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What to Serve with Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is an excellent entree for any occasion, but with so many options, it is hard to choose what to serve with tandoori chicken. I’ve collected traditional side dishes and some that are a little out of the box (but delicious). However, I can promise you that there is something on this list for everyone! 

A pinterest pin for what to serve with tandoori chicken.

What is Tandoori Chicken?

Tandoori chicken is a famous Indian chicken dish marinated in a spicy yogurt mixture called tandoori masala, giving it its distinctive red color. Recipes feature chicken (whole or parts) cooked in an authentic tandoor oven (cylindrical clay oven). Since most kitchens don’t have access to a tandoor, you will find grilled or baked tandoori chicken recipes that attempt to recreate the cooking technique.

Start with a Recipe for Tandoori Chicken

Grilled tandoori chicken on a serving plate.

Grilled tandoori chicken is tender and juicy on the inside while maintaining a nice char on the outside, and it has the eye-catching red hue you expect from restaurant-style tandoori chicken. Coated in a homemade tandoori marinade before grilling the chicken to perfection. 

Baked tandoori chicken on a plate.

Yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and tandoori marinade deliver all the elements of a truly great baked tandoori chicken – this recipe cooks in the oven in less than an hour! 

Bread

Going back to the origins of the dish at the Moti Mahal, a natural side dish for tandoori chicken is fresh naan, especially since traditional tandoori chicken and naan are both prepared in a tandoor. But since most Western homes aren’t tandoor-equipped, here are some bread recipes you can prepare in the comfort of your home. 

1. Garlic Naan

A plate garlic naan.

All you need to make amazing sourdough naan with creamy garlic butter at home is a sourdough starter and a cast-iron skillet – it’s as easy as that!

Photo Credit: Barley and Sage

2. Flatbread

Flatbread on a plate.

Prepare this easy-to-make flour and water flatbread with only four ingredients – a perfect recipe for beginners!

Photo Credit: My Morning Mocha

3. Vegan Naan

Naan on a plate.

This vegan naan is a foolproof recipe for a light, fluffy, and delicious side for juicy tandoori chicken.

Photo Credit: Sun Glow Kitchen

Lentils

Earthy, whole-grain dal (or lentils) pairs well with beautifully charred tandoori chicken to complete your meal.

4. Moong Dal

Moong dal in a bowl with rice.

Piping hot moong dal is a filling and delicious side dish you can make in an hour using simple pantry ingredients.

5. Dal Palak

Spinach dal in a bowl.

Dal palak is a healthy and comforting dish made with red lentils, fresh spinach, and warm Indian spices. For all you spinach lovers out there, try palak gosht.

Photo Credit: Cooking Gorgeous

6. Masoor Dal

Masoor dal and rice on a plate.

Red lentils combine with creamy coconut milk, fresh spinach, and lime juice to make Goan-inspired masoor dal. The easy recipe is a family favorite and is ready in 30 minutes! 

Rice

If there’s one thing flavorful meals like kabsa and biryani have taught me – chicken and rice make a great pairing! I mean, there are Halal Carts across New York dedicated to serving chicken over rice. If you’re still not sure what to serve with tandoori chicken, consider making rice. 

7. Yakhni Pulao

Yakhni pulao on a plate.

Mutton yakhni pulao starts with smooth and velvety yakhni before simmering with the rice. You can also make chicken yakhni pulao using whole chicken or chicken pieces. 

8. Basmati Rice

Basmati rice in a bowl.

Basmati rice is a staple in my home. Prepare foolproof basmati rice on the stovetop using only four ingredients for a simple dish you can pair with everything from aloo keema and butter chicken masala to tandoori chicken.

9. Turmeric Yellow Rice

Turmeric rice in a bowl.

Fragrant turmeric yellow rice is a tasty alternative to plain basmati rice to take your meal up a notch.

Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

10. Tomato Rice

Tomato rice in a bowl.

Hearty tomato rice is so good you’ll want to eat it straight out of the pot with a spoon.

Photo Credit: Recipes from a Pantry

11. Saffron Rice

Saffron rice in a bowl.

Saffron rice, made with long-grain basmati rice and fragrant saffron threads, boasts a vibrant yellow color and delicious flavor that tastes great with chicken dishes such as joojeh kabob and tandoori chicken. 

12. Vegetable Pulao

Vegetable pulao in a bowl.

Instant Pot vegetable pulao is an easy-to-make side dish you can pair with any meal. 

Photo Credit: Simple Sumptuous Cooking

If you enjoy warm tandoori flavor, try one of these tandoori recipes!

