Are you in a food rut? Do you always make the same sides to go with butter chicken every time?
It’s easy to get stuck eating the same things, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
If you want to shake up your dinner menu and try something new, then this is the article for you.
Here I will introduce 15 delicious side dishes that pair perfectly with butter chicken – so tasty that they just might become your family favorites.
From cumin-infused potato wedges and coriander parathas, to light vegetable salads and fragrant rice dishes; these recipes will add variety, nutrition, flavor, and texture to complete any meal.
So gather around the table together – because it’s time to break out of your dinner rut with these unique accompaniments!
What to Serve with Butter Chicken? 15 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Jeera Rice
Jeera rice is a simple yet delicious Indian dish made with rice and cumin seeds.
The rice is cooked in water and then the cumin seeds are added in, giving it a distinct flavor and aroma.
Jeera rice is often served as a side dish but can also be enjoyed on its own.
The taste of jeera rice is slightly nutty and earthy, with a subtle hint of heat from the cumin seeds.
The texture of the rice is fluffy and light.
There are many ways to elevate this dish and make it more interesting.
One way is to add some sautéed onions or garlic to the rice while it’s cooking.
This will give the rice an extra depth of flavor.
Another way to change things up is to add peas or other vegetables to the mix.
You can also top jeera rice with fried eggs or grilled chicken for a complete meal.
2. Plain Rice
Plain rice is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to a variety of different main dishes.
When it comes to taste and texture, plain rice is fairly neutral and can be easily customized to suit your preferences.
If you’re looking for a simple way to elevate this dish, here are a few tips:
- Add some herbs or spices to the rice before cooking it for an extra flavor boost.
- Cook the rice in chicken or beef broth instead of water for an added depth of flavor.
- Stir in some cooked vegetables, like peas or carrots, before serving.
3. Garlic Naan
When it comes to Indian food, there are few dishes as iconic or delicious as butter chicken.
This rich and creamy curry is packed with flavor and can be enjoyed with a variety of different side dishes.
One of our personal favorites is garlic naan – a type of flatbread that’s traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven.
Garlic naan has a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior and is the perfect vessel for sopping up all that delicious butter chicken sauce.
It’s also incredibly easy to make at home – just brush some store-bought naan bread with garlic-infused oil, and pop it into a hot oven until it’s nice and crispy.
If you really want to elevate your garlic naan game, try brushing the bread with a mixture of equal parts melted butter and ghee (clarified butter).
This will give the naan an even richer flavor and texture that’s absolutely irresistible.
Serve your garlic naan alongside some butter chicken and steamed basmati rice, and enjoy.
Raita is a refreshing Indian yogurt dish that pairs well with the spices in butter chicken.
It’s made with yogurt, cucumber, and cumin and can be served either as a side or as a condiment.
The cooling yogurt balances out the heat of the butter chicken, and the cucumber adds a fresh crunch.
To make raita, simply combine plain yogurt, grated cucumber, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.
For more flavorful raita, you can also add chopped mint or cilantro.
If you want a bit of sweetness, add a pinch of sugar.
Serve raita chilled or at room temperature.
Raita is best enjoyed alongside butter chicken, but it can also be used as a condiment for other Indian dishes like biryani or curries.
It’s also a great way to use up leftover yogurt.
If you have raita left over, it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
5. Matar Paneer
Matar Paneer is a delicious and creamy Indian dish made with paneer (a type of Indian cottage cheese) and peas in a tomato-based sauce.
It’s usually served with rice or naan bread, but there are so many other great ways to enjoy it.
The best part about Matar paneer is the combination of textures and flavors.
The soft and pillowy paneer pairs perfectly with the slightly sweet and crunchy peas, while the rich and flavorful sauce ties it all together.
Plus, it’s easy to make your own at home with just a few simple ingredients.
- Add some spice with fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, or garam masala.
- Switch up the cheese and use cubed tofu or cooked chicken instead.
- Bulk up the veggies by adding chopped carrots, bell peppers, or potatoes.
