Create a delicious dinner party with these Indian dinner ideas, cultural tips, and decoration ideas. Your friends will be talking about the party the next day and even weeks later.

Indian dinner party dishes

Do you have a favorite Indian restaurant you always crave? Would you like to host a dinner party with the same Indian dishes you can make at home? I have gathered for you food blogger’s favorite easy Indian dinner recipes that you can make at home that are as good as the popular dish at your local restaurant.

Indian hospitality

indian family dressed in pretty close sitting at their front door

Families in India are naturally hospitable and enjoy entertaining. It is a sign of honor and respect when they ask someone to enjoy a meal with them for their culture. The meal can be planned, or just a spur of moment drop-in, either way, it is fine.

Ideas for an authentic Indian dinner party

  • Have guest remove their shoes when they enter your home. In India, footwear and feet are considered dirty. Shoes should be taken off outside the main door.
  • Guest, as well as the host, should dress conservatively, especially women. Revealing clothes and exposed skin is considered rude.
  • Offer water to your guests first. This custom has extended from native villages where people had to travel long distances to get to one another’s homes.
  • Indian is a conservative culture. Unlike most American Southerners, creating with a kiss and hugs is not appropriate.
  • Have guests wash their hands before and after the meal. Indians tend to eat many foods with their hands, so it’s important they wash them first.
  • Serve small portions, then ask your guests if they would like seconds.
  • Serve tea or coffee with dessert

Common Indian ingredents

  • coconut milk
  • Coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil
  • Chickpeas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentils
  • Chapati flour, chickpea flour, rice flour
  • White rice, Basmati rice
  • Lots of veggies such as beans, peppers, cabbage, carrots, sweet potato, yams, turnips
  • Fruite such as limes, mango, Pomegranate seeds,
  • cottage cheese, yogurt, ghee, paneer cheese
  • Jaggery as a sweetner

Basic Indian spices

indian spices in small canisters some are whole and some are ground

It is the use of spices that make such a delicious recipe in Indian cuisine. The use of heating whole seeds instead for ground also enhances the flavor of their foods.

  • Curry
  • Mint leaves
  • Dried red chilis
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric
  • Brown Mustard Seeds
  • Asafetida

Many Indian homes have a masala ( masaladabbi) spice box to keep their favorite spices in. A typical masaladabbi has some small cups, often seven, placed inside a round or square box. The modern boxes have transparent lids and display the contents inside.

Indian Spicebox Kit Gold With 9 Organic Spice Tins

Decorations

Indian parties focus on serving good food and honoring friends. The traditional decor is bright, vibrant colors of purple, orange, blues, and pinks. There are accents of gold on the edges of dishes and decor.

You can easily create this look with these simple party decorations and dishes.

Colorful Paper Lantern and Mandala Cut-Outs 

Beistle Lattice Tablecover

Mint with Gold Rim Plastic Plates Set

Serving an Indian meal

Once the food is ready, the guest will be asked to join together at the host’s table. Before they are seated, however, it is customary for everyone to wash their hands before being seated at the table.

Food will be served in large bowls instead of individual plates. The bowls will be passed around the table to serve yourself, but it is customary to wait until everyone has finished fixing their plate before eating. In most Indian homes, it is not customary to say a toast or pray before you start eating.

Most homes use silverware to eat their meal; however, fingers are often used when the food is appropriate. The host will encourage seconds. It’s important you enjoy your meal and have had plenty.

What is the best Indian food for dinner?

The best Indian food for dinner varies according to your taste. There are so many wonderful flavor profiles with Indian spices that the typical American has not tried. I have gathered some of the top food bloggers’ favorite Indian recipes for you to try. Most are easy recipes to make at home to serve at your dinner table.

Appetizers

It is customary not to eat as soon as you arrive at the dinner party. Water and some appetizers are usually served. This gives guests time to talk and enjoy each other’s company.

How To Make Paneer Fry Tikka | TheBellyRulesTheMind
This is the best Tandoori Paneer Tikka you’ll ever make at home! Same restaurant style taste, but making them our Air Fryer !
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Homemade Onion Bhajis, kid friendly!
The BEST Homemade Onion Bhajis, with extra veggies- zucchini! The perfect starter for a homemade Indian Feast. Gluten free and dairy free!
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Salad

Indian Chickpea Salad Recipe (Chole Salad) Glutenfree
Indian Chickpea Salad is a super easy recipe that’s bursting with flavors. A mix of chickpeas with pomegranate, onion, tomato, cucumber, cheese, lemon, and chat masala. It’s a perfectly healthy meal any time of the day or year. Quick Easy Indian Chickpea Salad
One of my most favorite go-to salad …
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Indian bread

Chapati Recipe | How to make perfect Indian Roti
Chapati or roti is unleavened Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour or wholemeal flour. Learn how to make soft chapati with video here
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Main dish

