Breakfast—the first meal of the day is considered to be the most important one. It’s also a meal with a massive range and choice of foods, varying widely between regions. Breakfasts around the world are affected by cultures and regional food crops. India has many rich and diverse culinary traditions and therefore the country offers a staggering variety of breakfasts. There is no one Indian breakfast! Breakfast cuisine in India varies hugely, depending on the region, giving us a dizzying array of traditional dishes consumed in different states across the country. Seen together these traditional Indian food for breakfasts reflect incredible culinary diversity as well as a thread of continuity in the food habits of different regions in India.
Try The Most Popular And Delicious Indian Breakfast Dishes
1. Classic Puttu—Kerala
This healthy Indian breakfast puttu is made from two of the most common ingredients in Kerala: rice and coconut. This is a soft, steamed rice cake and usually served with a curry made with kadala (black chickpeas). You can try your own puttu-kadala breakfast with this recipe.
2. A Mix Of Sweet And Savoury Poha-Jalebi—Madhya Pradesh
While poha and jalebi are two different dishes, they make up a popular combination of traditional Indian food for breakfast fare in Madhya Pradesh. It is served with jeera (cumin) powder and sev namkeen (a savoury snack made with chickpea flour or besan). You can make your own poha-jalebi combo with this recipe.
3. Light Pesarattu Upma—Andhra Pradesh
This wholesome yet pretty light lentil dosa is made from a batter of ground green gram dal and stuffed with semolina upma. Make your own persarattu upma by following the recipe here.
4. Quick Jolpaan—Assam
This traditional Indian food for breakfast from Assam is both healthy and easy to make. Also known as Bhogali Jalpan, it is a no-cook breakfast. It comprises soaked chivda/chira or flattened rice, served along with curd and jaggery on the side. Try it yourself with this recipe.
Also read: 5 traditional dishes from Assam you must try
5. Spicy Patal Bhaji Or Tonak—Goa
While it may look similar to the Mumbai street snack pao bhaji, Goa’s patal bhaji or tonak is a spicy curry made with potatoes, coconut, roasted whole spices, and sometimes dry white peas. The curry is usually served with soft and fluffy pav that is freshly baked in wood-fired mud ovens by local bakeries every morning. Make your own by following the recipe here.
6. Mouth-Watering Kanda Poha—Maharashtra
This tasty and filling breakfast from Maharashtra is prepared with flattened or beaten rice, spices, peanuts, potatoes and onions. Try your hand at making kanda (onion) poha with this recipe here.
7. Hot And Crispy Sattu Paranthas—Bihar
Bihar’s traditional breakfast of choice is sattu paranthas. It is prepared from sattu, roasted channa dal flour and grains. The parantha is stuffed with sattu flour, chopped onion, green chilli, ginger, garlic, ajwain, cooked on a tawa and served with curd. Here is the recipe for some delicious sattu paranthas.
8. Refresh Yourself With Bread And Sheer Chai—Jammu and Kashmir
The northernmost state of India bakes in traditional clay ovens or tandoors, so a typical breakfast often comprises freshly-baked bread bought from the local bakery, and served with butter. It’s had with salty ‘noon’ chai or sheer chai.
9. Thin And Crisp Akki Roti—Karnataka
In Kannada, akki roti means ‘rice bread’. This unique regional dish is a thin pancake made of rice flour, chopped vegetables and spices, and is served with molgapodi (gun powder). You can make your own here.
Also read: 18 delicious Karnataka foods to try
10. Tempting Chakli Pitha—Orissa
These are fried flat rice cakes prepared using rice flour, black gram, refined edible oil, and salt. They are eaten with ghuguni or white pea curry. Make your own chakuli pitha using the recipe here.
11. Hot Mirchi Vadas—Rajasthan
Add some chilli to your breakfast with Jodhpur’s fiery mirchi vadas. This unique traditional Indian breakfast is made with big green chilli peppers which are stuffed with spicy aloo masala and fried and served with spicy green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Try your hand in the kitchen to make your own mirchi vadas with this recipe here.
12. Healthy And Light Bai—Mizoram
A traditional Mizo breakfast comprises rice with bai, a mixed vegetable stew cooked with fermented pork, green chillies and a dash of baking soda. Bai usually contains mustard leaf, brinjal, potatoes and cabbage, but no spices or salt. Make your own bai using this recipe here.
13. Fiery Sarva Pindi—Telangana
This breakfast is a savoury pancake made with rice flour or broken rice rawa. The dish is flavoured with curry leaves, lime juice and mustard seeds. Try making your own using this recipe.
14. Yummy Aloo Gutke—Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand’s favourite breakfast features paranthas and aloo gutke. The latter is a dish of potatoes tempered with a rare pungent Tibetan herb called jamboo. You can try this easy recipe to make some aloo gutke at home.
15. Scrumptious Fara—Chattisgarh
The delicious breakfast is prepared with rice flour dumplings called fara or muthia. They are steamed, not fried, with various spices and served with mint chutney. Try this recipe to make faras at home.
16. Simple And Filling Siddus—Himachal Pradesh
This Himachali breakfast features siddu, a steamed bread made from wheat flour and yeast, stuffed with onion, chillies, coriander and khus khus (poppy seeds). Siddu is served with ghee and green chutney. Make your own siddus using this recipe here.
17. Gluten-free Khura—Arunachal Pradesh
This gluten-free breakfast from Arunachal Pradesh is a buckwheat pancake traditionally served with butter tea prepared with yak milk. These healthy pancakes are very easy to make and can be served with chutney or chai. Make the traditional khura using this recipe here.
18. Divine Tan—Manipur
This typically Manipuri breakfast includes a delicious mix of tan and changaang or sweet black tea. Tan is a savoury flatbread that might resemble a puri and is usually made from a mix of rice flour, salt and water. Make your own tan using this recipe.
Explore The Different States Of India Through Their Traditional Breakfast Dishes
While the list cannot possibly cover the endless regional variations of different Indian breakfasts, these are some of the more popular ones. Trying authentic food is a great way to immerse yourself in a new place, and experience local life. Every time you travel to a new state in India, start your day with one of these traditional breakfasts. And even when you aren’t travelling, you can try and bring the taste of these states home by trying to put them together in your kitchen. Do let us know about your experiences in the comment section below!