The sheer complexity of Indian flavors often makes cooking Indian at home seem like an impossible task. Looking at many recipes, you’ll see so many ingredients and steps that you’ll soon head back out to your favorite local curry house—or just head to Seamless to order in.

But even though Indian food isn’t instinctively easy to make, the home-cooked stuff can offer superior flavor, freshness, and a lighter pour with the heavy cream (restaurant curries are notoriously heavy). Once you’ve stocked your spice cabinet with a few unusual extras and gotten used to a couple new techniques, like frying your spices for maximum flavor, you’ll cut the intimidation factor way, way down.

So, where to start? As guides for this excursion, we’ve got talented Indian home cooks, restaurateurs, and bloggers to break down the best recipes out there for creating incredible versions of all the Indian favorites. With home cooking in mind, we’ve skipped recipes that really do require special equipment, like naan and poori, classic though they may be.

Now, all that stands between you and homemade chicken tikka masala is rice, yogurt, and cumin. So why wait? Here’s the panel:

Hari Nayak, author of Easy Indian Cooking and owner of several Indian restaurants, including Café Spice
Prerna Singh, cookbook author, photographer, recipe developer, and mom who blogs at Indian Simmer
Chitra Agrawal, creator of The ABCD’s of Cooking, as well as a food writer, cooking instructor, and hostess of a farm-to-table Indian pop-up
Cara Eisenpress, editor at Big Girls, Small Kitchen, author of In the Small Kitchen, and First We Feast contributor