Are you looking for the perfect side dish to go with your Chicken Tikka Masala? We have got you covered! Read on to find out what to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala that will take your meal to the next level and make it even more delicious.
What’s Chicken Tikka Masala?
When you think of comfort food, chicken tikka masala is bound to be one of your favorites.
This rich and fragrant meal hits the spot with marinated chicken drenched in subtle spicy tomato cream sauce.
Indian-inspired cuisine has rapidly spread around the globe. Renowned for its spicy and aromatic ingredients, it is clear why so many of us include Indian cuisine in our diets.
Notably, the modern version of chicken tikka masala is on the soul food list due to its high calorie and fat content. Yet, it is not all gloom and doom for this fantastic dish.
What To Serve With Chicken Tikka Masala?
Several side dishes for chicken tikka masala complement this go-to soul food, from pilau rice and ghee-roasted potatoes to hearty naan bread and fresh green salads.
There is an ideal side dish on “what to serve with chicken tikka masala” to suit everyone’s taste.
So, get ready as we explore wholesome sides that pair effortlessly with this flavorsome meal.
Basmati is energy-sustaining slender-grain rice and is very popular to serve alongside tikka masala meals.
It contains folic acid and all eight essential amino acids. Furthermore, it is low in sodium and fat and is cholesterol free.
Over and above these incredible health benefits, the aromatic qualities enhance the already fragrant ingredients in chicken tikka masala.
The perfectly prepared basmati should be tender and fluffy. Notably, too much water will make it mushy, and too little water will make it hard and crunchy.
We suggest following the instructions carefully to achieve the perfect results.
Terrific Tip: cook your basmati using vegetable stock instead of plain water. By doing so, it adds to the flavor and nutrient value of your meal.
Pilau rice is basmati taken to a new delicious level. The ingredients in pilau include:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Cardamom pods
- Curry leave
- Vegetable stock
- Fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wow, so many immune-boosting ingredients. Even better, the turmeric turns the rice a golden yellow. Therefore, your plate bursts with color, making the meal more enticing.
The preparation time may take longer. However, the results are worth the time invested. By far, one of the best side dishes to serve with chicken tikka masala.
Poppadoms and Indian cuisine go hand in hand. Although poppadoms may look easy to make, having the right ingredients and method is key for your desired results.
The base consists of flour or paste made from lentils, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, or potatoes, to name a few.
Then, peanut oil and salt are added to make a dough alongside various spice choices to suit your palette.
After being rolled into thin circular shapes, they are deep-fried in hot oil for a few seconds until crispy.
We recommended pulling the dough through a pasta maker to create an even thickness. This way, they fry evenly, providing the crunchy meets chewy poppadom texture we love.
If you are not keen to make poppadoms from scratch. You can find a variety of ready-to-fry flavors in any local spice shop or supermarket.
What would a spicy dish be without freshly baked naan bread!?
Typically, naan is made with flour, yeast, salt, and water. However, due to its increasing popularity, there are several recipe varieties incorporating specialty diets, such as gluten-free.
For optimal results when baking at home, we recommend putting naan in the oven. Yet, you can put bought ready-made naan in the microwave for a few seconds to heat them.
Either way, the light and fluffy texture is ideal for soaking up the chicken tikka masala’s creamy tomato base sauce.
Terrific Tip: For added flavor, rub any plain homebaked or bought naan bread with a fresh garlic clove before baking.
Jajik is a refreshing cucumber, mint, and yogurt sauce. It is quick to prepare with ingredients, most likely in your fridge.
- Plain yogurt
- Fresh or dried mint
The base is plain yogurt. Of course, full-cream yogurt adds to the creaminess of chicken tikka masala. However, consider adding a medium or low-fat plain yogurt to lower the fat content of the dish as a whole.
We suggest removing the cucumber seeds with a spoon before dicing them. This way, the salad will be less watery.
Cucumbers are rich in vitamins and phytonutrients called lignans. Ideal for adding a healthy boost to your dish.
Then, add the crushed garlic, finely chopped fresh or dry mint, and salt to taste. Mix the ingredients well and chill in the fridge before serving.
Terrific Tip: drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
Mango or Lime Chutney
Indian chutney is a tangy, meets zesty, and sweet side dish or condiment. You can make your own to keep in the fridge for up to a year.
Certainly, this is a healthier alternative, and it is relatively easy to prepare.
Mangos are high in vitamins A and C and full of fiber. Moreover, limes boost your immune system as they contain protein, vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
These two chutney options are a quick and delicious side dish that brings out the spicy flavor of any masala-based meal.
