25 Best Indian Side Dishes: Traditional Dishes You must Try

Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse and flavorful in the world, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a side dish to accompany your main course. But if you’re looking for some new and exciting recipes to add to your repertoire, keep reading!

When it comes to Indian food, I can never seem to get enough. There are so many delicious dishes to choose from, and it’s always hard to decide which one to prepare. Recently, I decided to try out a few new Indian side dishes, and I was not disappointed!

Of course, I got more curious about what could be considered the best Indian side dishes. So I researched it and even took the time to try out most of them. Finally, I have come up with a list of what I think are the best Indian side dishes that you should try too!

Best Indian Side Dishes

  1. Tarka Daal
  2. Sag Aloo
  3. Pilau Rice
  4. Paneer Tikka
  5. Cucumber Raita
  6. Fried Okra
  7. Naan Bread
  8. Bombay Aloo
  9. Aloo Gobi
  10. Onion Bhajis

Tarka Daal

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Indian side dish, look no further than Tarka daal. This hearty dish is made with lentils and a variety of spices, resulting in a rich and flavor-packed meal. While it can be enjoyed on its own, it is often served alongside rice or naan bread. The best part? It can be made in just minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal.

So what exactly is Tarka daal? In short, it’s a Lentil stew that gets its signature flavor from a variety of spices. These include cumin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and more. As a result, Tarka daal is packed with flavor and incredibly versatile. It can be enjoyed as is, or used as a side dish to complement other dishes.

Sag Aloo

I’ve always loved Sag Aloo, and I think it’s one of the best Indian side dishes out there. It’s a potato dish that’s been simmered in spinach gravy, and it’s delicious. Moreover, it goes great with all sorts of main dishes -from chicken to lamb to fish. It’s also really easy to make, which is always a bonus.

The potatoes are so soft and fluffy, and the spinach gravy is just the right amount of creamy. Plus, it’s packed with flavor – the ginger, garlic, and chili all work together perfectly.

Important things to note when serving sag aloo as the best Indian side dish:

  • Make sure you use fresh spinach – it makes a difference in the flavor.
  • Don’t be afraid to add a little extra chili if you like things spicy.
  • If you’re not using baby potatoes, make sure to cut the regular potatoes into small pieces so they cook through properly.

Pilau Rice

Indian food is known for its vibrant spices and flavorful dishes, and Pilau rice is no exception. This popular side dish is made by cooking rice in a mixture of spices and broth, resulting in a fragrant and slightly spicy dish. The rice is then typically cooked with peas or other vegetables, adding both flavor and color to the dish.

Pilau rice can be served with a variety of different main dishes, making it a versatile side dish option. However, it is important to note that Pilau rice can be quite high in calories, so it may not be the best choice for those watching their weight.

Paneer Tikka

Paneer Tikka is a mouth-watering Indian dish made of cubes of paneer (a type of fresh cheese) that are marinated in spices and yogurt, then grilled or roasted. The result is a flavorful, slightly fiery dish that pairs well with a variety of main dishes.

Paneer Tikka is traditionally served as an appetizer or side dish, but it can also be enjoyed as a main course. one of the best things about Paneer Tikka is that it is relatively easy to make at home.

Important things to note when serving paneer tikka as the best Indian side dish:

  • Use fresh paneer for the best flavor and texture.
  • To prevent wooden skewers from burning, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling or roasting.
  • Cook the paneer over high heat so that it chars slightly on the outside while remaining moist and juicy on the inside.

Cucumber Raita

Raita is a traditional Indian dish made with yogurt, cucumbers, and spices. It’s the perfect side dish for any Indian meal, and it’s also great for rounding out a more Western-style meal.

The cool, creamy yogurt helps to balance out the spices in curry, while the cucumbers add a refreshing crunch. Raita is also incredibly easy to make, and it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing the perfect Indian side dish, but raita is one of the best. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, but it also pairs well with a variety of main dishes.

Whether you’re serving chicken tikka masala or lamb vindaloo, raita will complement your meal perfectly. And if you’re looking for a healthy side dish option, raita is a great choice – it’s low in calories and fat-free.

Fried Okra

Out of all the side dishes available, Fried Okra has to be one of the best. It is an excellent source of vegan protein and has a delicious nutty taste. The texture is firm yet slightly chewy, making it the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.

There are many reasons why Fried Okra is one of the best Indian side dishes:

  • It is very easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients.
  • It can be served with almost any main dish, whether it be curry, rice, or roti.
  • Fried Okra is packed with nutrients and is a great source of vegan protein.
  • It is extremely versatile and can be flavored to suit any taste.

The only downside to Fried Okra is that it can be quite oily. However, there are a few simple tips and tricks that can help to reduce oiliness:

  • Make sure to use fresh okra that has been properly washed and dried.
  • Cook the okra on high heat for a shorter amount of time. This will help to seal in the flavors and prevent the okra from absorbing too much oil.
  • Drain the Fried Okra on a paper towel before serving.

