a plate of Bengali fried rice

Bengali vegetable fried rice

This rice dish, ghee bhaat, is typically Bengali and is sometimes referred to as Bengali vegetable pulao. It is a simple, wholesome rice and vegetable dish and is very easy to prepare. It is suitable to accompany almost any lentil or vegetable dish in this book.

a bowl of black-eyed pea curry

black-eyed pea curry

Preparations of black-eyed peas are common across all of India. This is the Goan way. It has plenty of chilli and coconut and a touch of tomato. This dish, alsande tonak, is a robust, spicy, hot preparation.

a bowl of butter chicken with rice

butter chicken

This is the classic murgh makhani. It is not a stew, but pieces of grilled or baked chicken coated in a sauce. This is not the same as the curry houses version.

a serving bowl filled with cabbage poriyal

cabbage poriyal

A dry, stir fried curry of shredded cabbage, spiced with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Known as muttaikose poriyal, it is from the coastal region of Kerala.

two glasses of cardamom coffee

cardamom coffee

Sweet, brutally strong, milky and a spicy undertone, this recipe for kaapi is the south Indian way to make coffee.

a bowl of carrot halwa

carrot halwa

One of the most popular Indian desserts, gajar ka halwa is a rich dessert with grated carrots, milk, sugar and nuts.

a serving bowl of diced carrots and beans with lime

carrots and beans with lime

This is a simple dish of carrots, beans and lifted with lime. Gajar sem ki sabzi is a common Bengali preparation.

a pan of cauliflower in pickling spices

cauliflower with pickling spices

A simple cauliflower dish from Lucknow. The pickling spices are the spices to make pickles, hence the name. Achari Gobhi could accompany almost any other dish or is great as a simple meal on its own, with a chapati or two.

a heap of chaat masala powder

chaat masala

Chaat masala is used to sprinkle over snacks, vegetables, fruit and into drinks.

a bowl of masala chickpeas

channa masala

Dishes of spiced chickpeas can be found across all of India. This is the Punjabi chole, or channa masala.

a bowl of Rajastani chicken biryani

chicken biryani

This murgh biryani from Rajasthan is delicately scented with rosewater and cardamom, with quite hot chicken pieces.

a bowl of southern chicken korma

chicken korma – andhra style

Hotter and spicier than the northern style of korma, kozhi kurma is from the Andhra region of south India. It uses coconut milk rather than dairy products.