What to Serve With Tikka Masala?

What To serve With Tikka Masala
Image credit: Delish.com

Tikka masala is perhaps India’s most famous dish. If you ask 10 people what their favorite curry dish is, there’s a good chance that nine of them will tell you it’s tikka masala.

This rich and savory curry has something to please everyone’s palate. However, its mild spiciness means that many people serve it with naan or rice to help calm things down.

Here are what to serve with Tikka Masala in your next meal.

1. Pilau Rice

Initially created by the British, pilau rice is a perfect pairing for tikka masala. Serving this rice dish will satisfy those cravings for rice and can double as a main dish when served with meat and vegetables.

This time-consuming rice takes around an hour to prepare, so it is best made in advance. You can also freeze portions of this dish for future meals that are quick and easy to reheat.

2. Garlic Naan Bread

This Indian flatbread recipe is an essential part of the meal. Traditionally, it is cooked in a tandoor oven, but you can also cook it in a clay pot or pizza stone at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It will take around five minutes per side. To make the naan, mix whole wheat flour, yogurt, oil, and warm water until you have a smooth dough consistency. Let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes. Then roll out into small balls and cook each on a hot pan.

3. Roasted Cauliflower

To the uninitiated, tikka masala is often only thought of as a sauce for naan. But this heavily spiced curry originally hails from North West India and Pakistan, traditionally eaten with rice pilaf.

What to serve with Tikka Masala also includes roasted cauliflower, and we highly recommend roasting cauliflower as one such pairing choice.

4. Broccoli

If you are a vegetarian and looking for What to serve with Tikka Masala, think of broccoli, and this is an excellent Indian dish for vegetarians. 

In this dish, brown mustard seeds and fenugreek are fried in coconut oil, then added to a pan of ginger-garlic paste and onion, which are cooked until they are dark brown. Next, tomato puree is added and allowed to cook down. 

Finally, the broccoli stems are cut into small pieces, and whole broccoli florets are added along with salt. To achieve this, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek, and fry for about 30 seconds or until the seeds start to pop.

5. Cabbage

Cabbage sauerkraut is a traditional side dish served alongside tikka masala. Like the spices and flavors in this Indian dish, cabbage packs a lot of punch for being such a small vegetable. 

Also, cabbage can be pickled or left raw–whichever way you choose. This healthy, tangy dish will provide contrast in texture and flavor to your tikka masala entree.

6. Eggplant

For those not in the know, tikka masala is a classic Indian dish with a rich tomato sauce and a medley of spices.

 This includes paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, and ginger. 

Traditionally served with rice and eggplant sauce for scooping up the flavorful sauce. Try oven-roasted eggplant as What to serve with Tikka Masala for your next meal.

7. Zucchini

Zucchini can be incorporated into dishes as a healthy substitute for starchy carbs like rice or potatoes. It cooks quickly, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to make anything else. 

Just slice zucchini into pieces and cook in olive oil. Then toss them in tikka masala! This dish is sure to be a new favorite.

8. Jajik

Whether you’re cooking Indian food for the first time or just feeling nostalgic, tikka masala is a great dish to start with. One of what to serve with Tikka Masala, the most popular dish in the Subcontinent, is Jajik. 

It is a sauce made by marinating pieces of fish or chicken in spices and yogurt and then simmering them on gentle heat until they are soft.

While it’s not precisely authentic (it originates from Punjabi), it has become an Indian staple nonetheless. If you’re looking for some simple options, these delicious dishes pair well with any tikka masala.

9. Sweet Potatoes

A delicious side dish for Tikka Masala that is vegan and gluten-free is sweet potatoes. Since the sauce for this dish can be hot or spicy, the potatoes will balance it out. 

While I think using carrots or other root vegetables would also be great, you’ll find these recipes super easy and suitable for those who have opposed to these food items.

These pairs are not only the best dishes to serve with tikka masala but also make for a very flavorful meal.

First, it does not matter what sweet potato you use when cooking this recipe because they’ll all work just fine. Secondly, ensure you’re cooking them correctly because if not done right, they won’t taste as good and may be more challenging to digest.

10. Kachumber Salad

Combine chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 20 minutes before serving. 

If you are looking for What to serve with Tikka Masala, an Indian-inspired meal, serve tikka masala over rice accompanied by this refreshing salad for the perfect combination of flavors.

Kachumber is also great alongside lamb curry, or another dish served with cilantro chutney like chole masala (chickpea curry).

11. Baingan bharta

Baingan bharta is a dish of roasted eggplant that often accompanies tikka masala. In the southern regions of India, baingan bharta is frequently made on skewers and grilled over open flames. 

