13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations
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You wish for good health, being fit, and stay in shape. But you are busy.

Therefore, bread- butter, milk-cornflakes/muesli, instant noodles/ pasta/ oats, instant fruit juice, etc are the most common “fast foods” to manage your busy morning.

If you are looking for a healthy breakfast, these are certainly not your option.

What they claim in the advertisement is often untrue and misleading. These are ultra-processed, loaded with refined flour, refined sugar, salt, and refined oil. Basically, these are the perfect concoction for developing hormonal disorders if consumed regularly. 

But where is the time?

No more excuse. If you are actually serious about your health, you got to find a way. Once you start planning your menu in advance, home cooking becomes easy and quick.

Here in this blog, I will be sharing 13 breakfast ideas with more than 64 variations. Let’s divide it into 3 categories –

  1. Breakfast ideas with 0-5 minutes preparation time & less than 10 minutes of cooking time
  2. Breakfast ideas with 0-10 minutes preparation time & 20 minutes of cooking time
  3. Breakfast ideas with 4-10 hrs preparation time & 20 minutes of cooking time
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations- porridge

Best formula of a healthy Indian breakfast

The food that we consume throughout the day can be grouped into 9 categories –

  • Grains – Rice , wheat, corn, jowar, bajra, ragi, buckwheat, oats, barley, quinoa etc
  • Dal – masoor, moong, tuver, chana, sprouts etc
  • Vegetables –  green vegetables, roots & tubers, other vegetables
  • Fruits – citrus or any other fruit
  • Milk & milk products – milk, paneer, curd, buttermilk
  • Egg/ Fish/ meat –
  • Nuts and seeds – walnut, almond, cashew, sesame seed, pumpkin seed, watermelon seed, flaxseed, chia seed etc
  • Sugar/ Jaggery – white sugar/ brown sugar/ jaggery/ honey
  • Fats/ oil – cooking oil/ ghee/ butter

Always try to combine at least 3-4 food groups while making breakfast. Eg –

Breakfast itemFood groups involved
PohaGrain (poha) Nuts (peanut)Vegetables (chopped carrot, beans, onion, etc.) Oil
Oats porridgeGrain (oats)Milk Nuts & Seeds (almond, cashew, walnut, flaxseed, etc) Fruits (banana/ mango, etc)

Combining 3-4 or more food groups together has multiple health benefits –

  • It makes the food wholesome, improve the nutritive value
  • Combining grain with dal/ vegetable/ fat reduces the blood sugar spike and give more steady blood sugar level.
  • Combining grain with vegetables keeps the calorie under check and enhances the fibre content.
  • It helps to improve the taste and satiety value.
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - soaked oats mix

13 healthy breakfast recipes ideas with more than 85 variations

Depending on your schedule and taste, feel free to pick any –

  1. Breakfast ideas with 0-5 minutes preparation time & less than 10 minutes of cooking time
  2. Breakfast ideas with 0-10 minutes preparation time & 20 minutes of cooking time
  3. Breakfast ideas with 4-10 hrs preparation time & 20 minutes of cooking time
Prep time – 0-5 mins
Cooking time – 10 minutes
(no of possible variation)  
Prep time – 0-10 mins
Cooking time – 20 minutes
(no of possible variation)
Prep time – 4-10 hrs
Cooking time – 20 minutes
(no of possible variation)
Breakfast Drink (4)Porridge (10)Idli (6)
Smoothie (5)Poha/ Pulao/ Upma (6)Dosa (6)
Instant mix (9)Chilla (10) / Pancake (3)Uttapam (6)
 Breakfast cereal (1) 
 Stuffed Paratha (10) 
 Sandwich (5) 
 Stew/ Broth (4) 

Breakfast ideas with 0-5 minutes preparation time & less than 10 minutes of cooking time

1.Breakfast drink –

Breakfast drinks are the easiest and quick recipe to follow with minimum ingredients. This is perfect for a very busy morning.

Ingredients and 4 possible varieties –

  • Sattu water
  • Sattu milk
  • Sattu drink
  • Ragi drink
Main IngredientSolventTastemaker  (as per your choice)
Sattu / RagiWater/ Curd/ MilkJaggery powder/ sugar
Jeera powder
Rock salt
Lemon (don’t use if making with milk)
Coriander/ mint leaves
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - ragi drink

Process in Brief –

You may consider making sattu water or sattu milk or sattu/ ragi drink (using curd).

