5 Best Side Dish Ideas For Your Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala side dish

Having the right accompaniments is crucial when it comes to enjoying a good meal.

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Chicken tikka masala, an Indian staple dish, pairs so well with different kinds of side dishes.

But what should you serve on the side of chicken tikka masala in your family?

You can find the five best ideas for how to dress up your chicken tikka masala dinner in this article.

What is chicken tikka masala?

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Chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular dishes in Indian cuisine.

It is usually made with boneless chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, then cooked in a tandoor oven until it’s tender and juicy.

The sauce for this dish is either tomato or cream-based which gives it its distinct flavor, both creamy, rich, and earthy.

Although many people believe that chicken tikka masala originated from India, there are claims saying that this dish actually came about when an Indian chef created a special meal for England’s former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Regardless of where this popular curry dish comes from, chicken tikka masala has become well-known all over the world with several variations due to the differences in the spices used in the recipe. 

Chicken tikka masala is sometimes known as butter chicken in some regions of India.

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

Chicken tikka masala is great to serve alone, but if you want to make your meal with this Indian delicacy more hearty, choosing the right side dish is an essential step.

You are not alone!

The following tips will help you pick or cook the best side dishes to serve with chicken tikka masala without any fuss:

Choose a side dish with a lighter texture that comes without sauces

Since chicken tikka masala is creamy and rich in both texture and flavor, it is best to serve this dish with a side that comes without any sauce.

For example, plain steamed or stir-fried rice, bread, or tandoori roti are some ideal options to choose from, and these accompaniments are also popular in Indian cuisine.

Avoid pairing your chicken tikka masala with another soup-like dish like curries or stews, or your meal will be too heavy for your stomach.

A side dish with a contrasting color will be a good choice

If your purpose is not only the nutrition of your meal but also the presentation, it is best to look for a side dish with a cool to cold tone instead of warm like red or orange.

A side dish with green or white color will make your table look more vibrant and appealing, which boosts your appetite to enjoy your dishes more.

Consider how many people will eat the chicken tikka masala and their dietary restriction if any

Another thing to keep in mind is to take into account the number of people who you will serve your chicken tikka masala and other side dishes.

It is also better to ask them before preparing your party to check if any of them has a particular dietary restriction.

5 best side dishes to serve with chicken tikka masala

Below is the list of the five best side dishes to serve with the classic Indian chicken tikka masala.

Refer to these ideas if you are looking for a good accompaniment to serve with chicken tikka masala:

1.     Naan bread

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Naan bread is a staple in Indian cuisine, besides chicken tikka masala.

Naan bread is a classic side dish that appears in most Indian meals, typically paired with curry-like dishes.

Naan bread is often dipped in the chicken tikka masala to grab the creamy sauce or even the meat as a utensil to make each bite of this bread more flavorful.

2.     Rice

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Another simple but great side dish for chicken tikka masala is rice.

You can even opt for a bowl of plain steamed Basmati rice to serve along with chicken tikka masala.

Otherwise, if you want a more flavorful and colorful version, use a stir-fried rice dish to eat with chicken tikka masala.

3.      Salads

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For those who are looking for a lighter companion to serve with bold and hearty chicken tikka masala, salads are the answer.

It is best to opt for a green salad that is made from different leafy greens and packed with any kind of salad dressing per your preference.

The crunchy texture and refreshing taste of green salads are a perfect addition to the rich and tender chicken tikka masala.

4.     Raita

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Raita is a traditional Indian recipe of a yogurt-based sauce.

It is made with raw or cooked sliced vegetables and herbs with cucumber being the most common choice of vegetables for this recipe.

The light and mild flavor of this dish will offset the creamy and hearty taste of your chicken tikka masala.

5.     Fried potatoes

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There are many versions of fried potatoes, as thin slices or sticks of potatoes.

All can work well to serve with chicken tikka masala.

Fried potatoes are easy to make and have a nice slightly sweet flavor that won’t make the whole meal being too overpowered with a lot of spices.

The bottom line

What are your favorite side dishes to serve with chicken tikka masala?

Whether you go for rice, naan bread, fried potatoes, or cucumber raita, all can complement your meal in a good way.

Hopefully, your dinner table will taste as good as it looks with chicken tikka masala and either one or several side dishes that we have showcased.