5 Healthy Indian Breakfast Options

Shweta kumari

August 26, 2023

In the fast-paced world we live in today, breakfast often takes a backseat in our daily routine. However, the old adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” still holds true. A wholesome breakfast not only kickstarts your metabolism but also provides the energy and nutrients necessary to tackle the day ahead. And what better way to infuse both flavour and health into your morning routine than with the rich tapestry of Indian cuisine?

Indian breakfast options are as diverse as the country’s culture itself, ranging from the savoury to the sweet, from traditional to modern adaptations. These breakfast choices beautifully blend taste and nutrition, ensuring that you not only satisfy your taste buds but also nourish your body.

In this article, we delve into healthy Indian breakfast options that have garnered popularity for their nutritional value and delectable taste. Each of these options celebrates the richness of Indian flavours while incorporating essential nutrients to fuel your day. So, whether you’re a fan of hearty dishes or prefer something light and quick, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s embark on a culinary journey through the colourful world of Indian breakfasts that promise to make your mornings vibrant and your health a top priority.

1. Nutrient-Rich Upma

Upma, a beloved breakfast dish in Indian households, is a versatile and nutrient-packed option that’s perfect for a wholesome start to the day. Made from semolina or other grains, upma is not only quick to prepare but also offers a delightful blend of textures and flavours.


  1. Semolina (rava) or millet as the base
  2. Chopped vegetables (carrots, peas, bell peppers, etc.)
  3. Mustard seeds, urad dal (black gram), and curry leaves for tempering
  4. Cashews or peanuts for crunchiness
  5. Turmeric, ginger, and green chillies for a hint of spice
  6. Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add urad dal and curry leaves for aromatic tempering.
  • Sauté chopped vegetables until they’re slightly tender.
  • Add semolina (rava) and roast it until it turns golden and aromatic.
  • Pour in water and stir to prevent lumps. Add salt, turmeric, ginger, and green chillies.
  • Allow it to cook until the mixture thickens and the grains are cooked through.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and roasted cashews or peanuts.

Health Benefits

  1. Semolina provides a good source of carbohydrates and energy.
  2. Vegetables add vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
  3. Turmeric and ginger offer anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits.
  4. Cashews or peanuts supply healthy fats and protein.

Why Upma?

Upma is a balanced meal that provides a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.The fibre content aids in digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness. The inclusion of vegetables enhances the nutrient density of the dish. It can be customized to suit dietary preferences and restrictions.

2. Wholesome Poha

Poha, a traditional Indian breakfast option, offers a delightful and nourishing way to begin your day. Made from flattened rice, this dish hails from different regions of India, each adding its own unique twist to the recipe. Poha is not only easy to prepare but also packs a punch in terms of both taste and nutrition.


Flattened rice (poha)

  1. Peanuts for crunchiness
  2. Mustard seeds and curry leaves for tempering
  3. Turmeric powder for colour and flavour
  4. Chopped vegetables (onions, potatoes, peas) for added nutrition
  5. Green chillies and ginger for a hint of spiciness
  6. Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


  • Rinse the poha in water, then drain and set it aside to soften.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add curry leaves and green chillies.
  • Add peanuts and sauté until they turn golden.
  • Incorporate chopped onions, potatoes, and peas, and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  • Mix in turmeric powder and ginger, and sauté for a minute.
  • Gently fold in the soaked poha and stir until everything is well combined.
  • Cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavours to meld.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Health Benefits

  1. Flattened rice is a low-calorie source of carbohydrates and provides energy.
  2. Peanuts offer protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients.
  3. Vegetables contribute fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
  4. Turmeric and ginger provide anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits.

Why Poha?

Poha is light on the stomach and easy to digest, making it suitable for all age groups.

The combination of textures, from soft poha to crunchy peanuts, adds to the overall eating experience. It can be prepared quickly, making it an ideal option for busy mornings.

Poha’s balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats ensures sustained energy release.

3. Protein-Packed Moong Dal Chilla

Moong Dal Chilla, a savoury pancake made from split green gram (moong dal), is a protein-rich breakfast option that satisfies both your taste buds and nutritional needs. This dish, hailing from the northern regions of India, is not only a delightful departure from routine breakfast choices but also a great way to infuse your morning with a healthy dose of protein.


