3 Indian Tasty Food Choices for India Travelers Who Watch Their Calories

As it always happens we tend to put on weight after a holiday. The rest and relaxation, and of course gorging on tasty delicacies, induces weight gain and you find it difficult to shed the weight. Moreover your routine gets disturbed and the time change also plays havoc on your body. Since you’re on vacation you tend to indulge your sweet tooth and end up adding calories. Especially on your travel to India you can always expect to have good food, great hospitality and unlimited enjoyment. The varied Indian culture allows you to experiment with a variety of cuisine that is a treat to taste buds. At the same time you need to be careful that you don’t add a few more pounds after a vacation.

Here are three different tasty recipes that can help you enjoy Indian delicacies without adding weight. I can guarantee you that once you eat a healthy diet as mentioned below for two weeks you’re sure to lose weight as well as enjoy a variety of Indian dishes. These are three ideal foods that will not add weight but will fill your stomach and make you feel satisfied.

Idlis with chutney & sambhar

Whichever part of India you visit; Idlis are staple breakfast menu, even though they belong to South India. This rice preparation is steamed and served along with chutney and sambhar. Since it is steamed and contains no fat, it is easily digestible and doesn’t add any calories. If you’re suffering from jet lag or any other problem due to change in time zone, Idlis are the ideal food stuff to eat. The accompanying chutney is prepared with desiccated coconut and doesn’t contain any oil. The coconut is ground along with a green chilli and coriander leaves. Adding salt makes it the best accompaniment for Idlis.

Sambhar is a liquid dish that is made of dal (pulses) with tamarind water and masala (spices). It is boiled well and also contains no fat. This also serves as accompaniment to Idlis. Two Idlis with a cup of chutney and sambar is enough to fill your stomach for breakfast without adding many calories. A hundred grams of Idlis sambhar contains only 1 gram of fat and only 210 calories.

Idlis with chutney and sambhar
Idlis with chutney and sambhar. anshu_si’s photostream on Flickr

Phulka

Chappati or roti is the main dish for North Indians. Phulka is a form of roti that has no fat and is roasted on fire. Resembling a tortilla, phulka rotis are ideal for people who are on a low-calorie diet. Two rotis along with mixed vegetables and chicken curry make a sumptuous meal. You can also have salads, raita (onion/cucumber in yoghurt/curds) and dal along with phulka. The wheat flour is made into dough and then rolled into thin phulkas and roasted over fire. These rotis are easily available all over India.

Grilled chicken wrap

While you’re on the go you wish to eat readymade foods and end up eating junk. Here’s a great recipe that is not only delicious but will also help you avoid weight gain. This wrap can be easily made and is available at all eateries. The combination of low fat and high protein content of this spicy dish not only fills you up but satisfies your taste buds as well. The chicken breasts are marinated in low fat yoghurt and allowed to rest. Added to it are a couple of garlic cloves and a dash of lime juice. Grill it for a while till the chicken gets cooked and soaks in the juices. Then the chicken is finely minced so that it can be easily filled into the roti. Eat it with sauce or mint chutney.

An ideal diet for a two week Indian vacation

India is well known for its summers. It’s warm especially for Westerners and international travelers. Hence it is advisable to keep your body cool. Besides wearing cotton clothes that soak in the sweat, it is better to drink juices and tender coconut water. There are a variety of juices and mock tails available in India. This can keep your body cool and help you enjoy your vacation too. Here is an ideal diet that can guarantee weight loss as well as have a wonderful holiday in India.

Breakfast

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Once you’ve a nutritious breakfast you can even skip your lunch or have fresh salad along with kokum or lime juice for lunch. Here is an assortment of breakfast menu that can be beneficial to you.

Idli / Poha / Upma: Poha is flattened rice that is nutritious as well as helps in weight loss. If you’re diabetic then it is advisable to eat poha for breakfast.

There are several varieties of upma. The one that is low in fat is semolina upma.

Vegetable Sandwich/Sprouts: This is another best breakfast that is easily digestible and also doesn’t add calories.

2 egg whites with whole grain bread: Having two egg whites with two dry bread toasts is ideal for early mornings before you start your sight seeing.

Mint juice / Fresh lime juice / Sweet lime juice / Coconut water / Kokum sherbet: Washing it down with mint juice, which has a cooling effect, can help you keep your body cool and refreshed. Also mint is good against acidity and gas. Tender coconut water is ideal as an anytime, anywhere drink. You can drink it in the mornings or evenings or in the afternoon as well. It’s a natural electrolyte supplement to the body. Not only does it promote weight loss it also boosts your energy levels.

Kokum sherbet is a refreshing tangy drink that improves digestion and cools the body. It is made out of a fruit (botanical name is Garcinia indica) that grows mostly in tropical countries like Africa and India.

Poha flattened rice
Poha or flattened rice. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Lunch & Dinner

Lunch is indeed one of the best times when you can have a wholesome meal. While you’re travelling you may find restaurants that offer greasy foods. If you’re booking a package deal then ensure that your food is included in the package. That way you can be assured of getting wholesome food for lunch. Also make your preference for low calorie food while booking your hotel. Many hotels include a low calorie diet in their holiday packages to cater to people who are watching their weight. Here is an interesting assortment of foods you can sample for lunch.

