32 Delicious Indian Side Dishes


Quick Answer: What are the best Indian side dishes?

Some of the best Indian side dishes are — Fried dishes like Samosa, Papadi Chat, Onion Bhajis, Kurkuri Bhindi and Vegetable Pakoras; Gravy based dishes like Palak Paneer, Chole, Matar Paneer, Malai Kofta and Butter Chicken; Vegetarian Dishes like Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Jeera, Brinjal Pitlai, Kadai Vegetable, and Vegetable Kurma; and Desserts like Rasgulla, Modak, Barfi, and Aamras. 

Here are 32 side dishes hailing from the flavor- robust menu of Indian cuisine.

Each of these side dishes has a uniquely delectable taste that your guests will never forget. Be aware, after serving these, you might always have some guests coming back for more 🙂

I come from an Indian background and I assure you, food is one thing Indians don’t compromise with.

I have had a gluttonous experience of savoring dishes from almost all parts of India, so I bring to you the best side dishes that Indian chefs recommend and I confirm.

So let’s get to it!

RecipiesTotal Calories
Total Time Taken
Naan Bread
Papdi Chat
Palak Paneer
Basmati Rice
Bombay Aloo
Malai Kofta
Kurkuri Bhindi
Cucumber Raita
Onion Bhajis
Vegetables Pakoras11825
Brinjal Pitlai139.250
Aloo Gobhi7240

1. Samosa

Total calories (per 100g): 308

Total preparation time: 55 minutes

A crispy delight— Samosa is an indispensable part of Indian cuisine. In fact, in the Indian subcontinent, a shop earns its fame by how good its samosas are. 

With a crispy outer cover, holding spicy potato and pea mixture inside, this side dish has the essence of India and its love for good food.

You can make the filling non-vegetarian by adding minced meat to the mixture and serve this with mint chutney.

Here is a delicious recipe by Yummyyy

2. Naan Bread

Total calories (per 100g): 311

Total preparation time: 76 minutes

Naan Bread goes with everything.

Soft and chewy, it has a neutral taste. Yet, when paired with an Indian gravy-based dish, it enhances the flavors of the latter.

It goes well with Dal fry, spiced vegetables, and even hummus. 

You can also top the Naan Bread with butter for adding a smooth taste. Or add garlic to its recipe for extra flavoring.

Check out this recipe by The Cooking Foodie

3. Poori

Total calories (per 100g): 296

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Simple yet tasty— Poori is a golden delight.

This puffy Indian bread, made from wheat flour dough, oil, salt, and water, is fried to create a crisp golden puff.

Usually paired with a spiced potato dish for breakfast, this Indian side dish is a must at an Indian feast.

It goes well with spicy as well as sweet dishes.

Here is a yummy recipe by Vahchef- VahRehVah

4. Dal

Total calories (per 100g): 101

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Rich, fragrant and nutritious— Dal is a flavor-robust and healthy Indian side dish.

Made with lentils, onions, tomatoes, and spices, this dish can be prepared in a variety of ways with a number of lentils. In any form, it’s delicious and soothing.

The most famous recipe is Dal Fry which has exquisite Indian flavors and when paired with Jeera (cumin) Rice or Butter Naan, it will leave you at a loss of words. 

Check out this recipe by HomeCookingShow

5. Keema

Total calories (per 100g): 241

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

Keema, in simple terms, refers to the ground or minced meat in the Indian subcontinent.

This side dish has thriving flavors and is usually made with minimum spices to retain the original taste of the meat. 

It is made with lamb or mutton. But you can use other meat of your choice. 

Serve it with Chappati, Pulao, or Naan Bread, and have a feast!

Here is a quick recipe by Get Curried 

6. Papdi Chat

Total calories (per 100g): 188

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Papadi Chat is popular street food in India and it is popular for a reason. 

This side dish is a fiesta of flavors and texture. Made with chickpeas, potatoes, chutney, yogurt, and papdi— it provides a brilliant mixture of sweet, spicy, and savory. 

Each bite of Papdi Chat bursts with flavors; serve this as a side dish at your next gathering and become that one guest who gets invited to every party!

Check out this recipe by Everyday Delights

7. Palak Paneer

Total calories (per 100g): 183

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

Palak Paneer is a beloved Indian vegetarian dish.

Flavorful paneer (cottage cheese) drowned in rich and creamy spinach gravy and is topped with a bit of butter to create this masterpiece. 

With the perfect amount of spices and finesse, this side dish will leave you drooling.

Serve it on the side of Butter Naan, Jeera Rice, or Parathas.

Here is a tasty recipe by Rajshri Food

8. Basmati Rice 

Total calories (per 100g): 121

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

Basmati Rice is a side dish that is cooked for special meals.

This long-grain rice is light and fluffy and has an olfactory satisfying aroma. 