Therefore you may pick any 1 drink out of these 4 variations.

  • Take 2 tablespoon of sattu or ragi flour.
  • If taking ragi flour, make sure you boil it with some water and make a thick liquid
  • Mix 2 tablespoon of sattu powder or, ragi liquid either with 2 tablespoon of curd or with a glass of water or milk.
  • Stir well to avoid making lumps
  • Add the tastemakers as per your choice – jeera powder, jaggery powder, chopped coriander/ mint leaves etc.
  • If using milk, then just add only jaggery powder and nothing else.

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Any seasonal fruit (avoid if you have diabetes)
  • 1 fistful of soaked/ roasted nuts and seeds

Advantage of this breakfast idea –

  • Need almost no cooking skill
  • It can be prepared within 5 minutes
  • If making sattu water/ sattu milk – you don’t even need any source of fuel
  • Sattu water/ sattu milk/ sattu drink is a protein drink
  • Ragi drink is high in fiber and other micronutrients

Breakfast drink is suitable for people with–

  • Weight loss, Weight gain, Diabetes, PCOD, Hypertension
  • If you have underactive thyroid then consider avoiding ragi drink.
  • If you are struggling with poor digestion, gas, acidity avoid this preparation
  • Patients with kidney problem please consult nutritionist before taking this drink.
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations- sattu water

2.Smoothie

Smoothie is another popular breakfast that takes minimum time to prepare. You need no cooking skill or source of fuel to make a glass of smoothie.

5 popular smoothie variations–

  • Carrot – orange smoothie
  • Beetroot – pomegranate/ pineapple smoothie
  • Tomato – coriander-cucumber smoothie
  • Oats- milk/curd – banana smoothie
  • Spinach – coriander- cucumber smoothie

Ingredient

Main IngredientSolventTastemaker  (as per your choice)
Beetroot – pomegranate/ Pineapple  
Carrot- orange  
Tomato – cucumber – Coriander  
Spinach- coriander – cucumber  
Water                Jeera powder
Rock salt
Lemon
Black pepper
Ginger
Oats- banana  Milk/CurdCinnamon Powder
Unsweetened cocoa powder
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations- smoothie

Process in Brief –

You may consider any of these 5 smoothies as per your taste.

  • For making vegetable-fruit smoothie, you got to wash the vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Peel them, chop them and put it in a high intensity grinder to make the smooth paste.
  • Strain the juice and take at least half of  the pulp back in the juice
  • Add the taste maker (jeera/ rock salt/ lemon/ ginger/ black peper) as per your choice. The vegetable-fruit smoothie is ready.
  • For oats – banana smoothie, take 2 tablespoon of oats, 1 sliced banana, ½ cup of milk or curd in a mixture.
  • Add tastemakers as per your choice
  • Blend it well, pour in a glass. The smoothie is ready.

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts or,
  • 1 fistful of soaked/ roasted nuts and seeds

Advantage –

  • Need no cooking skills
  • Need no fuel
  • Take maximum 10 – 15 minutes to prepare including the preparation time.
  • Raw vegetable- fruit smoothie is very nutritious as it has all the active phyto-enzymes along with fiber, vitamins and minerals
  • Oats- banana smoothie is very tasty

Smoothie is suitable for people with–

  • Weight loss, Weight gain, Diabetes, PCOD, Hypertension
  • Patients with kidney problem please avoid this preparation
  • These smoothie are also suitable during pregnancy and lactation

3.Instant mix

Cornflakes/ muesli are ultra-processed therefore they hardly manage to retain any micronutrient. However, it’s true that having cornflakes/ muesli is convenient as within no time one can prepare breakfast.

If you notice, these boxed breakfast cereals are not the only option for making instant breakfast. Our desi murmura, poha, khoi (kheel), sabudana can also be used as an instant cereal grain.

You may enjoy at least 8-10 variations of these desi grain products either as sweet or salty preparation.