An ideal Indian Lunch consists of rotis, dal, vegetable, salad, rice, chicken gravy/prawns/shrimp salad, mutton curry and yoghurt. For vegetables, try to stick to spinach, lady’s fingers, carrots, cabbage and cauliflower. Avoid potatoes and yam. Substitute gravy vegetables (that contain oil) with fresh salads. Cucumber, onion, carrots, apples, tomatoes, pomegranate and pineapple are apt to have as salads without any dressings. Just squeeze a dash of lemon and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. This will be helpful to fill your stomach as well as is good weight loss diet.

Indian dinner
Indian dinner. Can you see potatoes here (I can) Stick to green vegetables

Mixed rices like Bisi beli bath, lemon rice, pulauv or biryanis are also popular Indian lunch foods. However, since these are rice-based and hence calorie-rich, they may add to your body weight.

Evening Snack

Have fresh fruit juice along with roasted almonds or peanuts. Aam panna (raw mango juice) is a tangy drink that is ideal for summer vacation. The raw mangoes are boiled and peeled. The pulp is mashed and kept aside. Water with sugar to taste is also boiled (till sugar dissolves) and kept aside to cool. Then the mango pulp is added to the sugar water and strained. This juice keeps you cool and refreshed, especially in summer.

As you travel in India enjoying the various tourist attractions, center your diet around the above food recommendations, and I ensure you that you will not have to worry about gaining weight. You may even lose some! There are several healthy foods that are tasty as well as ideal to eat during your visit to India. Find out what suits you and go on, enjoy your holiday sporting a slim and trim figure.

Aam panna, raw mango juice
Aam panna (raw mango juice)

About the author

Latasri
Latasri

Latasri is a foodie and wellness enthusiast. In her blog she reviews meal delivery diet services and popular weight loss programs such as Bistro MD and eDiets. Growing up in India she developed an interest for foods enjoyed by different cultures. She enjoys writing about diets, recipes, and healthy meal programs. She now lives in Mumbai with her husband and two children.

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Shalu Sharma

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53 thoughts on “3 Indian Tasty Food Choices for India Travelers Who Watch Their Calories

    • April 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm
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      Brian, you might have a point. They do look weird but in fact they taste so good.
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  • April 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm
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    Hi Latasri & Shalu,

    Loved the post and it surely got my mouth watering too. 🙂

    Not to mention, that our alternate weekend brunch consists of idli, dosas, sambhar and chutney – very much made at home, and it’s the time when the cook-cum-mom in me comes into action!

    Yes indeed, I do make most of these things and they are low calorie, which I feel our country is good at, though if they want, they can really step into the deep fried and oily stuffs too. Summers should always consist of light meals and beverages, and panna is forever stocked up in our fridge too. I guess one never stops at just a single glass in the summers 🙂

    Even breakfast dishes like poha, upma, or even oats and cornflakes are good and low fat. In-fact oats are supposed to be good for your heart and are rich in fiber too.

    Thanks for sharing these lovely dishes with us. Have a nice weekend both of you 🙂
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  • April 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm
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    It doesn’t look so great. It’s important to look and taste great for me what I eat. That’s my opinion about food!

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel – Romania
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  • April 27, 2013 at 5:23 am
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    Certainly no one resist himself by seeing these palatable dishes.

    Most of the sub-continent countries use masala & chili lot to make food tasty. European & other countries find different taste when they visit these parts.

    You represent well the traditional foods of Indian sub-continent.

    Have a lovely day 🙂
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  • April 27, 2013 at 7:46 am
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    Thanks for sharing some of the best food with us which provide good nutritive value,source of energy and not to forget less calories

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  • April 27, 2013 at 9:11 am
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    I can just express that how good this post was while I was going through it. Variety of food choices and liked them all. One thing that I can really tell you Latasri that you should not talk about all those calories stuff while you are talking about all these mouth watering recipes. Thanks for the joy.
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    • April 29, 2013 at 3:15 am
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      Hi Kumar,
      Agree with you. But there are weight conscious people who would like to know if they’ll gain weight after a vacation to India.This post is for them. 😀

      Reply
  • April 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm
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    Am not From india, But guess what i loved coming to your blog to read about the new Thing in town most especially INDIA because 50% of my friends are india… Nice post
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    • April 29, 2013 at 3:18 am
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      There are more Indian delicacies for calorie conscious travelers. May be I can make another post about those.

      Reply
  • April 28, 2013 at 10:53 am
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    Yet another article related to Food! I am loving it 🙂 Idlis.. I’ve just ordered some.
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  • April 28, 2013 at 11:35 am
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    I love all kinds of india food, but somehow i just dont like poha, i always have to ask the waiters to bring normal rice, to it….is there other alternative for that instead of normal rice?

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    • April 29, 2013 at 3:19 am
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      You can have Dhalia (broken wheat). That’ll not add to your weight.

