On the busiest of weeknights, calling up your neighborhood Indian spot to place an order for all of your spicy favorites is a quick and tasty answer. It's OK that you're not cooking tonight because tomorrow you will. That's a guarantee because if you throw a few extra items in your takeout order tonight, you can utilize them tomorrow to make your dinner almost as carefree as ordering takeout again — and it may even be more delicious.
1. Your choice of dal.
There are usually a few dal dishes on most Indian restaurant menus. These fragrant stews can be made from an array of lentils — like yellow, red, or black — as well as spices. Whichever you pick, you won't be disappointed. Dal is usually thick enough to be served over rice, but you can turn it into a light yet satisfying lentil soup of sorts for dinner tomorrow by thinning it with some vegetable broth and quickly simmering it on the stove.
2. A few extra pieces of naan.
Try to hold back from eating the extra naan with your takeout order and you'll be rewarded tomorrow — the possibilities for it are nearly endless. Use it as a quick crust for pizza or a wrap for hearty dinner sandwiches, or even turn into a savory bread pudding.
Read more: 5 Fun Ways to Turn Naan into Dinner
3. An order of chana masala.
Chana masala is one of those dishes that gets better on day two and even more so on day three, so it's a smart addition to your takeout order. The dish of spiced, stewed chickpeas can hold its own over cooked rice for a quick and wholesome dinner tomorrow — then stuff the rest into pita for lunch the following day.
Related: M Is for Chana Masala
4. An order of tandoori chicken.
Order the chicken tikka masala for tonight, sure, but order the tandoori chicken for tomorrow. The marinated chicken is cooked bone-in, so it will stay nice and moist the next day. Pull the meat off the bone and serve it over greens for an easy dinner salad, tuck it into a tortilla with shredded cheese for an Indian-inspired quesadilla, or simply add it to your grain bowl.
Get a recipe: Tandoori Chicken Pizza
5. A side of raita.
The simple mix of yogurt, vegetables (like diced cucumbers and onion), and herbs is a side dish that often gets overlooked, but it absolutely deserves a spot in your takeout order. Spoon a little next to your spicy curry tonight to cool things down. Tomorrow, it's an instant sauce for grilled fish, chicken, or steak. Use it to garnish those naan wraps, swirl it over that dal soup, or simply add more chopped vegetables to it make it a refreshing salad.
Do you have any things you like to add to your Indian takeout order to make dinner the next night easier?