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

Posted · 24th October 2023
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So, you’ve made a mouth-watering curry. It’s 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 with a beautifully soft and sumptuous naan. Naan, as we know it today, originates from the Indian subcontinent and these days mostly refers to a leavened, oven-baked, thick flatbread. The thinner, softer style of flatbread is sometimes known as chapati and is equally as delicious 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. Sometimes, they’re seasoned, which makes them the perfect accompaniment to specific curry dishes, as you can flavour them based on your personal preference.

If you want to try making your own naan, give this simplified recipe a go: minimalistbaker.com

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, 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 Samosas 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 people think of curry, they don’t usually think of pairing it with salad. But let us introduce you to Kachumber! Kachumber is an Indian-style salad made with 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.

Whip up a spicy curry and pair it with cooling yoghurt and a Kachumber salad, and you’ve got a next-level combination of flavours!

Chutney

Chutney and curry go together like falafel and hummus! 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 as 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’ll be worth it!

Sauces

Whilst chutney may well be top of the charts when it comes to dips on the side, there’s a whole world of wondrous sauces to serve with a curry.

Raita is one of the classics of this genre. This yoghurt-based dip is made with herbs and chopped fruit or veg to add a creamy cooling effect to curries. Most often, it is made with yoghurt, cucumber, onions, coriander and mint. For vegan folks, raita can be made with a dairy-free substitute like almond, cashew or coconut yoghurt.

As well as raita, there are also loads of other amazing sauces to serve up alongside a curry. From avocado sauce to Indian-style chimichurri, there are loads of amazing sauce recipes to mix up your usual curry spread!

Drinks

In Western culture, it would be reasonable to assume the perfect drink pairing with curry was a lager – and although a refreshing craft beer is a beautiful pairing, it’s not the only great flavour combo.

If you’re looking for a soft drink, why not try a ginger ale? The fiery flavour goes perfectly with the spiciness of your curry.

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 that use our Cauldron 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?

See recipe

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.

See recipe

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!

See recipe

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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