5 Best South Indian Diabetes friendly Breakfast Recipes

South India comprises of five states namely Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamilnadu, and Kerala. We all know, that geography and cultural influence both have a huge influence on any region's cuisine. The same applies to South India too.

South Indian cuisine is probably the hottest of all Indian foods. The meals in this region are mainly centered around rice or rice-based recipes. Daals (lentils) are also an inherent part of most meals which is good for diabetes.

Here are the 5 healthy south Indian breakfast recipes for diabetics

1. Kancheepuram Idli

Kancheepuram Idli Recipe

Idlis can be prepared in different ways.  Kanchipuram idli is one of the popular variety of idli's.  They can also be called spiced idlis as they contain cumin, pepper and ginger powder. These are offered to bhagwan vishnu as Naivedyam in the Varadharaja Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Recipe features

Freedom from Diabetes style Kancheepuram Idli is made up of only dals.  Rice is avoided to avoid the grains which make it diabetes-friendly.


  • 1 Cup Yellow Lentil / Moong Dal 
  • ¼ Cup Black Gram / Urad Dal 
  • ½ Tsp Fenugreek / Methi seeds 
  • 1- 2 Green Chillies
  • ½ Tsp Dry Ginger powder/ (sukku/sonti podi)
  • ¾ Tsp Cumin seeds 
  • 10-12 Black peppercorns 

 For the tempering:

  •  1 Tbsp Gingelly oil 
  • ¼ Tsp Asafoetida/ Hing
  •  2-3 Cashew nuts (break into small pieces)
  • Curry leaves


  • Soak the dals for 6 hours.
  • Soak fenugreek seeds along with the Dals.
  • Grind by adding water.
  • The consistency of the batter should be like rice idli batter.
  • Add salt to the batter and beat it nicely.
  • Keep covered in a warm place for fermenting for about 6 hours.
  • Grind ginger, chilli and cumin.
  • Fry cashews in 1 Tsp oil.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the batter 15 min before making idlis.
  • Mix well.
  • Keep covered for 10-15 min.
  • Now your batter is ready to make idlis.
  • Make idlis as usual.

2. Ulli Vada

Ulli Vada

Ulli Vada is a famous snack of Kerala which can be described as crunchy and crisp onion fritters.  Though they seem similar to classic onion pakoda their taste and texture is different.

Recipe features


FFD style Ulli vada is not deep fried, but it is prepared in appe patra using very less oil.


  • 2 Onions
  • 1- 1.5 Cup Gram Flour/ (Besan) - 1.5 cup or as needed
  • 3 Green Chillies (sliced) /1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • Handful Curry Leaves (Chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing
  • Salt as needed
  • Oil 


  • Make thin slices of the onions and sprinkle some salt on it.
  • Add the chopped curry leaves, cumin seeds and cashews.
  • Add asafoetida, chilli powder (or green chillies), and gram flour to this.
  • Add 1 or 2 tbsp of the hot oil along with this and mix everything together.
  • The salt draws out the moisture from the onions.
  • If needed just sprinkle few drops of water and make a dough.
  • Heat the appe vessel/pan and brush it with oil.
  • Add 1 drop of oil in each cavity.
  • Pinch a small portion of the dough and drop in each cavity of the appe paatra.
  • Cover and let it turn crispy on one side.
  • Remove the cover, turn over.
  • Add one drop of oil in each cavity again and let it become crispy. 
  • Serve hot.

3. Puttu Recipe 

Puttu Recipe 

Puttu is a type of rice flour breakfast recipe from Kerala. It is a steamed rice cake recipe and very common morning breakfast item that is generally served with coconut chutney or kadala curry. It is a simple recipe prepared from puttu flour or rice flour along with grated coconut.

Recipe features

FFD style puttu is prepared from brown rice flour which puts it in one of the easy South Indian Breakfast Recipes that is diabetes-friendly.


