Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

Breakfast in India vs Breakfast in our homes outside India

My breakfasts have varied from the time I started to cook for myself instead of just enjoying my Mother’s cooking. At first they were a mix-match of meal fixings, or just dinner leftovers. Or the good old breakfast cereal and milk. But as the years passed and I was more organized, the meals I enjoyed in my Mother’s home began to swim in my memories. And I began to prepare those for my family. However, I am no amazonian chef, so depending on  the hectic nature of the days plans, I switched back and forth from convenience with taste, to elaborate and of course tasty breakfasts. We do have both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods but Indian breakfasts will mostly be vegetarian. 

So here are some of the things I might make: 


1. Poha as in mostly ‘kande pohe’.

2. Cheela/ Pudla

3. Masala toast

4. Indian Omelette

5. Handwo piece

6. Thepla

7. Vaghareli rotli

8. Dhokla chutney

9. Idli sambhar

10. Leftover sabji

11. Muthiya

12. Khakhra

13. Upma

14. Paratha


1. Kande Pohe: 

The dish derives its name from Maharashtra where the Kande Pohe are celebrated as breakfast. They can of course like any breakfast, be eaten at any time. 

Pohe/ Poha are steamed rice grains that have been beaten flat and then again redried. So they are like Rice flakes. Except they are hand pounded, so have a knobbly texture. 

You get several varieties in the market. I prefer the thick white variety. 


1 cup dry poha per person

1 medium onion sliced

1/2 jalapeno deseeded

1 sprig curry leaves

2 small garlic cloves

1/4 t cumin seeds

1/2 lemon 

1/8 t asafoetida

1/4 t turmeric

small handful of cilantro leaves

1T fresh grated coconut

2 T Peanut oil 

salt to taste

sugar to taste


In a pan heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds sputter, add sliced onions and stir. Saute on medium heat till they turn slightly browned here and there. Do not burn the onions. 

Meanwhile wash the Poha in a colander and drain. Do this two or three times to get rid of any dirt and also to allow them to rehydrate. They do not need soaking. Fluff the poha with a fork. Add salt sugar turmeric asafoetida and chopped cilantro. Mix and set aside. 

Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. 

Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. 

Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Finger licking good!! 

Now when I make this next I will post a picture. 

Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. 



2. Cheela/ Pudla


These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 

1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. 

Water to form a thin batter

1T plain yogurt 

1/2 t ginger garlic paste 

1/4 or less green chili crushed

2 t heated oil *

pinch asafoetida

pinch turmeric 

salt to taste

chopped cilantro (two sprigs)

some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle





mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. 

Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. 

On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. 


In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! 


3. Masala Toast


1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted

1/2 small red onion minced

1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have)

cilantro (few leaves)

1/8 t cumin (optional)

1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores)

1 inch cube paneer

1 T peanut oil

pinch turmeric (optional)


Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer.

I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. 



I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 




Edited by Smithy
Adjusted title for clarity (log)
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bhukhhad said:

I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 


I have finally recognized that, except for special occasions, I'm better off with a light and simple breakfast. Like you it's usually fruit and a grain or protein, along with coffee and water. That said, I drool over some of the breakfast feasts posted on these forums and will be pleased to see what you add! I can always enjoy looking and getting ideas.

  • Like 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Smithy said:


I have finally recognized that, except for special occasions, I'm better off with a light and simple breakfast. Like you it's usually fruit and a grain or protein, along with coffee and water. That said, I drool over some of the breakfast feasts posted on these forums and will be pleased to see what you add! I can always enjoy looking and getting ideas.


I could no more "make" breakfast than I could put together an IKEA object before eating one (breakfast, that is.). I'm with you, @Smithy. Cutting down on wheat has put a painful crimp in breakfasts for me, since I do need some grain and it has to be simple. It kills me that my husband bakes great bread and I just can't eat as much of it as I like--or as I used to eat. Toast and a few strawberries would be my every day choice for breakfast. Or a bagel with cream cheese and lox if I was lucky, feeling flush or able to think ahead. 


For grain I've switched to a mainly rice diet from a mainly wheat diet. I will often heat up left-over short grain rice with butter and add a  little smoked salmon for breakfast. It works, but chopsticks are essential. And since this is the India cooking thread, if I have made a vegetable curry the night before I'm pretty happy with leftover rice sauced with a modest amount of curry. Before noon I'm no way ready for anything that oozes or comes from a pig. The breakfast thread never ceases to amaze me. It makes me feel like I'm from Jupiter. But not in a bad way.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for reading. I think our original requester for Indian breakfasts has disappeared. But I am enjoying writing up these breakfasts. I still make them on weekends or when we have guests from India. They still eat these every day and age is no bar. Perhaps we even age differently in different climates and lifestyles???

