29 South Asian Foods To Order That Aren’t Chicken Tikka Masala

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The spice must flow.

Nihari

Nihari

What It Is: A fireball stew of tender beef or lamb shank, thickened with flour.
Eaten With: Chili, cilantro, ginger and lemon garnish. Hot, buttered naan. Lots of water.
Fact: The name nihari comes from the Arabic word nihar, meaning morning. In other words, you cook the shit out of this thing and it's usually only available on weekends.

Flickr: Sumeet Moghe / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: ciphertux

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala

What It Is: Stewed and/or stuffed okra. Usually cooked with tomatoes.
Eaten With: Basmati rice. Roti. People who don’t mind slimy things.
Fact: A veg so thug, it has rap lyrics written about it.

Flickr: James / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 40726522@N02

Biryani

Biryani

What It Is: Layered rice and meat flavored with the chef's preferred spice mix. Can be made with lamb, goat, chicken, fish or vegetables.
Eaten With: Yogurt. All of your relatives at your cousin's wedding.
Fact: Biryani has potential to bring unity to the Indian subcontinent.

Flickr: Samira / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: mink

Zarda

Zarda

What It Is: Colorful, sweetened rice cooked with milk, cardamom, nuts and saffron.
Eaten With: A big spoon.
Fact: Can be eaten with meat if you’re adventurous, but it’s a dessert.

Flickr: Nadir Hashmi / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: nadircruise


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