5 Sauces to Make your Food Indian-ish

Priya Krishna's book, Indian-ish, is a beautifully written, joyful ode to family, food and recipes worthy of daily enjoyment — they're that easy. But before you buy the glorious book stuffed with Desi illustrations, helpful flowcharts, heartfelt stories and clever hacks, Priya is sharing her top five Mother Sauces to add to your Indian-ish repertoire.

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Get to know Priya's Favorite Sauces

Read along and discover all you can do with these easy sauces — plus pairings!

Cilantro Chutney

I like to think of cilantro chutney as the king of chutneys. Why? It's bright, spicy, and just-a-tad sweet flavor pairs with practically any Indian food, from samosas to dal to roti. Beyond Indian dishes, I love to use it as a sandwich spread, or as a dressing for any flaky white fish.

Serve your cilantro chutney with Roti Pizza

The is one recipe you'll want to add to your weekly roster.

Peanut chutney

Peanut chutney is a staple of South Indian cuisine, and for good reason — it’s chunky, it’s lively, and it’s got a nice amount of richness. My mom’s simple take on this classic is as perfect for serving alongside crudité as it is for jazzing up a bowl of plain old sticky rice, or a grilled chicken breast.

Lime, Chile & Garlic Dressing

This is our family’s go-to dressing for any and all salads — lime juice supported by a few balancing components (sugar, garlic, salt, green chiles). People are always surprised when they find out there’s no oil or mayo, but trust me, you don’t need it — this is plenty flavorful on its own, like the tangy, tasty juice that pools at the bottom of ceviche.

Tamarind, fig & cumin chutney

Tamarind chutney is Indian cuisine’s sweet-and-sour sauce equivalent, and this version is my mom’s way of amping up all of the condiment’s best qualities with tart fig jam and nutty, smoky cumin. Use this as a barbecue sauce, as a glaze for pork, or just roll it up in a roti with some pickled onions.

Ginger-lime strips

This little jar of ginger and lime will change your life. Whenever a stew, stir-fry, or soup needs a little zing, I toss in a few of these — julienned ginger soaked in lime juice and salt. For any recipe that calls for ginger, you can use these strips for an extra shot of brightness; or pour the ginger-infused lime juice on any dish where you would typically add lime.

Keep cooking

Get the recipes for these 5 sauces and more in Indian-ish!