I still want to finish the homemade meals threads that are on my mind. Am I preaching to the crowd I wonder. All of you might know these recipes already. They are not new, just have my take on them.



Edited by Bhukhhad (log)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep going.  I have not made any of the breakfasts you posted above.  I have made dosa from scratch and shared the process with our gluten sensitive friends...made potato curry to go with them.

I like chick pea flour so I will likely try the crepes.


The person requesting help was new to Egullet, I believe, so that could be why he/she has forgotten to look.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I’m on board, thanks for posting @Bhukhhad. We don’t really eat breakfast unless away travelling. Having said that, I have made poha as a side for a mix of curries, and also chickpea flour pancakes. Both delicious.


Home cooking is something I’m passionate about, even more so if it’s Indian. I read a book once written by woman who advertised on Craigslist (or similar) for in home cooking lessons with Indian women. She was Canadian I think, provided the ingredients and a small fee in exchange for the lesson. I wanted to make that happen here, but stuff got in the way. So, I for one, will welcome your home style recipes with much joy. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I find Bhavna’s Kitchen has very nice recipes. And she is such a cutie. Apart from the fact that her recipes are spicier (more red chilies) than my home (we used to have predominantly black pepper tastes rather than garlic or red chilies) she is very authentic. And fun to learn from. 

Here is one of her more recent breakfast recipes that I am going to try. 



PS. eGullet has a facebook, instagram and pinterest page too? Wow! Egullet is popular!!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Hello all, well I almost forgot I started this homely topic last year and left it incomplete. So I am going to add some of the recipes for which I do have pictures 

Today I have a crunchy snack for any time, breakfast, or teatime. It’s called: 



Around the time you are almost done with your box of flattened rice flakes and its time to replenish your stock, you use up the last amounts. At the same time you can use up the few papad that may be left in the papad container, to make place for a new stock. 



Thin unroasted poha any amount

 A few unfried papads (not papadam)any amount

Oil to fry papad

red chili powder hot

turmeric (pinch)

salt to taste


1. Dry roast the poha flakes on medium heat and set aside when crisp. Do not let them brown or burn. 

2. Fry the papads in oil and set aside. 
3. When both are cool, crumble the papad and add them to the crispy poha

4. in the same utensil used to roast the poha, add a teaspoon of oil and mix the poha and papad along with the red chili powder and turmeric. Add salt very cautiously because papad already has plenty. In gujarat it is customary to add some sugar to this papad poha. But not in maharashtra or indore or rajasthan where this is made as well.

I typically dont add red chili powder or flakes. 





  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bringing this back. This type of food is in my favorites wheel. My poor sister likes it as well but she signed up for "Indian" on her Virgin Australia flights and was "curried out"  Please please no more dal she cried- not at 7am - I'd have been fine. I messed with her head and put a touch of Japanese curry powder in the pumpkin bread.  What would you eat alongside in terms of dairy and vegetable. Thank you.

Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Heidih, 


These days I have actually stopped asking for Hindu Vegetarian meals on international flights.  They always serve heavily spiced and often undercooked chhole, terrible sabjis of ridiculous combinations like brussels sprouts and chana daal with odd tadka spices. And to round these off, they serve paratha that is as thick as cardboard! Never!!!! 

Now Papad Poha is a snack. One would have a small bowl with tea or coffee. It is not a meal, not even like bhel. Bhel is also a snack, but one can easily have a dinner bhel. But you would not typically have a dinner papad poha. However, if you wanted to serve a heavy snack which included Papad Poha, then I might make a plate of the following:

a. Papad Poha, khaman dokla and jalebi

b. Papad Poha, mini samosa, shakkarpara

c. Papad poha, peas kachori, burfi 

or similar combinations along with masala chai or south indian filter coffee. 
I hope that answers your question. If not, please do ask again. So nice to know someone was reading. How did the curried wasabi bread go?


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh the bread has been repeated since Christmas. The savory spice in a typically sweet is becoming popular. Brother in law had a pumpkin bread at StarBucks and actually preferred mine with tea! 

Thanks for clarifying. Yes sister is trying to change their selections for the last leg LA to Sydney in a couple weeks. 

Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:


what is the difference between papads and papadam?

Well asked, Pastrygirl, Well asked! 
This is a good question. with a long answer: 


1. A papad is a thin dried lentil uncooked roti  (if you will), that is then fried or roasted before serving. 
2. Different parts of India, use different ingredients to make Papad.

