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Easy Indian Breakfast Recipes: Start Your Day Deliciously

Begin your culinary journey through the diverse and flavorful world of Indian breakfast cuisine. With a rich tapestry of ingredients, techniques, and regional influences, you’ll learn how to master traditional Indian breakfast dishes and create healthier, balanced, and delicious meals. From the aromatic Indian chai to the classic idli and dosa, your taste buds will thank you for exploring this enticing breakfast experience.

Selecting traditional Indian ingredients

Selecting Traditional Indian Ingredients for a Flavorful Breakfast

Indian breakfast recipes are well-known for their vibrant flavors, unique textures, and wholesome ingredients. This guide will help you learn about common traditional ingredients used in Indian breakfast recipes and offer tips for selecting the best ones to make your meal truly delicious.

Ingredients to look for:

1. Grains:

  • a. Rice: Basmati rice is the most popular rice variety used in Indian breakfast dishes, known for its fragrant aroma and long, slender grains. Choose high-quality aged Basmati rice to ensure optimal flavor.
  • b. Wheat: Whole wheat flour, also known as atta, is commonly used to make Indian flatbreads such as parathas and chapatis. Look for whole wheat flour that is labeled as “chakki ground” for the most authentic taste.

2. Legumes:

  • a. Split pigeon peas (toor dal): Yellow split pigeon peas are commonly used for making Indian breakfast dishes like khichdi – a rice and lentil porridge. Look for bright yellow, evenly split peas free of bugs and debris.
  • b. Chickpeas (chana): Either whole chickpeas or split chickpeas (chana dal) can be used for breakfast dishes like Chole Bhature or Chana Masala. Choose firm, intact chickpeas without any signs of weevils or moisture damage.
  • c. Black gram (urad dal): These small, black legumes are essential for making dishes like dosa and idli. Select shiny, whole black gram without any broken pieces.

3. Spices:

  • a. Cumin seeds: Cumin’s earthy, warm flavor is a cornerstone of Indian breakfast dishes like Upma and Poha. Select cumin seeds that are uniform in size and have a strong, pleasant aroma.
  • b. Mustard seeds: These small, round seeds give a slightly bitter, pungent flavor to many Indian dishes. Look for shiny, deep black mustard seeds with no visible signs of moisture.
  • c. Turmeric: This golden spice is not only a key ingredient in many Indian dishes, but also has numerous health benefits. Choose vibrant, deep-yellow ground turmeric that has a strong, distinctive aroma.

4. Fresh produce:

  • a. Ginger and garlic: These aromatic ingredients are essential for many Indian breakfast dishes. Choose firm, plump ginger and garlic with no soft spots, mold, or other signs of spoilage.
  • b. Green chilies: Indian breakfast recipes often call for a touch of heat from fresh green chilies. Select firm, glossy chilies with no blemishes or signs of decay.
  • c. Cilantro: Fresh cilantro, also known as coriander, adds a bright, citrusy flavor to Indian breakfast dishes. Choose bright green, fresh-smelling cilantro leaves with no signs of wilting.

5. Dairy:

Indian breakfast dishes also incorporate dairy products like yogurt and paneer, a fresh cheese. Choose high-quality, fresh yogurt with a pleasant tangy flavor, and make sure to purchase paneer that is soft and moist without any signs of mold or discolored edges.

6. Oils:

Traditionally, Indian breakfast recipes call for the use of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil. Ghee lends a rich, nutty taste to dishes, while coconut oil adds a subtle, sweet flavor. When choosing these oils, look for ones that are pure, without added flavors and preservatives.

A bowl of rice, a bunch of cilnatro, a bag of whole wheat flour, a jar of ghee, a bowl of split pigeon peas, and a bag of turmeric on a brown table.

Preparing Indian chai (tea)

Preparing Indian Chai (Tea)

Objective: Master the art of making chai, the popular Indian tea, with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • 4 tsp loose black tea or 4 tea bags (Assam or Darjeeling tea)
  • 2 whole green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  • 2-4 tsp sugar or honey (adjust to taste)
  • A small strainer (if using loose tea)


1. Begin by assembling all the required ingredients.

2. In a saucepan, combine the water, crushed cardamom pods, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, and chopped ginger. Allow the water to come to a boil over high heat.

3. Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium and let the spices simmer in the water for about 3-5 minutes. This will help to infuse the water with their rich flavors.

4. Add the loose tea or teabags to the spiced water. If using loose tea, you may want to use a small strainer or tea infuser for easier removal later. Allow the tea to steep and the water to darken for about 2-3 minutes. You may adjust this time depending on how strong you prefer your tea.

5. Pour in the milk and stir gently, ensuring that everything is thoroughly mixed. Allow the mixture to heat up, but watch closely to avoid the milk from boiling over.

6. When the chai is heated, remove the saucepan from the heat. If using loose tea, let it sit for about a minute to allow the tea to settle to the bottom of the saucepan or carefully strain out the tea leaves.

7. Sweeten the chai to your taste with sugar or honey, stirring continuously to ensure it blends well.

8. If using tea bags, carefully remove them before serving. Pour the chai into cups or traditional Indian tea glasses, using a small strainer if needed, and enjoy your aromatic and delightful Indian chai (tea).

Note: Feel free to experiment with different spices or adjust the measurements according to your taste preferences. You can also try using alternative sweeteners, like jaggery or maple syrup, for a unique twist.

A hot cup of chai tea with aromatic spices and herbs, sitting on a wooden table next to a small bowl of loose tea and a cinnamon stick

Cooking popular Indian breakfast dishes

Cooking Popular Indian Breakfast Dishes

Indian cuisine is popular worldwide due to its incredible variety, amazing flavors, and healthy ingredients. Indian breakfast dishes, in particular, are filling, nutritious, and enjoyable to eat. Some popular Indian breakfast dishes are idli, dosa, poha, and paratha. In this guide, we will explore and learn how to cook these delightful dishes using easy-to-follow steps and ingredients commonly found at home or in your local supermarket.


  • 1 cup of urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 cups of idli rice or parboiled rice
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, as required


  1. Rinse and soak the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together in a bowl for 4-6 hours. In another bowl, rinse and soak the rice for the same period.
  2. Once the ingredients are soaked, drain the water from both mixtures. Grind the urad dal and fenugreek seeds into a smooth paste, adding water as needed.
  3. Separately, grind the soaked rice into a coarse paste by adding a little water to it.
  4. Combine both mixtures and add salt to taste. Mix well to form a smooth batter.
  5. Allow the batter to ferment in a warm place for 8-10 hours or overnight.
  6. Once the batter has fermented, heat an idli steamer or pressure cooker and grease the idli molds with oil.
  7. Pour the fermented batter into the molds and steam for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the idlis using a spatula and serve them hot with coconut chutney and sambar.


  • Dosa batter (use the same batter from the idli recipe above)
  • Oil, as needed


  1. Heat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle some water on the skillet; if it sizzles, the skillet is ready.
  2. Stir the fermented dosa batter and pour a ladleful onto the pan. Spread the batter outwards using a circular motion, forming a thin pancake.
  3. Drizzle some oil around the dosa’s edges. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the dosa turns golden brown and crispy on the bottom.
  4. Flip the dosa and cook for another minute on the other side.
  5. Fold the dosa into a half or roll it up, then transfer it onto a plate. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.


  • 2 cups of flattened rice (poha)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Rinse the poha in a colander with water and allow it to drain well. Fluff it up using a fork and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida. Allow the seeds to sputter.
  3. Add the chopped onions and green chilies, and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  4. Stir in the turmeric powder and roasted peanuts. Mix well, then add the soaked poha and salt to taste.
  5. Mix everything gently and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  6. Add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves in the poha. Mix well and serve hot.


  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water, as needed
  • Oil or ghee, as needed


  1. In a bowl, mix the whole wheat flour with salt and gradually add water, kneading the dough until it becomes soft and pliable. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into equally-sized balls. Roll out each ball into a thin circle, using a floured rolling surface and rolling pin.
  3. Heat a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the rolled dough on the skillet and cook for a few seconds until small air bubbles appear.
  4. Flip the paratha and apply a teaspoon of oil or ghee on the cooked side. After a few seconds, flip it again and apply oil or ghee on the other side.
  5. Cook the paratha until both sides have golden brown spots on them, pressing gently with a spatula to ensure even cooking.
  6. Transfer the cooked paratha onto a plate and serve with yogurt, pickle, or any curry of your choice.

