When it comes to making a fantastic dish throughout the week or on the weekend, we might turn our attention to a beautiful, traditional Indian meal. It has a similar consistency and texture to a tikka masala but it’s made with a smooth, buttery cream.
Due to its ingredients, the flavors pop in your mouth with a rich and creamy finish. It’s an ideal choice for pretty much anybody!
The thing is, butter chicken can be served with a variety of side dishes. So what exactly should you opt for?
We’ve got some ideas for you. Below, you will find some excellent pairings for your butter chicken dish to make a fantastic meal.
So, if your mouth is already watering – read on and find out much more!
We are probably all already aware that vegetables are a very important part of any meal. They are critical to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle, and they help to promote a balanced plate.
Luckily, cauliflower goes extremely well with butter chicken. Its texture is both soft and crunchy and the flavor is not too strong that it overpowers the overall dish.
You won’t need to have too many cauliflowers though, a handful is about enough for one serving. Simply lather the beautiful butter chicken sauce all over the vegetables and you’ve got a gorgeous meal.
2. Pilau Rice
Pilau rice (or pulao rice) is a rice cooked in butter, and it has a fragrance that cannot be matched with any other types of rice. Due to how it is prepared, butter chicken pairs extremely well with it.
It’s a traditional pairing too. The texture of the sauce and fluffy, buttery rice gives you a dish that is not only filling, but also packed with flavor and aromas.
3. Naan Bread
Naan bread is very popular for a side when it comes to many Indian dishes, and this of course is no exception with butter chicken. Fluffy naan bread that is soft and spiced well with garlic and herbs can beautifully compliment the sauce.
Not only this, if you’ve got some sauce left on your plate – what’s better than tidying it all up using naan bread? Clean plates, full bellies, happy faces. Absolutely perfect for a dinner choice!
Poppadoms (or papadum) is a type of crispy flatbread and it is a traditional choice for Indian dishes. Typically, you’d make the decision of a bread side between naan or poppadom.
Bread can help with spicy dishes, but it’s just as good for adding to the natural flavors of a more mild dish like butter chicken.
If you want to add a little more crunch to your butter chicken, you may wish to crush some of the poppadom and sprinkle the crumbs on top of the sauce. It makes the dish varied in texture, and can significantly add to the flavor and dining experience.
Another traditional pairing with Indian cuisine is daal. Essentially, daal is a collective name of a group of foods made using chickpeas or lentils. Normally, the use of daal will add a little more thickness to the texture and consistency.
It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to add a variety of tastes to the dish and make it a little more “meaty” but using vegetables.
If you are looking to add a traditional Indian appetizer to your dish, then look no further than some excellently crafted samosas. Packed with flavor, these small Indian pastries are crammed with onion, potato, lentils or even cheese.
It’s really up to you what you add within them – but whatever you opt for, you will be adding a great deal to your meal!
Saag is a type of curry that is based with plenty of vegetables, specifically spinach or broccoli. It goes perfectly with a sauce like butter chicken has to offer and can add many more nutrients to your dish.
Trust us when we say that adding saag on the side of your butter chicken dish can make a huge difference to both the flavor and to your health!
8. Thick Cut Fries
Now, this choice is not traditional but it’s a very good choice. Adding thick cut fries to the butter chicken can help to increase the meal size, but also adds some excellent flavor. The potato helps to absorb the buttery flavor and other spices.
9. Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi is a decision for a side that is perfect for all the vegetarians out there. The dish is crafted with potatoes, peas and cauliflower – and then spiced with turmeric, which gives it its famous yellow color.
This is perhaps one of the healthiest options to choose from as well, due to the fact that not only does it come rich with vegetables – filled with nutrients – but also turmeric.
Turmeric has been suggested as an excellent way to help prevent illnesses such as the common cold.
Chutney is a type of fruity sauce that many Indian dishes have on the side. It helps to both sweeten up some traditional Indian dishes, but it can also be used to soothe some of the heat from certain spicy dishes.
With butter chicken, it can add a tangy texture and taste to the sauce, whilst adding super flavors to the meat itself.
Raita, to put it much more simply, is a type of yogurt which is made with both cucumber and onions. It has a unique spice and crunch – so using this as a condiment to mix with your butter chicken sauce is very unique and makes a huge difference.
12. Basmati Rice
Basmati rice is a fragrant rice that can go well with pretty much any Indian curry or Indian dish in general for that matter. Whilst it doesn’t pack as much of a punch in terms of its aroma and spice as pilau rice, basmati is still an excellent choice!
In fact, between the two, basmati is much lower in calories and due to its milder flavor, it can be used for many different dishes and sides – so you could have basmati rice with another pairing in this list if you wish!
Broccoli is extremely beneficial to your health, and if you are a fan of these green vegetables – then you will absolutely fit right in if you pair it with butter chicken.
Much like cauliflower, you won’t need too much to add to an ideal dish. Simply mix some of the sauce with the broccoli and chow down. Easy, simple, tasty, healthy!
14. Mint Yogurt
Mint yogurt can be one of the most beautiful matches for butter chicken, as long as you don’t use too much of it which could overpower the taste of the overall dish.
If you’ve spiced your butter chicken a little more than traditional recipes would dictate, then mint yogurt can cool the heat down whilst keeping the excellent flavor and aromas you’d expect from a butter chicken dish!
Butter chicken is a beautiful Indian dish to make. Filling, full of flavor and a unique aroma. All you need to do now is choose your pairing!
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about butter chicken. Enjoy!
Of course! You can add your own twist to the dish, and this is why some of these choices above are made to compliment spicy foods, but they can also help with mild choices.
If you want some advice, add some fresh, small chilies to the butter chicken sauce and mix the curry paste with chili powder. You will notice the aroma and the taste will rapidly increase in spice!
Then all you need to do is pair your spicy butter chicken with something we’ve listed above. Sweet right?
Well, the choice is up to you here. While there’s nothing wrong with mixing a few side dishes together (if anything, it’s encouraged for the flavor!), you also need to bear in mind that the more food – the more caloric value.
On top of this, if you are buying these ingredients from scratch, then you will likely spend much more money, and indeed more time in preparation.
So, to answer this question – it’s really up to you, but remember dietary recommendations and your budget.
If you have allergies, then be very mindful when selecting your side dish. Some dishes may contain gluten, fish, meat, different types of vegetables etc.
It’s a good idea to read the label before you buy, but if at any point you are really unsure about what goes into these dishes, ask someone for assistance. As a final recourse, search online or avoid it entirely.