13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations -Instant poha curd mix

9 Possible variations –

Grain ProductsSweet variationSalty variation
  Murmura/ Soaked Poha/ Khoi (kheel)/    Add Milk/ Curd with Banana/ Mango  Add any leftover sabzi
Soaked Sabudana
Soaked Oats
Sattu  
Add Milk/ Curd with Banana/ Mango None

Process in Brief –

  • Just take murmura/ khoi/ soaked poha/ soaked sabudana in a bowl
  • Either add milk/ curd and banana/ mango or, any leftover sabji
  • Mix well and the breakfast bowl is ready
  • If using sabudana, don’t forget to soak it for 3-4 hrs
  • If using oats, consider soaking for 30-40 minutes
  • If using poha, you may wash it well and immediately start adding other items to it as per your choice.

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts or,
  • 1 fistful of soaked/ roasted nuts and seeds

Advantage –

  • Just like the two previous preparation, this does not require any cooking skill. All you need to do is to add the items one after another.
  • It’s instant, filling and nutritious

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes (use less anmount of grain products), PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism,during pregnancy and lactation

Breakfast ideas with 0-10 minutes preparation time & 20 minutes of cooking time

4.Porridge

Just like the instant mix, porridge can be prepared either as sweet or salty. Change in the basic ingredient makes a huge difference in taste. Porridge is a preparation that again does not require much cooking skill. Almost anyone can make it.

10 Possible variations –

Grain ProductsSweet variationSalty variation
  Suji/ Dalia/ Oats/ Quinoa/ Sabudana    Add Milk
Later add Banana/ Mango
  Add chopped vegetables and/ or,  
Add dal
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - dalia- dal porridge

Process in Brief –

  • Take 2 handful of any grain of your choice and wash it well
  • Take 1 handful of any dal of your choice (optional)
  • Chop vegetables (carrot/ beans/ capcicum etc)
  • Put everything in a pot, add water and salt and start boiling. You may use a pressure cooker for this to save time.
  • After 5-10 minutes or 2 whistle on pressure cooker, remove the pot from the oven.
  • Add black pepper and ghee from top.
  • Give a gentle mix, the porridge is ready

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • A seasonal fruit (if taking a salty version. Avoid sweet fruit if you have diabetes)

Advantage –

  • It’s easy and quick to prepare.
  • It does not require any cooking skill
  • Easy to eat and tasty

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes (use less anmount of grain products and more vegetables and dal), PCOD, hypertension,hypothyroidism during pregnancy and lactation

5.Poha/ pulao/upma –

Poha/ upma or pulao is a common breakfast item all over India. Be it poha or upma or pulao the preparation technique is not much different. Each grain gives a completely different taste and texture thus bring a huge variety in breakfast choice.

13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - sabudana khichri

Ingredients and possible 6 variations –

Grain choice  Variation nameVegetablesGhee/ oilNuts/ Dry fruits
Suji/
Dalia/
Poha/
Oats/
Quinoa/
Sabudana
Suji Upma/
Dalia Upma/
Poha/
Oats Upma/
Quinoa Pulao/
Sabudana Pulao
Carrot, beans, capcicum  Ghee/ oilPeanut / cashew raisin

Process in Brief –

  • Select your grain. If taking sabudana, then soak it for 2-3 hrs.
  • Wash vegetables and chop well
  • Roast peanut/ cashewnut
  • Add seasoning in hot oil (jeera, mustard seed, red chilli, urad dal, curry leaves, onion, garlic, tomato etc – as per your choice)
  • Add chopped vegetables and the grain to it.
  • Cook for a while
  • Add salt, turmeric and other masala as per your choice
  • Add water and let it cook for 10 minutes
  • Let the water get dried
  • Add ghee from top
  • Upma/ poha/ pulao – whatever be the name , it’s ready to serve.

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • A seasonal fruit (if taking a salty version. Avoid sweet fruit if you have diabetes)

Advantage –

  • It’s tasty and quick to prepare.
  • It is very filling

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes (use less anmount of grain products and more vegetables and dal), PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism during pregnancy and lactation

6. Chilla/ pancake

Chilla is the salty preparation whereas pancake is the sweet version. The recipe for both is very similar. However, the pancake is not really an Indian dish but chilla is completely desi.

