How many times have you heard the quote: “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like pauper”? How many (or in the case of most us, few) times have you followed through?
If not for anything else, focus on your breakfast for the love of a fit and fab DSLR-DP-ready frame which a healthy and nutritious breakfast is sure to guarantee, if findings by Kings College scientists are anything to go by. With India’s diverse victual tradition offering a host of healthy breakfast options, there’s hardly any need to look West. Here are 22 such options; read on and tomorrow morning, dig in:
Flattened rice seasoned with light flavours and your favourite vegetables, Poha is a healthy Indian breakfast staple that is at once tasty, nutritious and light enough for a morning meal. Bringing together moderate amounts of carbs, vitamins and proteins, it manages to do something extremely elusive: being delicious AND healthy simultaneously. Just drop in tiny balls of monounsaturated fat in the form of some peanuts and that should ensure that your heart remains glad through the day, both metaphorically and otherwise.
2. Aloo Paratha
Mashed and spiced potatoes cocooned in light and crispy parathas make for a victual delight that can send your taste buds into a tizzy of unrestrained elation. Go easy on the accompanying butter or sauce if you are to maintain that enviable waistline.
3. Tomato Upma
Semolina (sooji) seasoned with light spices and cooked with nutritious veggies and protein-laden lentils, gets a tangy twist with the addition of ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes add to the charm of the regular Upma fare by making it tangier and tastier, while tossing in a nutritional bonus or two. Gorge it down merrily and stay assured that the lycopene is making you healthier than the rest.
4. Dal Paratha
A breakfast dish that reflects the proverbial jugaad tradition of the country, Dal Paratha welds convenience with functionality like no other. Simply stuff left-over dal (cooked pulse) in some dough and roll them into nice, yummy parathas that makes both you and your mother happy. Grab some chutney on your way to the breakfast table if you can and feel the flavours ricochet in your mouth and melt into a soft sensation as you gorge down the pieces of paratha dipped in chutney.
5. Moong Dal Chheela
The Indian response to pancake, Moong Dal Chheela can quickly become your comfort breakfast. Just toss in some vegetables, paneer and cashew nuts in the ground moong dal batter before frying it and you’re all set for a perfect, functional and delightful breakfast.
A traditional South Indian breakfast that has gained popularity across the country for its low calorie count, nutritional value and light, unobtrusive taste, Idli is a staple breakfast dish in many an Indian household. Tweak it by replacing the chutney with sauce or prepare the Idli batter with dry-roasted oats for a healthier delicacy. Too much work and too little time? Idli mixes are not hard to come by.
7. Sooji Halwa
Mixing the goodness of semolina and milk, while pleasing your insatiable sweet tooth, sooji halwa is a delightful sweetmeat delicacy to begin one’s day with. Toss in a few cashew nuts to balance out the sweetness and up the yum factor in your morning dose of happiness.
8. Remix Vada Pav
Twist your way around Maharashtra’s age old Vada Pav recipe to make it your own for a quick and spicy morning meal. Attempt differences in the Vada by adding chaana, tomatoes or asafoetida (hing) and feel the quirky flavours burst and melt in your mouth as you dig in.
9. Peas Kachori
Boiled, ground and spiced peas serving as the filling of the kachori makes sure that you cannot go wrong with the taste of this wintry breakfast delicacy. Pair with Kashmiri Aloo Dum or simply Cauliflower Curry and thank me later.
10. Luchi Torkari
Deep-fried, inviting discs of flour; or as Bengalis call them, luchis, are perfect food gasm stimulants for the Indian food junkies. Wolf them down with some curried vegetables (torkari) and thank me later. If you are the health-conscious foodie who avoids the word “deep-fried” like a plague, fret not. Research has conclusively proved that deep-frying, with the greater heat it generates, creates a pressure point that keeps the oil from oozing into the dish, and is technically healthier than shallow frying. Still credulous and concerned? Well, there’s always the weekly cheat day…
11. Gajar Ka Halwa
A melange of the goodness of carrots and the pleasure of sweetmeat, Gajar ka Halwa is the perfect breakfast choice for those with a sweet tooth but also an eye on the health parameters.
12. Aloo Tikiya
A popular north Indian snack of spiced, crisp potato patties, Aloo Tikiya can be served with spicy chickpea curry or with white pea curry. Add leftover bread as some binding agent, and you have a delicious and functional snack that doubles as breakfast.
13. Sabzi Khichdi
A filling and functional breakfast option, sabzi khichdi combines carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals by bringing together rice, lentils and an assortment of vegetables to a steamed and well-cooked mixture that satisfies both the stomach and the palate.
Thick fermented gram flour and yogurt batter steamed into soft, fluffy pillow-like squares and cooled before tempering and garnishing with mustard seeds, fresh coriander leaves and scraped coconut, Dhokla is a snack that originates in the state of Gujarat. For breakfast, dip and accompany with an assortment of chutneys and fried green chillies.
15. Fulkopi Polao
Chopped cauliflower cocooned in polao, and seasoned with the flavours of ghee and ginger, Fulkopi Polao is a quintessential Bengali breakfast dish that can easily be embraced by all people across the country.
A delicious dish made by cooking ingredients into the batter to create a thick pancake with toppings embedded in the batter itself, Utthapam is a South Indian low-oil delicacy that can be perfect for an early morning meal.
17. Paneer Stuffed Bhature
The Indian Bhatura stuffed with a spicy and yummy filling of Indian Cottage Cheese, served with chickpeas cooked in gravy, can make for a wonderful Sunday breakfast. It might be a little time-consuming when it comes to preparing it, but it is definitely worth the time invested.
18. Egg Aloo Roll
Egg yolk whisked and fried in bread or parathas and potato curry rolled into it is a perfect idea for the breakfast that requires little fancy ingredients but still satisfies the palate of a foodie.
19. Pav Bhaji
Indian bread with delicious bhaji, or curry, is a breakfast option that is hard to miss. Play around with the flavours in the bhaji and add or subtract ingredients like paneer for a unique breakfast experience.
Another yummy and popular South Indian breakfast option, Dosa is a crepe-like pancake made from fermented batter. Although it can be had even without an accompanying filling, the filling only serves to heighten its taste and enables one to weave in personal touches in the form of filling choices that deviate from the original curried and mashed potato filling.
Discs of flour filled with mashed and spiced lentils and deep-fried, Radhavallabhi is a Bengali delicacy the glory of which few dishes can rival. Dip and meld with aloo dum or chholar dal (white pea curry) and you will realize why this dish has maintained its top spot in the Bengali breakfast menu for years.
22. Sali Par Edu
A traditional Parsi breakfast, Sali Par Edu combines eggs and Sali (partially boiled and grated potatoes that are then deep-fried) and is seasoned with basic and subtle flavours to be paired with toast for a light and yummy breakfast.