A collage of idli, dosa, poha, and paratha, the four popular Indian breakfast dishes.

Incorporating regional Indian breakfast cuisine

Incorporating Regional Indian Breakfast Cuisine: Exploring Dishes from North, South, East, and West India

Indian cuisine is rich and diverse, with each region offering a unique array of dishes that reflect local ingredients, techniques, and traditions. In this guide, we’ll explore some popular breakfast dishes from North, South, East, and West India, and unpack the key characteristics that set them apart. As you familiarize yourself with these flavors and methods, you’ll find it easy to bring the vibrant tastes of Indian regional breakfast cuisine to your own kitchen.

North Indian Breakfast Dishes

  • Aloo paratha:

    This popular North Indian flatbread recipe is made with whole wheat flour and stuffed with a spiced potato mixture. It is typically cooked on a griddle and served with yogurt or butter. To make aloo paratha, prepare a simple dough made of whole wheat flour and water, then stuff with seasoned mashed potatoes. Cook on a hot griddle until golden brown and serve with a side of yogurt or butter.

  • Chole bhature:

    This classic Punjabi dish consists of spicy chickpea curry served with deep-fried bread called bhature. To achieve the best flavor, soak dried chickpeas overnight and cook with spices like garam masala, cumin, and coriander. Serve with freshly fried bhature for a satisfying breakfast.

South Indian Breakfast Dishes

  • Masala dosa:

    Thin rice and lentil crepes filled with spiced potatoes make up this South Indian favorite. To make masala dosa, soak rice and urad dal for a few hours, then grind into a smooth batter. Ferment the batter overnight before using it to make thin crepes on a hot griddle. Stuff them with a spiced potato mixture and serve with coconut chutney and sambar.

  • Idli:

    Soft and fluffy rice and lentil cakes that are steamed and served with chutneys and sambar. Prepare them by soaking rice and urad dal for several hours, then grinding and fermenting the mixture overnight. Steam the batter using idli molds, and serve with coconut chutney and sambar.

East Indian Breakfast Dishes

  • Poha:

    This quick and easy recipe from the East Indian region, particularly Maharashtra, consists of flattened rice cooked with onions, peas, and spices. To make poha, soak flattened rice in water for a few minutes, then cook with sautéed onions, peas, and spices like mustard seeds and turmeric. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon.

  • Luchi with aloo dum:

    A classic Bengali breakfast that includes deep-fried bread made from all-purpose flour served with a spicy potato curry. To make luchi, prepare a simple dough of all-purpose flour and water, then deep-fry small portions in hot oil. Serve the luchi with aloo dum, a spiced potato dish cooked in a flavorful tomato-based gravy.

West Indian Breakfast Dishes

  • Dhokla:

    This popular Gujarati snack is made from a fermented rice and chickpea flour batter that’s steamed and cut into squares, then garnished with mustard seeds, green chilies, and cilantro. To make dhokla, prepare a batter, ferment it for a few hours, then steam in a flat dish until fluffy and cooked through. Once cooled, cut into squares and garnish as desired.

  • Poha:

    In addition to Maharashtra, poha is also a popular breakfast item in the West Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In these regions, poha may be prepared with additional ingredients like grated coconut, sesame seeds, and curry leaves.


Indian regional breakfast cuisine showcases the vast array of flavors, ingredients, and techniques found throughout the subcontinent. By exploring these traditional dishes, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how regional variations shape each meal. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at these recipes, and introduce your own twists to bring the tastes of North, South, East, and West India into your home kitchen.

A photo of Indian regional breakfast dishes: aloo paratha, chole bhature, masala dosa, idli, poha, luchi with aloo dum, and dhokla

Creating healthier Indian breakfast options

Creating Healthier Indian Breakfast Options: Retaining Authentic Flavors

Indian cuisine is a world of rich flavors and diverse dishes that have been satisfying palates for centuries. Indian breakfast options are no exception, with traditional recipes featuring flavorful combinations of spices, grains, vegetables, and proteins. However, some of these dishes can be high in fat, sugar, and calories, which may not fit into everyone’s health and fitness goals. With a few modifications, you can create healthier Indian breakfast options that retain authentic flavors while being packed with nutrients and nourishing energy.

