Hailing from all corners of the sub-continent, Indian immigrants have brought a wealth of flavour to the food of Singapore. Spices such as chilli, curry powder, cumin, coriander, and cardamom have added incredible depth to the local cuisine, along with creamy ingredients such as yoghurt and coconut milk, which are commonly used in marinades and curries.
As Hindus abstain from beef and, in some instances, avoid animal products altogether, the Indian community has also added a vibrant line-up of vegetarian specialities to the Singaporean menu. You can taste the Indian influence on Singaporean cuisine in these authentic foods:
From metres-long dosa crepes filled with spiced potatoes to fluffy naans, wholemeal chappati and flaky roti, the breads of India are a favourite across Singapore. Regarded as Singapore’s answer to the croissant, buttery roti prata comes with fillings such as banana, durian or cheese. For a savoury version, try murtabak, an Indian-Muslim speciality stuffed with spiced chicken, mutton, beef or sardines, with onions and egg. Craving an authentic Indian-Singaporean snack at home? Try our recipe for roti canai with dhal curry.
Queen of the Indian-style rice dishes is nasi biryani, a traditional recipe of spiced rice studded with meat and vegetables. Popular accompaniments include fried chicken, tandoori chicken or mutton curry, and it is often served on a banana leaf, which is said to impart a delicate flavour (and save on the washing up!).
Speaking of curries, we also have the Indian community to thank for. Spicy Singaporean delights such as fish head curry and other luscious curries filled with fish, seafood, chicken, mutton or vegetables won’t be so loaded with flavour if it wasn’t for the wealth of Indian spices. Go ahead and mop up the gravy with some of those Indian breads!
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