So you want to know what healthy Indian food is? Well, finding low-calorie Indian food in a cuisine tradition that boasts the richest, creamiest, and tastiest delicacies can be a massive challenge, but there is hope! If you are trying to understand what low calorie Indian food looks like, we’ve compiled a list of dishes that won’t destroy your daily calorie target, yet still brim with the full flavours we all crave!
Remember to use the calcount Food Search Box to find detailed calorie and nutrition information for all your favourite Indian Foods!
Low Calorie Indian Snacks
In our exploration of healthy Indian food, we’re going to start with the snacks. Indians have a natural affinity towards casual munching. The cuisine has unquestionably some of the best snacks and appetisers ever created. It can be difficult to keep yourself from indulging in these delicacies, especially if you’re just getting started. What if we told you that you didn’t have to be so hard on yourself?
Although the cuisine is known for its deep-fried appetisers, it also has low-calorie Indian food that is just as tasty as its fried rivals. Check out these low-calorie Indian snacks that you can consume without feeling guilty about.
This delicacy has its origins in Gujarati cuisine and has won hearts all over the world. The unusually spicy yet sweet cake has a spongy and fluffy texture that is a delight to consume. Besan (grained flour batter), baking powder or eno, yoghurt, lime juice, and semolina are used to make this basic cake.
It’s finished with freshly chopped coriander, coconut strands, and sesame seeds on top. The snack has a minimal oil level, which is due to the fact that it is steamed rather than fried. While the fermented flour adds nutritious benefit, it can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the semolina.
Upma is a South Indian dish made mostly of semolina that has been roasted and cooked with a variety of pantry staples such as peppers, carrots, onions, various lentils, and roasted nuts, as well as mild spices.
Upma can also be made entirely of oats instead of semolina, increasing the nutritional value of this healthful snack.
Cauliflower and Oats Tikki
Traditionally, Tikki Tikkas are produced by combining strongly spiced mashed potatoes with a variety of sour spices. After that, they’re formed into a disc and deep-fried till crispy. While this sounds delicious, the calorie count may surprise you.
This recipe is a low-calorie, yet delicious, alternative to your favourite savoury tikkis. This snack, which is packed with the deliciousness of cauliflower and fibre-rich oats, is high in vitamins and antioxidants thanks to all of the vegetables used in its preparation.
Aromatic spices, crisp vegetables, and the freshness of coriander all work together to tempt you to bite into this nutrient-dense marvel.
Yes, bhel can be considered to be a healthy Indian food. Indian cuisine is known for its street food and tangy, street-style dishes. Bhel, a type of chaat, is commonly regarded as a convenient fast-food snack. This isn’t fully correct, though!
Without the processed sauces, bhel, when served simply with puffed rice, varied vegetables such as onion, cucumber, tomato, freshly ground spices, and a plain coriander and raw mango chutney, is a health food. The snack is pleasantly flavourful, acidic, and yet nutrient-rich and low in calories, especially since garnishing it with sev — the only fried ingredient — is optional.
Chicken Tikka is a snack that almost no one can resist, and it’s perhaps one of the most crowd-pleasing appetisers. The good news is that it’s high in protein and low in calories, so you’ll never have to resist it again!
Before being grilled till crispy, succulent chicken chunks are marinated in creamy curd (fat-free if desired), aromatic spices, and enticing ginger-garlic paste.
Low Calorie Indian Breakfasts
Indian cuisine boasts a plethora of low-calorie Indian breakfast dishes that are quick, low-fat, and delicious, making it a one-stop shop for all of your needs.
These hand-selected recipes are the finest of the best!
Idli, a treasure from South Indian cuisine, is arguably one of the most popular breakfast dishes in India, particularly in the south.
Idlis made with an oats’ batter and semolina, which are already a low-calorie food, are even lower in calories. The oil content in this steamed fiber-rich breakfast pleasure is nearly non-existent. It’s best served with coconut chutney, another low-calorie side dish that adds depth to the dish.
Moong Daal Cheela
This is a healthy breakfast food that is quick and easy to prepare. It is satiating and keeps you full for a long time. While soaking the dal overnight is required, this savoury recipe involves very little effort and may be enjoyed guilt-free.
