Healthy and Delicious Breakfast of India – Food Guide for Travelers
A country as diverse as India does not hold one basic breakfast item as the iconic food to start the day. Each state and each culture has a specific signature breakfast item. Tourists visiting each state should try this signature dish at least once in their vacation. Each restaurant makes a variant of this dish.
We are presenting with the top dish of each state in the country that stand out as the iconic breakfast dish.
1. Andhra Pradesh
This state has a rich wealth of lentils. The soil in the state enriches the growth of legumes and beans. The iconic breakfast of this state is Pesarattu upma. Pesarattu is a spicy pancake made with whole green lentil. The pancake is stuffed with soft upma made with rawa. The side dish is usually spicy tomato or coconut chutney. The state has a very strong spicy palate. Thus, ask for a milder version if you are not able to handle the Indian spicy food. If you are looking for a beverage to wash down the breakfast, you can choose Irani chai (Irani tea) which is common in many places of Andhra Pradesh.
2. Arunachal Pradesh
The state has a good cultivation of buckwheat and the iconic dish that people start their day with is pancake made with buckwheat. It is called Khura. It is very hard to find a quality vegetarian food in this state, which is very focused on non-veg dishes.
Assam has two main breakfast dish made with almost same ingredients. Chira is a dish which is made overnight. Rice is cooked and made to soak in water overnight to become softer. It is then served with yogurt and jaggery (sweet). Pitha is another dish in which rice and flour is mixed with coconut and jaggery and, made into a bread like dish.
Bihar’s cuisine is very close to barley. The iconic breakfast of the state is Litti Chokha. It is a small bun made with toasted ground barley grains mixed with spices. It is served with spicy side dish. Jalebi (sweet) is also common here. If you want a heavier breakfast, you can try parathas made with whole wheat.
This city is famous for its rice rolls. Do not confuse it with idly of South India. These are steamed rice roll served as dry dish or in white sauce. Side dish is usually a spicy chutney made with mint leaves. It is served in fresh banana leaf in most of the restaurants.
Goa’s cuisine is very close to European cuisine. The main breakfast here is toasted bread or Pao. It is very similar to the street food of Maharashtra (Vada Pav or Pav bhajji). It is served with meat curry or tomato curry with mixed vegetables. You can find many variants of this dish depending on the side dish provided. At some restaurants, the bread is cut and soaked in the curry and served as a single dish.
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Suggested Tour : 4 Days Goa Tour
The state is very famous for use of chickpeas in many dishes. One such dish is dhokla. It is the iconic breakfast of the state. The dish is bright yellow in color served with mild garnish of greens. This dish is a treat to eyes too. It is made from a fermented batter of rice and chickpea. It is also served as snack. Khaman is a similar dish made with rice and lentil instead of chickpea. It is served either separately or with chutney.
Suggested Tour : 12 Days – Gujarat Wildlife Tour
This state is famous for a spicy flat bread made with gram flour. The batter is spiced up before rolling into pancakes. You can find many variants depending on the spice mixture. If desired, ask for a mild version. You can find different parathas here that are commonly eaten during breakfast.
9. Himachal Pradesh
Bhature is a deep fried pancake made with wheat flour. It is usually served with spicy chickpea curry. Some restaurants serve huge bhature in the size of a plate for the aesthetic factor. The taste would be similar with no regards to the size of the bhature. It is served with a glass of chilled lassi. Lassi is beaten curd sweetened with sugar, honey or others. It can be flavored with cardamom, saffron, nuts or others depending on the style of restaurant.
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Suggested Tour : 8 Days – Himachal Hill Station Tour
10. Jammu and Kashmir
Ironically, the iconic breakfast dish is actually a beverage. Noon chai or sheer chai is served as breakfast. It is a salty tea, which is pink in color. In surrounding states, it is called as butter tea. This tea has nothing to do with butter. It is made with tea, milk, salt and soda. It is an essential part of the culture. This tea has the buttery flavor that helps to avoid chapped lips that is caused by the very cold climate. This tea is served with small breads or buns. Common bread is baquerkhani that is served in different parts of the state.
Suggested Tour : 7 Nights – Srinagar Ladakh Tour
Upma is very famous throughout South India. It is an iconic dish in Karnataka. It is a soft mixture of rawa with mild spices and thinly sliced vegetables like carrot, beans, peas and others. It is served with mango pickle, tomato chutney or sambhar. Neer dosa is another common breakfast item of this state. You can also find masala dosa, idli and others here.
Suggested Tour : 15 Days Karnataka Tour with Goa
Kerala is famous for a cylindrical shaped dish Puttu made with rice flour, salt and coconut scrapings. It is sometimes stuffed with meat, chickpea or others. It is served with spicy meat curry, mixed vegetable curry or seafood stew. There are numerous variant of this dish. Some restaurants serve this dish in a sweeter version made with jaggery and coconut. It is served with katta kaapi, a version of coffee.
