Biryani is a spicy rice dish that is very popular in Southern Asia.
There are many variations of Biryani, but the most common one is made with basmati rice and served topped with either Indian spices or curd.
Biryani flavor can differ depending on what meat or vegetables are used to prepare it.
Some common ingredients include beef, lamb, chicken, shrimp, eggs, or vegetables.
Biryani is usually served with Indian spices- either added directly to the meat or mixed into the rice.
The spices used in Biryani are cumin seeds, coriander powder, red chili powder, and garam masala.
Garam masala is a combination of many different ground spices.
There are many great side dishes to serve with Biryani to add additional flavors.
Read on to find out the eight best side dishes for Biryani.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Biryani?
It’s a surprising fact that in India, where you will find the largest population globally, people are very particular about different ingredients.
One of the most popular dishes in North India is Biryani or Pulao, which has rice cooked with meat or vegetables.
There are many variants of cooking it. People have different tastes in adding spices, dry fruits, meat, or vegetables.
For some, it is all about eating rice with Biryani gravy, but for most, it’s incomplete without side dishes.
It has a rich combination of spices added during frying onion and garlic in oil or ghee.
It’s not all about eating Biryani, but it’s about enjoying the flavors and taste of Biryani.
The side dishes make the dish more flavorful and hearty.
Another main reason for a serving side dish with rice is to add more servings to your meal.
By having Biryani, you will satisfy the palate and reduce the efforts for cooking for other much-needed food items.
What to Serve with Biryani? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are eight popular side dishes which are served with Biryani.
1 – Classic Cucumber Raita
You might be wondering what raita has to do with Biryani. Well, quite a lot.
Just like the meat in your Biryani, this yogurt-based dish brings balance to the table.
The cool and tangy flavors of cucumbers mixed into the creamy curd give it that layer of freshness that compliments the other ingredients in your Biryani.
When served with other curries and other rich dishes, raita balances out the flavors while leaving you refreshed at the same time.
This is especially true if your meat or seafood dish is fried or cooked into a curry.
Cucumbers are also known for being very light on the stomach.
If you’re planning on having a heavy Biryani, raita is there to help you digest it without too much trouble.
This traditional side dish also works well with rice-based meals like Indian biryanis.
It helps balance out the spicy flavors while giving you something else to munch on between bites of your Biryani.
2 – Spicy Onion Rings
Grounded onions or sliced? It’s all up to you and how you like your onion rings.
Once this is settled, the next step is to get them dipped in a batter of gram flour and spices and fried until golden brown.
Why spicy? Because Biryani has some heat on it that might be too much for the young ones.
Your side dish is ready. Now it’s time to dip these salty snacks into some equally salty yogurt and eat it with Biryani.
Once again, this side dish is ideal if you need something crunchy or crispy to balance out all that rice or meat in your Biryani meal.
These are also known as onion pakodas.
You can find this side dish at fast-food joints, where the raita is replaced with mint chutney.
3 – Mixed Vegetables Curry
This vegetable curry side dish is suitable for all meats, but it works particularly well with chicken Biryani.
It’s also great if you have it with seafood or mutton.
Mixed vegetables are ideal because there is something for everyone in this side dish.
It has potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, cauliflower florets, and more.
There are so many flavors at play here that your palate will be satisfied for sure.
You can also make this with Paneer for a more creamy texture.
This curry side dish is spicy, but you can adjust the heat according to your preference.
If the gravy is too watery for your liking, you can tend to it by cooking it down until it thickens.
You can also add some cream or coconut milk into the curry to make it thicker.
This side dish also works well with rice-based meals like Indian biryanis.
It gives the meal a slightly sweet flavor while giving you some veggies to eat between your Biryani bites.
You can even serve this side dish on its own if you want something hearty for lunch or dinner.
4 – Roasted Aubergines in Tamarind Sauce
Yes, you read that right—roasted aubergines for your Biryani meal. You heard right.
Aubergines are roasted in tamarind paste and blended with onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies to make this tangy side dish.
This is popular on its own and known for being a great side dish with Biryani.
It goes well with meats, but you can also serve it with seafood or chicken dishes.
You can even snack on them by themselves if you’re not feeling too hungry.
The roasted aubergine side dish has everything that is needed to balance out your spicy biryani meal.
It’s tangy, it’s flavorful, and you can even use it as a sauce to pour over your rice.
5 – Mixed Veggie Pakoras
You’ll need some gram flour for this side dish.
Once that is taken care of, the next step is to mix spices like chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala to punch it.
Once the batter is made, you’ll have to dip in slices of your choice of vegetables then deep fry until golden brown.
These are great with Indian biryanis because they are both fried.
Yup, that tasty Biryani is covered in oil, so why not get more of it with some deep-fried vegetables? You can even dip these pakoras into yogurt or raita to give them that extra tang.
These are also known as kofta curry, and they are probably one of the most popular side dishes for Biryani recipes.
For an interesting twist, you can try serving this with naan or roti instead of rice.
You’ll be surprised how much better these two go together.
6 – Aloo Jeera
Yes, it’s you guessed it right. Aloo jeera is another fried side dish that goes well with any Indian biryanis.
The difference between this one and the mixed veggie pakoras is that these are made out of potatoes instead of veggies.
That said, you can still substitute potatoes with veggies like carrots, cauliflower, and bell peppers to make this side dish even more delicious.
This one is slightly spicy because it contains jeera powder or cumin powder in its seasoning.
This side is also known to have a nutty flavor because of the addition of peanuts into its ingredients list.
If you’re not a fan of peanuts, don’t worry because you can substitute them with cashews.
This side dish is also known to be very filling because of the potatoes in it.
It has an earthy flavor that works well with spicy biryanis like beef biryani or chicken biryani.
7 – Paneer Makhani
You can use Paneer cubes or minced Paneer to make this side.
It is a great option for vegetarians because the Paneer soaks up the flavors of the sauce and has a unique texture that gives it more depth.
This side dish goes best with chicken biryani, but you can even pair it with seafood dishes.
To make Paneer Butter Masala, the key is to saute the Paneer in a buttery tomato sauce until it starts to crisp up at the edges.
You can even add cream to give it that extra richness.
The taste of this side dish may be slightly different from what you’re used to.
However, if you give it a try, you’ll be surprised how well this works with the spices in your Biryani.
8 – Mirchi Ka Salan
This is one of India’s best-kept secrets, but now that you know about it, you can use this along with your favorite Biryani recipes.
In case you’re wondering, Mirchi ka Salan means “chili in a gravy”.
This side dish usually consists of peas and potatoes that are cooked with freshly ground spices.
Some people even add peanuts to give this side a nutty crunch.
If you want something spicy and creamy, look no further.
This side dish has a nice balance that’s not overly spicy, but it still packs a punch.
There is also an option to substitute the green chilies with red tomatoes in this recipe if you want something milder.
Biryani is an Indian dish made by cooking basmati rice with spices and meat or vegetables.
However, what’s the point of having all that deliciousness on your plate if you don’t have anything to eat it with?
You can never go wrong with the classics like Mixed Vegetable Pakora and Aloo Jeera when it comes to side dishes.
If you want something a little more filling, try serving your Biryani with Paneer Makhani or Mirchi Ka Salan.