What is the Best Drink to Have with Curry? | 6 Amazing Ideas

When ordering Indian, it isn’t just the food that you need to be thinking about. Your choice of beverage to wash it down can make all the difference. What is the best drink to have with curry? Today I’m going to talk you through some great suggestions and tell you what’s good (and not so good) about each one.

Quick Answer | What is the Best Drink to Have with Curry?

For heat reducing qualities, the best drink to have with curry is anything dairy-based. A cool glass of milk will help to extinguish the fire. If that is a little too boring for your taste, then I would suggest a nice mango lassi. This contains yoghurt, which can help remove the fiery elements of chilli.

If you want something a little stronger that compliments your curry taste-wise, a glass of beer is a great option. But, be warned, alcohol (and especially carbonated alcohol) can intensify the heat of a curry!

For some other great suggestions to quench your curry thirst, read on…

What Drink Goes Well with Indian Food? | 6 Great Suggestions

It all depends on what you are looking for…

Below you’ll find a list of the best things to drink with curry. Some will quench the fire, some will quench your thirst, and some work really well to compliment the taste of any curry.

Let’s take a look…

A Nice Glass of Milk

Wait, what?

Milk is the first on the list?

Yes indeed. When knowing what is the best drink to have with curry, a glass of chilled milk is one of my top answers.

Milk contains a protein called casein. This protein binds to the hot element in chilli, called capsaicin, and carries it away. If you’ve ordered a curry that is a little too spicy for your taste, then milk can be a really fabulous way to cool it down.

It doesn’t taste bad either.

Why drink milk with curry?

  • Casein in milk can cool a burning mouth
  • It works well with creamy curries
  • It is pretty cheap

Why you might not want to drink milk with curry…

  • Milk (especially whole) has quite a lot of calories
  • Milk doesn’t quench your thirst
  • Milk can make you feel quite ‘full’ if drunk in large quantities
  • It isn’t suitable for those with lactose intolerance

This drink works well with which curries?


Lassi is a great choice of drink to have with curry. Not only does it taste great, but it also is authentically Indian.

Lassi is a blend of yoghurt, milk and pulped fruit. Mango lassi, in particular, is a real joy. Think of it as an Asian style smoothie, and you are just about there.

As with milk, lassi contains heaps of casein. Not only does this stop your mouth from being on fire, but it is also great for settling your stomach (which, let’s face it, you are going to need after an Indian meal).

Why drink lassi with curry?

  • Lassi is full of fruity goodness and tastes less boring than milk
  • It can be one of your five a day (probably)
  • Lassi contains yoghurt, which is great for aiding digestion.

Why you might not want to drink lassi with curry…

  • Again, not suitable for those who are lactose intolerant.
  • Lassi can be pretty heavy and leave you feeling a little too full.
  • Lassi isn’t always the cheapest thing on the menu
  • It is too rich great with oily curries like bhuna or dopiaza
  • It doesn’t go well with sweet curries like tikka masala or korma

This drink works well with which curries?


Ah, our humble friend, water.

What can I tell you about water? Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t quite as heat reducing as milk. In fact, it has the opposite effect and can rinse those pesky capsaicin molecules to other areas in your mouth.


Water is perhaps the best thing out there for quenching your thirst. If you’ve gone for a curry with strong spices or that is particularly salty or savoury, then a tall, cool glass of iced water could be just the ticket.

If you intend to have a few ‘adult’ drinks later on, then it can’t hurt to get a bit hydrated in advance either, right?

Oh, and before I forget…

There are plenty of calories in most curries. You don’t really need to be ‘topping’ up by drinking even more calories. Water is calorie-free, so you are offsetting the calorie count a little if you opt for this.

Why drink water with curry?

Why you might not want to drink water with curry…

This drink works well with which curries?

Fruit Juices

Water is boring, and you don’t want to order a glass of ‘cow juice’ in your local eatery?

Fruit juice is a great option with a surprising number of benefits.

First off, it tastes pretty great. Whether you go for squash or a nice fresh orange juice, both will work just like a sorbet too to refresh your palette and allow you to really taste the curry.

What’s more, fruit juice is slightly acidic. This element can work to destroy capsaicin molecules, making your curry just a little less spicy.

It isn’t too expensive either.

The only downside is that fruit juice can sometimes be high in calories and sugar, neither of which is good for you.

Why drink fruit juice with curry?

