Kerala's Puttu, Meghalaya's Jadoh: 7 Indian Breakfast Traditions
Image Credit: Puttu and kadala curry is a staple in Kerala for breakfast. Image via Wikimedia Commons

While Western traditional breakfasts reign supreme for most of our everyday breakfast, our country offers a platter of delightful traditional fares of breakfast traditions that vary from region to region. Let’s take a closer look at the typical breakfasts of some places in India and who knows it might tempt you to try them for your next morning meal. Here’s a glimpse into the delightful morning meals that grace the tables of Indian households:


In the southern state of Kerala, breakfast is a celebration of flavours influenced by the region's coastal geography. A traditional Kerala breakfast often features dishes like appam, a lacy rice pancake with a soft centre, served with a variety of accompaniments such as vegetable stew or coconut milk-based curries. Another popular choice is puttu, steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with grated coconut, often paired with kadala curry, a spicy black chickpea curry. The use of coconut and spices adds a unique touch to the breakfast experience in Kerala.


In Maharashtra, a state known for its vibrant street food culture, breakfast options are diverse and exciting. One popular choice is misal pav, a spicy curry made with sprouted lentils, topped with farsan (crunchy savoury mixtures) and served with pav (bread rolls). Another favourite is poha, a light and fluffy dish made from flattened rice, seasoned with mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry leaves. The fusion of flavours in Maharashtra's breakfast offerings reflects the state's cosmopolitan nature.

West Bengal

In West Bengal, breakfast is a delightful affair with a touch of sweetness. A typical Bengali breakfast often includes luchi, deep-fried puffed bread made from refined flour, served with aloo'r dum, a spicy potato curry. Another popular choice is radhaballabi, a stuffed lentil puri served with chholar dal, a flavourful lentil curry. The Bengali breakfast is known for its distinct flavours and the use of aromatic spices like mustard and panch phoron (a blend of five spices).


In Punjab, breakfast is often a hearty affair. A typical breakfast in this vibrant state may include a combination of parathas, stuffed with fillings like potato, paneer, or cauliflower, served with a side of fresh yoghurt or pickles. Another popular choice is chhole bhature, a delectable combination of spicy chickpea curry and deep-fried bread. The Punjabi breakfast is known for its robust flavours and generous portions, ensuring a satisfying start to the day.

Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, a state renowned for its rich culinary heritage, breakfast is dominated by South Indian delicacies. Idli, steamed rice cakes, and dosa, thin and crispy fermented crepes made from rice and lentils, take centre stage. These are typically served with an array of chutneys and sambhar, a flavourful lentil soup. Another popular choice is pongal, a delightful rice and lentil porridge cooked with ghee, pepper, and cumin seeds. The breakfast in Tamil Nadu showcases the art of South Indian cooking with its unique flavours and textures.


In the picturesque state of Meghalaya, breakfast is a delightful blend of flavours and textures that reflect the region's hilly terrain and rich agricultural produce. A typical Meghalayan breakfast often includes dishes like jadoh, a filling rice dish cooked with meat (usually pork) and a variety of aromatic spices. Another popular choice is pukhlein, a deep-fried sweet snack made from rice flour and jaggery. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it a perfect morning treat. Meghalaya is also known for its love of tea, and a cup of steaming hot Khasi tea, made with black tea leaves, milk, and sugar, is a common accompaniment to breakfast.


In the western state of Gujarat, breakfast is a celebration of vegetarian flavours and culinary traditions. A typical Gujarati breakfast often includes dishes like dhokla, steamed fermented rice and chickpea flour cakes, served with a tangy chutney made from coriander and mint. Another popular choice is thepla, a spiced flatbread made from wheat flour, fenugreek leaves, and spices, often enjoyed with a side of yoghurt or pickle. Gujarat is also famous for its fafda and jalebi combination, where crispy gram flour snacks (fafda) are paired with sweet and syrupy spiral-shaped pastries (jalebi). The breakfast in Gujarat showcases the state's love for vegetarian cuisine and its unique blend of flavours.

India's breakfast traditions are as diverse as its people and landscapes. From the hearty Punjabi Parathas to the coastal flavours of Kerala, and from the fusion delights of Maharashtra to the sweet Bengali breakfasts and South Indian delicacies of Tamil Nadu, each region offers a unique culinary experience. Exploring the breakfasts of different regions allows us to appreciate the rich tapestry of flavours and traditions that make Indian cuisine so vibrant and diverse. So, the next time you wake up hungry, embark on a culinary adventure and relish the flavours of India's regional breakfast delights.