10 Easy, Healthy Indian Side Dishes to Complete the Meal
A great way to boost the nutrition in your meals is to pair main dishes with healthy vegetable sides instead of white rice or breads. And Indian cuisine makes it easy. With these side dishes, Indian spices like garam masala take vegetables to new heights, boasting great flavor profiles and adding some heat and eccentricity to your favorite veggies. Whether you're looking to explore Indian cuisine or just want to add more healthy recipes to your repertoire, here are some easy vegetable-based Indian side dishes to enjoy throughout the week. The best part? These recipes are quick and simple to make, so you don't need to spend much time in the kitchen.
Chole (Vegetarian Indian Chickpeas)
Chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer. "DELICIOUS!" raves SunnyDaysNora. "Absolutely fabulous and loaded with flavor. This comes together so quickly! Definitely a keeper."
This super spicy (yes, it's HOT!) dish combines potatoes and cauliflower for a crispy, savory veggie dish. Dial back the cayenne or serano pepper if you want it milder, and consider a dollop of Greek yogurt or raita for a cooling factor to balance out the heat.
Potatoes are high in potassium and fiber to replenish electrolytes after a workout and to keep you fuller longer, and these Indian inspired potatoes are quick to make (just 20 minutes!) and are packed with spices like turmeric and cumin for flavor.
Indian Broccoli Junka
If you are looking to cut back on the carbs and bulk up the greens, this broccoli dish is spicy, healthy, and simple to make, with just a few ingredients. Plus, it's ready in about 30 minutes for an easy weeknight meal.
Spinach and Cauliflower Bhaji
Spinach is high in iron and folate, while cauliflower has some fiber to boost satiety, so this veggie combo is a winner if you're looking for a healthy Indian side. Add in ginger for a spicy kick and for anti-inflammatory benefits to protect your heart health.
Easy Curried Cauliflower
Curry adds spice and richness as a staple in Indian cuisine, and beyond delicious chicken or tofu curry dishes, it can also work well with veggies, like cauliflower. Add in kidney beans for protein and fiber, and this is a well rounded, spicy veggie dish. Make a big batch to have on hand throughout in the week.
Spiced Turnips (Shalgam Masala)
A root veggie, turnips are nutriton dense and an often underrated starch that can be just as tasty as potatoes. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley and play with the chile depending on how spicy you want it to be.
Keep cans of green peas in your pantry and this quick, no-brainer side dish is ready whenever you need it. Coconut milk adds richness for a creamy texture and helps tame the spices. Plus, it's a 30-minute dish.
Roasted Indian Spiced Veggies
Clean and simply roasted, this potato and cauliflower veggie dish is mildly spicy and requires minimal ingredients, so it's an excellent choice if you're looking for a side that's on the healthier end. Pair with basmati rice or serve over a bed of greens, like spinach.
Indian Fried Cabbage
In this simple side dish, cabbage combines with warm Indian spices. It's ready in about 20 minutes. "Warming Indian spices kick up cabbage a few notches for a quick, easy, and healthy side dish," says Kim's Cooking Now. "I like to serve this with garlic naan bread, placing a bit of cabbage between the naan, to make a sandwich."