Naan Bread

Naan bread is a delicious Indian side dish that is perfect for any occasion. The bread is soft and fluffy, with a slightly chewy texture. It is usually flavored with garlic, ginger, and cumin, and is best served warm.

Naan bread pairs well with many different main dishes, including curries, stews, and kebabs. It can also be used as a wrap or sandwich bread. While naan bread is typically made in a tandoor oven, it can also be made in a regular oven with great results.

To achieve the perfect texture, be sure to use a very hot oven and preheat the baking stone or pan before adding the bread dough. For the best flavor, brush the naan bread with melted butter or ghee before serving.

Bombay Aloo

Bombay Aloo is a potato dish from the Indian subcontinent. It is generally considered a side dish, although it can also be served as a main course. The potatoes are cooked in a curry sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and spices such as garam masala, turmeric, and cumin. It is usually served with rice or naan bread, but it can also be eaten with roti or chapati.

The taste of Bombay Aloo varies depending on the exact ingredients used, but it is generally quite spicy and flavorful. The potato chunks should be soft but not mushy, and the sauce should be thick and rich. When made correctly, Bombay aloo is an extremely delicious and hearty dish.

Bombay aloo is one of the finest Indian side dishes for a variety of reasons:

  • It is very easy to make. The Potatoes can be boiled ahead of time, and the sauce can be made in just a few minutes.
  • Bombay Aloo goes well with a variety of different main courses. It is especially delicious when served with chicken or lamb curry.
  • Leftovers keep very well and can be eaten for lunch the next day.

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to serving Bombay aloo. One is that it is fairly high in calories and fat. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that Bombay Aloo should not be eaten every day.

Another potential downside is that the spice level can vary greatly from one recipe to another. That’s why when making Bombay Aloo for the first time, it is important to taste the sauce before adding the potatoes to ensure that it is not too spicy for your liking.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is a traditional Indian side dish made with potatoes, cauliflower, and spices. The potato and cauliflower are cooked until soft, then simmered in a fragrant mixture of onions, ginger, garlic, and spices.

Aloo Gobi is often served alongside rice or naan bread, but it can also be enjoyed as a standalone dish. While the exact spice blend varies depending on the region and cook, common spices used in it include turmeric, cumin, and chili powder.

Aloo Gobi is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit any taste. For a more intense flavor, cook the onion and spices until they are browned. For a milder flavor, add more water during cooking. If you prefer a spicier dish, increase the amount of chili powder. whatever your preference, Aloo Gobi is sure to please.

So why is Aloo Gobi one of the best Indian side dishes? Here are several reasons:

  • It’s hearty and filling. The potato and cauliflower make it a satisfying meal without being too heavy.
  • It’s packed with flavor. The combination of spices creates a complex and delicious taste that will have you coming back for more.
  • It’s easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious side dish on the table in no time.

Onion Bhajis

Onion Bhajis are a popular Indian side dish that can be served with a variety of main dishes. They are made with onions, spices, and either chickpea flour or breadcrumbs, and are usually fried in oil. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and have a slightly sweet and spicy flavor.

While they are traditionally served as an appetizer or snack, Onion Bhajis can also be enjoyed as a side dish. When served alongside a curry or other hearty Indian dish, they provide a delicious contrast in texture and flavor. And because they are so easy to make, they are also a great option for busy weeknight meals.

Important things to note when serving onion bhajis as the best Indian side dish:

  • Chop the onions very finely so that they will cook evenly.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with the spices – you can add more or less of any spice to taste.
  • Fry the bhajis in hot oil so that they will be crispy and golden brown.

Related Questions When Choosing The Best Indian Side Dishes

What are other options when choosing the best Indian side dishes?

  1. Bhatura
  2. Chapati
  3. Boondi Raita
  4. Chutney
  5. Dosa
  6. Puri
  7. Lemon Rice
  8. Turmeric Yellow Rice
  9. Jeera Rice
  10. Vegetable Pulao
  11. Basmati Rice
  12. Kachumber
  13. Khichdi
  14. Paratha
  15. Kakdi Koshimbir

What is India’s number one food?

Masala dosa is the most exported culinary item worldwide. It is made of rice, lentils, and flour, and resembles a pancake.

What is India’s national dish?

India does not have a national dish because it has a very diverse culture. It was rumored that the Indian government planned on making khichdi the country’s national dish, but this did not push through.


Now, there you have it – the best Indian side dishes. Whether you’re looking for something hearty and filling or light and refreshing, there’s an option on this list for you.

So next time you’re planning an Indian meal, be sure to try one (or all) of these delicious side dishes. I’m sure you (and you’re guests) won’t be disappointed!