8 Indian Side Dishes for White Rice


Indian cuisine is a perfect example of how the combination of different flavours, aromas, and textures can create a delicious and unique dish. White rice is often served with a variety of different Indian side dishes such as curries, chutneys, pickles, and salads. These dishes can be either savoury or sweet depending on the ingredients used. They have the ability to transform an ordinary plate of plain white rice into something special. When it comes to Indian side dishes, there are endless options to choose from. When it comes to pairing them with white rice, a few side dishes stood out to us. Here are our top 8 picks for the best Indian side dishes to enjoy with your white rice.


A classic South Indian dish made with vegetables and tamarind broth, sambar is the perfect accompaniment to your white rice.


Another popular South Indian dish, rasam is made with a variety of spices and tomatoes. It’s the perfect way to add some flavour to your white rice.


This is a North Indian side dish, it is made with cooked dal and tempered with sauteed onions and tomatoes along with garam masala which adds that magical taste. This is a comfort food for many people around the country.
Apart from these 3 very easy and common side dishes, we have curated 8 drool-worthy Indian side dishes for white rice. We have made sure to include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options for everyone.

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Poondu Milagu Kulambu

Poondu Milagu Kulambu

Poondu Milagu Kulambu is a simple yet flavorful Tamil dish made with garlic and black pepper. It is typically served as a side dish to white rice, but can also be enjoyed with idli and dosa. It is usually made during the winter months because of its healing properties.

This kulambu is very easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. First, the garlic is chopped and sauteed in oil along with spices until they are soft. Then, tamarind paste, sambar powder and water are added to the pan, along with salt to taste. The kulambu is simmered with black pepper powder and is reduced to almost half its quantity and garnished with curry leaves.

Poondu Milagu Kulambu is best enjoyed when it is fresh and hot. You can serve it with applam or any vegetable poriyal. Just store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Reheat before serving.


Aviyal is a classic South Indian dish made with a medley of vegetables and yoghurt. It is typically served as a side dish with rice, but can also be enjoyed on its own or with adai.

The word aviyal derives from the Tamil word for “mixture” or “medley”. As such, this dish is a perfect showcase of the diversity of South Indian cuisine. Vegetables such as eggplant, pumpkin, drumstick, carrots, potatoes, and beans (any seasonal vegetable can be used for this dish) are cooked together in a thick gravy made with coconut and yoghurt. The result is a hearty and flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy.

Whether you are looking for a new side dish to try with your rice or simply want to enjoy a delicious and healthy vegetarian meal, aviyal is sure to please.

Keerai masiyal

Keerai masiyal is a simple but delicious dish made with spinach and dal. It can either be served as a side dish or as a main course. To make keerai masiyal, first, cook the dal in boiling water until it is soft. Then, add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes more. Saute some onions, green chillies, garlic, and tomatoes in some oil and add it to the spinach and dal mixture. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with white rice.

Pudina thogayal

Pudina thogayal is a South Indian side dish made with mint leaves, tamarind, and chillies. It is typically served with white rice.

To make pudina thogayal, first, urad dal, chana dal, red chillies, and green chillies are sauteed. Once they are golden in colour, tamarind and cleaned mint leaves are added and cooked for a couple of minutes. Then, the ingredients are ground to a paste using a mortar and pestle or blender.

Pudina thogayal can be enjoyed as is or served with white rice and other accompaniments such as pickles or applam. Pudina thogayal is a quick and easy side dish that can be made in under 10 minutes.

Kadhi pakora

Kadhi pakora – also known as “pakora kadhi” – is a delicious Punjabi side dish made with chickpea flour, yoghurt, and spices. It consists of a yoghurt-based curry, usually spiced with cumin and turmeric, into which fried fritters made from gram flour (besan) have been added and simmered. The dish is served hot or warm with rice or khichdi or flatbreads such as chapati or naan.

Egg pepper masala

Egg pepper masala is a delicious South Indian side dish that goes well with white rice. It is made with eggs, sauteed onions, peppers, and spices, and can be either mild or spicy, depending on your preference. This dish is typically served with rice but can also be enjoyed with appam, dosa, or roti.

Chettinad Chicken masala

Chettinad Chicken masala

This chicken masala hails from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu in South India. The dish is known for its spiciness and features a variety of whole and ground spices including chilli peppers, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, fenugreek, and black pepper. Chettinad chicken masala is typically cooked with chicken thighs or legs, but can also be made with boneless chicken breasts. Garnish it with curry leaves, curry leaves are a significant spice in the Chettinad cuisine. Serve this dish with white rice. This is a great side dish for appam, dosa and idli.

Goan Fish curry

Goan fish curry – a staple of Goan cuisine – is a spicy and tangy fish curry made with fresh fish, coconut milk, ginger-garlic, tamarind pulp and a blend of warm spices. This fish curry is usually served with steamed rice, but can also be enjoyed with chapati or naan.

To make Goan fish curry, start by marinating the fish in a mixture of salt, turmeric powder and vinegar. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until they are lightly browned. Add ginger-garlic paste, followed by the spice powders (coriander, cumin, red chilli powder and garam masala). Fry for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes, tamarind pulp and coconut milk. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Finally, add the fish pieces to the sauce and simmer for another 5-7 minutes or until done. Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice or Indian flatbreads.

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How to make white rice

To make white rice, rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and add to a saucepan with 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

You can also use a pressure cooker to cook your rice. Rinse and strain your rice and soak it for 30 mins (soaking the rice makes it softer and helps it cook faster, but this is optional). Add the rice to a vessel and add water in the ratio of 1:3 or 1:2 1/2, the amount of water depends on the variety of rice you have, so give it a few tries to get the correct quantity of water. Cover the vessel and keep it inside the pressure cooker, close the cooker and keep it on high flame. Once the steam appears, put the weight. Cook it until you hear 3 whistles. Let the pressure subside. Do not try to open the lid immediately, it may result in accidents, always wait for 15-20 mins before opening the lid. Your perfectly cooked white rice will be ready.


Indian side dishes for white rice offer a delicious way to enjoy the staple grain. These eight sides are simple, full of flavour and will add some variety to your meals. From spicy curries like the Chettinad chicken masala to lighter curries like kadhi and aviyal, there is something in this list that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds! Experiment with different combinations and take your white rice experience to the next level.

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