13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - besan chilla

Ingredients and possible 13 variations –

Item  Basic Ingredient Flour of –  VegetablesNuts/ SeedsFruits
Chilla (Salty item)Moong/
Masoor/
Chana/
Besan/
Sattu/
Ragi/
Jowar/
Bajra/
Quinoa/
Oats
Chopped onion,
green chili,
tomato,
carrot,
beans,
capsicum  
NoneNone
Pancake (Sweet item)Oats/
Ragi/
Sattu
NoneAlmond,
cashew,
raisin,
walnut,
pistachio,
flaxseed,
sesame seed  
Banana

Process in Brief –

  • Select your basic ingredient flour
  • Add chopped vegetables, salt, red chilli powder, jeera powder (for making chilla) or add finely chopped nuts & seeds, mashed banana, cinnamon powder (for making pancake)
  • Add water to make it a pouring consistency
  • Make the batter and stir well
  • Heat the pan
  • Add little oil and grese the pan
  • Pour 1 laddle of batter, spread it well and allow to cook for 2 minutes
  • Flip the side
  • Pancake or chill is ready

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Have green chutney or tomato chutney for chilla and little honey for the pancake
  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • A seasonal fruit (if taking a salty version. Avoid sweet fruit if you have diabetes)
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations- pancake

Advantage –

  • It’s tasty and quick to prepare.
  • It is very filling

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes (if having pancake, avoid the extra honey), PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism during pregnancy and lactation

7.Homemade breakfast cereal

Cornflex/ muesli are the saviors for your busy morning. As mentioned earlier, they are ultra-processed thus do not contain many micronutrients.

You will be happy to know that you can make your own breakfast cereal easily at home. Once you prepare it, store it in an airtight container.

Ingredient –

Basic ingredient  Nuts & seedsDry fruitsFlavor
Murmura,
Poha,
Oats,
Khoi
Cashewnut,
Almond,
Walnut,
Pumpkin seed,
Sesame seed,
Flaxseed,
Watermelon seed
Dry dates,
Figs,
Raisin
Cinnamon,
Unsweetened cocoa powder,
Jaggery powder

Process in Brief –

  • Roast murmura, poha, oats and khoi slowly one by one
  • Roast nuts and seeds separetly
  • Mix both together
  • Sprinkle cinnamon powder, jaggery powder and unsweetened cocoa powder from top
  • Mix everything well
  • Keep it in a airtight container
  • Serve with milk or curd
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations -  Instant homemade breakfast cereal

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Milk or curd
  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • Seasonal fruit

Advantage –

  • It’s tasty and quick to prepare.
  • It is very filling
  • Does not require much cooking skill
  • Once prepared and stored, it’s an instant breakfast option

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes (try to use less jaggery powder), PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism during pregnancy and lactation

8. Sandwich

Instead of taking bread and jam, having a vegetable/ egg/paneer-filled sandwich is always a healthy choice. Bread is made with refined flour.  Adding jam which is loaded with sugar makes it a bad combination lacking in most of the nutrients.

13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - sandwich

Ingredients –

Basic ingredient  Possible variation as per the filing
  Bread  Raw vegetables
Cooked vegetable mixture
Paneer bhurji
Chicken fillet
Egg- vegetable  

Process in Brief –

  • Prepare the sandwitch filling as per your choice. It could be raw vegetables(cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce, capcicum etc), cooked vegetable (chopped carrot, beans, beetroot, capsicum etc), sliced boiled egg,  paneer bhurji, chicken fillet etc
  • Place the filling in between two bread
  • Grill/ toast it
  • Ready to serve

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Add green chutney as dip
  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • Seasonal fruit

Advantage –

  • It’s tasty and quick to prepare.
  • It is very filling
  • Does not require much cooking skill

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes (try to use less jaggery powder), PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism during pregnancy and lactation

9. Stuffed paratha

Parathas are the most favorite breakfast option, especially in north India. Don’t think it’s unhealthy. Stuffed paratha with butter on top is actually a healthy option for breakfast.

13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - palak paratha

Ingredients and possible 10 common variations –

Basic ingredient   Possible variation with different filling
Wheat flour  Moong dal
Spinach
Methi
Potato
Raddish
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Beetroot
Carrot
Paneer

Process in Brief –

  • Choose your filling and prepare the filling
  • Make the dough
  • Put the filling inside the small ball of dough
  • Roll it carefully
  • Fry it with ghee
  • Serve hot

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Curd
  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • Seasonal fruit

Advantage –

  • Stuffed parathas are yummy
  • When paratha is having a stuffing of dal or any type of vegetables it actually improve the micronutrient and fiber content. Moreover when it istopped with ghee/ butter it improves the calorie value.
  • The mixture of dal/ vegetable/ ghee/ butter with whole wheat flour reduce the blood sugar spike and takes time to digest giving steady blood sugar response.

