Were you a fan of Indian food growing up? If yes, then you probably know the popular Indian proverb of reaching someone’s heart through their tummy.
And if you have tasted Indian cuisine once or twice before, you can also say there might be some truth to it.
Dal Makhani is one of the most popular Indian dishes across the globe.
Dal Makhani’s origins in the Indian state of Punjab literally translates to “Buttery Lentils”.
It is a dish made with soaked black lentils and red kidney beans that are slow-cooked with butter and spices.
Is Dal Makhani healthy? Well, the lentils and kidney beans sure are.
However, the amount of butter is a deciding factor in the actual amount of healthy this dish can be.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Dal Makhani?
Indian cuisine is generally 3-4 different types of dishes for one meal time.
And that is normal, during celebrations or special days, the number of dishes go even higher.
Needless to say, there is always something or the other that acts as a side to another dish.
However, some sides go so well as a combination with another dish that you cannot imagine having one without the other.
Dal Makhani is something that goes so well with all types of Indian flatbreads and rice dishes that you can’t help but marvel at the lip-smacking goodness.
With so much diversity in flavors, you can pair so many different types of dishes with Dal Makhani.
Read on to find out the best side dishes for your Dal Makhani.
What To Serve with Dal Makhani? 7 Best Side Dishes.
Dal Makhani can be served with a variety of Indian sides, here are just 7 of the best sides you can prepare for your Dal Makhani recipe.
1 – Tandoori Roti
This wholesome Indian flatbread recipe is a hit at every meal table.
Usually eaten for lunch and dinners, Tandoori Roti is an excellent side to a lot of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Tandoori Roti gets its name from the tandoor- a clay oven where it is cooked.
It is also a healthy side, as it is made from whole wheat flour.
Though tradition demands that it be cooked on a Tandoor, you can also try making it at home without a tandoor but a regular ‘tawa’ or skillet.
The amount of butter is again up to your choice completely, or you can even try to skip it.
This flatbread, coupled with the heavenly tasting Dal Makhani is sure to make you crave for more.
2 – Butter Naan
Naan is one of those dishes that are pretty well-known in the western world.
Naan can make a compelling case with Dal Makhani.
It is also an excellent bread recipe that can be paired with numerous vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Gravy dishes like Dal Makhani go incredibly well with Butter Naan.
Though it might not be as healthy as tandoori roti because it is made with refined flour, it is a widely loved flatbread.
Making Naan can be a tricky process; however, with a little practice, you can be sure to make the softest naans.
Top them with a dollop of butter; just be more authentically Punjabi with the meal.
3 – Plain Steamed Rice
Asia is a continent that loves its rice.
Each country has its own varieties of rice and at least one famous rice dish.
You can never go wrong with serving plain steamed rice with an Indian dish.
Plain rice is a good way to bring out the flavors of the main dish.
So, relax and take out your rice cooker and get along with serving some rice with your Dal Makhani.
4 – Jeera Rice
Another variation of rice, Jeera rice, is just plain rice that has been flavored with Jeera- Cumin seeds.
The Cumin imparts a mild but very effective aroma to the rice.
Make sure you have the cumin seeds.
The mere aroma of the rice will be enough to make you hungry.
This Jeera rice will be a fantastic partner to your Dal Makhani.
You wouldn’t need to think of other side dishes at all.
5 – Kulcha
Kulcha is another Indian flatbread that is only mildly leavened compared to Naan.
While Naan dough also has yogurt, Kulcha doesn’t.
Kulcha is one of the most sought-after flatbreads after Naan.
Pair your Dal Makhani with kulchas when you don’t feel like having Naan.
Kulchas generally take a longer time to make as compared to normal flatbreads; however, they are also a better side dish to Dal Makhani.
Don’t forget to sprinkle some black sesame seeds and coriander (or cilantro) on top of the dough before you start rolling them into flatbreads.
6 – Vegetable Pulao
Pulao is a much loved Indian dish.
Think of it as Biryani, but for people who do not eat meat.
Another rice dish, this one has all the goodness of vegetables, aromatic spices, and ghee.
Pairing this with Dal makhani means elevating your meal to new heights.
As complex as it sounds, it is very simple and will prove a healthy addition to your Dal Makhani.
Choose your favorite vegetables for this Pulao recipe; you can also add Paneer (cottage cheese) or Tofu.
7 – Paneer Sabzi
Sabzi in Indian cuisine refers to a dish that contains vegetables, either solely or in combination with something else.
Usually, lentil dishes by themselves are considered too plain.
There always needs to be a sabzi accompanying any kind of lentil dish.
Paneer Sabzi is an easy dish to make, and there are various ways to make paneer sabzi.
It is a vegetarian dish, though if you do not add any cottage cheese to it, then it can also be vegan.
Dal Makhani is a buttery dish made with lentils and kidney beans that is as nutritious as it is tasty.
In general, Indian cuisine has compact flavors packed into neat dishes that explode their richness on your tongue.
Serving side dishes with Indian dishes is a norm that has been going on for centuries.
Dal Makhani is a versatile dish that can be paired with many different kinds of side dishes.
Mainly flatbreads and rice dishes are the best to pair with it.
However, vegetable and cottage cheese dishes also go along very well with Dal Makhani.