14 Most Popular Indian Meat Dishes

Indian Meat Dishes

Indian Cuisine refers to a wide variety of cooking methods and styles used in India. The food in India is usually prepared using fresh ingredients and dried spices. Indian foods are often described as rich, spicy and flavorful food. In India, meats that are usually used in cooking Indian foods are fish, mutton, goat, cow and buffalo (Bovine) and chicken. In this post, we have gathered the most popular Indian Meat dishes that you may want to try when you are visiting India. Read on below to know more.

Popular Indian Meat Dishes

Traditional Indian dish typically consists of grains and vegetables with lesser meat consumption. However, at present consumption of foods in India have changed perhaps due to its economic growth. Meat dishes are now gaining its popularity with Indian cuisine. Let us take at look at meat dishes in India.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is also known as Murgh Makhani in India. An origin from North India way back year 1948. It is a staple dish in North India and can be seen in most Indian Restaurants.

The name of the dish simply means Chicken with butter. It is a popular curry that is literally made with chicken mixed with spiced tomato and of course, butter sauce.

Although each Indian restaurants have different ways of cooking this dish while some uses boiled chicken, others use Tandoori chicken.

The dish is known to have a smooth, silky and rich texture.

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori Chicken or also called Tandoori Murgh is a popular meat dish in India. It is made by marinade the chicken meat with yogurt, it is then seasoned using nutmeg, cumin and Tandoori Masala. Marinated meats are then placed on skewers then roasted.

The process of preparing this dish is very unique as it uses a tandoor oven, a cylindrical clay oven. The Chicken meat is cooked at high heat temperatures therefore creating a smokey flavor on the dish.


Tikka is an Indian dish that consists of meats that are most of the time boneless. The meat that is usually used is the Chicken Meat.

In India, Tikka means small chunks while Masala means Spice blend. Therefore, if for examples small chunks of chicken that is cooked in a sauce with blends of spices it would then be called Chicken Tikka Masala. Same goes with the Indian cottage cheese called Paneer, it will then be called Paneer Tikka Masala.

To prepare this dish, smaller pieces of the meat are first marinated with yogurt and spices. Indian spices that are traditionally used to seasoned the meat includes cumin, coriander leaves, chili, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and turmeric.

Similar to Tandoor chicken, the meat used in Tikka dish is also roasted in a Tandoor which is a cylindrical clay oven.


Korma or Qorma is an Indian dish that originates from Southern Asia. It is a creamy meat stew made from saffron, yogurt mixed with different spices such as ginger, cumin seeds, coriander powder, chiles and turmeric powder.

Korma dish is not usually spiced not for the hint of spiciness but rather for its flavor. Most of the time, cardamom and cinnamon are used instead of using cumin and black peppers.

Korma dish has 3 main bases and are as follows:

  • North Indian Korma – with cashews, almonds and yogurt
  • South Indian Korma – coconut milk, coconut, cayenne peppers, almonds and fennel seeds.

With North Indian Korma, it is divided into 2 subgroups:

  • Mughalai- reduced milk
  • Shahi – with cream


Vindaloo or also known as Vindalho is another Indian curry dish. It originated from Goa region in India. The name Vindaloo comes from the name of a dish in Portuguese called ‘carne de vinha d’alhos’, which literally means meat that is marinated in wine vinegar and garlic.

The Vindaloo traditional recipe consists of pork but other substitute to pork includes mutton, beef, chicken, vegetables and prawns. Also, Indian spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, tamarind and hot chiles are often used.

Chicken 65

Chicken 65 is a classic Indian dish originated from Chennai region in India. It is a spicy deep fried chicken that is marinated with spices such as lemon juice, ginger, and red chiles.

The naming of the dish as Chicken 65 has several version. Some say that it is called Chicken 65 because there are 65 small pieces of chicken in the dish, while other versions regarding naming the dish as such is that 65 kinds of peppers and chillies are used to make this dish.


Keema or Qeema is an Indian stew that is usually prepared as a curry. In English, Keema means minced meat.

The main ingredients used to make Keema is either a minced lamb or goat meat. Although there are other communities that consumes cow, hence a cow meat is used with Keema. Other important ingredients includes chili, onions, garlic, green peas, potatoes, ghee (butter) and garam masala.