  1. Split green gram (moong dal), soaked and ground into a batter
  2. Finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, and coriander leaves
  3. Grated ginger for flavour
  4. Cumin seeds for aromatic seasoning
  5. Turmeric powder for color and health benefits
  6. Salt and red chilli powder for taste
  7. Oil or ghee for cooking


  • Prepare a batter by blending soaked moong dal with minimal water until smooth.
  • Add chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves, and grated ginger to the batter.
  • Season with cumin seeds, turmeric powder, salt, and red chilli powder. Mix well.
  • Heat a non-stick pan and spread a ladleful of the batter to form a thin pancake (chilla).
  • Drizzle oil or ghee around the edges and cook until golden and crisp.
  • Flip the chilla and cook the other side until golden as well.
  • Serve hot with chutney, yoghurt, or a side of vegetables.

Health Benefits

  1. Moong dal is a rich source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle repair and overall health.
  2. Onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables contribute vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
  3. Turmeric and ginger offer anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.
  4. The use of minimal oil or ghee keeps the dish light yet flavorful.

Why Moong Dal Chilla?

Moong Dal Chilla is an excellent breakfast choice for those seeking a protein-packed start to the day. Its versatility allows for various fillings and toppings, catering to individual preferences. The combination of protein and fibre helps keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. Moong Dal Chilla is a healthier alternative to refined flour-based pancakes.

4. Wholesome Idli-Sambar Combo

The idli-sambar combo stands as a classic South Indian breakfast ensemble that harmoniously combines taste, nutrition, and tradition. This duo comprises soft, steamed idlis paired with a flavorful and nutrient-rich lentil stew known as sambar, creating a breakfast experience that’s both comforting and nourishing.


  1. Idli batter made from fermented rice and urad dal
  2. Toor dal (pigeon peas) for sambar
  3. A variety of vegetables (carrots, beans, eggplant, etc.) for sambar
  4. Tamarind pulp for tanginess
  5. Sambar masala for flavour (contains spices like coriander, fenugreek, and red chilli)
  6. Mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida for tempering
  7. Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


For Idlis

  • Prepare the idli batter by grinding soaked rice and urad dal, then fermenting the mixture overnight.
  • Grease the idli moulds and pour the batter into each mould.
  • Steam the idlis until they are fluffy and cooked through.

For Sambar

  • Boil toor dal until soft and mashable.
  • In a separate pot, sauté mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida for tempering.
  • Add chopped vegetables and cook until slightly tender.
  • Mix in tamarind pulp, sambar masala, and boiled toor dal.
  • Simmer the sambar until the flavours meld and the vegetables are fully cooked.

Health Benefits

  1. Idlis are made from fermented rice and urad dal, offering a balanced carbohydrate-protein profile.
  2. Sambar is a rich source of plant-based protein from toor dal and essential vitamins from vegetables.
  3. The fermentation process enhances the bioavailability of nutrients in idlis.
  4. Tamarind in sambar provides a dose of antioxidants and aids digestion.

Why Idli-Sambar Combo?

The combination of idlis and sambar provides a complete protein source, making it suitable for vegetarians. The inclusion of vegetables adds fibre, vitamins, and minerals to the meal.

The fermentation process of idlis improves gut health and digestion. The interplay of flavours between the mild idlis and the aromatic sambar creates a satisfying meal experience.

5. Balanced Vegetable Paratha

Balancing nutrition and taste, the vegetable paratha is a beloved Indian breakfast choice that combines the goodness of whole wheat, a medley of vegetables, and aromatic spices. These stuffed flatbreads are a favourite among families looking for a hearty and flavorful start to their day.


  1. Whole wheat flour for the dough
  2. Assorted vegetables (spinach, grated carrots, fenugreek leaves, etc.) for stuffing
  3. Spices (cumin, coriander, red chilli powder, garam masala) for flavour
  4. Fresh ginger and green chillies for a hint of heat
  5. Ghee or oil for cooking
  6. Yogurt or pickle for serving


  • Prepare a soft and pliable dough by kneading whole wheat flour with water.
  • Divide the dough into small balls and roll them out into discs.
  • Mix the grated vegetables with spices, ginger, and green chillies to create the stuffing.
  • Place a portion of the stuffing in the centre of a rolled-out dough disc.
  • Fold the edges of the dough over the stuffing, creating a sealed parcel.
  • Roll out the stuffed dough again into a flatbread.
  • Cook the paratha on a hot griddle, applying ghee or oil on both sides until golden and crisp.

