Curry is a word that describes as large a range of foods as bread.
This extremely popular style of food comes from India, where there are thousands of different types of dishes.
When people from western countries adopted Indian food, they grouped it all under the name “curry”.
During its occupation, British traders and rulers living in India developed a love for curry and carried it back to Britain.
Today, it has become one of Britain’s favorite dishes.
However, as any Indian will tell you, curry is not meant to be eaten alone.
You need to temper the intense spicy flavors with a side dish.
We have gathered all the seven best side dishes to serve with curry.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes With Curry?
There are tens of thousands of varieties of curry, depending on what you are making.
Butter chicken masala, for example, is just one type of curry, but there are many ways to prepare it.
There are vegetable curries, meat curries, and everything in between.
You can prepare curry to be dry or with generous amounts of gravy.
As we mentioned earlier, curry was never meant to be served by itself.
What type of curry you eat will determine what side dish goes best with it.
Regardless, the intense and spicy flavors that make curry so delicious demand a side dish.
Wondering what side dishes are best? Read on for the best options.
What to Serve with Curry – 7 BEST Side Dishes
The side dishes listed here are classic choices for a traditional Indian experience.
1 – Plain Rice
Without a doubt, the best side dish to serve with any curry is rice; every culture in Asia eats rice to accompany their main dish.
Rice is an integral part of Asian cuisine and culture.
Many communities are formed around the growing and harvesting of this vital grain.
For most Asians, a meal is not a meal without rice.
This means that rice is the perfect side dish to serve your curry.
Rice is a carbohydrate and forms the base of the Asian meal.
Plain rice can go with any curry, but it goes particularly well with curries that have a lot of gravy.
The gravy seeps into the rice, forming a match made in heaven.
A good ratio to cook rice is 2 parts water to 1 part rice.
2 – Vegetable Pulao
Vegetable pulao is a dish that is rice cooked with vegetables and spices.
Pulao has a lovely flavor that sets it apart from plain rice.
You can add any vegetables you like to pulao, but the traditional ones will often work best.
Peas, onion and carrot sliced thinly give the rice some character.
Spices like bay leaf, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and garam masala intensify the taste.
Which spices and how much varies depending on the recipe.
Find a good one and stick closely to it.
Vegetable pulao pairs well with a curry that has less gravy.
If your curry is richer in spice and flavor, use fewer spices in your pulao.
3 – Roti
Flatbread is another extremely common side dish that Indians often eat their curry with.
Roti is the easiest of the various types of flatbreads to make; all you need is flour and water.
To make roti, mix flour and water to make bread dough.
Then, roll the dough out into thin, flat, round shapes.
Cook the dough on a flat pan until the surface of the roti shows little brown spots.
Roti is a versatile side dish; you can eat it much in the same way as tacos or tortillas.
The traditional way to eat curry with roti is ripping small pieces of roti off.
Use those small pieces to scoop up a bit of the curry and eat.
4 – Naan
This is another Indian flatbread that is harder to make but richer in taste.
Naans are technically flatbread but are traditionally made with yeast to make them rise.
This gives naans their signature fluffiness and aroma.
When you roll the dough into its oval shapes, add chopped garlic and coriander and roll it into the dough.
Doing this gives the flatbread even more flavor.
Traditionally, nanas are cooked in large tandoor ovens, but you can use a pan too.
Cook one side on a hot pan and flip the other side onto a griddle or direct flame.
You can place a wired rack over your stove for this.
5 – Mixed Vegetable (Indian style)
This dish can be classified as a curry, but it makes a perfect side dish to curry and rice/flatbread.
Vegetables are the key to a healthy diet, and Indian cuisine has plenty of delicious veg-only recipes.
Traditional vegetables for this dish are cauliflower, carrots, beans, onions, potatoes and peas.
However, you don’t need to use only these.
Add bell peppers, mushrooms, or corn if you like.
Cook the onions in a wok with your spices (ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric), and add the other vegetables once the onions have turned brown.
6 – Raita
Raita is a classic dish that is served everywhere on the Indian subcontinent.
Most Indians are vegetarians, so there are a lot of fantastic vegetarian recipes.
This dish is quite simple to make when compared to most curries.
You slice onions, chilies, cucumbers, and coriander and add them to yogurt.
This simple yet tasty dish aids in digestion and provides other health benefits.
7 – Chutney
If you are served a meal in India, you can always expect to be served chutney along with it.
Chutney is not one dish but a category of condiments.
Usually, chutney is prepared to be spicy and add additional flavor to your meal.
A simple chutney is coriander chutney.
Blend coriander, green chili, and ginger.
Add some spices like lemon juice, cumin and black salt.
There are thousands of different curries, and each one has its own merits.
When picking a side dish to pair with curry, consider how much gravy the curry has.
Curries with more gravy beg for rice, and curries that are dryer but with more chunks will go excellently with a flatbread.
When in doubt, you can seldom go wrong with plain rice.
We hope this article helped you prepare a fantastic meal.