- Turn it into a one-pot meal by serving it over steamed rice or quinoa.
- Get creative with your garnishes and top it with green onions, cilantro, chopped nuts, or raisins.
6. Kashmiri Naan
If you’re looking for the perfect side to go with your butter chicken, look no further than Kashmiri naan.
This traditional Indian flatbread is made with maida flour, yogurt, ghee, and baking soda, and it’s absolutely delicious.
The bread is soft and fluffy, with a slightly tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy flavors of butter chicken.
Kashmiri naan is best served warm, straight out of the oven.
If you want to elevate this dish even further, try serving it with a dollop of butter or ghee on top.
You can also brush the naan with some garlic-infused oil for an extra bit of flavor.
7. Shahi Paneer
Any fan of Indian cuisine knows that shahi paneer is a classic dish.
This rich, creamy dish is traditionally made with cubes of fried paneer (a type of Indian cheese) in a gravy made with tomatoes, onions, and spices.
The result is a dish that is both flavorful and satisfying.
While shahi paneer is often served with rice or roti, it can also be enjoyed on its own.
One of the best things about shahi paneer is its versatility.
The dish can be made as spicy or as mild as you like, depending on your preferences.
Additionally, there are many ways to elevate the flavors of shahi paneer.
For example, you could add some fresh ginger or cilantro to the dish for an extra zing.
Or, if you want a heartier meal, try serving shahi paneer with some sautéed veggies on the side.
8. Aloo Gobi
Aloo Gobi is a classic Indian dish that is simple yet so flavorful and satisfying.
It is made with potatoes, cauliflower, and spices and can be served as a side or main dish.
The best part about Aloo Gobi is that it is relatively easy to make and can be easily elevated to fit any occasion.
In terms of taste and texture, Aloo Gobi is slightly sweet from the potatoes, with a bit of heat from the spices.
The cauliflower is soft but still has a bit of bite to it.
Overall, the dish is very well-balanced and incredibly flavorful.
There are a few tips on how to elevate this dish.
First, you can add some green peas for extra color and flavor.
Second, you could use fresh ginger instead of ground ginger for a more intense flavor.
Finally, you could garnish with cilantro and/or lime juice before serving.
9. Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani is a rich and creamy dish made with black lentils, red kidney beans, butter, and cream.
The name of the dish literally means “buttery lentils” in Hindi, which is indicative of its luxurious ingredients and flavors.
This dish is often served as a main course alongside roti or naan bread, but it can also be enjoyed as a side dish.
Dal Makhani has a thick, creamy texture and a slightly sweet taste that is offset by the earthiness of the black lentils.
Tips for elevating your dal makhani include:
- Adding a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top.
- Stirring in some chopped fresh cilantro for brightness.
- Serving it with crispy fried onions on top.
10. Channa Masala
Channa Masala is a delicious, hearty dish that is perfect for any occasion.
The dish is made with chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices and can be served with rice or naan bread.
Channa Masala is a great option for those who are looking for a vegetarian dish that is packed with flavor.
The taste of Channa Masala can best be described as savory and slightly sweet.
The chickpeas and tomatoes create a smooth, thick sauce that is full of flavor.
The spices add an extra layer of depth to the dish, and the overall taste is very well-balanced.
The texture of Channa Masala is also quite enjoyable, as the chickpeas provide a slight crunch that contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the sauce.
There are many ways to elevate the taste of Channa Masala even further.
One simple way is to add some freshly chopped cilantro on top of the dish before serving.
This will give the Channa Masala an extra pop of color and flavor.
Another way to make the dish even more special is to serve it with homemade naan bread.
Naan bread is a traditional Indian flatbread that pairs perfectly with Channa Masala.
If you want to really impress your guests, take the time to make your own naan bread from scratch.
It’s not as difficult as it may seem, and it will definitely make your Channa Masala taste even better.
11. Saag Paneer
Saag paneer is a classic Indian dish that is traditionally made with spinach and cheese.
The dish is very popular and can be found on the menus of many Indian restaurants.