For added nutritious value, this soaked dal is freshly ground and combined with fragrant spices like as salt, cumin powder, highly perfumed ginger-garlic paste, and olive oil. The mixture is then placed onto a skillet, uniformly spread out, and cooked to perfection.
This meal, a variation of the world-famous masala dosa from South Indian cuisine, offers a blast of flavours in a nutrient-rich and low-calorie package.
Unlike traditional dosas, which are made with rice, this meal is created with ragi or finger millet, rice flour, tasty and healthful yoghurt, and other elements like spices and water. This, in our opinion, calssifies ragi dosa as a healthy Indian food. This recipe is particularly healthier because, in addition to being low in fat, it is entirely made up of unsaturated fats.
While specialties from the North and South Indian cuisines tend to dominate such lists due to their global popularity, other parts of India are fiercely competitive.
One such renowned example is Poha, a West Indian delicacy. It’s a morning favourite known for bringing a wide range of tastes to the table while remaining primarily fat-free.
It’s made with beaten rice and coupled with ingredients that make it delicious while also being healthful, and it comes together in just 10-15 minutes.
This somewhat crisp and slightly fluffy pancake is an amazing treat to savour, thanks to the goodness of moong dal, green peas, ginger, and enticing pantry staples like onion and coriander that highlight the flavours.
Low Calorie Indian Lunches
Thankfully, there are some low-ish calorie options when it come to the midday Indian meal. No boring sprouts on whole-wheat slices here, instead see these tasty, inventive dishes using simple ingredients!
Sabudana Khichdi is a no-fuss dish that’s filled with nutritional deliciousness and is one of the most popular dishes during festivals like Navratri. It’s produced with a mix of delectable tapioca pearls dipped in a mixture of spices, herbs, and peanuts.
This recipe utilises just a smidgeon of ghee to make the dish more substantial and prevent hunger pangs. This recipe is great for healthy weight loss because of its low calorie count, simple components, and satisfying quality.
A food grilled in a tandoor is a diet must-have because it contains no superfluous oil or troublesome saturated fats that are introduced to the dish through deep frying.
This recipe features crunchy cauliflower slices grilled with spicy spices and other vegetables, making it a vegetarian delight. This is a high-fiber, low-fat dish that keeps you full for longer periods of time, making it ideal for weight loss.
With only 60 calories per serving, this dish sets a high bar for other weight-loss foods. During the fury of summer, a tempting and cooling serving of scrumptious raita filled with the goodness of cucumbers is a safe haven.
This is a water and fibre-rich dish that makes for a terrific post-workout or dinner snack that helps the digestive track relax and reduces inadvertent weight gain because cucumber is virtually simply water.
Garlic Vegetable Soup
Garlic Vegetable Soup is a delicious way to start your weight-loss dinner. This soup contains a cluster of different vegetables and is infused with a considerable dose of garlic. This soup has a low calorie count but a diverse flavour profile that is sure to please your taste buds.
Palak Khichdi is a Healthy Indian Food!
This recipe is everything good: high protein, vegan, diabetic-friendly, and nutrition dense. Palak Khichdi is a one-pot meal that calls for grains like Quinoa, lentils, spinach, ginger, garlic, and anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and black pepper.
All of the ingredients are pressure cooked together for up to 3 whistles, and a hearty bowl of Palak Khichdi is ready. This recipe pairs wonderfully with homemade pickles, papaddums, and curd.
This brilliant green, appealing dish is high in fibre, heart-healthy carotenoids, immunity-boosting vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium, as well as other nutrients. It isn’t particularly low in calories, but it is undoubtedly a healthy Indian food option!
Low Calorie Indian Dinners
This meal combines the best South Indian spices in a fragrant and enticing stew. It’s made with creamy coconut milk and aromatic spices that have been freshly powdered. This healthy curry, which has only about 135 calories per serving, is also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free, and features a unique blend of flavour and nutrition.
Mushroom Masala is a rich dish composed with delectable ingredients like soft mushroom pieces, onions, tomatoes, and fragrant spices and herbs. This simple yet flavour-packed recipe contains only 126 calories and is vegan, making it a comfort food with the characteristic tangy curry flavour.
