North Indian Homemade Food

Traditional & Authentic North Indian Food: As Told By Our Local Shefs!

Curated by: Shef Anu S.
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Cooks in: Washington DC
North Indian cuisine in three words: colorful, fragrant, spicy
Most-used ingredients: paneer, dal (lentils), cashews

“There are a lot of vegetarian people in the North and they appreciate variety in their food; I always say that if you pick one vegetable, any auntie will know at least seven different ways to prepare it.”

On What Makes North Indian Cuisines Unique

North Indian cuisine more than any other Indian cuisine relies on long and slow cooking methods. Each state, from Punjab to Chetinnad, will have its own recipes and techniques. We blend together so many ingredients and spices, and then let them sit and stew for many hours. This makes the flavors stronger and more intense, it also makes us put more care into our cooking because it is not something we just throw together quickly, it is a process. When we are not stewing, we are roasting over a charcoal-fire tandoor which gives a smoky, grilled flavor to our veggies, meats, and flatbreads.

Because of the climate and abundance of water, we are also a region of farmers, this means we have access to an abundance of vegetables. North Indian cuisine is also very seasonal, depending on the produce that is growing at different times of the year, we will cook particular dishes. Historically, the northernmost part of India also experienced the passing of more migrants and conquerors from other countries, so our cuisine reflects those Turkish and Persian influences. It is the reason we have tikkas and kebabs, pulaos, cream and nut-based curries, and why we use more fragrant spices like saffron, rose-water, and dried fruits.

The North Indian Dinner Table

In an Indian household, you start the day and the first question from your mom is “What do you want for breakfast? What do you want for lunch?” We are constantly talking about food and we love to cook. A typical North Indian meal will be made of tandoori roti, dal, a vegetable dish like aloo gobi or saag paneer, chutney, pickles, and some curd (yogurt). I have a distinct memory of sitting down at our table with my mom making rotis in the kitchen. Today I make fresh rotis in the same way; I get yelled at by my kids, they always say “mom, can’t you sit down?!” but I feel more satisfaction when I am giving them their rotis hot from the pan to their plate, just like my mother did.

“If I think about my childhood dinner table it is colorful. Contrary to modern American cuisine, our tables are filled with various dishes, all served at the same time in small bowls for people to build their plates from.”

On What Sharing North Indian Food With the Community on Shef Means

I came to the U.S. in 1997, I spent my time raising our young children but dreaming of wanting to share my food. My husband and I managed to open our own restaurant, but we lost it when the economy crashed. Then the pandemic happened and our lives were turned upside down again. That’s when we found Shef and it totally changed my life.

I know that restaurant food does not bring the same feeling as homemade food. There are many young kids from other countries who come here for college, there are expats away from home, they are missing the food their mom used to make and now I get to be a mother who feeds them. When you cook your food from the bottom of your heart, and people love your food and keep coming back, that gives the ultimate satisfaction.

Tips for Finding the Best North Indian Food in Houston

Don’t forget to stop by Keemat Grocers for all of your International grocery needs! High-quality spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and pantry staples can all be found here!

You’ll want to head over to Hillcroft Ave. for the best Indian food in Houston. This is our Mahatma Gandhi District and you’ll fin endless options from Naan to Biryani to Dosa.

For an authentic Indian cuisine experience, be sure to check out Bombat Sweets on Hillcroft. A local favorite since it opened in 1997 their Samosa Chaat is a must!

Tips for Finding the Best North Indian Food in Dallas

Kebab ‘n’ Kurry offers everything from the rich family-recipe biryanis to a soothing Kashmiri tea!

The dairy-rich Punjab region is home to soft paneer (cheese) and the creamy, sweet lassi. Enjoy the rich food and painted views of the Taj Mahal at Mumtaz Indian restaurant. They offer a daily lunch buffet too!

Shop traditional Indian grocery at Subzi Mandi, this Indo-Pakistani store covers all your grocery needs and offers Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nepalese specialties. They have their own restaurant inside and offer a lunch and dinner buffet as well that you can indulge in as you take a break from shopping!

There is no shortage of authentic North Indian restaurants in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Don’t miss Curry Hill in Manhattan if you’re looking for authentic restaurants, markets, and shops from various regions across India. It’s located between Lexington Ave and 27th/28th Street.

While you’re in Curry Hill don’t miss Bhatti Indian Grill for delicious a North Indian meal.

Devon Ave is the place for North Indian food in Chicago. This street is packed with regional Indian classics that will keep you coming back!

For an authentic Indian cuisine experience, be sure to check out Vajra near West Town. The Samosa Chaat is a must!

Stop by Devon Market for all your International grocery needs! High quality spices, freshly cut meats, and pantry staples can all be found here!

Across India’s 28 states and 8 unions territories you will find dozens of different bread varieties. In North Indian households, you are likely to find Naan, Paratha, Thepla (Gujurati), Kulcha and Bhatoora.

Looking for the most mouth watering and authentic Indian street food? Don’t miss Chaat Paradise in Mountain View, which specializes in vegetarian Indian street food. Some favorites include Dahi Bateta Sev Poori, Pav Bhaji, and Baingan Bhartha.

Have all your Indian grocery needs met at the many local favorite shops in the South Bay, including Madras Groceries, India Cash & Carry and Patel Brothers.

If you want to get your groceries and an inexpensive, delicious meal at the same stop, look no further than India Sweets and Spices. Eating here is like a dinner at your friend’s house: familiar, homey, welcoming, and tasty.

Definitely make time to stop by Little India on Artesia Blvd for some of the best markets and meals LA has to offer. (Warning: Parking can be tough, but carpooling/public transit makes it easier)

Don’t forget to stop by Venice Blvd. in Culver City for some of the highest rated Indian restaurants in all of LA. From casual eateries to full-bar kitchens, everyone can find a spot that suits them.

Find Local North Indian Shefs & Meals

When searching for “north indian food near me”, you’ll find Shef delivers North Indian style traditional food in the following locations:

Find your local home-cooked Indian food today!