Tandoori chicken is a popular dish in the Indian subcontinent.
It has its roots in Western Asia and was eventually introduced to India.
Tandoori chicken is a dish made from a combination of spices, yogurt and cooking it in a hot tandoor oven.
There are many variations on making this tasty dish, but most include coriander, cumin, and turmeric.
There is also the addition of garam masala and red chili powder to add flavor and heat, respectively.
The taste of tandoori chicken is very different from ‘normal’ Western-style cooking – The spices add a unique flavor to the meat and are often served on a bed of onions.
You can serve the tandoori chicken with a range of side dishes, including naan, roti, or plain rice.
It’s also great with green chutney or mint sauce.
In this article, we will list out eight best side dishes that go great with tandoori chicken.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori Chicken is different from most other chicken dishes because it has a unique flavor.
It is not just hot and spicy, but complex with individual spices that give this whole dish a particular taste that sets it apart from many others.
This bold flavor can be very exciting for most people when they first try it, so Tandoori Chicken is a great dish to serve alongside certain side dishes.
Tandoori Chicken is not just about flavor and taste but also appearance.
The bright red, orange, and yellow colors of the spices used in cooking Tandoori chicken make it an excellent dish to serve on any occasion; however, some might prefer it with a lighter side dish that allows the colors Tandoori chicken to stand out.
Another great aspect of Tandoori Chicken is that it can be served hot or cold.
This means that you could easily have leftovers the next day, allowing many different combinations to be tried with side dishes.
Some side dishes even go well with both warm and cold Tandoori chicken.
What to Serve with Tandoori Chicken? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are eight of the most popular and unique side dishes that go great with Tandoori Chicken.
1 – Garlicky Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are already considered comfort food.
But, if you’re serving lamb, this recipe will make even your mother-in-law swoon.
The garlic and rosemary blended into the mashed mixture give it a kick that pairs well with the meaty flavors of the Tandoori Chicken.
It’s even better if you add some cheese, too.
When cooked right, the creaminess of the mashed potatoes blend well with the underlying flavors in Tandoori Chicken.
These spuds have a subtle sweetness that strikes a chord in the taste buds like French fries and ketchup.
If you don’t like garlic, you can always substitute it with butter.
The rosemary, however, is an ingredient that pairs surprisingly well with lamb.
Another great thing about mashed potatoes is that they are filling without weighing you down.
Tandoori Chicken is relatively lighter than other curries and stews; this pairing makes for a healthier dinner.
2 – Sautéed Spinach
Spinach is a great vegetable to eat as it comes loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, but the only drawback about fresh spinach is that it wilts rather quickly.
This recipe solves that problem by cooking the spinach in cream sauce.
The result? Silky smooth leaves that are extra flavorful.
Filling and tasty, this dish is perfect for vegetarians.
The cream sauce adds to the taste while also adding some health benefits.
Additionally, it looks great next to Tandoori Chicken, making your plating all the more appealing.
Just like carrots go well with lamb, spinach also marries well with other meaty dishes.
It has a mild flavor and pairs well with the other dishes on this list.
3 – Couscous Salad
Couscous is a popular meal in North Africa that is also gaining popularity elsewhere.
Its light, fluffy texture makes it a great pairing for Tandoori Chicken’s bold spiciness.
Although couscous is usually served as a hot dish, it’s equally good when served cold.
The couscous salad used in this recipe will be all the more refreshing with vegetables and fruit.
Fruits add a bit of sweetness, while vegetables add some crunch. Couscous also has a great visual value.
Filo pastry dough looks great when rolled up, making a couscous a good choice for Asian-themed parties.
4 – Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Similar to the other items on this list, zucchini has its own set of nutrients that make it healthy for you.
Additionally, this vegetarian dish can be made dairy-free by simply omitting the cheese.
This dish can be made while you cook Tandoori Chicken, which will impress your guests with its speediness.
Since this is a lightweight alternative to meat dishes, it’s perfect for health-conscious individuals that don’t want to sacrifice taste for health.
Zucchini also has a dry, earthy flavor that pairs well with lamb.
The filling creates a crunchy contrast to the soft zucchini, making it more interesting to eat and look at.
The best part about these stuffed boats is that you won’t have to settle for just one.
If there are four of your guests, then you’ll have to cook four boats.
5 – Curried Carrots
Similar to the other vegetable dishes, carrots are healthy and delicious at the same time.
Additionally, they go well with Tandoori Chicken because both dishes normally get their heat from chili peppers or ginger.
The addition of curry powder gives the carrots a spicy kick.
Curried carrots look good as well, and you can always garnish it with some extra cilantro or coconut flakes if you want to add that touch of sophistication.
Carrots are crunchy and moist, two adjectives that describe Tandoori Chicken perfectly.
The rough texture of the carrot also breaks away from the smooth, moist chicken.
6 – French Onion Soup
The best part about this soup is that it’s comfort food that doesn’t have to be just for winter.
When made with fresh onions and topped with a slice of toast, you’ll almost forget how healthy this dish is.
French onion soup makes a good pairing with Tandoori Chicken because it works well as a palette cleanser.
The ingredients in both dishes complement each other, and they also work together to give you that lasting fullness that many dishes don’t provide.
The onion soup is filling and tasty on its own, but the bread makes it oh-so-satisfying.
It’s like eating your favorite mac and cheese but in soup form.
The best part about French onion soup is that it allows you to use all of the ingredients.
You’ll probably end up throwing away most of the onions, particularly if you’re cooking for only one or two people.
The rest of the ingredients are good to have on hand, although the cheese could easily be substituted with something else.
7 – Spicy Green Beans
The spiciness in this dish comes from Thai chili pepper, which is spicy but also has a citrusy flavor.
It’s also extremely healthy because the main ingredient is green beans.
This side dish works well with the Tandoori chicken because it’s spicy and pairs well with lemon.
It’s an interesting way to mix up your meal, and the flavors are sure to taste good together.
It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, so that you can use this as a last-minute addition to your meal.
If there are four people, then you would only need four green beans.
The best part about spicy green beans is that they can be eaten raw or cooked.
If you want to go the extra mile, then you could even grill them with some olive oil and garlic seasoning.
That would be a delicious addition to this fun dish.
8 – Pineapple Salsa
This fruit salsa is also spicy, but for different reasons.
It gets its heat from chili peppers and jalapenos, making it a good companion to the Tandoori Chicken because of the varying levels of spiciness.
Pineapple salsa can be served as an appetizer before your main meal or as a condiment on top of the Tandoori Chicken.
The ingredients in this dish are ideal for summertime, but you can also use this salsa to mix up your usual meals during the winter.
This is a good side dish to have on hand during barbeques or when you’re having an evening get-together with friends.
Pineapples are sweet, but the jalapeños make a good contrast.
They help prevent the pineapple from getting too sweet, and they provide a different flavor that you don’t normally get from fruit.
Tandoori Chicken is a spicy dish that should be eaten with similarly spicy sides.
If you don’t want to risk the spice level getting too high, you should eat it with steamed rice.
If you’re looking for something other than bland vegetables to pair with Tandoori Chicken, then this list has got you covered.
These sides are delicious, healthy, and simple to make.
You may also want to check out these 8 Tandoori Chicken Recipes for some inspiration.