Our Favourite Sides and Sundries
Although Indian dishes are certainly the centre piece at the table, it’s what often accompanies them that elevates your meal to a whole other level. It’s an indisputable fact that curries and other saucy dishes were made for dipping, and so dip we must. Indian cuisine has certainly provided a variety of delicious mediums for partaking. When done right, you cannot but wipe your bowl clean with a slice of naan or a forkful of basmati. But of course, Indian sides go beyond buttery carbs. There are many other sundries to explore at Shakinah, and here are a few of our favourites:
Without a doubt, lassi is lactose-liquid heaven. Popular in the Southern region of India as well as Pakistan, you’ll find that many households have a free-flowing supply of lassi, with a jug of it ready to be served to family members and guests. Traditionally, it is a savoury drink of plain yoghurt blended with water and spices such as cardamon, and then seasoned with salt. However, you’ll also find fruit-infused lassis, such as mango or strawberry. Lassis are a beautifully silky digestive aid which also double up as a cooling agent. At Shakinah, we offer sweet, salted, mango and strawberry lassis to go with (or without!) our spicy dishes. They’re seriously addictive.
Another cooling agent in the Indian arsenal, a raita is a delightful yoghurt dip infused with cumin and freshly chopped coriander, and a good helping of shredded onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh chopped coriander and cumin. Of course, you’ll find several other variations of raita across the world, even fruity ones such as pomegranate. Raitas are a cross between a condiment and a dip, so you are most welcome to dunk your naan into the bowl or spread it on top, or even have a spoonful of it when things get to hot to handle during your meal. Delicious relief!
If you need to lay off the lactose but still require a cooling agent, our Khachumbar salad is a great and refreshing option. This is a crunchy mix of fresh garden greens seasoned with Indian spices and lemon juice for freshness. It really goes with anything, and helps with your five-a-day.
This side is an absolute crowd pleaser. A golden bowl of goodness, pilau rice is a side dish with a fried onion, bay leaves, turmeric and cinnamon masala, to mention but a few of the spices that give this rice its seductive flavour. One of the secrets to this dish to caramelise the onions in ghee or good-quality butter to begin with. Pilau rice is so delectable in fact, that it makes for an excellent meal in its own right. At Shakinah, we also serve a version of this classic with peas for a touch of green. This is comfort and colour in a bowl.
You can’t have a proper Indian without naan, really. Well, you can, but you’d be sorely missing out on cloudy doughy goodness. Dating back to at least the 12th century, naan has been wiping our plates clean since time immemorial. This is a leavened bread made from wheat flour ands yoghurt, which is what gives it its fluffy texture. It’s an incredibly versatile sundry, which is why at Shakinah, you can have butter, garlic, cheese, coconut or peshwari naan. We particularly recommend the latter, as it’s embellished with a wonderful mix of nuts and dried fruit.