Ideas for Creative & Simple Garnishes in Indian Cuisine

By Claudette D'Cruz

Ideas for Creative & Simple Garnishes in Indian Cuisine

Today, let’s talk about curries.

Wait, we do this all the time anyway (it is not only our job, but also our passion!).

Let’s specifically talk about the presentation or garnishing of a curry. The art of presenting a dish existed long before the advent of Instagram or Pinterest, these platforms being largely driven by aesthetics.

There are numerous ways in which you can present a curry, especially if you have guests over that you would like to impress, or a generation of social media offspring who appreciate visual presentation almost as much as taste. 

While curries are delicious they are not appetising straight out of the pot.  But wait, do not despair, with a few pantry/fresh ingredients you can tempt your young ones to tuck in and make some really Instagram-worthy pictures too. Something as simple as slivers of raw onion or wedges of lemon on the side brings both a pop of colour and flavour to an already mouth-watering dish.  

To make things easier for you, we have sorted garnishing ideas alphabetically and included links to our Instagram feed for presentation ideas.

  1. Apricot halves (tinned)
  2. Baked potatoes - add them to a coconut-y chicken curry like our Kerala Chicken.
  3. Baked tomatoes
  4. Banana leaf
  5. Cherry tomatoes - halved
  6. Crumbed Chicken – Check our our Hurry Curry spice blend for a twist on a delicious Katsu Curry.
  7. Crusty bread slices on the edge
  8. Dollop of yoghurt, especially if garnishing a Korma.
  9. Chillies – fresh
  10. Eggs – boiled then sliced - they look beautiful on a Biryani.
  11. Eggs à la Shakshouka - We even have an Indian twist on this popular brunch item! Click here for our recipe.
  12. Fresh herbs
  13. Fried cashews - again works well with Biryanis or pilafs
  14. Fried Dhal
  15. Fried onions - again works well with Biryanis or pilaf
  16. Lemon slices
  17. Nuts
  18. Onion rings pickled in lemon juice/vinegar
  19. Paneer crumbled
  20. Pakoras on Dhal - If you are making a simple dhal (click here for our recipe), why not add pakoras (deep fried snacks) as a garnish? We guarantee that this will be a hit because who doesn’t love a bit of deep-friend anything on the side? Click here for our pakora spice blend (the main thing you need to make these is chickpea flour, an item easily found at your local Indian store). 

  21. Peanuts
  22. Peppers - a great garnish for achari gosht
  23. Peppers, onions and herbs cut finely
  24. Pickled onion rings
  25. Pomegranate jewels - Make your biryanis even more regal by garnishing them with fresh pomegranate seeds.
  26. Poppy seeds
  27. Sali - shoe string potatoes which the Parsis also use this on a meat dish called Sali Boti
  28. Salsa (Kachumber
  29. Sesame seeds
  30. Shev
  31. Sliced fresh chillies
  32. Slices of lime
  33. Slivered ginger
  34. Solan 
  35. Steamed veg
  36. Swirls of cream - Add swirls of fresh cream to a Dhal Makhani or even Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)

  37. Tadka (infused oil)
  38. Water Pickle veggies
  39. Combination of some of the above

Hope that this list helps you to get even more creative with Indian cuisine in your kitchen. Don’t forget to tag #noworriescurries in your social media posts!


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