What to Have With a Curry Instead of Rice

When you hear Indian food mentioned, you probably imagine some sort of meat or vegetables in a spicy sauce, with rice on the side. Because rice features so commonly and prominently in Indian food, it can put some people off the cuisine entirely.

But if you can't eat rice for health or dietary reasons, or you simply don't like it, there's no reason you should miss out on delicious Indian food. Try one of these alternatives to round out your meal and ensure you fill up, and you won't need rice at all.


One of the most well-known Indian breads, naans are delicious, char-grilled flatbreads that make an excellent accompaniment to curries. As an added bonus, you can use them to mop up any leftover sauce when you're finished eating.

Naan breads are usually made from white wheat flour, and they're available stuffed with various tasty fillings for an extra flavour element in your meal.


If you like the idea of a bread accompaniment but aren't keen on white flour, chapatis could be what you're after. They're flatter than naan breads, almost like a wrap, but they're made with wholegrain flour and still pack plenty of flavour.

The nice thing about chapatis is that you can use them to pick up pieces of food, or even fill them up as wraps if you want to. Children, in particular, find this quite a fun way to eat.

Cauliflower rice

While this particular option isn't widely available yet, it's quickly growing in popularity. Instead of actual rice, cauliflower is chopped up in such a way that it looks the part. As an alternative to rice, it has many more nutritional benefits and can be eaten by many people who aren't able to have rice for health reasons.

Even if it's not listed on the menu of your favourite Indian restaurant, it's always worth calling up to ask if it's available. You never know – they might consider adding it in the future if they don't currently offer it. 

Extra starters

For many people, the starters and extras are one of the best parts of Indian food. Samosas, bhajis and all the other nibbles also make an excellent side dish with your favourite curry.

Consider skipping the first course and getting everything at the same time, so you can use those traditional starters to finish off your main meal. It adds a bit of extra variety to your plate, and that's never a bad thing.