What to Drink with Indian Food

When it comes to enjoying a flavorful Indian meal, the right choice of beverage can elevate your dining experience to new heights.

Indian cuisine boasts many spices, flavors, and textures that the right drink can beautifully complement.

This guide will delve into the world of beverage pairings with Indian food, helping you navigate the diverse flavors and spices to find the perfect drink to go with your next Indian dish.


Understanding the Flavors and Spices of Indian Food

Indian cuisine is known for its vibrant flavors, ranging from mild and aromatic to bold and spicy.

The depth and complexity of these flavors are derived from the skillful use of various spices. From the earthy warmth of cumin and coriander to the fiery kick of chili peppers, Indian spices play a crucial role in creating the distinctive taste profiles of the cuisine.

When selecting a drink, it’s important to consider the intensity of flavors and spices in the dishes you plan to enjoy.


Traditional Indian Beverages

India boasts a rich heritage of refreshing and flavorful traditional beverages that pair beautifully with its cuisine. These drinks complement the flavors and provide a cooling and refreshing contrast to the spices.

Some popular options include:

  • Lassi: This creamy yogurt-based drink comes in sweet or salty variations. Sweet lassi, often flavored with fruits like mango or rose, offers a delightful balance to spicy dishes. Salty lassi, seasoned with spices like cumin and black salt, can help soothe the palate.
  • Chaas: Made with buttermilk, chaas is a tangy and refreshing drink that aids digestion. Its cooling properties make it an excellent choice to accompany spicy or rich dishes.
  • Nimbu Pani: Also known as Indian lemonade, nimbu pani is a classic thirst quencher. It combines freshly squeezed lemon juice with water and an infusion of spices such as cumin and black salt, resulting in a zesty and invigorating beverage.
  • Masala Chai: A beloved Indian classic, masala chai is a spiced tea made by brewing black tea leaves with aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Its robust flavors and comforting warmth make it a versatile pairing for various Indian dishes.


Alcoholic Beverages

If you prefer an alcoholic beverage to accompany your meal, there are several options that can harmonize with the flavors of Indian cuisine:

  • Beer: The effervescence and crispness of beer can help cleanse the palate and cool down the heat of spicy dishes. Light lagers or pale ales with citrusy notes are excellent choices to balance the spices.
  • Wine: Wine enthusiasts can explore the world of wine pairings with Indian food. Off-dry whites like Riesling or Gewürztraminer offer a touch of sweetness to balance the spices. Rosé wines, with their fruity and floral undertones, can also be a delightful accompaniment.
  • Spirits and Cocktails: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Indian-inspired cocktails and spirits can elevate your dining experience. Vodka-based cocktails infused with herbs and spices or whiskey cocktails with hints of tropical flavors can complement the complexity of Indian cuisine.


Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, there are plenty of delightful options to explore:

  • Mocktails: Refreshing and alcohol-free mocktails can be perfect for your Indian feast. Consider blends of fruit juices, herbs, and spices to create a delightful combination. For instance, a minty watermelon cooler or a tangy tamarind mocktail can provide a burst of flavor.
  • Fruit Juices: Freshly squeezed fruit juices can offer a sweet and natural complement to the spices in Indian food. Mango, pineapple, pomegranate, and guava juices are popular choices that bring a tropical touch to your meal.


Considerations for Pairing Drinks with Specific Indian Dishes

Pairing the right drink with specific Indian dishes can enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Spicy Dishes: When tackling spicy dishes, opt for beverages that provide relief from the heat. A refreshing lassi or a crisp and light beer can cool the palate and balance the spice.
  • Creamy Curries: Cream-based curries, such as butter chicken or paneer tikka masala, call for beverages that can cut through the richness. Consider pairing them with a chilled glass of chaas or a white wine with good acidity to cleanse the palate.
  • Biryani and Rice Dishes: The complex flavors of biryani and rice dishes can be complemented by a variety of drinks. Whether you choose a robust red wine or a flavorful cocktail with aromatic spices, the choice depends on your personal taste preferences.


Experimenting and Personal Preferences


While these suggestions can serve as a helpful guide, it’s important to remember that taste preferences are subjective.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and trust your own palate when selecting a beverage to accompany your Indian meal. Allow yourself to explore different flavor combinations, discover your personal favorites, and create a dining experience that resonates with you.




Choosing the right drink to accompany your Indian meal is an art that can enhance the flavors and enjoyment of the cuisine.

Whether you opt for traditional Indian beverages, explore the world of wine and spirits, or indulge in mocktails and fruit juices, there are endless possibilities to elevate your dining experience.

You can create harmonious pairings that delight your taste buds by considering the flavors, spices, and specific dishes.

So, the next time you savor the diverse and captivating flavors of Indian food with O’Desiaroma, raise a glass to the perfect drink and embark on a culinary journey that is truly unforgettable.

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