However, it is a relatively rich and creamy dish, so knowing the right sides to pair it with is crucial.
This article is going to discuss what chicken tikka masala is, as well as some of the best sides that pair well with it.
What Is Chicken Tikka Masala?
Chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular dishes you’ll find when it comes to Indian cuisine.
In order to make it, boneless chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices and then cooked in a tandoor oven until it is juicy, tender, and full of flavor.
The chicken is also cooked in a rich sauce that is either tomato or cream-based, giving it a rich, earthy flavor.
Chicken Tikka Masala Sides
In order to enjoy chicken tikka masala as a meal, you need to choose the right side dish. As this is a relatively rich and hearty chicken dish, selecting sides that are light and not filled with sauce is a good way to go.
This article will now list some delicious side dishes to serve with your chicken tikka masala.
1. Basmati Rice
Starting things simply, you can’t go wrong with pairing your chicken tikka masala with some basmati rice.
This type of rice has a certain aromatic profile you just don’t get from regular rice, which makes it a delicious addition when mixed with the rich sauce of your chicken tikka masala.
2. Naan Bread
Naan bread is soft as a cloud and is the perfect side that can help you soak up all the leftover sauce from your tikka masala.
This recipe will guide you through making your own, and you can add any kinds of extra flavors you like, such as chili or garlic.
However, you can also find some delicious naan bread in your local grocery store, just head to the bread, or international aisle.
Roti is similar to naan bread, but it is a lot thinner and lighter. This makes it a good pairing if you’d like something less heavy for dinner.
It is also a good option to pair this with rice as well. This gives your meal a lot more substance, but keeps it light at the same time!
You can find rotis with all kinds of flavors added to them, such as butter, chili, and garlic, to name a few!
This is another great option if you prefer a light lunch or dinner. Turmeric is an Indian spice that has many health benefits, so roasting your cauliflower with lots of it sprinkled on top will give your dish a lovely Indian-inspired feel!
Simply marinate your cauliflower florets in the spices required (see recipe), and place them in the oven for around 30 minutes.
You’ll be left with some delicious, soft, and crunchy cauliflower that will taste delicious when mixed with your tikka masala sauce.
Jajik is a salad made with cucumber, yogurt, mint, and other spices that is truly refreshing, healthy, and light.
When paired next to a rich, tikka masala, this salad adds a fresh quality that no other side can match!
There is no cooking involved, and it takes just a few minutes to put it together. All you need is cucumber, yogurt, mint, salt, pepper, garlic, and some olive oil.
You’ll need to make a double batch of these halloumi fries as you won’t be able to get enough of them!
They will give your meal a fun twist, as you can dip them into your tikka masala sauce.
If perfectly cooked, these halloumi fries will have a crispy exterior, and a firm middle, similar to that of feta cheese. Their taste is quite mild, so it won’t overpower the rich taste of the tikka masala.
This cabbage stir-fry is completely vegan and gluten-free, so those who follow a vegan diet, or are intolerant to gluten, can enjoy this side dish completely guilt-free!
Since this is an Indian dish, it pairs very well with a chicken tikka masala. Some cumin seeds, ground turmeric, and chili are added, but it is a very versatile dish, so you can add anything you like!
Poori is Indian puffed bread (see also ‘24 Recipe For Fresh Indian Breads‘) that’s fried and made with whole wheat flour. It is fluffy, crispy, and soft, and is a favorite side dish when it comes to curries.
Therefore, it is a perfect side to pair with your chicken tikka masala. They are the perfect side dish for scooping up all the remnants of delicious sauce that’s lingering on your plate.
Samosas are a great Indian side dish for a variety of dishes. While there are meat-filled samosas available, since we’re finding side dishes for a chicken tikka masala, a vegetable-filled samosa is recommended.
These samosas are packed with flavor due to the array of spices used such as cumin, coriander, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves.
They have a crispy exterior that you can also enjoy dipping into your tikka masala sauce.
10. Tarka Dal
If you’d like to make your tikka masala even more comforting, then why not pair it with this tarka dal?
This is an Indian lentil dish that’s filled with delicious herbs and spices.
It is the perfect accompaniment for plant-based tikka masala, but if you’re looking to increase your protein intake, then this is a great option alongside a chicken tikka masala.
11. Saag Aloo
Those who are fans of Indian food will already be familiar with this delicious saag aloo. It is a meatless curry that’s made with spinach, potatoes, and a variety of fragrant spices.
This is a great option if you want to add some comfort and substance to your overall meal, as the potatoes will provide you with some hearty carbs alongside your chicken.
12. Onion Bhaji
Onion bhajis are a popular appetizer when it comes to Indian cuisine and Indian restaurants, but they work very well as a side for curries.
Slices of onions are smothered in a delicious, spiced batter and fried to perfection. This recipe also uses gram flour made from chickpeas, making this a completely gluten-free option!
They taste delicious when dipped in sweet chili sauce, but they’ll taste even better dipped into your rich, tikka masala sauce.
If you’re a fan of all things crispy, like our onion bhajis above, then you’ll love these pakoras!
They are incredibly versatile, and can be made with any vegetable of your choosing! They’re also completely vegan and gluten-free, so no one can be left out when it comes to these delicious Indian fritters.
Aside from the above, they’re also very easy and fun to make, so grab some of your favorite people and get ready to make a mess in the kitchen!
If you don’t follow a vegan diet, you can also fill them with any meat of your choice. This is perfect if you’re trying to get more protein in your diet.
Chicken tikka masala is a very popular staple dish in Indian cuisine. It consists of juicy, tender pieces of chicken marinated in spices and cream or tomato-based sauce.
It is a very rich and comforting meal, and there are a variety of side dishes that pair well with it. Some of these include basmati rice, naan, roti, saag aloo, and many others.
This article has provided you with a list of 13 side dishes you can eat alongside your chicken tikka masala.
Whether you’re after something light and easy, or something more wholesome and comforting, this article has it all.
So, take your pick, and get cooking!