Butter Chicken is a rich and creamy dish that’s core ingredients include chicken, cream, tomatoes, and spices. And it’s usually served with rice or flatbread.
This spicy dish originated from the Punjabi region in India. The Punjabi region is renowned for its rich and creamy curry dishes and range of spices. And Butter Chicken, also known as Chicken Makhani, is one of the most popular curries here and worldwide.
The chicken is usually cooked until it is tender and falling apart. Then the tomatoes and spices are added to the dish. These ingredients are left to simmer to reduce the tomatoes, and the chicken absorbs all the wonderful flavors. The cream is added toward the end to make the sauce thick and creamy.
This creamy and spicy dish carries an incredible depth of flavor and drool-worthy richness. It’s no wonder that Butter Chicken features at the top of Indian restaurant menus across the globe.
What to Serve with Butter Chicken
Many different side dishes can be served with Butter Chicken. But, more traditionally, it is served with a rice dish or some form of flatbread like naan or roti.
But if you’re struggling to figure out what to serve with Butter Chicken, here are ten delicious options for you to choose from.
1. Peas Pulao
Peas pulao is a rice dish made with peas, basmati rice, and various spices. This tasty rice side is usually served with a dollop of yogurt to help balance the spiciness of the curry.
A side of peas pulao is an excellent option when determining what to serve with Butter Chicken. The rice is light and fluffy and is perfect for soaking up the creamy Butter Chicken sauce. And the peas add an element of sweetness to the dish, while the spices add color and complementary flavors.
2. Butter Naan
Butter naan is a leavened flatbread made with flour, milk, butter, and salt. And it’s brushed with melted butter straight after it’s removed from the oven. This soft and chewy flatbread is traditionally made in a tandoor oven.
This flatbread presents a delicious and easy way to soak up the Butter Chicken sauce. The soft and fluffy texture of the bread pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy curry sauce. And, of course, butter naan is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
3. Potato Samosas
Prepare yourself for a taste sensation when you pair potato samosas with your Butter Chicken. Potato samosas are a deep-fried side of spiced potatoes and peas wrapped in phyllo pastry. Samosas are usually served with a chutney or a similar dipping sauce.
These savory and crunchy prisms of joy are the ideal accompaniment for your Butter Chicken meal. The potatoes and peas add a little sweetness to the dish, while the phyllo pastry brings that much-needed crunch.
4. Mango Chutney
Mango chutney is a tangy fruit preserve that incorporates mangoes, sugar, vinegar, and various spices. It’s an incredibly popular condiment in Indian cuisine and can be purchased in grocery stores worldwide.
This piquant condiment is the perfect side dish for Butter Chicken. It adds a sweet and zesty flavor to the meal, which pairs effortlessly with the rich and creamy Butter Chicken sauce. And let’s not forget that mangoes are a good source of vitamins A and C.
When presented with something hot and spicy, you need something cool and refreshing to counter the heat. That’s why raita is the ideal option when figuring out what to serve with Butter Chicken.
This is a yogurt-based salad made with fresh cucumber, onions, cilantro, coriander, and cumin. And it’s a popular condiment served with curries. Raita is the perfect fresh and cooling counter for the spiciness of the Butter Chicken.
6. Garlic Bread
Soft, white, crusty bread laden with garlic and melted butter. What more could you ask for? Garlic bread is a popular side of Italian and French cuisine. Still, it has the makings of a stellar side dish for Butter Chicken.
The savory and crunchy garlic bread adds a depth of flavor to the meal and brings balance to the rich, creamy Butter Chicken. It’s also an excellent vehicle for scooping up that delicious Butter Chicken sauce.
7. Kachumber Salad
Another refreshing side option when deciding on what to serve with Butter Chicken is a kachumber salad. Kachumber salad is essentially cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and seasoning dressed with fresh lemon juice. And it’s often served as a side dish or condiment with traditional Punjabi meals.
Kachumber salad offers a cool, fresh, and light companion to the heavy, rich, creamy Butter Chicken sauce. The cucumbers and tomatoes also bring some sweetness to the meal. While the onions add that crunchy element. The acidity from the lemon juice also counters the heavy cream of the Butter Chicken sauce.
8. Saag Paneer
Saag paneer is a traditional Indian spinach dish. “Saag” means “leafy greens”, and paneer is a type of mild Indian cheese. The dish comprises spinach, paneer, and various spices. This iron-rich food is usually served as a main but can also take on the role of a side dish.
The savory and creamy elements of the saag paneer bring a different dimension of flavor to the overall meal. The mild and sweet taste of the paneer cheese and the earthy flavor of the spinach are a great match. Saag paneer serves as excellent support to elevate your Butter Chicken main.
9. Spicy Aloo Gobi
Spicy aloo gobi is also usually served as a main dish but makes for a great pairing with Butter Chicken. Directly translated, “aloo gobi” means “potato cauliflower”. It’s no surprise then that this dish features potatoes and cauliflower with a host of Indian spices.
The savory and spicy aloo gabi brings a starchy sweetness to the meal. And while this side is spicy, it doesn’t compete with the spices present in Butter Chicken. In fact, it complements them nicely. In addition, spicy aloo gobi is an ideal source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and carbohydrates.
10. Yellow Dal
Yellow dal, also referred to as daal or dahl, is a lentil dish made with split yellow lentils, tomatoes, onions, chilis, coriander, and cumin. This protein-rich side has a thick soup consistency and can also be served as a main dish.
This lentil dish is a staple comfort food in India. It’s a great option when determining what to serve with Butter Chicken. The yellow lentils become soft when cooked, adding an extra layer of creaminess to the meal. While the tomatoes and onions bring some sweetness to balance out the spices in the Butter Chicken.
These ten delicious side dishes are perfect options when exploring what to serve with Butter Chicken. But there are so many more you could try. In fact, Indian meals typically include many different mains, sides, and flatbreads, which are shared among the guests. So, you could literally serve your Butter Chicken with any of these traditional options or similar Western sides.