From Upma To Ragi Dosa, 8 Indian Foods Low In Calories
Image Credit: Nutritious upma, Image Source: Shutterstock

Why do most Indians fail to follow a diet for too long? When I asked this a professional nutritionist, her answers made legit sense. According to her, every Indian region has a staple diet, and people are used to eating them. Thus, a sudden change in their food habits by introducing a lot of salads and soups and ruling out Indian dishes can never be a sustainable practice. So what are the solutions? Aren't Indian foods too decadent and dense in calories? The answer is a clear no!

Contrary to how Indian food is perceived as rich, oily and high in calories, not all dishes are the same. There is a plethora of Indian food that is low in calories yet tasty and nourishing. So, as the nutritionist sensitised me, I looked at a few Indian dishes that were unbelievably low in calories.

Meanwhile, it is also upon us how to choose the ingredients and use the cooking fat (oil, ghee, butter) to make them healthy. So, let's have a look at 8 Indian foods low in calories. 


Adding to the growing list of healthy, low-calorie dishes from India comes another South Indian staple. Upma is a tasty and nutritious South Indian dish often cooked with a variety of vegetables, roasted almonds, and spices. Substitute rolled oats or dalia for the semolina to boost its nutritional value. It works as well in the morning or evening. The calorie count for one serving of upma is 192.

Saabudana Khichdi

Saabudana khichdi is a staple during the fasting season in most Indian households. However, this is a dish that can be enjoyed at any time of year. You may find that it's a healthy, low-calorie option. In addition, there's no fuss involved, and it's packed with beneficial ingredients like fibre, protein, and fat. Tapioca pearls are soaked, and then a variety of vegetables, nuts and spices are mixed together to create this popular dish. Saabudana khichdi has about 262 calories per cup. If you're watching your calorie intake, you should skip the potatoes. 

Palak Khichdi

If you're searching for low-calorie Indian food, palak khichdi is a great option. Fibre, vitamin K, folic acid, and good fats make it nutritious. If you don't want to use rice, you can substitute dalia, millet, or oats. Palak khichdi is a complete meal that can help you feel full. The calorie count for just one serving of palak khichdi is 212.

Ragi Dosa

Healthy ragi dosa, Image Credit:

Dosa is a staple cuisine in South India and is prepared by fermenting a batter of rice and urad dal. It contains nutrients, including whole grains, protein, and fibre. Accordingly, it's a healthy meal that satisfies your appetite and aids in your weight reduction efforts. However, if you want to cut down on calories, you may use ragi or finger millet for the rice.

Moong Dal Cheela

This low-calorie Indian dish may be enjoyed as a main meal at any time if you keep a batter of soaked and ground moong dal on hand. It's a simple and fast dish to prepare. It's good for you and will keep you full for hours. Moreover, your cheela might benefit from the addition of some flavorful spices. Use sprouted moong dal for added nutritional value. The typical serving of moong dal cheela comprises just 128 calories.


Poha is the greatest thing to consume if you're watching your calorie intake as part of your effort to lose weight. Include a wide variety of nutritious vegetables, such as carrots, French beans, green peas, and cauliflower, to increase its health quotient. Use dry-roasted peanuts instead of fried ones. Choose unpolished, thick, flattened rice flakes instead of refined versions for the same effect. 


Fluffy dhokla, Image Source:

Dhoka is a highly sought-after Gujarati treat. It has a fluffy texture and a savoury flavour. Besan, yoghurt, lime juice, and semolina come together to form this tasty cake. The oil content of this fermented and steamed treat is relatively low. It's the ideal calorie-free munchie. Only 152 calories may be found in a single dhokla.

Oats Idli

Idlis are incredibly light and fluffy, and we all love them. This common breakfast dish in southern India is highly nutritious and low in calories. The standard idli may be incorporated into your diet. However, rolled oats may be substituted for rice if that's not your thing. Complete with filling proteins and fibre, it will keep you satisfied for longer. About 30 calories may be found in one oats idli.