Grilled tandoori chicken on a serving plate.

Sauces

Chutney (or brightly flavored sauces) like raita and mint chutney are a common addition to the classic Indian dish, but here are a few more options: 

13. Serrano Crema

Serrano crema in a bowl.

I usually serve serrano crema with roasted Peruvian chicken, but the spicy green sauce tastes great with Indian food. 

More Hot Sauce Recipes:

14. Raita

Raita in a small bowl.

Prepare a refreshing raita dip using full-fat Greek yogurt or dahi, crispy cucumbers, and aromatic spices.

15. Mango Pico De Gallo

Mango pico de gallo in a bowl.

Colorful mango pico de gallo is a type of mango chutney or salsa comprised of fresh mangos, jalapeño peppers, onion, tomato, and lime juice to create a tasty topping for the popular Indian dish. 

16. Toum

Toum in a serving bowl.

Easy-to-make toum combines generous amounts of garlic, oil, and fresh lemon juice for a deliciously creamy sauce you’ll want to pair with everything.

Salad

Pairing your favorite tandoori chicken recipe with a light salad and a few lemon wedges is not only a great idea for hot summer days, but it’s also a healthy, low-carb option.

17. Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad

Avocado cucumber tomato salad in a serving bowl.

Combine fresh herbs, juicy tomato, crisp cucumber, and creamy avocado to make this easy, light side dish. 

18. Chickpea Tahini Salad

Chickpea salad on a plate.

Make chickpea tahini salad for a tasty side salad with fresh ingredients. If you love chickpeas, you can make this easy chana masala recipe to serve as a side dish. 

19. Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Cucumber salad in a bowl.

The cucumber yogurt salad features crunchy cucumbers tossed in creamy yogurt with fresh dill, garlic, and lemon for a quick and easy side dish.

Photo Credit: Maple and Mango

20. Sumac Onions

Sumac onions in a serving bowl.

Bright and tangy sumac onions are the perfect condiment for grilled meats, kabobs, and salads, and all you need is red onion, ground sumac, and lemon. Or you can serve the chicken with sumac cucumbers instead!

21. Kachumber Salad

Kachumber salad in a serving bowl.

Making kachumber salad is quick and easy. All you need to do is chop the vegetables and mix them with lemon juice, herbs, and spices.

22. Onion Salad

A bowl of onion salad.

Laccha pyaaz is an Indian onion salad with thinly sliced onions, fresh lemon, green chiles, and chopped cilantro for a light side.

Photo Credit: Spice Up the Curry

Vegetables

Warm vegetables are a delicious side to serve with tandoori chicken. By the end of this list, your mouth will be watering. 

23. Onion Bhaji

A plate of onion pakoras.

Make crispy onion bhajis (or pakoras) from scratch for an appetizer or side you can make in just 20 minutes!

Photo Credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

23. Okra

Air fryer okra in a bowl.

Air fryer okra or bindi is the easiest and tastiest way to enjoy okra as a delicious side dish or low-carb snack!

Photo Credit: Strength and Sunshine

24. Cauliflower Pakoras

Cauliflower pakoras on a plate.

Cook cauliflower florets in a crispy spiced batter to make cauliflower pakoras that are crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside – perfect for dipping in raita and chutney alongside tandoori chicken.

Photo Credit: A Mummy Too

25. Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Coconut cauliflower rice in a bowl.

Healthy cilantro lime cauliflower rice is great as a low-carb side dish for grilled or baked chicken.

Photo Credit: Wholesome Yum

26. Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower in a serving bowl.

Add a unique flavor to your plate with turmeric-roasted cauliflower. It is an easy, flavorful, and fuss-free side dish. 

Plus- if you’re roasting tandoori chicken in the oven, you can cook them together for a quick sheet-pan meal. 

27. Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes on a serving plate.

Crispy roasted potatoes are a go-to side dish, and they cook on a baking sheet alongside whatever you’re making.

For even more tasty potato recipes, try air fryer red potatoes or air fryer fingerling potatoes.

28. Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Grilled Sweet Potatoes on a plate.

Find out why grilled a grilled sweet potato in foil is the perfect addition to any meal, from summer cookouts to backyard get-togethers.

Drinks

29. Indian Mango Lassi

Indian mango lassi in a glass.

Creamy Indian mango lassi combines fresh mango, yogurt, honey, and freshly ground cardamom.

More Indian Recipes:

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Noreen

Sunday 20th of November 2022

I just saw this on Twitter and I cannot wait to try all of these recipes!

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 20th of November 2022

You will have to report back here when you have made a few of them!