The Best Khichdi Side Dishes

What are the best side dishes for khichdi? Pair khichdi with light and equally wholesome salad like kachumber or carrot, cashew, and raisin medley. Aromatic vegetables with bold spices pair seamlessly. This includes corn pakora, Bombay potatoes, and grilled paneer vegetable kebabs. Envelop your khichdi in a warm roti or crispy papadum, or serve coconut shrimp to spruce up the dish.

Hearty, flavorful, honest, and wholesome, it’s easy to understand why a khichdi is India’s ultimate comfort food. Give this humble, underrated meal a standing ovation by serving it with the perfect side dish:

Kachumber – Indian Cucumber Salad

Khichdi is one of those rare meals that are both deliciously comforting and deeply nourishing at the same time. A light and simple kachumber salad on the side adds a healthy dose of veggies for a truly wholesome feast.

A colorful combination of fresh herbs, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers are lightly dusted with a blend of spices and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice.

As the sweet and tangy notes in the salad round out the spicy, savory flavor of khichdi, the tomatoes’ acidity cuts through the dish’s creaminess.

Finely chop one red onion, one English cucumber, 2 cups cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup cilantro, and 4-5 mint leaves. Add one finely chopped green chili for a kick of heat.

Transfer the chopped veggies to a salad bowl and season with ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to taste. Toss and garnish with chopped scallions.

Bombay Carrot, Cashew, And Raisin Salad

Bombay carrot salad is a fantastic choice for those who enjoy playing with sweet and savory flavors.

Tender-crisp carrots bejeweled with sweet raisins and salty cashews are coated in a gorgeous yellow, tangy turmeric vinaigrette. This is sunshine on a plate!

This vibrant side dish is truly reminiscent of India’s colorful culture, and it offers a refreshing contrast to the warm and hearty khichdi.

Prepare the turmeric vinaigrette by combining ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, juice of ½ a lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.

Assemble the salad with 4 cups grated carrots, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ⅓ cup raisins, 1 minced garlic, and ¼ cup toasted cashews. Drizzle with the turmeric vinaigrette and toss to combine.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours for the flavors to meld. Garnish with chopped scallions and fresh cilantro.

Crispy Corn Pakora – Indian Corn Fritters

Sweet and crispy corn fritters will round off earthy and savory khichdi with a stunning contrast of flavor and texture.

You can always turn to corn fritters for picky eaters and busy weekdays. Spruce up a serving of khichdi instantly and effortlessly.

Mash 1 cup of tinned corn kernels to release corn milk. Add ½ thinly sliced red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 sliced green chili. Mix well.

Add ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon rice flour, ¼ cup chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon garam masala, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon ginger, salt, and pepper to taste. 

Mix to form a clumpy batter. Add more chickpea flour if too moist or a little water if the mixture is too dry.

Coat the base of a nonstick skillet with oil and heat to medium-high. Scoop equal portions into the skillet and flatten gently. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through and crispy.

Jeera Aloo – Crispy Bombay Potatoes

Transform the humble khichdi into an absolute feast with these scrumptious Indian-spiced potatoes.

These tasty nuggets will add beautiful color and texture to the plate, and their delicious aroma is guaranteed to bring everyone to the table in no time.

When you bite into the crispy, flavorful outer crust, you will sink your teeth into a heartwarming, fluffy center.

Peel and slice 8 medium potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Boil potatoes in water seasoned with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric powder for 5 minutes. Strain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.

Season with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 small finely diced onion, 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons garam masala, salt, and pepper.

Arrange potatoes on a large greased baking tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes at 400⁰F (200⁰C), turning the potatoes halfway. Remove from the oven once they are golden and fork-tender.

Grilled Paneer And Vegetable Tikka Kebabs

Give your usual serving of veggies an instant upgrade with this incredibly delicious and exciting twist. These kebabs are bursting with authentic Indian flavor and make the perfect appetizer.

