Warming, Nourishing Indian Recipes for Dinner

Even though we’re moving our of winter this month, it’s still plenty cold and wet enough out there to come home and have a savory, warming dinner filled with delicious spices and veggies. The below recipes are simple and easy to make (or experiment with) and do take bit of time to prepare, so a weekend afternoon in the kitchen may be best to try these out. I’ve been really enjoying these Indian recipes on the frigidly cold nights, and these recipes make a hefty amounts so leftovers are abundant (if you’re not sharing them with a crowd!).

Naan Bread


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2.5 cups yogurt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • Flour for rolling


  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add salt, sugar, baking powder, flour, and olive oil. Mix well.
  2. Add yogurt and mix. Add yeast water and mix. Form the mixture into a soft dough. Let dough stand for 3-4 hours until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough and form into 6 balls to roll in the flour (to prevent sticking) and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake on a pizza stone in the oven at 500F or grill for about 3 minutes (bake until they bubble and then flip – watch them closely). Brown the baked naan with ghee.

Tandoori Chicken (or tofu)


  • 1 pound of skinless chicken breasts, legs or thighs (or optional firm tofu).
  • 2 tablespoons of tandoori seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Make diagonal incision with a sharp knife in the chicken or tofu. Mix all of the ingredients together and apply over the chicken or tofu. coat well. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Skewer chicken or tofu and grill until done.

Spiced Garbanzo Beans


  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. flour


Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, oil, coriander, cayenne, salt and flour. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425° for 30 minutes or until crisp. If they start to pop, they’re done!

Saag Paneer with Tofu


  • 14 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into large dice
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger (from about a 1 inch piece)
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt


  1. Place the tofu in a single layer on a large paper-towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook (be careful—the oil may splatter), turning occasionally, until it’s golden brown on a few sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, dry the plate and line it with fresh paper towels.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tofu to the paper-towel-lined plate. Spread it into a single layer and season with salt; set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the pan, and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, serrano, garam masala, measured salt, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and stir constantly until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and water, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Taste and season with salt as needed. Add the reserved tofu and let sit until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with steamed rice or naan.


Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com

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