Chicken tikka masala is by far one of the most popular dishes in the Indian cuisine, and for some good reasons.
The chicken is marinated in yogurt, but also in spices.
It is cooked in a specific oven until it goes juicy and soft.
Sauces can be pretty diversified – some of them are based on cream, while others are based on tomato.
Now, the dish may seem a bit boring by itself – knowing what to serve with chicken tikka masala will open up a world of opportunities.
Sure, personal preferences should dictate, but then, not everything works.
Here is everything you need to know.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Chicken Tikka Masala?
A side dish will complement the chicken tikka masala if you pick it with a few rules in mind.
The point is to obtain a balanced meal.
You can serve the dish alone, but you need a side dish if you want to make an impression.
For instance, choose something basic – there is no need to make it heavy.
Stick to a light texture and avoid sauces.
In terms of color and design, stick to something with contrasting color – it will make a good impression.
Now, what are your best options?
What to Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are some top choices when not sure what to serve with chicken tikka masala.
1 – Naan and Minted Cucumber Salad
Naan bread is one of the main foods in the Indian cuisine.
It complements the chicken tikka masala and helps it become less nauseous.
To enjoy the mix, you can dip the naan bread in the main dish.
The bread will absorb the flavor and simply taste better.
As for the salad, minted cucumber can turn a boring salad into a fancy one – great if you are trying to impress someone.
2 – Steamed Basmati Rice
You just cannot go wrong with rice when it comes to a saucy dish, and chicken tikka masala makes no exception either.
While most types of rice will do, there is something about the aromatic profile of Basmati rice.
Steam it to preserve some of its flavors.
If you are more about a colorful side dish, stick to stir fry rice.
It does have some different flavors too, but the color is what makes the difference.
All in all, the side dish should be ready in about 20 minutes, so you are less likely to waste too much time.
3 – Crunchy Leafy Green Salad
Looking for something light as a side dish? A salad will work wonders.
It will refresh your taste buds a little and provide a cooling effect for the main dish.
On the same note, the crunchy profile is just as good with chicken tikka masala because the texture is different, so they work well together.
Mix together all sorts of leafy greens and use a salad dressing you like – just a matter of personal preferences here.
While it may seem tempting, it may be a good idea to keep the list of ingredients to a minimum – two or three will do.
Too many different aromas and flavors could make it confusing.
4 – Cheesy Fried Potatoes
Potatoes make the perfect side dish for a plethora of foods, and the same goes for chicken tikka masala.
There are more ways to prepare potatoes for this dish, but frying them is standard.
As for the actual shape, it is a matter of what you like – some people prefer potato sticks, while others like slices.
You might as well chop them – up to you.
Fried potatoes are easy to make and should not take more than 20 minutes.
They have a slightly sweet flavor that will not make the meal too heavy.
Opt for light cheese on top of them.
5 – Crunchy Vegetable Samosas
Anything covered in pastry will work wonders when next to your chicken tikka masala.
Samosas make the perfect side dish, but there are some rules to follow.
Classic samosas are made with certain types of flour – you can use anything, even filo pastry.
As for what goes inside, opt for spinach. You need something light.
Other types of meat are also accepted, but the chances are they will make the meal feel heavy.
Remember, you want to complement your chicken tikka masala, rather than challenge it with a different type of meat.
6 – Homemade Mango Chutney
Pickles and chutneys are extremely common in Indian cuisine and can easily change the direction of a meal.
A simple chutney will complement a meal, but it can also ruin a good combination, so it requires plenty of attention.
Mango chutney is excellent for chicken tikka masala, but try to make it yourself.
Things you can find in commerce are not that rich in taste – instead, they are incredibly sweet and rich in sugar.
As for the recipe, it may take a few hours to cook once you prepare all the ingredients, so start early.
7 – Homemade Creamy Raita
Sauces can make the difference as side dishes and can turn a dish into an actual meal.
Now, the sauce must be carefully chosen.
Chicken tikka masala brings in a wide variety of tastes – slightly spicy.
Therefore, the sauce must be neutral and mellow.
A classy creamy raita is excellent if you make it yourself.
There are lots of different recipes for it, but they all revolve around the same main ingredients – besides, preparing this side dish should not take more than 10 minutes.
As a short final conclusion, there are quite a few good options when not sure what to serve with chicken tikka masala.
The dish is a mix of numerous flavors and a few interesting textures.
Your side dish must complement all these or challenge them a bit.
Whether it comes to a light sauce, a salad, or something heavier – such as cheesy potatoes, your personal preferences dictate at the end of the day.
You can stick to something part of the same Indian cuisine, but you can also try out a different approach.