3. In Gujarat, they are made from urad dal flour and spices only. 
4. In Punjab they are made with mung dal flour and are rolled thicker than the ones from Gujarat. 
5. In Southern India, they are made with Rice flour plus Urad Dal Flour. And they are not handrolled, they are machine pressed and of a small size. These are called Papadams. 

For Papad Poha we ONLY use papads from Gujarat. 



  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Indian Masala Omelette

Ok another post for everyone (being on this forum, I am certain all of you know these recipes already. But I get some sort of a happy feeling posting these pictures and writing up these recipes.)




2 eggs

Half a medium red onion chopped as you like.

Two or three spicy green chilies diced

Some fresh Cilantro with stems

A pinch of turmeric powder

Some black salt (kala namak) or pink black salt (the kind that tastes of brine)

Peanut oil to fry.



Mix all the ingredients with a whisk

On medium to low heat, place a skillet and add a small teaspoon of oil

Pour all of the omelette mix and swirl to make the size you want. Let it sit as it cooks the underside well. 
Flip and cook the remaining side.

Serve with Indian ketchup or Sriracha sauce 

Add fruit like a banana, or small guava, sliced.
Serve with masala chai.

Enjoy your meal or big breakfast.








  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm enjoying this thread, even though I only eat breakfast while on vacation.  But I am looking to integrate Indian food into my cooking rotation for dinner (right now there's a lot of SE Asian / Chinese flavors) so I find it enlightening to see ingredient combinations and methods.  Thank you!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you KennethT


Your comment made me realize something that I have not clarified, however it is something I regularly do. And that is, my family and I really Enjoy any of these dishes at any time, not just for breakfast. 
The only thing that one has to be careful about is balancing out the dish if it is going to be the meal. While it is breakfast, one assumes that it will be ok to have a bowl of poha or an omelette and that is it. 
But if it is a meal, then just doubling up on the quantity would not be right. And although I do change the balance, I never mentioned it specifically. 
So if I were to make kanda poha my lunch, I would still stick with the same quantity I had for breakfast and additionally have a bowl of soup, daal or rasam if that is left over. Or I’d add a green salad to my plate and at least try to be good before I scoop up the next ladle full of more poha 🤣

Who knew it would come to this..... but its been ever so tasteful while reaching here!!😝

Bhukkhad ( This name means ‘ever hungry’)


  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Papdi nu shaak


Today’s post is about baby lima beans also known as papdi or val papdi. The english name is Hyacinth Beans and the variety that is native to India is called Lablab Beans. 
Papdi can be eaten with its pods if the pods are immature and very soft. Otherwise once the legumes inside mature, the pods must be shelled. 
Papdi beans come in about three varieties at around spring in India. And various recipes using the fresh beans and pods are generally prevalent at this time. Later, these beans are available all year round as dried beans. When I first came to the US, I was really delighted to find the frozen green shelled lablab or papdi beans in the regular supermarket. They were called Lima Beans! 

These beans have a strong fragrance in and of themselves. If you dislike that fragrance, then all the recipes for this bean are not for you. But I  happen to really love that fragrance. So these beans feature a lot in our home. 



1lb packet Frozen baby lima beans or fresh papdi beans (rinsed and drained)

2-4 cloves of fresh garlic

3 spicy green chilies (or to taste)

2 Tbspn sesame seeds

1 Tbspn fresh grated coconut (optional)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 t turmeric powder

1/4 t hing or asafoetida

1/8 t carom seeds or ajwain seeds

salt to taste

lemon juice to taste

2 T peanut oil 




Crush the green chilies and garlic in a mortar and pestle and set aside. In a pinch you can add ginger garlic paste instead, but I don’t.
In a pressure cooker add oil. Do not start the heat yet! Add carom seeds. Add Lima beans, and turmeric, asafoetida, salt and sesame seeds. Add 1/2 cup water and stir well. 
Close the pressure cooker and turn on the heat. Allow the mix to cook for one or two whistles on high heat and reduce the heat to low. Let one whistle blow and turn off the heat. Let the pressure exit on its own. 
When you open the cooker, all the beans should be thoroughly cooked but not mashed. If they are mashed then you have added too much water, or your pressure cooker is too strong so reduce the number of whistles the next time. If it becomes too mashed, it will become more like dal but it will be just as tasty.

The trick is to have the beans cooked but still whole. A bit of water left over is necessary because the beans will shrivel if too dry.