To make it more flavorsome, it can be cooked with saffron, cardamom, cumin, coconut milk, or ghee. 

As a side dish, it goes with dishes with gravy or Dal Tadka

Check out this recipe by Hari Ghotra

9. Pulao 

Total calories (per 100g): 140

Total preparation time: 40 minutes

It’s Indian-style rice pilaf, full of exciting aroma and flavors. 

Pulao is a simple, delicious, and healthy side dish. It is a one-pot recipe made with scented basmati rice with fragrant spices, herbs, and vegetables. 

Its recipe can be tweaked to prepare it in several ways e.g. Matar Pulao, Coconut Milk Pulao, Kashmiri Pulao, and even Chicken Pulao.

This flavorsome Indian side dish is best served with yogurt raita. 

Here is a recipe by HomeCookingShow

10. Rasam

Total calories (per 100ml): 50

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

An essential side dish in every south Indian meal. 

Rassam means ‘Juice’ in Telugu and Tamil, which is a humble and comforting spiced soup made from tamarind, tomatoes, spices, and herbs. 

It is slightly tangy with a mild sweetness and flavored with cumin, pepper powder, and garlic.

Serve it as a side dish with rice or vegetables based dishes.  

Check out this zingy recipe by Manchatti Kitchen

11. Bombay Aloo

Total calories (per 100g): 91

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Bombay Aloo is popular for being a vegan side dish with incredible Indian flavors. 

It consists of baby potatoes cooked with dry Indian masalas (spices) and served with Roti, Dal, and Rice. 

Simple and delicious, this Indian side dish can be prepared for a gathering or even for a weeknight dinner. 

DIY recipe—

12. Chole

Total calories (per 100g): 164

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

A delectable chickpea curry from Punjab, India.

Spicy, tangy, and aromatic— Chole is a cherished Indian side dish that is so flavorsome; you’d crave to have it every week. 

Made with freshly ground masala, this side dish is usually accompanied by Bhature (fluffy, deep-fried sourdough).

DIY recipe—

13. Upma

Total calories (per 100g): 209

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Typically breakfast side dish, Upma is a south Indian delicacy.

It is delicious and fluffy; packed with flavors of ginger, curry leaves, green chilies, mustard, cumin, and roasted lentils. 

Simple and easy to make, this side dish keeps the tummy filled and happy. 

DIY recipe—

14. Malai Kofta

Total calories (per 100g): 187

Total preparation time: 70 minutes

Koftas are a vegetarian version of meatballs in India; it is usually made with potatoes, paneer, bottle gourd, mixed vegetable or raw banana. 

These balls are dunked in rich, sweet, and tangy gravy. This gravy is made creamy by adding Malai (cream).

Malai Kofta is best served besides Butter Naan.

DIY recipe—

15. Kurkuri Bhindi

Total calories (per 100g): 60

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

With a perfect balance between crispiness and taste, Kurkuri Bhindi (okra) will become your new obsession. 

Crafted from tender okra, gram flour, and spices— Kurkuri Bhindi is an excellent side dish for Indian meals.

DIY recipe—

16. Cucumber Raita

Total calories (per 100g): 47

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

In easy words, Cucumber Raita is an Indian yogurt dip that is usually served with spicy and heavy dishes.

With its cool and refreshing flavors, Cucumber Raita is the best side dish to serve during summers to counter the heat.

DIY recipe–

17. Onion Bhajis

Total calories (per 100g): 2273.7

Total preparation time: 30 minutes 

Onion Bhajis are a light, crispy and savory Indian side dish.

They are made with finely chopped onions, covered in an aromatic and spicy batter, which are fried till they are golden brown. 

To take their flavors to next level, serve them with some spicy mint chutney.

DIY recipe—

18. Vegetable Pakoras

Total calories (per 100g): 118

Total preparation time: 25 minutes

Another fried Indian snack. 

Vegetable Pakoras are a popular street food made with onion, paneer, and chopped vegetables. The ingredients are coated with spice-loaded gram flour and fried.

This Indian side dish has a special scent; you’ll make your guests salivate as you cook this in your kitchen.

DIY recipe—

19. Papad

Total calories (per 100g): 371

Add crunch to your meal by having Papad as your side dish.

These are thin Indian dried flatbread, generally fried or roasted; its sole purpose is to give you something to munch on.

It can be served plain but if you want to give it some flavors, top it with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, and cucumber with a slight squeeze of level.

DIY recipe—

20. Brinjal Pitlai

Total calories (per 100g): 139.2

Total preparation time: 50 minutes

Brinjal Pitali is a thick gravy made with eggplant, which is cooked in tangy tamarind juice with freshly ground coconut and spices. 

It is a traditional South Indian side dish that is served with hot steaming Rice, Potato, or Carrot Roast. 

