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SIMPLE SIDES FOR AN INDIAN EXTRAVAGANZA
For a fuss-free Father’s Day feast, elevate curry night with these fail-safe side dishes.

by Sarah ▪ 14 Jun, 2021

Pick ‘n’ mix it up

To celebrate the important men in your life, why not take curry night up to 11? Whether you’re making a meal for the extended family or just for two, serving a variety of dishes in traditional Indian tableware is one way to make it super-special, both in style and substance. Luckily there’s no need to toil for hours (or days!) creating several traditional curries from scratch, because Gourmade have done the hard work for you. Simply buy one each (or your favourite combo) of our Chicken Jalfrezi, Vegetable Madras, Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Korma and serve in some beautiful bowls. We love these copper serving dishes, which will bring a glorious warming glow to your table.

Two ways with rice

With the curries taken care of, all you need to focus on is the sides – an important element to any Indian supper. First up is rice – and we’ve got two simple recipes to share. Our founder, Jo, has the secret to perfect fluffy rice every time, and we’ve also got a flavoured option for a bit of va-va-voom.

Jo’s perfect rice

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking time: 15 min
  • Servings: 4
  • Cost: Low
INGREDIENTS
  • Basmati rice: 250g
  • Boiling water: Enough to cover rice
  • Water: 200ml
METHOD
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Add 250g basmati rice in a large pan and cover with freshly boiled water. Bring the water back to the boil on the hob, then drain in an oven-proof colander. Place the colander over the saucepan and pour another 200ml (this time the measuring is important!) of boiling water over the rice. Cover the colander with tin foil and tuck in the edges, ensuring there are no holes for steam to escape. Pop the pan, colander and all, into the oven for 8-10 minutes. The rice will steam cook perfectly, so you’re left with fluffy separated grains. Serve, and enjoy!

Indian flavoured rice

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking time: 25 min
  • Servings: 4
  • Cost: Low
INGREDIENTS
  • Basmati rice: 250g
  • Chicken or vegetable stock: 350ml
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Cloves: 6
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
METHOD
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once bubbling, put the lid on the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to steam with the lid on for 10 minutes further. Remove the cinnamon, cloves and garlic and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Best bar naan

Naan bread is a curry night staple – delicious, warming, and perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce. While making your own naan is satisfying (we especially like this recipe for peshwari naan with its wonderful traditional filling), often we just don’t have the time. But it’s super easy to jazz up shop-bought naans. Simply spread the naans with butter, and then top with your choice (or combination) of grated garlic, diced dried fruit, chopped coriander leaves or cumin seeds. Even just adding the butter adds an extra level of delicious decadence! (Cumin seeds, dried fruit and garlic can be added before heating, but for coriander leaves or if you’re using butter alone, add after removing from the oven.) You’ll probably find you have enough food already, but if you fancy some healthy, vegetable-based sides, try making a simple red lentil dal or a sag aloo. (Or, for a slightly less healthy veggie side, simply pop some pre-prepared onion bhajis in the oven!)

Killer condiments

Whether it’s to go with poppadoms before the meal, or just to accompany your main, Indian condiments are too tasty to pass up. We recommend buying a good quality mango chutney – along with lime pickle if you like spice, and brinjal (aubergine) pickle if you fancy something a bit different. However, one condiment you can make quickly and easily is a refreshing raita – perfect if the spice level ratchets up!

Simple raita

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Cost: Low
INGREDIENTS
  • Plain yoghurt: 250g
  • Cucumber: 50g, finely diced
  • Lime juice: ½ lime
  • Garlic: 1 clove, crushed
  • Ginger: 25g, finely chopped 
  • Coriander: 20g, chopped
  • Mint leaves: 10g, chopped
  • Ground cumin: ½ tsp
  • Garam masala: ½ tsp (plus extra to serve)
  • Cumin seeds (optional): ½ tsp, for garnish
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Pepper: ¼ tsp
METHOD
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle a little garam masala and some cumin seeds on top before serving.

Tip-top toppings

To give your meal the professional touch, why not sprinkle your curries and sides with some dressy toppings, which will add a pop of colour and texture? Flaked almonds work beautifully with our creamy Chicken Korma, while chopped coriander creates a wonderful colour contrast on Tikka Masala. Spring onions add bite to the Vegetable Madras, and chopped red chilli gives even more of a kick to the Chicken Jalfrezi. Fried onions are traditional atop a dal, and work equally well on a curry or rice (you can buy excellent pre-cooked ones which add a wonderful crunch!). Other great toppings for Indian dishes include dried fruit, peas, cumin seeds, pineapple or roasted peanuts. You can really go to town and have fun with flavours – or just pick your dad’s favourites!

Cooling off

After a spicy meal, a cool and refreshing dessert is just the ticket. Why not try our Raspberry Cheesecake or perhaps a refreshing Sicilian Lemon Roulade Gourmade has plenty of delicious desserts to choose from, so you can finish your meal in style.
Do get in touch and share pictures of your Father’s Day feasts, along with any tips for your own Indian side dishes. Tag us on Insta, Twitter or Facebook – and share your Father’s Day celebrations.