What to serve with Dhal typically depends on personal preferences and the region in which it is eaten.
A selection of flatbreads, such as chapatis or dosas, are commonly served alongside Dhal dishes.
Steamed white rice is also frequently served with Punjabi-style dal.
Salads, pickles, chutneys, and other What to serve with Dhal can provide an interesting contrast of cool, crunchy flavors to accompany a hot bowl of dhal.
Dhal is versatile enough to suit any mealtime situation since its subtle flavor profiles can easily be augmented by accompaniments added to the plate.
Have you ever wanted to enjoy a bowl of delicious dhal but had no idea What to serve with Dhal?
Pairing spices, lentils, and other elements of traditional Indian cuisine can often be confusing.
Dhal is an essential part of traditional Indian cuisine, featuring heavily in curries and rice dishes.
It’s typically made from chickpeas, lentils, or split peas that have been soaked, boiled, and then cooked with cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
With its robust flavors and ability to absorb additional ingredients during cooking, dhal can be enjoyed in various ways.
Whether you’re after something classically spicy or want something light and fresh, we have a list of what to serve with Dhal for your next dinner.
Here’s a look at some of the best dishes to pair your favorite Dhal with!
1. Classic Basmati Rice
Classic Basmati Rice is starting our list of what to serve with Dhal. It is a delicious and aromatic accompaniment to dhal that can enhance the dish’s flavor. Rich in carbohydrates and protein, classic basmati rice provides much-needed energy and sustenance.
The grains are long and slender in shape, making it easy to scoop up generous amounts of dhal in one bite. Basmati rice is also known for its irresistible aroma, further infusing dishes with its distinctive flavor. Considered an “old-world” grain, classic basmati rice has been served as a side to traditional Indian dhusks since time immemorial. Whether enjoyed cold or hot, this What to serve with Dhal staple will have your guests asking for seconds!
2. Beet & Carrot Quinoa Salad
Beet & Carrot Quinoa Salad is also on our What to serve with Dhal list. It is a delicious and nutritious side dish that pairs perfectly with dhal. This wonderful salad consists of cooked quinoa, roasted beets and carrots, almonds, feta cheese, and cilantro tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing.
The sweet beets and carrots balance the taste of the quinoa, while the crunchy almonds and creamy feta cheese add texture to this light yet satisfying salad. It’s a perfect What to serve with Dhal providing an earthy source of protein from the quinoa and other beneficial minerals from the beets, carrots, and nuts. The fresh herbs bring out some delicate balance to the heavy flavors of dhal. Plus it’s vegan-friendly making it a great option for anyone!
3. Spinach and Broccoli Tofu Quinoa
Spinach and broccoli tofu quinoa is a delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-prepare side dish that accompanies any dhal. The spinach provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, while the broccoli and quinoa give this dish a power boost of vitamins and minerals.
Tofu adds protein and texture, and when baked in olive oil with aromatic spices such as coriander and cumin, it’s sure to be a flavorful delight. Serve Spinach & Broccoli Tofu Quinoa as What to serve with Dhal to create a healthful meal packed with nutrients and flavor!
4. Spicy Pickled Beets
Spicy Pickled Beets are a great accompaniment to your dhal dish. This recipe uses fresh beets, which are boiled until soft and then marinated in a pickling brine made with vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices. After marinating for several days, the beets become sweet-tart and packed with flavor from the spices.
Adding onions and garlic creates an added savoriness, making this side dish incredibly delicious. Serve these What to serve with Dhal to add a unique taste and texture to your meal. The slight heat of the pickling brine and the earthy sweetness of the beets will balance out any heat created in your dhal without overpowering it. Enjoy!
5. Traditional Teamed Modak
Traditional steamed modak is an Indian sweet delicacy enjoyed since ancient times. They are made from rice flour, coconut, jaggery, dried fruits, and nuts and can be served as a dessert with dhal or as a snack. Regarding What to serve with Dhal, steaming is the traditional way to go; this method keeps the ingredients’ natural flavor intact and prevents them from being too dry or overcooked.
Modaks can be flavored with anything – cardamom for traditional Indian flavor or cinnamon for something sweeter. The final step is shaping the modaks into small balls and putting them in a mold before wrapping it in banana leaves for aroma and presentation. Served with some dhal, these delicious pieces of joy will surely make your meal special!
6. Pilau Rice
Pilau rice is an aromatic, flavorful, filling dish made with Indian spices, usually eaten with dal. It is a popular side dish in many South Asian countries, particularly India. Pilau rice is very easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.
The main ingredients are basmati rice and ghee (clarified butter). Spices such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves, and saffron are added for flavor as onions. Adding dried fruit like raisins or cranberries adds an extra sweetness that pairs well with the earthy spices from the dhal.
Pilau rice is also a great way to use up leftovers since you can add small amounts of vegetables after everything else has been cooked in the dish. What to serve with Dhal? It’s the perfect combination and will leave you feeling full and satisfied afterward.
7. Mango Chutney
Mango Chutney is a flavorful and aromatic condiment made with mangoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It’s the perfect accompaniment to dhal, a traditional Indian lentil dish. The sweet and tangy flavor of the chutney helps to bring out the flavor of the dhal and other foods you may serve it with.
Adding Mango Chutney as one of What to serve with Dhal also offers color contrast to your plate, making it look more appealing and appetizing while providing a burst of flavor to enhance all the components on your plate. Served either warm or cold alongside creamy or spicy dishes, Mango Chutney will surely add an interesting twist that will tantalize your taste buds.
