By Melanie Fincher

Traditional Indian dishes to make chapati a meal.

Chapati (also spelled chapathi) is an Indian flat bread that is a staple in India and Pakistan. Unlike another popular Indian flat bread called naan, which is leavened and uses all-purpose flour, chapati is unleavened and made with wheat flour, salt, and water, and then rolled out and cooked on a skillet, making it lighter and chewier than naan.

VIDEO: How to Make Indian Chapati Bread

You might also see this kind of flat bread called roti — in fact, they're so similar, the two names are often used interchangeably, although strictly speaking chapati is a type of roti. Like most Indian food, it's meant to be served alongside a variety of different dishes that can be scooped up with fresh flat bread.

So where do you even begin? From chicken curry to dal, here are the best side dishes to serve with chapati.

1. Shahi Paneer

Paneer is a type of fresh cheese used widely in Indian cuisine. This popular version is topped with a thick gravy of cream and pureed tomatoes. Reviewer kirsten says, "I've been trying to find this recipe that actually tasted right. This is the closest I've come! It was excellent. Will add more crushed red pepper next time as I think it could use more spiciness to it. But so, so happy to finally find a keeper!"

Photo by MD

2. Vegetarian Korma

This creamy vegetable korma is loaded with potatoes, carrots, jalapeño, cashews, green peas, and bell peppers and tossed in a creamy sauce. Some reviewers recommend using coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Reviewer tibbadee says, "If there was a better rating than five stars I would certainly give it to this recipe. It was a total hit here and my mom told me that it was the best thing I'd ever cooked, and she wants me to make it often now."

3. Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

This hearty dish side dish consists of chicken tossed in spiced tomato sauce — the perfect pairing for light chapati. Reviewer MariyaC says, "This was absolutely delicious! My Pakistani in-laws are quite picky when it comes to traditional food, but this one is a new favorite!"

4. Punjabi Sukha Urad Dal

Dal is a type of Indian lentil soup, and it's a very common pairing for chapathi."This is a very comforting dal for a cold day. Urad dal is stickier and heavier than other dals, so this is a thick-style dal," says recipe creator SUSMITA.

5. Authentic Saag Paneer

This classic Indian dish is made with cubed paneer and cooked spinach. It pairs well with chapati for a hearty, vegetarian meal. "The family and guests say that it is just as good as what we get at our favorite Indian restaurant," says reviewer JimFromKodai.

6. Aloo Phujia

Pair this quick and easy potato side dish with chapati for a Indian meal that's great for busy weeknights. Recipe creator CHRISTYJ says, "Spicy potatoes, tomatoes and onions with an Indian kick! This is super spicy so be aware!"

Photo by Raquel Teixeira

7. Chicken Korma II

"In this mild Northern Indian dish, chicken is simmered in a creamy fragrant sauce with onion, garlic, ginger and cashews. Add more chili or cayenne for more heat," says recipe creator Trina.

8. Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry

Kofta are spiced meatballs, often served with a thick gravy or sauce. This version uses meatless vegetarian balls for a healthier alternative to a classic Indian dish. Reviewer Patty Wiley says, "I would give this 6 stars if I could! This was amazing and I'll definitely make it again!"

Photo by Diana Moutsopoulos

9. Indian Eggplant - Bhurtha

"This is a traditional North Indian (Punjabi) Bhurtha made with eggplant and tomato, and seasoned with cumin, turmeric garlic and ginger," says recipe creator SimmiG.

Photo by Juliette VDH

10. Red Split Lentils (Masoor Dal)

This red lentil dal can be served immediately or frozen for easy weeknight meals. "Indian-inspired lentils the whole family will love and babies, too. Once the dal and rice are at the desired consistency, it's ready to eat or freeze. Make sure the mixture is completely cool before freezing. I use freezer ice trays and small individual glass bowls with lids," says recipe creator katie.

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

11. Spicy Vegan Potato Curry

Reviewer Katy says, "The combination of spices is completely spot on, giving a very rich and authentic flavour, with a good amount of spiciness, but not enough to hurt! Of course it tastes better the next day, as any curry does."

12. Alicia's Aloo Gobi

"This is hands down the easiest and most delicious curry I have ever made. It's my own personal twist on Aloo Gobi, a traditionally dry Indian dish consisting of potatoes and cauliflower. The coconut milk adds the extra sauciness; my favorite part of curry. Serve with basmati rice or, better, with breads such as roti, naan, or pita," says recipe creator Alicia.

Photo by angela k.

13. Red Lentil Curry

This rich and hearty curry is best served with a lighter dish like chapati. "Don't let the ingredient list faze you, this really is an easy dish to make," says recipe creator Emma Maher.

14. Chana Masala (Savory Indian Chickpeas)

In this classic Indian dish, chickpeas are mixed with tomatoes, onions, and spices for a flavorful vegetarian dish. "I go to Indian restaurants often and it definitely rivaled the chana masala I've had there," says reviewer Lil Liz.

Photo by Christine Wootton

15. Indian Vegetable Bhaji Recipe

This side dish is great for those who like their curries on the drier side. "Bhaji is a fry, so do not add water and you will really enjoy the drier variety of an Indian curry. Great with breads like naan or paratha, or with rice and daal (Indian lentil soup)," says recipe creator NP.

16. Cucumber Raita

In Indian cuisine raita is used to cool the palate, so it's great to pair with spicy foods or just to have with some chapati on a hot day. Cucumber, fresh mint, and Greek yogurt make this base of this refreshing dish. Recipe creator BenevolentEmpress says, "Make the salad early in the day and keep in the refrigerator to let the flavors blend and intensify. Add more mint to taste, but do not substitute dried mint; the flavor is just not the same."

Photo by SunnyByrd

17. Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils)

"Ever go to an Indian restaurant and wonder how they make those lentils? I hated lentils before I discovered Indian food. Then I scoured the internet to figure out how they achieved them, and through mixing and matching recipes and methods on videos, I've arrived at this recipe, which I think is pretty close," says recipe creator SOGOLONDJATA.

Photo by tox

Related: Browse our entire collection of Indian Side Dish Recipes.