The crunchy vegetables and soft cubes of paneer cheese add layers of texture, and the creamy tikka masala marinade infuses the dish with an amazing depth of flavor.

Make the tikka marinade by mixing ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons garam masala, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, and the juice of ½ a lime in a large bowl.

Slice 10oz (300g) paneer, 1 red bell pepper, 1 red onion, and 1 large zucchini into equally-sized cubes. Coat in tikka marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Arrange paneer and veggies on skewers and place them on a lined baking sheet. Brush with oil and grill on medium-high heat until lightly charred.

Chapati – Roti

Creamy lentils and rice wrapped in a warm, soft, and fluffy Indian flatbread is comfort food at its very best.

Khichdi has the ideal saucy consistency for dipping, dunking, or creating hearty wraps with fresh homemade roti.

Place 1½ cups plain flour, ½ cup water, 1½ tablespoon melted ghee/vegetable oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until it forms a dough. Gently knead until it is smooth and pliable.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into equal portions. Roll each piece on a floured surface to form discs, about 6 inches (15cm) in diameter.

Lightly brush each side of the roti with melted ghee/oil and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until there are dark brown spots on each side.

Fried Papadum And Sambals

This side dish is a must for your next Indian-themed dinner party or large family gathering.

A tasty assortment of sambals paired with fried papadums offers guests a chance to experiment with new flavor and texture combinations, creating a memorable feast.

Cook papadum according to package instructions and prepare a variety of sambals for the table. Each option will enhance the dish with more sweetness, spice, tangy flavor, or creaminess.

Popular sambals include sliced banana, a diced onion, coriander, and tomato salad, pickled red onions, sweet chili chutney, achaar, chopped chilis, and cucumber raita made with thinly sliced cucumber, plain yogurt, garlic, and cumin.

Scoop a few tablespoons of khichdi on a papadum, add your favorite sambal, and enjoy satisfying flavor and crunch with every bite!

Coconut Shrimp

A tasty and elegant dish that is light enough to serve with hearty khichdi.

The sweetness of the shrimp and coconut offsets khichdi’s spicy, savory notes while adding great texture and crunch to the meal. This is a cinch to prepare and looks super impressive on the dinner table.

Prepare the batter by combining ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, ½ cup plain flour, ¾ cup coconut flakes, 1 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate mixing bowl.

Pat dry 1lb (450g) raw shrimp with a kitchen towel. Dip shrimp in the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture. Press gently to ensure the flour sticks.

Heat a drop of oil in a large nonstick pan and fry shrimp for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.

Alternatively, lightly coat shrimp with cooking spray and air-fry at 400⁰F (200⁰C) for roughly 12 minutes, flipping halfway.

Best Beverage Pairings For Khichdi

An uncomplicated, well-balanced wine is best suited for khichdi’s rich and complex flavor profile.

Chenin Blanc, German Riesling, Burgundy Chardonnay, or Gewurztraminer are fantastic white wine pairings for khichdi. Their off-dry, residual sweetness will cut through the richness and spicy flavor of the dish.

Top red wine companions are dry, full-bodied Argentinian Malbec, Syrah, or Cabernet Franc. Their earthy, spicy notes complement the nutty notes in the rice and lentils.

These wines have beautiful plum and berry flavors that will enhance the overall taste of khichdi.

Cider, Blonde Ale, IPA, and Pale Ale are deliciously refreshing options, and they pair well with gently-spiced dishes like khichdi.

Best Sauces For Khichdi

Traditionally, khichdi is served with hot ghee, which adds a luxurious, buttery texture to the dish and is highly prized for its health benefits.

It is believed that adding ghee to rice may lower its glycemic index and improve its digestibility.

Achaar (pickled fruit or vegetables) and a tomato or mango chutney will offer a sweet and tangy contrast to khichdi’s bold, savory flavor.

A dollop of curd, plain yogurt, or cucumber raita will add creaminess and balance to the meal, cutting through the spices and acidity.