      Reply
  • April 28, 2013 at 11:39 am
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    Wow looking good, are u sure these wont mess up our european stomach? 🙂 cause like i went to egypt and i got really sick, i always wanna try new food , but somehow my stomach just cant grasp it

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    • April 29, 2013 at 3:20 am
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      Ideal for a delicate stomach is Idlis. Simply go for it..

      Reply
  • April 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm
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    Yes Eating habits during vacation plays major role for health. Normally in holidays we become little bit careless and it results gain in calories . Moreover If we make some healthy diet chart according to touring spot before any tour then it will favour our health. After if will healthy at vacation then we will enjoy more at tourists spots..:)

    Reply
  • April 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm
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    Looks good! I suddenly felt cravings for spicy Indian food after reading this. You’re post is so influential! 🙂

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  • April 29, 2013 at 3:26 am
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    Love this article. Idlis are my favorite too. All the dishes are mouth watering. Feel like eating now.
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  • April 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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    Hi Latasri!!

    Nice article, I am staying in bangalore and bored with south Indian food please suggest some north indian food which i can cook easily and fast..

    Thank you

    Reply
    • April 30, 2013 at 3:55 am
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      Usually North Indian foods are oily and add calories. Try aloo paratha. Its easy to make……:D

      Reply
  • April 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm
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    an absolute wonder post Lata!! Mouth watering post .. must say .. idly and chuttneys and the snap of those rotis with sabzis !! 🙂 thanks for sharing the tip !!
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  • April 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm
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    HI Latasri

    I’d say Idli and Sambhar are the best, whenever I get bored by my North Indian Dishes. Ever Since I’ve been detected with high BP I’ve resorted to Phulka and that has proved to be good for me.

    Thanks for this great share and have a great week ahead.

    Sapna

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  • April 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm
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    Indian food looks good and tastes even better… I just love idlis and sambhar… 🙂

    Reply
  • April 30, 2013 at 3:57 am
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    Who doesn’t like Idlis? They’re steamed and easy on the stomach..Thanks Sapna…You too have a great day..

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  • April 30, 2013 at 10:55 am
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    Thank you for health care. I will be visiting India soon. I like the culture and traditions in the past. I hope that I would find the legend food that is rare today.

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  • April 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm
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    I loved Indian food from roti to biryani, but I find it made me gain a lot of weight! That’s why when I was in India, I made sure to eat Indian food only once a day–lunch time. I only had eggs for breakfast and something light in the evenings.
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  • May 1, 2013 at 9:33 am
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    I can just show that how excellent this publish was while I was going through it. Wide range of diet and liked them all. One factor that I can really tell you Latasri that you should not discuss all those calorie consumption things while you are referring to all these mouth-watering dishes.…

    Reply
  • May 1, 2013 at 9:41 am
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    Thanks for discussing some of the best meals with us which offer excellent nutritive value,source of power and not to ignore less calories.

    Reply
  • May 2, 2013 at 6:17 am
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    I would love to try all these! Thanks for sharing! This is such a good way to appreciate India more!

    Reply
  • May 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm
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    Indian Food always famous in all over the world…….Baat hi kuch or hai yahan k khane ki.Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Dekh kar Muh me Pani aa gya…………

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  • May 21, 2013 at 7:15 am
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    I never taste any India foods, but your picture made my mouth watering so much. I love to have it sometime later.

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  • May 21, 2013 at 7:43 am
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    I love india food. Especially for idlis. It’s so tasty. And I love india food because so colorfull. Thanks to remain me about last 7 year I go to India and eat idlis

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  • May 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm
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    I am a food maniac. And you made me hungry by showing those mouth watering pics Shalu. I think it’s time to go and refill myself 😛

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  • June 13, 2013 at 6:18 am
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    superb post and images are awesome gets water in mouth

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  • August 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm
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    Especially for idlis. It’s so tasty. And I love india food because so colorfull. Thanks to remain me about last 7 year I go to India and eat

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  • August 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm
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    Especially for idlis. It’s so tasty. And I love india food because so colorfull.

    Reply
  • January 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm
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    I love this. I would love to learn more about this food and learn about recipes. A tad spicy for me but i do still love it! Thank you.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2014 at 11:46 am
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    Indian food is also not that caloric and spices they use actually speed up your metabolism.

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  • January 26, 2014 at 8:27 am
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    indian food are really good! i just love them.. and its also healthy! good informative article!

    Reply
  • September 18, 2014 at 8:48 am
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    Very -very attractive page and package,you believe or not ,I’ve taken today’s lunch after opening your Indian dinner plate.My tongue and eye caught your all dishes. Of course i’ ll this page to my face book friends.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 8:12 am
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    All the food items are delicious. Have mix of all part of India. Indian food is best.
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  • April 17, 2015 at 10:46 am
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    hi Shalu
    your articles so great and useful for readers as me
    thank and good luck!
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  • December 10, 2015 at 11:58 am
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    Great post. These are the perfect and safe Indian food items, that mostly every one of us need to concentrate on, when you plan to travel distinct places.
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  • January 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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    Indian food looks good and very attractive, i love them.

    Reply

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