Spinach and Egg Bhurji (Scrambled Spinach and Eggs)


  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee


  1. Heat oil or ghee in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, ginger-garlic paste, and green chili (if using). Sauté until fragrant and onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add turmeric powder, cumin, coriander, and salt, and mix well.
  5. Lower the heat and add whisked eggs, stirring gently to evenly mix the ingredients and cook the eggs to desired consistency.
  6. Serve hot with whole wheat toast or pita bread.

Overnight Chia and Oats Kheer (Pudding)


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1.5 cups almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup grated or chopped apple
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, or walnuts)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • A pinch of saffron strands (optional)


  1. In a bowl or jar, mix together oats, chia seeds, almond milk, cardamom powder, and honey or maple syrup.
  2. Let the mixture sit overnight (or at least 4 hours) in the refrigerator.
  3. When ready to eat, stir the mixture well and adjust consistency by adding more milk if needed.
  4. Top with grated apples, chopped nuts, and saffron strands (if using), and enjoy your wholesome and delicious Indian breakfast pudding.

Quinoa Upma


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, beans)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
  • 2 cups water
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnishing


  1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat, and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  2. Add onion and green chilies (if using), and sauté until onions turn translucent.
  3. Stir in mixed vegetables, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add quinoa and water, stirring to mix well.
  5. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until quinoa is cooked and water has been absorbed, approximately 15-20 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
  7. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve.

In conclusion, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious Indian breakfast options by making simple adjustments and incorporating healthier ingredients. Not only will these dishes satisfy your taste buds, but they’ll also help you maintain a well-balanced lifestyle. Happy cooking and enjoy your breakfast!

Three Indian breakfast dishes arranged on a wooden table: Spinach and Egg Bhurji, Overnight Chia and Oats Kheer, and Quinoa Upma.

Pairing Indian breakfast dishes with sides and accompaniments

Title: Pairing Indian Breakfast Dishes with Sides and Accompaniments

Indian breakfast dishes are known for their flavorful, hearty, and satisfying nature. To elevate the dining experience, it’s essential to understand the perfect pairings of these dishes with delectable sides and accompaniments. In this article, we will provide some popular Indian breakfast dishes and suggest the ideal pairings with chutneys, pickles, sambhar, and other delightful sides to make your Indian breakfast a well-rounded meal.

Dosa with Coconut Chutney and Sambhar

Dosa, a crispy and savory rice-and-lentil pancake, is one of the most popular Indian breakfast dishes. The best accompaniments for dosa are coconut chutney and sambhar, a spicy lentil soup. The sweetness of the coconut chutney balances the tangy and spicy flavors of the sambhar, making for a harmonious and satisfying meal.

Idli with Tomato & Onion Chutney and Sambhar

Idli, a steamed rice cake, is another popular South Indian breakfast dish. Pair idli with tangy and spicy tomato and onion chutney along with some comforting sambhar. These sides complement the soft and fluffy texture of idli, creating a perfect balance of flavors.

Puri with Potato Masala and Mango Pickle

Puri, a deep-fried Indian bread, is often enjoyed with a side of potato masala or aloo bhaji – a spicy potato curry. Add some tanginess to the plate with sweet and spicy mango pickle, which will elevate the overall taste experience.

Paratha with Yogurt and Pickle

Paratha, a flaky and layered Indian flatbread, is typically served with yogurt and your choice of pickle. You can opt for a tangy lime pickle or a spicy mixed vegetable pickle, depending on your flavor preferences. The cool, creamy yogurt helps temper the spice levels and adds a smooth, refreshing contrast to the meal.

Poha with Sev and Green Chutney

Poha, a popular Maharashtrian breakfast dish, is made with flattened rice and an assortment of spices and vegetables. Pair poha with crunchy Sev (a fried gram flour snack) and a drizzle of green chutney made with cilantro and mint. The Sev adds a crispy texture, while the chutney adds a refreshing burst of flavor to the dish.