  • 2 cups Brown Rice Flour
  • Salt to taste
  •  1 Cup Coconut Scrapings


  • Mix brown rice flour, salt, and a spoonful of coconut.
  • Add a little water to make the flour just wet, to form very small granules.
  • Please note that water should not be in excess.
  • In the cylindrical puttu vessel, first, insert the perforated bottom holder.
  • Spread a few coconut scrapings on the bottom holder to start with.
  • Then fill the vessel with the flour (approx 2″ height), spread the coconut scrapings again over the rice powder, and repeat the process of filling alternatively with flour and coconut scrapings till the puttu vessel is full.
  • Finally, place the lid on the top.
  • Place the puttu vessel on an ordinary steaming vessel or if it is a pressure cooker adaptable puttu vessel, place it on the whistle opening of the pressure cooker and steam it (that variety of machine is available in the market) for about 10 mins.
  • When properly cooked, steam will come out through the holes on the top lid.
  • Remove the puttu vessel from the cooker, holding it with a cloth and push the bottom holder with the help of any wooden/steel rod so that all the layers come out and are placed on a large holding plate.
  • Puttu is ready now.
  • If there is still some rice powder left out, the above process can be repeated.

4. Ash Gourd Fritters

Ash Gourd Fritters Recipe

Ash gourd is very good for health as it is a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins. It helps diabetics in many ways - it improves digestion, has anti-inflammatory effects and more.

Recipe features

FFD style ash gourd fritters are prepared in appe patra using less oil.  Use of urad dal gives it a different twist.


  • 1 Cup Whole Black gram/ Urad Dal (Soaked for 4-5 hours)
  • 1½ - 2 Cups Ash Gourd/White Pumpkin (2-inch-long pieces)
  • 4 Green Chillies or accordingly
  • Cooking oil to deep fry
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Asafoetida


To begin making fritters:

  • Soak the urad dal in water for 4-5 hours.
  • Drain the water, in a mixer grinder, grind the soaked dal along with green chillies to a fine paste.
  • Ensure that you use minimal amount of water to make a thick batter. 
  • Transfer the batter in a bowl and add the diced ash gourd pieces.
  • Add asafoetida, salt and mix well. 
  • Heat the appe vessel, grease it with oil, keep on medium flame.
  • Take a Tsp of this batter and put in the cavities of the appe vessel.
  • Turn the side of fritters until they turn golden brown. 
  • Serve these ash gourd fritters with green chutney.
  • This fritter can also be served with hot rice and Sambar.
  • You can also have them with sprinkled chat powder.


  • If the batter comes out thin, add gram flour/besan powder to thicken it.
  • You can also squeeze out the water from the ash gourd and then add it to the batter. Drink the squeezed ash gourd water.

5. Beans Paruppu Usili

Beans Paruppu Usili Recipe

This is a traditional recipe prepared in Tamil Brahmin house. It can be described as the crumbled soft dal that is combined with vegetables to make a tasty dry curry. The most common vegetables used for Usili are  Beans, Cluster Beans or Banana Flower,

Recipe features

Since it is a dal based item with veggies, it is the best start for a diabetic's morning...breakfast.


  • 500 gm Beans
  • Salt to taste

For the Usili

  • ½ Cup Yellow Pigeon peas/ Toor Dal
  • ½ Cup Bengal gram / Chana Dal
  • 2-3 Red Chillies 
  • ½ Tsp Asafoetida/ Hing
  • ½ Tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ Tsp Salt

For the Seasoning

  • ¼ Tsp Mustard
  • 2 Sprig Curry Leaves
  • 2 Tsp Oil


  • Soak the dals along with the red chilies for 2 hours in hot water.
  • Blend coarsely with the red chillies, asafoetida, turmeric, and salt for the usili and keep.
  • Pressure cook the same without the whistle like you cook for idlis.
  • When cool crumble and keep it aside.
  • Finely chop the beans and steam cook with a little salt (I steam it so that it does not lose the green colour).
  • In a frying pan add oil and season with mustard, and curry leaves then add the crumbled dal and keep roasting the dal till it becomes light brown and gives a nice aroma.
  • Now add the cooked beans and check for salt.
  • Stir for 2-3 mins. 
  • The paruppu usili is ready.
  • This tastes good with rasam or sambar.


We can use cluster beans, banana flower, capsicum, cabbage, any type of beans like long beans, broad beans etc.

The above South Indian breakfast recipes are very good for all health-conscious and diabetic people.  All the ingredients to make these are carefully chosen.  Try each recipe and let us know you felt having it.

FFD recipe section has many such diabetes-friendly recipes for you. We have a collection of region-wise recipes too. Definitely visit our FFD website.

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