Papadelle Aglio Olio
Okay, so it isn’t going to make any list of purist Indian foods, but it is a way to combine Indian food with an Italian ethos in a lower-calorie combo. To make a high-protein, weight-loss-friendly Indian version of your favourite pasta, dice high-protein lentil papadums into broad, wide portions that mimic pappardelle, boil them in water for a minute, then sauté them in garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs.
Unlike spaghetti sheets, which absorb flavours with a lot of olive oil, cooked lentil papaddums do the same thing with a fraction of the oil, making this meal not only delicious but also highly healthy.
Hara Bhara Kebab
These melt-in-the-mouth kebabs are a great meal option that’s not only low in calories but also packs a solid punch in terms of its nutritional quotient! Blend boiled spinach, sweet potatoes, green peas, capsicum, cilantro, and mint to a puree like consistency.
Mix these with oats or ragi flour for binding, add spices to taste, roll into flat balls and cook on a lightly oiled skillet. This easy to prepare dish is rich in Vitamin E and magnesium and great for boosting immune system. The carotenoids in sweet potato have been shown to lower risk of cancer and reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
Soya Masala Wrap
This protein-rich wrap dish creates a delightful, low-calorie, satiating dinner choice with only a few drops of oil. Sauteed onions, tomatoes, curry leaves, green chilies, ginger, garlic, and boiled soya granules are all that’s required.
To produce a nutrient-dense, gluten-free wrap, the mixture is rolled in a ragi (finger millet) flatbread with mint, yoghurt, and cilantro chutney or homemade salsa.
This tangy, spicy, fresh salad is a Weight Watchers’ favourite! This no-cook, oil-free recipe is made by boiling chickpeas, finely chopped onions, tomatoes, capsicum, carrot, and cilantro, and seasoned with spices like chaat masala, pink salt, red chilli powder, and black pepper.
Drizzle with a mixture of lemon juice and dry mango powder for an extra tangy kick! It can be eaten as a salad with fresh flavours that your palette will like, or it can be used as a filling for a wrap. Chickpeas are the marker of many a healthy Indian food choice, so look out for dishes which feature them!
This one-pot soup recipe is a particular favourite because of how simple it is to make and how flavourful and nutritious it is! For 3 whistles, pressure cook yellow moong, black gramme, and green gramme lentils with roughly diced veggies such as carrots, spinach, tomato, and green chilli.
To make a soup-like consistency, blend the ingredients together, season with salt, turmeric, and black pepper to taste, and heat for a few minutes. And now your nutrient-dense, protein-rich soup is ready to eat!
Without adding any thickening agents like cornflour or all-purpose flour, the lentils ensure that the soup has a silky-smooth, thick consistency.
Low Calorie Indian Desserts
Now, if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that we don’t take kindly to desserts over here, but who can resist a tempting Indian sweet on occasion? If you’re going to have an Indian dessert, opt for these healthy types:
This vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free recipe is a terrific weeknight supper that can be prepared ahead of time and eaten on the fly. Soak two teaspoons of chia seeds in a cup of almond, cashew, oats, or soya milk overnight.
The chia seeds give the combination a jelly-like consistency, and it may be topped with nuts, berries, and fruits of your choice for a nutritious and tasty dinner. If you want, the milk-chia seed mixture can be flavoured with coffee or cocoa powder and sweetened with a dab of honey.
Chia seeds are high in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, as well as important minerals and antioxidants.
Kaju Katli and Kalakand
If you’re an Indian, you’re familiar with cashew katli, also known as kaju katli. These fluffy, sweet, and nutty squares/diamonds are impossible to stop eating. The more you consume, the more you desire. Khoa (solidified, sweetened milk) is used to make Kalakand, a famous Indian sweet.
Healthy Indian Food is a Thing!
Hopefully, this list has given you an idea of some healthy Indian food to try at home or the next time you visit your local Indian restaurant. There’s no question that you can enjoy the supreme taste of exotic spices and rib-sticking satisfaction of Indian food without surrendering to calorie over-indulgence!