Health Benefits

  1. Whole wheat flour offers complex carbohydrates, fibre, and essential nutrients.
  2. Vegetables contribute vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre.
  3. Aromatic spices like cumin and coriander aid digestion and enhance flavour.
  4. Ghee or oil provides healthy fats necessary for overall well-being.

Why Vegetable Paratha?

Vegetable parathas are a clever way to sneak in a variety of vegetables, especially for picky eaters. The combination of carbohydrates, fibre, and fats in parathas ensures a balanced meal.

The versatility of stuffing allows for endless variations based on seasonal produce. Vegetable parathas can be made in advance and stored, making them suitable for busy mornings.

HealthifyMe Suggestion 

Breakfast gives you the energy to go through the day and helps your body work at its best. Our bodies require important vitamins and minerals first thing in the morning after fasting all night, and skipping breakfast can cause our bodies to ache. Vitamins and minerals not only boost metabolism but also protect organ health. A good breakfast will also keep you full for several hours. Cravings are reduced by foods high in protein, fibre, healthy fats, and vitamins.


As you journey through these five healthy Indian breakfast options, you not only embrace the richness of Indian flavours but also make a conscious choice to prioritize your health and well-being. Remember, a healthy breakfast is the foundation for a productive day ahead. So, whether you’re seeking a protein boost, a dose of fibre, or a satisfying meal that keeps you full until lunchtime, these options have you covered.

While these breakfast choices have been inspired by tradition, don’t hesitate to customize them to suit your personal preferences and dietary requirements. Explore different ingredient variations, experiment with flavours, and infuse your own creative touch to make these breakfast options uniquely yours.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is breakfast considered important?

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day because it kickstarts your metabolism, provides energy, and offers essential nutrients to fuel your body and brain after a night’s rest.

2. What are some easy Indian breakfast options for busy mornings?

If you’re short on time, you can opt for quick options like yoghurt with fruits and nuts, a smoothie, or even whole wheat toast with nut butter and sliced bananas.

3. Can these breakfast options be customized for dietary preferences?

Absolutely! These breakfast options are versatile and can be adjusted to accommodate dietary preferences like vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more. Substitute ingredients as needed.

4. Are these breakfast options suitable for weight loss?

Yes, many of these options can be included in a balanced weight-loss diet. They provide nutrients, fibre, and protein that can help keep you full and satisfied, which is important for managing portion sizes.

5. Can I prepare these dishes in advance?

Certainly. Some dishes, like the idli batter and paratha dough, can be prepared in advance and stored. This can save time on busy mornings.

6. Can I adjust the spice levels in these recipes?

Absolutely. The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your personal preference. If you enjoy mild flavours, reduce the number of spicy ingredients like green chillies or red chilli powder.

7. How can I make sure these breakfast options are balanced?

A balanced breakfast should include a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. These options naturally incorporate these elements, but you can also pair them with a side of fruits, nuts, or yoghurt to enhance their nutritional balance.

8. Are there any health benefits to using traditional Indian spices in these dishes?

Yes, many traditional Indian spices offer health benefits. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, while spices like cumin and coriander aid digestion.

9. Can I include these breakfast options in my child’s diet?

Certainly. These breakfast options can be suitable for children with some modifications. You can adjust the spice levels and textures to make them more kid-friendly.

10. Are there any allergen concerns with these recipes?

Some recipes might contain nuts (like cashews or peanuts) and gluten (like in wheat-based options). Make sure to consider any allergies or sensitivities and make substitutions accordingly.

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23 responses to “5 Healthy Indian Breakfast Options”

  1. There are only two blogs that I consistently follow. Thank you for the information and motivation. You have made my life a whole lot better.

  2. Awesome to add the health food to daily routine while keeping in mind the calories and toung test.

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