How do you eat at an Indian buffet? Your guide to choosing the right dishes in an Indian buffet

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

In this blog I am going to take you on a journey through a buffet in an Indian restaurant. Many of my cooking class students tell me that the Indian buffet is overwhelming and sometimes confusing! So let's put on our imagination hats and walk into an Indian restaurant. We are at the beginning of the buffet.

A picture of Samosa served with sweet Tamarind chutney


In the starter section you might see....

Spinach pakora - Spinach dipped in chickpeas batter and deep fried

Onion Bajji - Sliced onions dipped in chickpeas batter and deep fried

Chicken 65 - Small pices of chicken marinated in Indian spices and deep fried

Samosa - Pastry stuffed with potato and spices and deep fried

Chicken tandoori - Chicken marinated and grilled in a Tandoor oven

Mint chutney - Green spicy mint flavored sauce which can be used as a dip for the starters

Sweet tamarind chutney - Brown spicy and tangy sauce which can be used as a dip for the starters

If you are on a gluten free diet avoid samosa and chicken 65, because the chicken 65 is marinated in corn starch.

A picture of Paneer butter masala served over rice

Main course

In the main course section you might see...

Chicken tikka masala - Chicken and bell peppers grilled and cooked in a creamy red sauce

Paneer butter masala - Indian cheese cooked in a creamy red sauce

Chicken Korma - Chicken cooked with spices in a coconut sauce

Chicken curry - Chicken cooked with spices in a curry sauce (might be spicy)

Goat curry - Goat meat cooked with spics in a curry sauce (might be spicy)

Chicken Biriyani - Chicken cooked with spices and rice

Raita - Finely chopped onion mixed with yogurt. Raita is usually served with Biriyani

Gobi Manchurian - Cauliflower dipped in batter, deep fried and cooked in a Indochinese sauce

Dal Makhani - Red beans cooked in a buttery sauce

Channa masala - Chickpeas cooked in curry sauce

All the above sauces are served with rice or naan bread or roti (flat wheat bread). If you would like to avoid gluten you can skip the roti and naan. You can enjoy all the sauces with rice. And if you would like to avoid dairy products please skip paneer butter masala ,chicken tikka masala, raita, and dal makhani.

A picture of Ghajar ka halwa (Indian carrot pudding )


In the dessert section you might see...

Kheer - Indian rice pudding cooked with dried fruits and nuts

Gulab jamun - Soft spongy golden brown balls soaked in sugar syrup

Rasamalai - Indian cheese cooked in thick sweetened milk with dried fruits and nuts

All the desserts have gluten or dairy in it. So please check with the waitress to help you pick a dessert for your dietary needs. Hope I answered some of your basic questions about Indian food! Please feel free to send me your questions or comments to .

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