Curry accompaniments: the best side dishes to serve with vegan and vegetarian curries

Posted · 2nd October 2019
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We love tucking into a curry; it’s as aromatic as it is soul-warming and it’s the perfect dish to eat in the evening as the days grow shorter. So, you’ve made a mouth-watering curry – filled to the brim with spices and a depth of flavour Marcus Wareing would be proud of… But what are you going to serve with it? We’ve pulled together a list of our favourite things to accompany a curry, ranging from classics to more out-there options. Tuck in!

Flatbread

There’s nothing better than mopping up a delicious curry than with a beautifully soft and sumptuous naan. Naan, as we know it today, originates from the Indian subcontinent and these days often refers to a leavened, oven-baked, thick flatbread. The thinner, softer style of flatbread is sometimes known as chapati and is equally as yummy as naan bread.

Typically, these breads involve mixing white or whole wheat flour with active dry yeast, salt and water and then kneaded for a few minutes, left to rise, divided up and then flattened. Some times they’re seasoned, which make them the perfect accompaniment to specific curry dishes, as you can flavour based on your personal preference!

Rice

We know what you’re thinking, “of course rice is a curry accompaniment!”, but don’t be fooled. You don’t always have to serve rice with curry. In fact, more often than not, curry is eaten with flatbreads alone! Dishes like Biryani come with rice as a staple, and is the main feature of a meal which can perhaps suggest rice is not always the standard accompaniment to a curry we’ve come to know in Western culture.

However, like flavoured flatbreads, you can flavour rice to become the perfect match for your curry. There are many variants of spiced rice that are delicious and easy to make; for example, Pulav, Chitranna, Ghee and Jeera are all different kinds of spiced rice that have varying subtleties of flavour.

Samosas

Samosas are the perfect accompaniment to curry; whether you’re looking for a starter to get you in the mood, or a bit of crunch to pair with the main attraction, samosas have it all! Traditionally fried or baked with a savoury filling of potatoes, onions, peas and lentils they’re a very filling snack.

We’ll admit that Samoas aren’t the healthiest of foods (they’re carbs wrapped in pastry!) but boy, do they taste good! The good news, however, is that they’re very easy to make vegan – which is perfect to pair with a vegan or vegetarian curry! If you’d like to try and make your own vegan samosas from scratch why not check out this delicious recipe from connoisseurusveg.com and give it a try!

Salads

When you think of curry you don’t usually think of pairing it with salad, not traditionally in Western culture anyway. But have you ever tried Kachumber? Kachumber is an Indian styled salad that consists of fresh chopped tomatoes, cumbers, onions, lemon juice and, sometimes, chilli peppers. When you add cabbage and zingy flavours, this is also known as Kachumber Sambharo.

This style of salad is bound to make you change you change any preconceptions you had of side salad accompaniments and when paired with cooling yoghurt and spicy curry, it’s a delicious combination of flavours.

Chutney

Chutney and curry go together like apples and pairs, like Laurel and Hardy, like cheese and onion! Basically, they were made to go together, and you can’t have one without the other! Traditionally, chutney can be anything from spicy coconut dip to a dahi, but more recently, we’ve come to know them more specifically tart fruit sauces that pair perfectly and cut through a curry.

Many mass produced chutneys are made with ample sugars and vinegars in order to preserve their shelf life, so next time you’re having a curry why not try and make your own? The lovely Richa has a spicy vegan mango chutney recipe over on her blog veganricha.com, so why not give it a go? It’ll take you less than an hour and believe us, it will be worth it!

Drinks

In Western culture, it would be reasonable to assume the perfect drink pairing with a curry was a larger – and although craft beer is a beautiful pairing, it’s not the only great combination flavour. If you’re looking for a soft drink, why not try a fiery ginger ale? The flavour goes perfectly with spice.

If you’re after something to make it more of an occasion, we hear a soft, fruity pinot goes well, as well as an Italian white. If you’re looking for something different, why not try a medium dry cider? The fruity tones pair well with any spicy dish – just be sure not to get anything too fizzy if you have a tendency to suffer from spice!

Our Vegan and Vegetarian favourite Curry Recipes

We’ve concentrated on curry accompaniments from the Indian subcontinent here, but there are incredible curry recipes from all across the globe. We’ve collated our favourite curries below that utilise our Tofu, but be sure to check out our vegan and vegetarian curry guide if you want to spice up your life a bit!

1. Tofu Rogan Josh

The Rogan Josh is a classic curry, fiercely beloved by the British public! So what better way to spice up your evening meal than by creating a mouth-watering vegan tofu rogan josh recipe with coriander and chilli rice.

2. Tofu Cauliflower Balti

The famous Balti is a traditional one-pot curry from India that oozes flavour and feel-good aromas. Our vegan version of the classic dish is quick and simple to cook and features a winning combination of tofu and cauliflower.

3. Tofu Saag Jalfrezi

There’s nothing more classic than a jalfrezi, and we’ve served up a corker here! A zesty citrus marinade, our Tofu, a chargrill and a spicy hot jalfrezi – a delicious combo!

If you’re not curried-out yet – why not download our Curry Cookbook! A downloadable PDF filled with curry inspiration straight to your inbox!

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