Suitable for –

  • Occasional consumption for weight gain, diabetes (try to restrict within 1 paratha), PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism, during pregnancy and lactation

10. Stew/ broth –

Stew/ broth are healthy choices for breakfast. Again for this preparation, very little cooking skill is required. Adding 2-4 groups of food makes stew/ broth nutritious and filling.

Ingredients –

Basic ingredient  Possible addition for variation
  Mixed Vegetables  A handful of dal/ sprouts
Chicken
Corn
Oats
Paneer  
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations- stew/ broth

Process in Brief –

  • Chop different types of  vegetables and wash thoroughly
  • Add handful of dal or few pieces of shredded chicken or handful of corn or oats or few cubes of paneer along with the chopped vegetables
  • Take everything in a pot and add loads of water
  • Add seasoning of ginger, onion, garlic, chilli and salt (as per taste)
  • Boil for 20 mins or pressure cook upto 4-5 wistle
  • Add black pepper and butter or ghee from top

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • 1-2 slices of bread
  • Boiled egg or,
  • 1 handful of sprouts
  • Seasonal fruit (avoid sweet fruit if you have diabetes)

Advantage –

  • Easy to cook, highly nutritious
  • Soft and tasty
  • Very filling
  • Does not require much cooking skills

Suitable for –

  • Weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, PCOD, hypertension, hypothyroidism during pregnancy and lactation

Breakfast ideas with 4-10 hrs preparation time & 20 minutes of cooking time

11.Dosa  12. Idli and 13. uttapam

Dosa is one of the most popular breakfasts all over India. This fermented preparation is not only healthy but also very tasty.

13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - uttapam

Ingredients and 6 possible variations of dosa, idli and uttapam –

Grain (3 parts)Other ingredients
Rice or,
Jowar or,
Bajra or,
Ragi or,
Buckwheat or,
Green Moong dal
 Urad dal (1 part)
Methi (1 teaspoon)
Poha/ cooked rice (1-2 handful)

Process in Brief –

  • Pick your grain
  • Soak 3 parts of any grain and 1 parts of urad dal separately for 4-5 hrs
  • Mix the soaked grain and dal, add methi, salt, cooked rice/ poha to it
  • Blend the entire mixture well
  • Leave it to get fermented for another 5 hrs.
  • Once fermentation takes place, assume the dosa batter is ready
  • Heat the pan and moist it with some water
  • Stir the batter

For Dosa:

  • Pour a ladle of batter on pan, spread it well
  • Let it cook for 2 minutes
  • Add little ghee on top
  • Wrap it and serve hot.
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations- dosa

For Idli :

  • Take idli pan and grease with ghee/oil
  • Pour 1 ladle of batter to each idli counter
  • Steam for 3-4 minutes
  • Take out the idli and serve hot

For Uttapam:

  • Heat the pan and moist it with water
  • Pour 1 ladle of batter on pan
  • Spread it nicely
  • Add some chopped vegetables on top
  • Allow to cook for 2 minutes
  • Serve hot

To make the breakfast complete accompany with –

  • Samber (mixute of dal and vegetables) for Dosa and Idli
  • Chutney

Advantage –

  • It is tasty and very filling
  • During fermentation the complex form of the nutrients present in the food converted into their simpler form.
  • The fermented batter makes the dish easy to digest
  • Once dosa/ idli is consumed with sambar and chutney , it gives a steady blood sugar response
13 Healthy Indian breakfast ideas with 85 variations - idli

Bottom line

Make sure you bring variety while choosing the grains. Plan your menu in advance for the next 7 days. Shop accordingly and do some meal preparation. It will make the breakfast preparation process easy. Don’t forget to add 3-4 food groups while planning your breakfast. It will instantly make your breakfast more wholesome and healthy.

administrator
Dr. Soma Chakrabarty has done her Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition in 2017. She is based in Hyderabad. She has 12 yrs of working experience in nutrition. Dr. Soma guides people to modify eating behavior and achieve the goal of wellness. She believes in a sustainable diet that helps people to live rather than survive.

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