What to Serve with Butter Chicken [15 Side Dish Ideas]

Easy butter chicken serving and side dish ideas. From basmati rice to kachumber salad, and homemade naan bread to samosas, discover what to serve with butter chicken today.

What to Serve with Butter Chicken [15 Side Dish Ideas]

Butter chicken is one of the best comfort foods in Indian cuisine. The dish consists of delicious chunks of chicken in a smooth tomato sauce that is rich and creamy thanks to the addition of butter. 

To complete your delicious Indian meal, serve it with one of these side dishes.

Naan Bread

Naan Bread

Naan is a type of Indian flatbread that is served with many meals in restaurants and Indian households. It is soft, pillowy, and perfect for mopping up curry sauces such as the one that coats butter chicken.

You can find naan in most supermarkets or make it yourself without too much trouble. For the batter, combine activated yeast, flour, yogurt, salt, and oil. Shape into discs and cook in a very hot skillet. 

Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is another staple on Indian tables. The pillowy, aromatic grains are flavorful yet mild, so the dish doesn’t outshine the butter chicken and helps absorb the sauce.

You can get basmati rice at most supermarkets, and the package will usually have instructions for preparing these delectable grains. Cook until the rice is tender and absorbs all the water.

Onion Bhajis

Onion Bhajis

Onion bhajis are fritters that make for a great snack, appetizer, or side dish. The crispy texture and intensely savory flavor contrast well with the creaminess and mild flavor of butter chicken.

To make this takeout staple, start by thinly slicing onions and mixing them with gram flour, coriander leaves, and spices. Let the mixture sit, then squeeze out excess moisture, form fritters, and fry until golden.

Papadum

Papadum

Papadums are another type of Indian flatbread that you can use to mop up the sauce from butter chicken. The difference is that a papadum is fried until crispy while naan is pillowy and soft.

To make papadums, combine gram flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Shape into flatbreads, let the dough dry, then fry until crispy.

Kachumber Salad

Kachumber Salad

A fresh vegetable salad such as kachumber salad can cut through the richness of butter chicken and create a healthy, balanced meal. Kachumber salad is a staple Indian side dish that is a simple yet flavorful chopped salad.

To make Kachumber salad, chop up your vegetables., usually onion, tomato, and cucumber. Season with lemon juice and Himalayan salt to let the freshness shine through.

Samosas  

Samosas

If you want to replicate a full takeout-style meal in your home, you have to start your dinner off with samosas. Samosas are fried, cone-shaped pastries that are staples of South Asian cuisine. 

The great thing about making samosas at home is that you can make the filling whatever you want, although the most common is spiced potatoes and peas. You can make your own dough using flour, salt, carom seeds, and ghee, or use wonton wrappers. Place the filling in the dough, shape into triangles, then fry.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

Aloo gobi is one of the most popular vegetable dishes in South Asia. This rich, spiced dish has potatoes, cauliflower, and plenty of spices. The spicy flavor complements the mildness of butter chicken, and the hearty vegetables complete the meal.

To make aloo gobi, chop the potatoes and cauliflower into chunks. Sauté the aromatics (onion, garlic, green chili, and ginger), add the vegetables, and season well.

Pakora

Pakora

Vegetable pakora is another staple of Indian takeout menus. This crispy, fried appetizer is the perfect thing to whet the appetite before diving into a creamy plate of butter chicken. 

You can use your choice of vegetables to make pakora, but the most common are potatoes and onions. Finely cut the vegetables and mix them together. Mix the sliced vegetables with spices such as carom seeds, coat with gram flour, then fry until crispy.

Peas Pulao

Peas Pulao

Rice dishes are commonly served alongside butter chicken because they help soak up the sauce. If you don’t want to serve plain basmati rice, try making peas pulao, an aromatic rice dish.

You will need peas, onions, basmati rice, and plenty of aromatics and spices. Caramelize the onions, add the peas and rice to the pot, then cook with water until the grains are tender and fluffy.

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney

In Indian cuisine, chutneys are spreads and dips served alongside flatbreads. The sweet flavor of this chutney is perfect with the slight sweetness of butter chicken.

You can buy mango chutney at many Indian grocery stores or make your own using mangos, plenty of spices and aromatics, sugar, and white vinegar. Sauté the aromatics, add the other ingredients, and simmer until the mango is tender. Blend and let cool.

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita

A raita is a common Indian side dish or dip made of dahi, a yogurt-like curd, and chopped vegetables. Cucumber raita is one of the most common and is a great, cooling dish to serve alongside the warming flavors of butter chicken. 

To make your own cucumber raita, chop or grate cucumbers. Add to plain yogurt, mix in minimal spices such as cumin and chopped herbs such as coriander, and mix until smooth.

Saag

saag

Saag is the name for a group of Indian dishes made from leafy greens cooked until they form almost a puree. Saag is a great dish to serve alongside butter chicken if you want to add a serving of vegetables. The slight bitterness of this dish cuts through the creamy richness of butter chicken.

You can use almost any greens to make saag, although the most common are mustard greens and spinach. Cook the greens along with toasted spices until they are tender. 

Yellow Dal

Yellow Dal

Dal is a creamy, warm Indian soup made from pulses such as lentils. One of the most common is yellow dal, made from yellow lentils, which are soft and creamy when you cook them. The starchiness of the dish combined with butter chicken makes for a filling meal.

Besides lentils, you will need onion, tomatoes, and plenty of spices to make yellow dal. Cook the ingredients together until the lentils are soft and creamy.

Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Do you want to eat like royalty when you sit down to eat butter chicken? You can if you serve it with biryani, which was a popular rice dish at the courts of the Mughal emperors. 

To make biryani, you need basmati rice, plenty of aromatics and spices, as well as your choice of protein or vegetables. Cook the ingredients together until the rice is rich, fragrant, and tender.

Punjabi Fried Bread

Punjabi Fried Bread

Most people serve bread with butter chicken because it helps mop up the sauce. If you don’t want to serve plain naan, use Punjabi fried bread or bhatura instead. The crispy yet pillowy texture is great for smooth sauces such as butter chicken.

You can make your own fried bread by mixing up a batter of gram and semolina flours, yogurt, grated potato, and baking powder. Let the batter rest, then form into discs and fry. 

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