/meat curries and lentil soups along with condiments remains the same.

Indian Food Is A Luxury On Tour !

- Mahesh Bhupati

Typical Foods Served in An Authentic Indian Vegetarian Meal

Indian NameMeaningServed


Choice of Vegetable curries.

Normally, there is a choice of at least two Sabjis.

Naan, Paratha or Chapathi

Fresh buttered bread

Served hot with the vegetables.

Chawal, Vari, Pulao, Biryani

White rice or spicy rice

Served on the side with other foods.


Crunchy, crispy, round (like a tortilla)

Served as an appetizer in restaurants.

Achar or Avakaya

Spicy pickle

Served as a "salsa" for more added flavor and spicyness

General Spices Used In Indian Meals

Most Indian meals use these spices. So if you are planning on making more Indian dishes it is a good idea to have these available. You can add other spices or subtract spices as you wish.

Cumin seeds

Cumin powder

Coriander powder

Garam masala

Chili powder

Tumeric powder

The Recipe for An Authentic Indian Meal

Spicy French Beans, Chana Masala, with Paratha

Final Product

Final Product

Cook Time

Cook timeReady inYields

45 min

45 min


For Spicy French Style Beans (1st vegetable):

  • 1-2 cans french style beans, Washed and Drained
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder, `
  • 1 Tablespoon tumeric powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Each coriander power, cumin power, garam masala
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

For Chana Masala (2nd Vegetable):

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, Pressured Cooked for 5 minutes
  • Half onion, Diced
  • 1/4 cup canned tomato puree
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, chole masala (found in any indian grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chill powder
  • 1 tablespoon tumeric powder

For the Paratha (bread):

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water, or as needed
  • Extra oil in a small bowl
Scroll to Continue

Instructions To Cook Spicy French Style Beans:

Heat oil and then add mustard seeds. Once mustard seeds start popping, add washed beans. Stir in oil and cook on low for few minutes. Then add chilli powder, tumeric, and salt. Stir on low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes (stirring occasionally). Then add coriander powder, cumin powder. Stir on low, cover, and cook for 5-8 minutes (stirring occasionally). Lastly, add garam masala and stir and cook for another 2 mins. And it's ready. Serve hot!

Instructions To Cook Chana Masala:

Pressure cook chickpeas for 5 minutes. While that is pressure cooking, heat oil in a pan and once the oil start heating add cumin seeds. Wait about 30 seconds, and then add diced onions. Cook until onions are lightly brown. Then, add chole masala, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Stir well. Let it cook for a couple of minutes (if it's dry and sticking to pan add a little bit of water and stir again). Then add tomato puree and salt and stir well covered for a 3-4 minutes. Then add drained and cooked chickpeas. Stir well, cover and let it cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Once it's done cooking, add garam masala and stir. Serve hot!

Instructions To Cook Paratha:

Take wheat flour in a semi-large plastic or stainless steel bowl. Add oil and salt. And then very slowly add water as you are mixing it together with your hands. Careful not to use too much water. The goal is to make it into a round shape dough (not too soft and not too hard). Then leave it covered aside for few minutes while heating on medium heat a flat non-stick pan on the stove. Keep a small jar of oil on the side as you will need it later. Start by making round 4-6 inch balls of the dough and rolling then out into a circle shape. Put the rolled out dough onto the hot pan. Once the dough start to turn slightly brown, flip it to the other side and spread oil on both sides of the dough. Let both sides cook until golden brown on both sides. Take it off stove and serve hot! (Some also add extra clarified butter on top of the paratha to enhance the taste).

How to Plate Indian Food Like a Pro

In my recipe (see above) the condiments I used are spicy mango pickle and white rice. However, to plate your Indian Authentic Meal, you can add a side of salad, papad, chutneys (a type of sweet, spicy or sour salsa), or any type of colorful fried snack foods such as pakoras (as the dish below). Also, keep in mind if any vegetable dishes are dry, then a lentil soup is usually added to the meal.


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© 2019 Aanvi

Question & Comments

Aanvi (author) from United States on October 22, 2019:

Thank you liza. :-)

Liza from USA on October 20, 2019:

My husband and I love Indian food. Since I'm originally from Malaysia, Indian food is not a new 'thing' to me :) Paratha and naan is one of our favorites if we went to an Indian restaurant. I also used some of the Indian spices in my cooking. Thank you for sharing your expertise in Indian cuisine, Aanvi. Excellent presentation!

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