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Suggested Tour : 8 Days Kerala Backwater Tour
13. Madhya Pradesh
Poha is a dried flattened rice, which is very famous in many parts of the country. In Madhya Pradesh, it is served as masala poha. The dish is made with strong spices and served with jalebis (Sweet) or with samosa. The dish’s taste varies with the combination of spices, vegetables and others.
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Suggested Tour : 10 Days Golden Triangle with Madhya Pradesh
Vada Pao is a very famous street food and a common breakfast in Maharashtra or Mumbai. However, the iconic breakfast of the state is Misal pav. It is made with dried peas, mung beans or moth beans. It is spiced with green chilies, coriander, black pepper and others. Potatoes are added to it. Curd is added to it in authentic Marathi versions. The Misal pav of Thane city is spicier than other styles of Misal pav. The Kolhapuri version of this dish is serve with bread and not pav. In Nasik, it is serve with papad.
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Any restaurant in this state will serve Tan. It is a flatbread served with green pea dal or pumpkin dish. The most common breakfast beverage is changaang, sweet black tea.
This state is famous for its rich wealth of herbs. You can find pork in almost all dishes of this state. Dohkhlieh is a famous tribal dish of this state. Jadoh is also a famous meat-rice dish served as breakfast and as street food. It is served with spicy meat curry.
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Bai is the common breakfast item here. This is a popular dish made with steamed vegetables, pork, bamboo shoot and spinach. It is spiced with local herbs, pork sauce and others. In some places, a vegetarian version of this dish is made with butter. Zu, a local tea is served with breakfast.
Most people eat thali (dish with a smaller quantity of all major dishes) for breakfast here. Thali is a lunch item in most of the places of India. However, the iconic dish of Nagaland is egg shoap. It is a potato-egg mash balls served dry or in sauce. You can find different meat versions of this mash balls too.
The breakfast of this land is luchi. It is a flatbread made with wheat flour. It is served with spicy curry on the side. Khichdi is a rice-lentil dish made with vegetables and mild spices. It is the dish served to Lord Jagannath in Puri temple. Khichdi is the modern iconic breakfast of this state.
This state is famous for soft wheat based parathas. The most popular one is aloo paratha. The wheat pancake is stuffed with spicy potato. It is served with fresh curd or spicy gravy. The style of this dish varies with the stuffing.
Rajasthan vast state has more than one iconic breakfast based on the city in which you are staying. Dal Baati churma is a wheat based dish made with mixed vegetable stuffing. This is the most common breakfast dish of the state. If you are in Jodhpur, you ought to try kachori. There is also a sweet version of kachori, Mawa kachori that is famous around the state. The state is mostly desert and thus, the dishes focus on small berries and beans that grow in the hot climate. The state also gives more importance to meat dishes due to the scarcity of greens.
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It is proximity to the Eastern world has made momos, its iconic breakfast. You can find variety of momos based on their fillings. The side dish of momos varies with the restaurant too. Some restaurants serve momos with vegetable or meat sauce or in a bowl of soup.
Suggested Tour : 8 Days Sikkim Tour
23. Tamil Nadu
Idly, vada and sambhar combination is the iconic dish of the state Tamilnadu. Idly or idli is steamed rice-lentil battercake served with spicy sambhar or chutney. Vada is a savory lentil batter deep fried. The state also serves pancakes made with the same batter as that of idly.
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Suggested Tour : 11 Days – Tamilnadu and Kerala Tour
Although separated from Andhra Pradesh, the cuisine of the land is very close to that of its ex. The main dish of this land is Sarva Pindi, a pancake made with rice and peanuts. The dish is less spicy than the one found in Andhra Pradesh.
Sweetened rice flakes served with mango and yogurt is the main breakfast dish of this state. This porridge is called chire doi aam. If you are looking for a savory dish, Chow mein is the right dish to order. It is spicy noodles serve with sauce toppings.
26. Uttar Pradesh
Kachori and potato curry is the breakfast combination of this state. Jalebi is also served in breakfast. You can also find stuffed paratha here.
Suggested Tour : 8 Days – Rajasthan Tour with UP
Bhatt made with black soya bean is the most common breakfast item here. You can find various styles of parathas with different side dishes as breakfast item in this state. Gahat ki daal is another item to taste here. You can taste various fresh Green Veggies which comes directly from the field.
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28. West Bengal
West Bengal’s iconic breakfast is similar to that of Odisha. Luchi, a deep fried wheat bread is serve with potato-based side dish here. Milk is an important ingredient in this cuisine. You can find numerous milk sweets here. People here use very strong spices very similar to South Indians.
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Apart from the iconic breakfast items, each state has a signature delicacy item too. Each restaurant portraits the iconic breakfast in a different manner. Surf reviews about a restaurant before you planning on visiting for a meal.