Upma with Coconut Chutney and Ghee

Upma, a savory semolina porridge, is a comforting and hearty breakfast dish. Pair it with coconut chutney for a sweet and savory combination and a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) for added richness and aroma.

Chole Bhature with Raita and Pickle

Chole Bhature, a Punjabi dish, consists of spicy chickpea curry served with deep-fried bread called Bhature. Pair this dish with cooling cucumber raita (yogurt with grated cucumber and spices) to balance the heat, and your choice of tangy pickle to add depth to the flavors.

The perfect combination of Indian breakfast dishes and their accompanying sides not only enhances the flavor profiles but also adds various textures to the meal. With these pairings, you can indulge in a delicious and well-rounded Indian breakfast that will amaze your taste buds.

Image source:

Alt text: A photo of a traditional Indian lunch box with various dishes, including rice, dal, and vegetables, on a white background.

Planning a delicious Indian breakfast menu

Planning a Delicious Indian Breakfast Menu

Indian cuisine is known for its diverse range of flavors and ingredients, making it an exciting and delicious choice for breakfast. This guide will walk you through the process of planning a balanced and mouthwatering Indian breakfast menu, perfect for any enthusiast looking to broaden their culinary skills.

Start with a Base:

– Choose a base such as roti, paratha, dosa, or idli. These are common Indian breads and pancakes that serve as the foundation of many breakfast dishes.

– Depending on your preference and time, you can either buy ready-made bases from a local Indian store or prepare them from scratch using simple recipes available on the internet.

Prepare a Main Dish:

– Indian breakfasts often include a flavorful and satisfying main dish. Some popular options are:

  • a. Poha: Flattened rice cooked with onions, potatoes, and spices
  • b. Upma: Semolina cooked with vegetables and spices
  • c. Chole bhature: Chickpea curry served with deep-fried bread
  • d. Aloo paratha: Stuffed bread with a spicy potato filling

– Make sure to choose a main dish that complements your selected base.

Include a Protein Source:

– A well-balanced Indian breakfast should also have a good source of protein. Some options include:

  • a. Paneer bhurji: Scrambled Indian cottage cheese with spices
  • b. Egg curry: Hard-boiled eggs cooked in a flavorful tomato gravy
  • c. Masoor dal: Red lentil soup seasoned with various Indian spices

Add a Side Dish:

– Side dishes help to enhance the overall taste and variety of the breakfast spread. Some popular side dishes are:

  • a. Raita: A yogurt-based dish made with cucumber, tomato, or onion
  • b. Chutney: A sauce made with fresh ingredients such as cilantro, mint, or coconut
  • c. Pickles: Tangy and spicy preserved vegetables or fruits

– Choose a side dish that complements your main dish and adds to the overall flavor profile.

Plan a Beverage:

– Indian beverages are both refreshing and flavorful, adding a perfect finishing touch to your breakfast. Popular options include:

  • a. Masala chai: Spiced tea made with ginger, cardamom, and other spices
  • b. Lassi: A yogurt-based drink that can be sweet or savory
  • c. Filter coffee: South Indian brewed coffee with a distinctive taste

Don’t Forget Dessert:

– If you want to include a dessert option in your breakfast menu, some Indian sweets are perfect for a morning treat.

  • a. Jalebi: Deep-fried, bright orange, sugar-coated pretzel-like pastries
  • b. Kheer: Rice pudding flavored with cardamom, saffron, and nuts
  • c. Malpua: Sweet, soft, thin Indian pancakes


By following these simple steps, you can craft a balanced, flavorful, and delicious Indian breakfast menu to impress your family and guests. Always consider the preferences of your audience and feel free to mix and match dishes and flavors. Experiment with different combinations and discover the joy of Indian cuisine in your breakfast routine. Enjoy your meal!

A plate of Indian breakfast including dosa, idli, chutney, sambar, and coconut chutney.

Embarking on this Indian breakfast adventure will not only strengthen your cooking skills but also broaden your palate and appreciation for the intricate flavors and nuances of Indian cuisine. Whether you’re hosting a brunch for friends or simply adding variety to your everyday meals, these Indian breakfast recipes, regional specialties, and healthier alternatives will become cherished additions to your culinary repertoire. Bon Appétit, or as they say in India, बॉन एपेटी!

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