5 Ways To Cook Rice For Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken rice side dish

Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish that involves marinating chicken in yogurt and spices before cooking it in a tandoor-type oven.

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It’s traditionally served with a side of steamed basmati rice, but there are plenty of other options to consider as well.

So what are the other choices?

Keep reading to learn more now!

What is tandoori chicken?

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Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, which is an Indian traditional clay oven that can reach temperatures above 500°F (260°C).

The chicken is marinated in a yogurt and spice mixture, then grilled over indirect heat.

The main ingredient of the marinade is garam masala, which typically contains cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cumin seeds.

After cooking the chicken for about 20 minutes per side at a high temperature, you are left with tender pieces of meat while the skin is crispy and has a nice caramel color.

The best way to serve tandoori chicken is to serve it with a starchy side like flatbread (such as naan), rice, lentil soups, and a salad.

What to consider when choosing a rice dish to serve with tandoori chicken?

When choosing a rice dish to serve with tandoori chicken, consider these factors:

The rice should be light and fluffy

You want your mouth to be able to savor each bite without being overpowered by the spices of the chicken.

The texture of the rice dish should be light instead of being too heavy, otherwise, your meal is less appealing and might upset your appetite and your stomach.

The rice should be aromatic

You want your meal to be full of flavor from start to finish, so adding in some aromatic spices will help get you there in no time!

The rice should be easy to prepare

This is especially true if you’re cooking for guests or having people over for dinner—you don’t want things getting too complicated on their plates because they’ll have enough distractions already (like eating delicious food)!

5 best rice dishes to serve with tandoori chicken

Here are the five rice recipes that are great to be served with tandoori chicken:

Steamed basmati rice

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When it comes to tandoori chicken, we cannot ignore basmati rice.

Basmati rice is a long-grain variety of white rice.

It can be ordered at most grocery stores and some specialty food markets, and it’s also very common in Indian restaurants.

Basmati goes well with tandoori chicken because it’s aromatic and has a nutty flavor that complements the spiciness of the dish.

Basmati has a fluffy texture when cooked (normally steamed), which makes it great for serving alongside other dishes like curries and stir-fries.

Rice pilaf

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Rice pilaf is a Persian dish that’s easy to make at home.

It’s a rice dish that’s cooked in seasoned broth and is typically served with meat.

Rice pilaf is usually made with white basmati rice, but you can also use brown or jasmine rice if preferred.

Rice pilaf is the perfect choice to serve with tandoori chicken because both dishes utilize spices such as cumin and turmeric—so they complement each other beautifully!

Coconut rice

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Coconut rice is a simple side dish that can be made in a short time.

It’s a perfect complement to tandoori chicken, as the coconut rice will cool your mouth from the heat of the chicken and its sauce.

It also adds some texture to the meal, which makes it more interesting.

Coconut rice tastes great on its own and with spicy food, so if you’re pairing your tandoori chicken with something spicy like a vindaloo or a chili, coconut rice will make a perfect complement.

Saffron rice

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Saffron rice is a popular rice dish that can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to any number of Indian and Persian dishes.

It’s easy to make, and it’s a great pairing with tandoori chicken.

Saffron rice gets its flavor from saffron, which is a spice that grows in the crocus flower.

For this reason, it’s often called golden rice or Iranian saffron rice.

The threads must be gently crumbled and steeped in hot water before being added to the dish; once they’re infused into the liquid (which will eventually become your rice), you’ll have beautiful yellow grains!

Wild rice blend

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Wild rice is a great choice for those who are tired of white and brown rice.

Wild rice blends are a mix of wild, brown, and white rice with spices added to give it an extra kick.

It can be served as a side dish to many different meals, but we recommend it with tandoori chicken for its slightly spicy flavor.


Tandoori chicken is great for your family or when entertaining guests.

It has many flavors in one bite, so it’s important to choose the right rice to go with it.

You want something that will complement the spiciness of this tasty meal without overpowering other flavors in your mouth.

Fortunately, there are many options available that we have listed above!

From traditional basmati to savory pilaf mixes, wild rice blends (like this one), and coconut-infused dishes, just experiment with these options yourself and you will figure out your favorite recipe.