Add fresh coconut, lemon juice and gently warm till the oil separates from the beans and they glisten.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

You can serve this by itself with some crunchy sev.

Or you can serve it as a side dish along with chapati and salad. Chhas or thinned (with water) and churned plain yogurt is a great accompaniment and makes it a full protein. 





  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Druckenbrodt
      So, our flights have been booked for next Sunday, we're servicing our loyal bikes, the panier bags are coming out of the cupboard and we're checking the tent still has all its poles.
      Our plan is 10 days of cycling, through the Pelopponnese and Crete, far from the madding crowds, through mountain meadows and forests full of bee hives, with regular visits to pristine hidden beaches. That's the plan.
      Of course, to make our holiday perfect, some feasting would go down well. I had thought that this would be impossible for my boyfriend, given he's vegetarian (no fish either), since I assumed the options will only be grilled meat, grilled fish, or Greek salad. But having had a look at some of these posts, it seems like there are quite a few really delicious (and popular?) dishes that don't involve meat or fish, but do include delicious things like spinach, fava beans, chick peas etc.
      So, I'd like to compile a list of Great Greek Dishes that vegetarians can eat, the sort of simple everyday stuff that we might be able to get in a small village taverna. To kick start the list I'm nominating:
      Briam - I had this about 10 years ago on the island of Amorgos and it was mindblowingly delicious. Potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and maybe onions and lots of olive oil? All cooked together extremely slowly. I've tried recreating this but never succeeded. It's something I still have fond memories of!
      Any general advice or additions to the list would be most gratefully appreciated!
    • By Ling
      I've already polished off half a box of Harvest Crunch Granola today. I haven't really eaten cereal in years, but these crunchy granola clusters are hard to resist.
      What's your favourite cereal, and what do you eat with it?
      (Big bowl, big spoon, and 2% milk for me.)
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
    • By Kasia
      I hate getting up in the morning. My household knows that before 8 o'clock I'm unbearable, and because almost every day I wake up much earlier, I tend to be unbearable more frequently than I want. Every extra five minutes of sleep is priceless, so I appreciate a good breakfast that is not too complicated and is quick to prepare.

      Recently, I have been preparing breakfast with groats and flakes. This time I chose cuscus. This product is a cross between pasta and groats, and it doesn't need long to prepare. It is enough to add hot water or milk and leave for a few minutes. I added some fresh pineapple, cranberries and banana. I spiced it up with some hot chili pepper .

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      125g of cuscus
      400ml of almond milk
      1 tablespoon of honey
      1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
      2 slices of fresh pineapple
      1 teaspoon of minced chili pepper
      150g of fresh cranberries
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 banana
      4 tablespoons of flaked almonds

      Wash the cranberries and put them into a pot. Add two tablespoons of water and the brown sugar. Boil, stirring gently until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened. Boil the almond milk with the vanilla essence. Pour the milk onto the cuscus and leave for 5-7 minutes. Slice the banana and roast the almond flakes. Peel the pineapple and dice it. Mix the pineapple, chili pepper and honey. Add the pineapple to the cuscus and mix it in. Put the mixture into two bowls. Put the cranberries and banana on the top and sprinkle with the almond flakes.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Kasia
      Most of us take lunch boxes to the office. Some lucky people can warm their food up at work The rest have to eat sandwiches. Sandwiches are great, but even if we absolutely love them we could get fed up with them in the end. Regardless of where we work we can save the situation with salads. Every day we can prepare a different one and we have an entirely new lunch. If we also take an attractive dish, we have something that is not only tasty but also glamorous.

      I would like to share with you the recipe for a salad which looks equally as beautiful as it is yummy. The chickpeas and groats make it a satisfying and balanced meal, after which we won't be hungry. I think that if you prepare your lunch in the morning and plan to eat it at lunchtime, we should keep the salad and the dip separately. Otherwise, after a few hours in the jar, we have an unappetising dish with squishy lettuce, which isn't what we want, is it?

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      1 beetroot
      200g of tinned chickpeas
      100g of bulgur
      1 carrot
      1 fresh green pepper
      4 lettuce leaves
      200g of natural yoghurt
      handful of minced chives
      1 small chili pepper
      salt and pepper

      Clean the beetroot and bake or boil it. Grate the beetroot and carrot. Cut the pepper into thin strips. Boil the bulgur in salty water. Arrange in layers in a jar the beetroot, chickpeas, pepper, bulgur, carrot and lettuce. Dice the chili pepper. Mix the natural yoghurt with the chives and chili pepper. Spice it up with salt and pepper. Add the dip to the salad just before serving.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...