While the dish is usually made with spinach, it can also be made with other leafy greens such as kale or chard.
The taste and texture of saag paneer can vary depending on how it is made.
Some versions of the dish are very creamy, while others have a more brothy consistency.
The cheese in the dish can also range from fresh to aged, and the spinach can be either cooked or raw.
There are many ways to elevate this dish and make it your own.
One way to do this is to use different types of greens in the dish.
Another way to change things up is to use different types of cheese or even add some spices to the dish.
12. Baingan Bharta
Baingan Bharta is a delicious Indian dish made with eggplant.
It has a smoky flavor and a rich, creamy texture.
The dish is often served with rice or naan bread.
There are a few things you can do to elevate the dish.
First, try roasting the eggplant over an open flame until it’s nice and charred.
This will give the dish a deeper flavor.
You can also add some fresh herbs, like cilantro or mint, to brighten up the flavors.
Finally, if you want a bit of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes.
Baingan bharta is a simple dish that packs a lot of flavors.
With just a few tips, you can take it from good to great.
Give it a try next time you’re in the mood for something hearty and satisfying.
Achaar, or Indian pickles, are a unique and delicious way to add flavor to any dish.
They are made from a variety of fruits and vegetables that are pickled in a mixture of spices and oil.
Achaar can be used as a condiment, side dish, or even as an ingredient in other dishes.
Achaar is typically very sour and spicy, with a strong vinegar smell.
The taste and texture of achaar can vary depending on the type of fruit or vegetable that is used.
Some common ingredients in achaar include mangoes, lemons, limes, onions, carrots, garlic, and chili peppers.
It can be eaten on its own or added to other dishes to elevate the flavor.
It is often used as a condiment for rice dishes or curries.
A little bit of achaar goes a long way, so start with just a few spoonfuls and adjust to your liking.
Papadum is a traditional Indian flatbread that is usually made out of lentils or chickpeas.
It is very thin and crispy and can be eaten plain or with various dipping sauces.
Papadum is a great side dish to butter chicken because it contrasts well with the creamy sauce.
Papadum has a light and airy texture and is very crunchy.
The flavor is mildly spicy and pairs well with many different dipping sauces.
If you want to elevate this dish, try serving it with a chutney or raita (a yogurt-based dip).
To make papadum, the dough is first prepared and then flattened into thin discs.
They are then fried in oil until they are crisp and golden brown.
Papadum can be served either hot or cold, making it a great option for parties or potlucks.
15. Mango Chutney
Mango chutney is a delicious, sweet, and tangy condiment that is often used in Indian cuisine.
It can be made with either fresh or canned mangoes and is typically spiced with ginger, garlic, chili peppers, and other Indian spices.
Mango chutney is deliciously served alongside butter chicken, as the sweetness of the mango pairs well with the rich and creamy sauce.
Mango chutney is typically quite sweet, with a thick and jam-like consistency.
The addition of fresh mangoes will add a brighter flavor and fresher texture to the dish, while canned mangoes will make for a more intense flavor.
If you find your chutney is too sweet, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice to balance it out.
There are endless ways to elevate your mango chutney.
Some ideas include adding chopped onions or green peppers for a bit of crunch, stirring in some chopped cilantro or mint leaves for freshness, or even adding a dollop of yogurt to mellow out the sweetness.
The next time you have butter chicken, try one of these 15 fantastic side dishes.
From traditional jeera rice to something a little more unusual like Kashmiri naan, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.
So, set the table and get ready to tuck in.
What to Serve with Butter Chicken? 15 Must-try Side Dishes
- 1. Jeera Rice
- 2. Plain Rice
- 3. Garlic Naan
- 4. Raita
- 5. Matar Paneer
- 6. Kashmiri Naan
- 7. Shahi Paneer
- 8. Aloo Gobi
- 9. Dal Makhani
- 10. Channa Masala
- 11. Saag Paneer
- 12. Baingan Bharta
- 13. Achaar
- 14. Papadum
- 15. Mango Chutney
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!