Paneer Butter Masala – Paneer Recipe Two Ways – Cubes N Juliennes
The BEST restaurant style paneer butter masala recipe ever! One of the most loved paneer recipes on the blog. It’s buttery, creamy and mildly spiced paneer dish cooked in tomato cashewnut gravy.
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Chicken Biryani (Better than takeout!) – Chef Savvy
Easy Chicken Biryani is a super flavorful Indian dish made with grilled marinated chicken and fragrant Indian spiced rice. Better than takeout!
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VEGETABLE BHUNA | Splash of Taste
A bhuna is a style of curry that originally comes from Bengal. Bhuna in Urdu actually means ‘fried’ and is made by frying spices and then adding meat or vegetables so that they simmer nicely in the spices, this makes the most of the wonderful flavors that the spices have.
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Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani
The vegetable biryani is one of the authentic and aromatic rice dishes prepared with a rich creamy base and vegetables.
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Indian Butter Chicken
Indian butter chicken braised in coconut milk, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices. Served with fluffy Jasmine rice and fresh cilantro.
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Chicken dum biryani
Chicken dum biryani is goodness of rice and meat that comes in layers! The process of cooking in it’s own steam until rice is fluffy and meat cooked just to perfection is called ‘dum cooking’.
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Easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe (7 Ingredients!) – Chef Savvy
Easy Tandoori Chicken marinated in yogurt, lime juice and spices then grilled until tender! All you need is 7 ingredients to make this!
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Paneer Kofta Recipe (Malai Kofta) – Fun FOOD Frolic
Paneer Kofta is a widely popular rich, creamy paneer recipe. Learn how to make restaurant-style malai kofta in a few simple steps.
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Healthy Mushroom Palak Paneer-Spinach with Indian Cottage Cheese
step by step recipe for healthy Mushroom Palak Paneer, Indian cottage cheese with spinach
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Tandoori Chicken Legs – Indian-Inspired Baked or Grilled Drumsticks!
Bring Indian-inspired flavors to your picnic with these Baked or Grilled Tandoori Chicken Legs. Make this easy marinade for juicy and delicious drumsticks!
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Quick curries

Flavorful & Authentic Indian Lamb Curry Recipe – Cuisine And Travel
Being from Morocco, lamb is one of my favorite ingredients and my authentic Indian Lamb Curry recipe is amazing. I make this often and freeze batches to eat
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Chickpea and Mushroom Curry w/ Rapini
A one pot curry dish that’s packed with big, bold flavour! This chickpea and mushroom curry is fresh and tasty, rich and filling, and completely and utterly delicious.
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Navratan Curry (Sweet Vegetable Korma) – Champagne Tastes®
This recipe for navratan curry is a sweet version of the classic vegetable korma, and is filled with fruit and sweet vegetables. This curry is vegan-friendly and includes step-by-step directions.
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Rice recipes

Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani
The vegetable biryani is one of the authentic and aromatic rice dishes prepared with a rich creamy base and vegetables.
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Healthy Instant Pot Peas Pulao(Matar Pulao)
This instant pot peas pulao(pilaf) is so fragrant and mildly flavoured which can be paired with any curries or a meal on its own when served with some freshly made cucumber onion raitha. Suitable for
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Side dish

Instant Pot Dal Makhani (Restaurant Style) | TheBellyRulesTheMind
Dal makhani is Indian comfort food at its finest that your family will love. Thanks to the Instant Pot, it is quick and easy to make.
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Super Soft Dahi Vada (Dahi Bhalla Chaat) – Piping Pot Curry
This favorite Dahi Vada (Dahi Bhalla Chaat) recipe has the softest lentil fritters drenched in creamy yogurt, and topped with sweet and spicy chutney’s.
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Indian pressure cooker recipes

Indian Toor Dal Instant Pot Recipe With Rice
Toor Dal Instant Pot Recip is an easy Indian recipe made with yellow split pigeon peas, aromatic spices all cooked in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. This Instant Pot method makes a quick and nutritious dinner your whole family will enjoy, and you won't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
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toor dol instant pot in a bowl with rice
Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Biryani – Piping Pot Curry
Easy One-pot Vegetable Biryani in instant pot, with the same authentic flavors! Fragrant basmati rice cooked with vegetables, aromatic whole spices & herbs.
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Dessert

Most Indian desserts are served with tea and coffee.

How To Make Rice Kheer Recipe (Chawal Ki Kheer) – Cubes N Juliennes
Best Rice Kheer Recipe with step by step photos. How to make Kheer. Chawal ki Kheer is a traditional Indian rice pudding made with basmati rice, milk, sugar and nuts. A great Indian dessert usually served as a kheer puri on auspicious ocassions and festivals.
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Vegan Carrot Halwa (Gajjar Halwa) | Easy And Healthy Desi Recipes
This sweet and luscious carrot halwa is made with zero added sugar and uses vegan ingredients to create an easy and healthy Indian dessert recipe. Grated carrots slowly simmered in a blissful mix of cashews,
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Green Moong Dal Halwa
This wonderfully fragrant & rich dessert makes a perfect ending to any Indian meal.
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