Terrific Tip: Mango or lime chutney is delicious to serve with cheese and goes well on a chicken sandwich.
While baked potatoes may not be a traditional side dish to serve with chicken tikka masala, we suggest you try them.
Nothing is better than a soft baked potato served with a cream-based topping.
Potatoes are a staple in many diets worldwide. In addition, more than 200 varieties are available in the American market.
Each variety offers essential vitamins and minerals alongside unique flavors and textures. Some are sweet, some are earthly, some are creamy, and others are flaky.
The variety allows you an endless list to try your favorite or try something new.
For the perfect baked potato, boil, steam, or microwave until cooked. Then, toss in little extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Pop them in the air fryer to crisp slightly before adding the chicken tikka masala topping. Your family and friends will love it!
Terrific Tip: rub a small amount of garam masala on the potatoes before air frying for an extra spicy kick.
We love roast potatoes! Ghee-roasted potatoes are easy to prepare and pop in the oven. Once in the oven, you get going with the chicken tikka masala.
We suggest using any variety of baby potatoes.
- Wash and boil these until cooked.
- Then, toss them with ghee, salt, and fresh rosemary.
- Pop them in your air fryer or oven until golden and crispy.
- Remember to shake or turn them halfway through.
Ghee is a fantastic lactose-free alternative to butter. It is rich in fat and contains essential Omega 3 fatty acids.
And it doesn’t stop there! Consider serving a jajik salad and ghee-roasted potatoes with your chicken tikka masala.
Undoubtedly, a delicious and colorful trio on one plate.
Terrific Tip: use sweet potatoes cut into small pieces for a healthier alternative
Mixed Green Salad
We know that a side salad is quick, easy to make, super healthy, and adds a fresh touch.
There are so many green leaves available at local farmers’ markets and supermarkets you are sure to find a mix to complement chicken tikka masala.
A mixed bag of baby leaves is an excellent choice. As the leaves are young, they are richer in vitamin value.
Also, they are a little sweeter depending on the leaf variety. Grab a few beetroot microgreens to add extra color.
If you are unsure about a mixed bag, you can go for baby spinach on its own. The taste is ideal when paired with chicken tikka masala, and baby spinach is a superfood.
Terrific Tip: toss the baby greens in a bowl with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of fresh lime juice, and any roasted seeds.
Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob adds color and fun to chicken tikka masala. Of course, you could boil them until tender and serve them with ghee or butter and salt.
Yet, roasting them takes the flavor to new heights. Especially when the kernels char just a touch.
For the best results, rub the raw corn with a fat of your choice. Then, add salt and a pinch of garam masala.
Make sure you spread the spices evenly around the corn cob. Wrap each cob in foil and bake in the oven. Remember to turn once while roasting.
Once cooked, open the foil and broil or grill for 2-3 minutes to get the perfect char. Again, turn once while broiling or grilling.
Terrific Tip: place a jar of mango or lime chutney on the table. The flavors and textures of chicken tikka masala, oven-roasted corn, and chutney make a complimentary assortment.
Carrot and Green Bean Sauteed Salad
Lastly, a carrot and green bean sauteed salad makes a delicious side dish. The delicate crunch and flavor complement chicken tikka masala.
Besides carrots and green beans offering excellent health benefits, they are readily available at farmers’ markets and supermarkets.
We suggest preparing julienne-cut carrots and cutting off the green beans’ tail end. If the carrot cuts are short, cut the beans in half so the sizes are more or less the same.
Toss them in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt and saute. Be careful not to leave it for too long to keep the crispy crunch intact.
Then, just before you take them off the heat, sprinkle a few seeds of your choice over them and pull them through.
Wait a few seconds to hear a few seeds “pop .” This way, you know the dish is ready.
Add some squeezed lime juice for extra freshness, and there you have it!
A fresh, healthy, delicious side dish to serve with chicken tikka masala.
Terrific Tip: julienne cut carrots can take some time. A quick fix is to use your vegetable peeler.
Take off the carrot skin and put it in your compost bin. Then, keep peeling. This way, you create super carrot shavings that complement the size of a whole green bean.
Although chicken tikka masala can take a while to prepare, it keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container. Moreover, it freezes well in a ziplock bag for a maximum of 3 months.
So, all you need do is whip up one of these fantastic side dishes, and your meal is good to go.
Our side dishes of “what to serve with chicken tikka masala” will tantalize your tastebuds while adding texture and flavor to one of your favorite comfort Indian-cuisine meals.
Learn more: What to Serve with Chicken Marsala: 12 Best Side Dishes