8. Spicy Sautéed Spinach
Spicy Sautéed Spinach is a delicious and nutritious dish that pairs wonderfully with dhal, a popular lentil-based Indian dish. The spices’ heat perfectly compliments the lentils’ mild flavor, while the spinach adds freshness, nutrition, and color to your plate.
To make this tasty, healthful side dish, sauté fresh spinach leaves in garlic and curry powder or garam masala until they wilt. Add red chili pepper flakes, lemon juice for a hint of zestiness, and salt and pepper according to taste. Serve alongside your favorite dhal recipe for an easy, flavorful meal guaranteed to please family and friends.
9. Golden Turmeric Rice
Golden Turmeric Rice is a delicious, nutritious, fragrant rice side dish that pairs perfectly with various dishes. It is made by cooking aromatic Basmati rice with warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and bay leaf. The rice’s bright yellow color comes from plenty of antioxidant-rich turmerics, which gives the dish its signature earthy flavor.
This easy and flavorful golden rice goes well with any North Indian-style curry or dhal. Its versatile nature makes it an ideal side dish for a range of traditional Indian meals such as dhal makhani, tandoori chicken, aloo gobi, or even simple vegetable curries. It is also very simple to make at home – follow the instructions on the recipe for perfect fluffy grains every time!
10. Naan Bread
Naan bread is next on our list of What to serve with Dhal. It is the perfect accompaniment to the dhal. Not only can it be used to scoop up your dhal, but it also adds flavor and texture to the dish. Naan bread can be bought pre-made at many markets, or you can even make your own at home.
The chewy texture of naan goes perfectly with creamy dhal, and its delicious flavors will make any meal stand out that much more. There’s no better way to enjoy a hearty bowl of dhal than by serving it with naan bread!
11. Traditional Rasam
Traditional Rasam is a soup-like liquid dish with a sour and spicy tangy taste. It can be served as an accompaniment to rice or eaten as soup. The main ingredients are tamarind pulp, pepper, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and other spices like coriander powder and turmeric.
This ‘tastemaker of south Indian cuisine’ is usually full of flavor, leaving you craving more! Served with hot plain boiled rice or What to serve with Dhal with pickle, Rasam works great to soothe your appetite. Every home has its own version of rasam – some adding tomatoes to it for the bright red color, some using ginger for a richer flavor, and others using coconut milk instead of tamarind, giving it a sweet richness!
Remember, India’s vibrant culinary art isn’t defined by just one recipe – it’s made up of many ingredients combined together in delightful harmony. That’s why Rasam is best enjoyed when experimenting with things and finding out What to serve with Dhal together after all!
12. Onion Bhaji
Onion bhaji is an Indian dish that is a great accompaniment to the dhal. It’s made with onions and chickpea flour and is flavored with cumin, red chili powder, turmeric, and ginger garlic paste. When cooked, it turns into a delicious deep-fried golden brown patty, the perfect mix of crispness and succulence.
Onion bhaji can also be served as a snack or appetizer. It pairs perfectly with the richness of dhal as its light texture helps to balance out the intensity of the spices in the dal. The combination of toppings adds interest to both textures; soft onions on top beautifully contrast with the crunchy bhajis below. Serve onion bhaji with a dollop of yogurt for extra flavor and creaminess, enhancing the entire dish just that much more.
13. Homemade Roti Bread
Homemade roti bread is a perfect accompaniment to any dhal. It is easy to make at home and requires only a few ingredients including all-purpose flour, salt, and ghee (clarified butter). The dough should be soft but not sticky and is best left to rest for 30 minutes before rolling out into thin rounds. When lightly brushed with melted ghee, it has the most delightful aroma!
As a flatbread, it can be served as an accompaniment or wrapped with vegetables or curries. Roasted over an open flame like tandoori toast gives it incredible flavor and irresistible charcoal-like colors.
Wholemeal roti is also a great choice for something a little bit healthier. Served hot off the frying pan with some homemade dhal makes for a delicious meal that can be followed up with a dessert of your choice. The possibilities are endless!
14. Vegan Friendly Samosas
Vegan-friendly samosas are a great way to enjoy the full flavors of an Indian meal without consuming any animal products. They are typically stuffed with potatoes, onions, peas, and diced carrots and deep-fried until golden brown. Not only are they delicious, but because they’re stuffed full of vegetables, these vegan samosas provide a great source of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Depending on preference, they can be served either hot or cold and pair nicely with a bowl of steaming dhal for added flavor. The light and crispy vegan samosa shells make the What to serve with Dhal this much-loved comfort food combination.
15. Vegan Malai Kofta Indian Dumplings
Lastly, Vegan Malai Kofta Indian dumplings are a delicious and nutritious dish perfect for serving with a warm dhal. These dumplings are fragrant and flavourful with ingredients like chickpeas, potatoes, cashew cream, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and garam masala.
Once cooked the outside is crispy while the inside melts in your mouth with its creamy filling. This is then topped off with an accompanying tomato gravy or rich coconut sauce, adding a depth of flavor that complements the malai kofta perfectly. Highly adaptable to any dietary requirements, this vegan-friendly main course will surely become a staple at dinner tables long into the future!
What to serve with Dhal typically depends on personal preferences and the region in which it is eaten. A selection of flatbreads, such as chapatis or dosas, are commonly served alongside dhal dishes. Steamed white rice is also frequently served with Punjabi-style dal.
Salads, pickles, chutneys, and other accompaniments can provide an interesting contrast of cool, crunchy flavors to accompany a hot bowl of dhal. Dhal is versatile enough to suit any mealtime situation since its subtle flavor profiles can easily be augmented by What to serve with Dhal on the plate.