  • It is less boring than water
  • It is full of vitamins and minerals
  • Fruit juice works well to temper the heat of a curry

Why you might not want to drink fruit juice with curry…

  • It can be high in calories and sugars
  • It is bad for your teeth
  • It might not work well with curries with a creamy element and could trigger heartburn.

Works well with which curries?

  • Hot to Medium curries
  • Vindaloo
  • Madras
  • Bhuna
  • Dopiaza
  • Pathia


I’ll be honest.

It’s rare that I won’t have a beer when having a curry.

A pint and a plate of madras go together so well. This might be a learned response as part of a ‘night out’, but there is no other choice for me.

The slightly savoury flavour of beer works well with most curries, and because it is hard to drink a lot quickly, there isn’t the same tendency to feel quite as full as you would with water or milk.

But, being upfront…

Beer isn’t healthy in any way. It is loaded with calories and can leave you feeling pretty bloated.

And it gets worse…

Beer is both carbonated and alcoholic. Both of these things actually intensify the heat of most curries. So if you are looking for something to cool down a burning mouth, I’m afraid that beer is not the answer.

However, if you are a hardcore curry head and don’t mind a bit of warmth, it is a great choice.

Why drink beer with curry?

  • Certain beers, like Kingfisher and Cobra, taste amazing, with most curries
  • If you are having a ‘night out’ then beer is certainly less boring than milk
  • A pint and a curry is a British tradition

Why you might not want to drink beer with curry…

  • If you are watching your waistline, then beer is packed full of calories
  • Because it is carbonated, it can make you feel quite gassy (as well as other things in curry)
  • Beer isn’t the cheapest drink on the menu

This drink works well with which curries?

I’m going to say any curry. If you can’t do without a beer with your curry, opt for a medium curry instead. Then you don’t need to worry about intensifying spices.


Oooh, get you, Mr lardy-dah!

I’m joking. While your mates might mock you, wine could be a great choice to have with a curry.

Want my advice?

Steer clear of red and go for something quite sharp, dry and acidic like a nice pinot grigio or chardonnay. As with fruit juice, this acidity can work well to cut through particularly oily curries and refresh your palette, ready for the next spoonful.

Wine isn’t quite as high in calories as beer, and because it is designed to be sipped instead of gulped (yeah, I’ve seen how you drink pints), you won’t fill up on fluids either.

Wine isn’t the best for quenching thirst, but that said, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from ordering a nice chilled glass of wine alongside cool water.

The best of both worlds? You bet!

Why drink wine with curry?

  • Wine goes great with most curries and can refresh your palette
  • Honestly, you’ll look properly classy
  • You won’t feel bloated or full, even with a curry

Why you might not want to drink wine with curry…

  • Wine tends to be quite expensive for the quantity you get
  • Full disclosure, some wines in Indian restaurants aren’t exactly the best
  • Wine doesn’t really hydrate you or do much to get rid of thirst
  • As a heat killer, it isn’t going to work… A sip isn’t going to do much, right?

This drink works well with which curries?

What is the Best Drink to Have with Curry? | Final Thoughts

There are a few options there for you to try. For a good non-alcoholic drink to have with curry, opt for either fruit juice or milk. For those who like something stronger to have with their Indian food, wine and beer are your best options (definitely not cocktails!). What are your favourite drinks to have with curry? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll add them to my list.

Enjoy Making Curry Yourself?

Hey folks, thanks for reading this article. I hope you found it useful, and that you learned something new allowing you to make your curry extra special. Here are a few things that can really elevate your curry game to the next level. 

These are affiliate links, so if you use them I receive a small commission, but this won't cost you any extra. In all honesty, I use very similar items myself, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to my friends.

A Complete Curry Kit: - Literally, everything you'll need to make curry all in one place. Cookware, storage, utensils, even the spices! This is my dedicated guide to getting you up and running all for the price of few takeaways.

Curry pans: - You need one, and one only. A frying pan exactly like this is really easy to use, and is exactly the type that authentic Indian chefs use to make the type of curry that you'll have in your local takeaway. You can see my full reviews of several pans right here...

Spice Storage: - Being organised is half the battle in making great curry. Spices can be notoriously hard to keep tidy. That's why I tend to use a spice rack like this. You can arrange your spices by size, heat, or any way you choose. I've got a detailed review of several Indian spice racks in this guide.

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