DIY recipe>

21. Aloo Gobhi

Total calories (per 100g): 72

Total preparation time: 40 minutes

Aloo Gobhi is a flavorful side dish made by cooking potatoes and cauliflower with onion, tomatoes, and spices. 

It is a staple Indian side dish that can either be made dry or creamy.

It tastes amazing with Roti, Plain Parathas, and even Pooris.

DIY recipe—

22. Jeera Aloo

Total calories (per 100g): 120.3

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

A simple and healthy side dish.

Jeera Aloo, simple phrased, is just potatoes fried with cumin. With a handful of spices used in this recipe, it is easy to make and wholesome. 

Serve this flavorful dish with Chappatis or with Parathas.

DIY recipe—

23. Kadai Vegetables

Total preparation time: 50 minutes

Colorful, tasty, and nutritious— Kadhai Vegetables will light up your dinner table.

Vibrant and delectable, Kadai Vegetables has a rich flavorful curry filled with aromatic spices and vegetables. 

This North Indian side dish is made in Kadai (Indian wok) and served with Roti, Naan, Parathas, or Basmati Rice. 

DIY recipe—

24. Vegetable Korma

Total calories (per 100g): 109.47

Total preparation time: 40 minutes

If you are looking for an Indian side dish that is creamy and has mild spices then Vegetables Kurma is perfect for you. 

It’s a simple and creamy flavored vegetable medley made with coconut and South Indian spices.

It is at its prime flavor when served with flavored Rice, Roti, Paratha, or even Puri.

DIY recipe—

25. Matar Paneer 

Total calories (per 100g): 137

Total preparation time: 35 minutes

This side dish is simple enough for weeknights and special enough to be served at gatherings.

Matar Paneer is peas and cottage cheese. It owes its deliciousness to the spicy onion-tomato curry in which it is cooked. 

With succulent paneer and soft peas, who can resist this delight?

DIY recipe—

26. Green Peas Masala

Total calories (per 100g): 120

Total preparation time: 50 minutes

Green Peas Masala is a flavorful green pea curry that will blow your mind. 

This delicacy is crafted from the tomato-onion gravy and is topped with a generous amount of butter and garnished with coriander leaves.

Green Peas Masala with Tawa Partha and Cucumber/Boondi Raita makes a delicious meal combination.  

DIY recipe—

27. Vazhakai Podi

Total preparation time: 35 minutes

It is a traditional South Indian dry curry made with raw bananas/plantains.

Raw banana is cooked and made into a crumble and then cooked again with roasted ground spices. This side dish has vibrant flavors and is aromatic. 

It tangos well with Rasam and Rice. 

28. Butter Chicken 

Total calories (per 100g): 119

Total preparation time: 45 minutes

This list would be incomplete without the mention of this side dish. 

Butter Chicken is a heavenly delicacy consisting of tender chicken pieces infused with the flavors of the yogurt marinade and rich and creamy gravy. 

Its flavors are at their peak when it’s combined with Butter Naan or Jeera Rice.

DIY recipe—

29. Rasgulla 

Total calories (per 100g): 186

Total preparation time: 40 minutes

Rasgulla or Rosogolla is synonymous with Bengali cuisine. 

It is a spongy, soft dish made with curdling milk. The coagulated milk solids (Cheena) are drained of whey, kneaded, and rolled into small balls.

These balls are then cooked in sugar syrup giving rise to this mouthwatering delight!

DIY recipe—

30. Modak

Total preparation time: 80 minutes

This Indian sweet dish is specially prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi festivities.

Modak is a sweet steamed dumpling made using rice flour dough for the outer covering and coconut jaggery mixture for inner stuffing. 

This side dish is so delicious that even Lord Ganesha couldn’t stop himself from falling in love with it. 

DIY recipe—

31. Barfi 

Total calories (per 100g): 285

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Yet another Indian sweet dish that will melt your heart.

Barfi is milk-based soft fudge, usually prepared with Khoya or Mawa (dried evaporated milk). It can be made plain or with added flavors like rose, mixed fruit, etc.

Simple and easy to make, this sweet side dish is love in form of food. 

DIY recipe—

32. Aamras

Total calories (per 100g): 67

Total preparation time: 15 minutes

Aamras is an Indian dessert made from mango puree. 

It is as simple as it sounds and is often served plain; but it can be flavored with cardamom, dry ginger, or saffron.

Aamras and Puri are a deadly combination. 

DIY recipe—

The Bottom Line

We hope this wholesome guide took you to the land of delicious Indian side dishes. 

If you have any tips or suggestions, please let us know below!

Do share this guide with your friends and family.

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About Pratibha Singh

Pratibha is a popular home chef and loves to prepare some amazing Indian dishes. A foodie to the core she enjoys other cuisines too. She has been cooking since childhood and often prepares meals for her family, friends, and even strangers. Her motto in life: “Always be prepared!”