7 Best Side Dishes For Butter Chicken

butter chicken side dish

What do you serve with butter chicken?

This question is one that has been asked for years and there are many different responses.

Here we will discuss how to balance out the spiciness and richness of this dish with some cooling Indian accompaniments, so get a notebook and a pen to write down now!

What is butter chicken?

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Butter chicken is a rich dish with an interesting blend of spices.

It originated in India and is also known as Murgh makhani, a kind of chicken curry.

The recipe consists of pieces of chicken (usually boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs) slow-cooked in a spiced tomato sauce and butter and whipping cream or Greek yogurt.

The resulting dish has a vibrant orange color sprinkled with some chopped parsley to garnish and enhance the flavor.

Butter chicken is one of the most popular dishes to order when going out for Indian food.

What to consider when choosing a butter chicken’s side dish?

Butter chicken is a popular dish among households all over the world for its flavor profile and versatility.

However, this dish is often paired with one or several side dishes rather than being eaten alone.

Now, let’s see what you should consider when choosing a good side dish for butter chicken:

Butter chicken is often served with a starchy side dish

Butter chicken is traditionally served with rice and naan bread, two starchy staples in Indian cuisine.

These carb options can easily absorb the rich sauce of this main dish and help fill your empty tummy.

Butter chicken is best to be served with an Indian side dish

Butter chicken is a popular Indian dish, so it also works best with other Indian-originated side dishes.

Spices from these Indian delicacies will perfectly blend with each other and make your meal more harmonious.

Butter chicken should be served with a milder accompaniment

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should serve your butter chicken with a side dish that has a milder taste.

The reason is that the main course is already too flavorful and packed with many pungent spices.

Therefore, a milder accompaniment will help offset the rich taste of the star on the table. 

7 best side dishes to serve with butter chicken

Here are the seven side dishes that are great to complement your butter chicken:

1.     Steamed basmati rice

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Basmati Rice is a classic side dish in Indian cuisine.

Basmati rice can be cooked in different ways, but steamed basmati rice is the most suitable way to serve with butter chicken thanks to its mild flavor.

2.     Naan bread

365 by Whole Foods Market, Naan Tandoori Rustic White Mini, 7.1 Ounce

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Do you want to eat like Indians?

Then serve your butter chicken with naan bread.

This Indian flatbread will not only work as a side dish but also as a utensil to scoop up the rich sauce and chicken pieces.

Naan bread is traditionally eaten by hands, and don’t forget to tear it into bite-sized pieces and use your right hands only to enjoy this meal.

3.     Garlic bread

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Another starchy side dish that can perfectly work with your butter chicken is garlic bread.

Garlic bread is a combination of bread that is spread with butter and melted garlic before being grilled.

The resulting dish is a nice addition to most chicken dishes because the flavor of garlic goes really well with chicken.

4.     Steamed vegetables

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For those who want a lighter side dish to serve with rich and heavy butter chicken, steamed vegetables are the way to go.

Broccoli and cauliflower are some common choices of veggies that are perfect for steaming.

They also make your meal look and taste more balanced.  

5.     Saag

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Saag is an Indian option that is best to serve with a curry dish like butter chicken.

It is made with a variety of greens, such as spinach, kale, and chard, with spices, and sometimes cheese.

This dish is not only a great way to enjoy vegetables but also very healthy.

6.     Aloo Gobi

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Aloo Gobi is a popular dish in South Asia.

It is made without meat, but vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, and Indian spices.

Although the flavor of this side dish is sure to balance butter chicken, its color is similar to the main dish with the use of turmeric.

7.     Cucumber salad with lemon yogurt dressing

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Last but not least, you can also serve your butter chicken with a crunchy salad like cucumber salad.

And since your main chicken dish is flavorful and rich in spices, your salad should be coated with a tangy dressing like lemon juice with plain yogurt.

The bottom line

In conclusion, it is important to look for a right side dish to pair with butter chicken because the main dish is packed with many spices and flavors.

We have listed down the seven best Italian-style side dishes to complete your meal with butter chicken and bring the true Indian flavor to your own kitchen no matter where you are.

After trying all these butter chicken’s side dish options, which is your favorite?

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