Studying In The US? 6 Simple Indian Recipes For ‘Ghar Ka Khana’

One of the most common complaints from students is having to leave behind the comfort of home cooking and the convenience of having healthy, delicious meals easily available. For Indian students living in the USA, that problem is doubled because suddenly, all their favourite comfort dishes become a rarity and ordering food from restaurants is an unnecessary expense. 

It’s true that many American markets now stock a lot of Indian products from spices to vegetables but often, recreating that quintessential taste of home can be a challenge on a student budget. Luckily, Indian food is adaptable and with a basic store cupboard of ingredients, you’ll be able to make some basic comfort foods that will see you through those homesick evenings. 

Video Credits: Your Food Lab/YouTube

Here are 6 easy Indian dishes that students can make on a budget:


This quintessential South Indian dish is warming and nutritious as well as is quick and easy enough to make in half an hour or less. The key ingredients in Rasam include tomato, coriander, garlic, ginger, pepper, chilli, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, curry leaves, and tamarind paste (or lime juice as a substitute). The best part is that all these ingredients are readily available at affordable prices in local supermarkets in the US.


A comfort food for most Indians, dal is a must-have in any student pantry and the best part, a pressure cooker is not a necessity. Just remember to soak the lentils for at least an hour before cooking and you can easily boil it on a stovetop. Common ingredients like curry leaves, mustard seeds, sambar powder or garam masala, onions, garlic, ginger, and coriander powder can be fried and added to the cooked dal as a tadka. Although just a spoonful of butter and some salt can make it an equally delicious meal. It can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer for a few days, making for a convenient and filling option during busy exam times.


A classic comfort food, tinned chickpeas are readily available in the US to make this popular, protein-rich Indian dish in a snap. Just combine the tinned chickpeas with additional spices like tomatoes, onions, cardamom, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, and coriander powder. You can also enhance the flavour by adding bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves. You could also opt for a premade masala to cut back on the hassle of multiple ingredients. 

Curd Rice:

If you’re looking for a soothing, stomach-settling meal then curd rice will come to the rescue. This timeless combination of yoghurt and rice is a go-to for Indians, both in the north and south of India and the best part, it’s a great way to use up any leftover rice. Just mix the cooked rice with yoghurt, adding salt and tempered spices to taste. These spices typically include mustard seeds, asafoetida, urad dal, curry leaves, green chilli, onion, and ginger but you can mix and match depending on what you have available. 

Paneer Bhurji:

With the current egg crisis in the US, egg bhurji might be surprisingly hard to add as an extra meal for a student on a budget. But Paneer Bhurji can be made with store-bought cottage cheese or by making paneer at home from whole milk and then crumbling it with chopped onions, tomatoes, and a medley of spices. This speedy and satiating choice for vegetarians is a go-to option when you seek a dish that's both quick to prepare and a treat for your taste buds.

Jeera Aloo:

Potatoes are loved no matter which country you’re in and a simple sprinkle of Jeera can transform them into something amazing. Just boil or fry chopped potatoes until slightly soft and then toss them in butter and a generous pinch of cumin seeds. You can also add chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies for an extra kick and a dish that’s perfect to eat with bread or roti as a quick, substantial meal.