Baingan bharta consists of cooked eggplant roasted over charcoal or gas until cooked. Then typically mashed together with spices and condiments. 

This side dish can be served as a dip alongside bread, rice or piled atop meat or vegetable dishes for extra texture and flavor.

Slice one large globe eggplant in half lengthwise and place on an aluminum-foil lined sheet pan cut-side down.

12. Halloumi Fries

Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese made from goat, sheep, or cow milk and looks like white blocks. Grilled halloumi fries are quickly becoming a favorite at barbecues and family gatherings because they’re super easy to make and taste great.

13. Cabbage Stir Fry

Cabbage is a vegetable that can make your stir fry rich in color and flavor. This recipe pairs cabbage and mushrooms to create an earthy dish. 

Unlike other stir-fries, this one incorporates garlic and onions with soy sauce. Add the beef strips before serving, so they don’t overcook during the cooking process.

14. Poori

Fried bread, or poori, is a staple in many Indian dishes, and Poori makes for a delicious and easy side dish for chicken tikka masala. The recipe is relatively straightforward if you can’t find them at your local grocery store. 

Fortunately, Poori as What to serve with Tikka Masala is easy to make. You can fry the bread in hot oil until brown on both sides. Then fill each piece of bread with butter, chopped onion, tomatoes, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. 

Finally, place it seam-side down in an oven-safe dish lined with foil. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until all liquid evaporates and the topping browned slightly.

15. Onion Pakora

Coating onions, make pakoras in chickpea flour, and deep fry them. This is an often-featured side dish when serving tikka masala, a popular dish in Indian restaurants.

Fried pakoras taste delicious with tomato sauce and make for a hearty meal or appetizer at dinner time. Some cooks might also fry potatoes for this occasion.

The advantage of pakoras is that they are less dense, so the hot curry doesn’t soak in as much. An assortment of chutneys can accompany a plate of onion pakora. Mixtures such as sweet tamarind chutney or spicy hot pickle.

16. Cilantro Mint Chutney

Cilantro and mint chutney is as perfect as what to serve with Tikka Masala. It pairs well with the heavy cream and spices in the curry and is often eaten as a dip or condiment. 

For best results, finely chop the fresh herbs before combining them in a food processor or blender. This will ensure that you end up with thin bits of cilantro and specks of seasoning, adding great flavor without taking over the dish. 

Next, mix in salt, sugar (to taste), rice vinegar (or lemon juice), and a little water to get everything going. Now blend until smooth-ish before transferring to a bowl or jar for storage in the fridge. This should last for up to three days.

17. Saag Aloo

Saag aloo is an Indian dish of stir-fried spinach, green peas, and potatoes. It is typically prepared by frying some spices in a pan and then adding the spinach, peas, and potatoes. 

This method allows the spices to get absorbed into the other ingredients. One of its common additions is asafetida. Saag aloo can be eaten alone or as a side dish for tikka masala. 

Saag aloo pairs well with tikka masala because they are both mild dishes that won’t overshadow each other on your plate. It also has many similar flavors, so it will balance out the rich and salty curry by giving you something different that fills your mouth.

18. Tarka Dal

For an authentic tikka masala dish, serve it alongside a yellow lentil soup called the Tarka dal. Tarka dal has been traditionally served in Indian households since the 16th century. This vegetarian dish can be used as a soup or a side dish for rice and other dishes. 

Additionally, this meal has many health benefits. Benefits include being vegan, low-calorie, high in fiber, gluten-free, and high in iron and other essential vitamins.

19. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in various ways. Roasting cauliflower provides a crispy, flavorful side dish for tikka masala. 

As for what to serve with Tikka masala, start by drizzling the florets with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt, pepper, and cumin seeds.

Roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Then add them to your curry or serve as a bed beneath the curry served alongside rice.

20. Carrots

Carrots are a must-have whether you’re eating tikka masala or making it. This vegetable is the perfect pairing because it gives the dish color and texture, adds bulk, and makes it heartier. 

Also, it gets sautéed in oil, giving it a rich flavor that can’t be replicated in another way. In addition, carrots taste great with tikka masala sauce!


When you want to serve a more vegetarian Indian dish, try Kofta balls. They’re easy to make and are great served over rice or couscous for an alternative dish option that everyone will love. 

Also, they contain many ingredients commonly found in Tikka masala. It makes the pairing even better! 

Looking for what to serve with Tikka Masala? Try this delicious dish on our list if you want a more veggie-friendly curry dish with rich, aromatic spices.

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