Most of the time, Keema dish is served as the main dish. It is also best served when paired with naan (flatbread) and other types of flatbreads available. Another usage for keema is used as fillings for other dishes such as Samosa and Paratha.


Nihari is a popular meat dish in India. It is made by slow cooking the meat (usually shank meat of beef, lamb or mutton, goat or chicken meat) and its bone marrow. The meat is seasoned with long pepper.

The slowly cooked meat in stock are added with different spices such as garam masala, cardamom, cumin and cloves.

The bone marrow and the shanks of meat are the main ingredients used in making Nihari dish. It definitely makes your dish flavorful. Nihari dish usually takes about 6 to 8 hours of cooking before Nihari is cooked properly.

Since the name Nihari comes from the word Nahas (Arabic word) which means morning, hence Nihari dish is usually served as a breakfast meal.


Pasanda or also known as Parche is a popular meat dish in the Indian Subcontinent. A mild curry dish that uses yogurt, marinated lamb meat and vegetables that includes tomatoes, onions. Several spices are also used such as ginger, turmeric and coriander.

Although aside from lamb, other meat versions are also used to prepare Pasanda dish such as goat meat, chicken meat and beef meat.

Pasanda dish is considered to the famous and best curry in India.

Galouti Kebab

A traditional Indian Kebab is popularly known as Galouti Kebab. It is made from mutton meat or lamb meat. The meat are first marinated with Indian spices such asgarlic, cloves, star anise, papaya, ground ginger, poppy seeds, peppercorns, coconut, cinnamon, cardamom, chili powder and nutmeg.

After marinating the meat, it is then mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, green chili peppers, coriander leaves and gram flour.

Kalmi Kebab (Tangdi Kabab)

Another Kebab traditional dish in India is called Kalmi Kebab. While Galouti version of Kebab is made from mutton and lamb, Kalmi Kebab is made from chicken drumsticks.

To make this dish, the chicken meat is marinated first. Marinate mixture consists of cream, yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cashews, turmeric powder, garam masala, red chili powder and black pepper. The marinated meat is then shallow fried on high heat or can also be cooked using tandoor oven.

Best served with rice and picked onions on the side of Kalmi Kebab dish.


Rista is another traditional meat dish in India that originated from the region of Kashmir. It is a flavored dish of meatballs in spicy or non spicy red curry.

Preparing the meatballs typically consists of cardamom powder, ginger powder, mutton, and add salt to taste. Other ingredients sauteed in a cooking pain before meatballs are added includes onions, saffron, cloves, cinnamon, mustard oil, fennel and bay leaves.

Aab Gosht

A traditional Indian lamb curry is called Aab Gosht. An origin from the Kashmir region in India.

It is made using lamb meat and mixed with milk and other herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, cardamom, ghee, fennel, onions, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon and add salt to taste. To make this dish, the lamb curry is simmered over low heat or medium heat.


Another traditional curry dish in India is called Goshtaba. A dish that contains mutton meatballs that are simmered in yogurt gravy (sometimes spicy and sometimes not spicy).

Goshtaba dish is made from mixture of minced mutton, mustard oil, cumin powder, cinnamon, cumin seeds, bay leaves, black cardamom, cloves, yogurt and saffron.

The dish is often drizzled with coriander leaves and saffron threads and served while hot. It is best served with Naan or rice on the side.


What are the meats commonly seen on Indian meals?

Chicken and Mutton are the commonly used meat in Indian cuisine although beef and fish are also used in other regions in India.

What are the different flavors of Indian Food?

Indian foods are known to have 6 different flavors such as salty, bitter, sour, sweet, astringent and spicy.

What is the main Indian Cuisine?

If you noticed from the mentioned dishes above, the main Indian cuisine is definitely curry. It is a dish with a sauce that is often made with coconut milk, tomatoes, onions and yogurt.

What is the difference between Goshtaba and Rista?

The difference between Goshtaba and Rista is that with Goshtaba it is a mutton balls that is cooked in spices and curd. Although both are similar, Goshtaba is cooked in spicy yogurt gravy and is more large in size compared to Rista meatballs.


Most of Indian cuisine typically consists of muttons meats and other meat. All of these popular meat dishes mentioned here are worth trying.

From the meat dishes listed in this post, which dish have you tried and which dish is your favorite. Let us know what you think.

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