Interesting breakfasts that are eaten across India

A look at some of the lesser-known dishes that people across the country begin their day with

15 Mar 2021

As ghar ki rasoi and restructured routines took centre-stage in 2020, breakfasts came into the limelight. What were often weekend indulgences now became a daily affair as families got time to bond over hearty, warm meals. This is expected to continue in 2021 as well, as the latest edition of the Godrej Food Trends Report points out. “As a result of the pandemic, people want to reconnect with their own culinary heritage. Whenever there is upheaval or change — humans pivot towards the familiar for comfort, and what better than family recipes and home-style cooking to satisfy that need. With all the home cooking in 2020, the wisdom of our culinary heritage and the principles of eating based on the season are returning, led primarily by the need to seek comfort in the food we consume or consumed growing up,” says Radhika Misra, an independent Marketing and Communications Consultant.

Even as many of us returned to traditional, homecooked breakfasts last year, 2021 is expected to drive the evolution of this important meal. Experts say that re-imagined breakfasts are a real possibility, from creative artisanal offerings by home entrepreneurs and restaurants to ground-breaking packaged solutions by the food industry.

Given the vast variety of breakfast recipes that India boasts of, it isn’t hard to envision this trend shaping up. Here’s a look at some lesser-known dishes that people across the country have for breakfast.


This pancake is a popular breakfast dish for the Monpa tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. Khura is traditionally made with buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta) and chang (a locally prepared millet or rice beer). However, the chang can be swapped with water if you plan to make this at home. These gluten-free pancakes are traditionally served with butter tea made with yak’s milk and seasonal veggies.

Karikku dosa

It looks like a neer dosa, but isn’t quite. Karikku dosa or tender coconut pancake is a delicious breakfast prepared in Malyali households. Its recipe is similar to that of neer dosa — both don’t require fermentation and are made with rice as the main ingredient. However, there is one important difference. Tender coconut is the star in the karikku dosa recipe — the flesh and water get ground along with soaked rice. The result is a lacy, crepe-like dosa with a unique flavour, which goes well with chutney.


Siddu is a local Himachali bread with a stuffing of dal. Making this yeast-based bread usually takes a couple of hours, but it is well worth the effort. Siddu is steamed and usually served hot with ghee, but some other popular accompaniments include dal or pudina chutney.

Sarva pindi

A popular breakfast or snack in Andhra Pradesh, sarva pindi is a rustic rice flour pancake. Peanuts or chana dal and sesame seeds add a balanced crunch to the spicy pancake. Sarva pindi is also known as ginnappa or tapala pindi.

Jol paan

This traditional Assamese breakfast is filling, simple and doesn’t require any cooking. Jol paan includes a combination of puffed rice (muri), flattened rice (chirwa), and occasionally pre-cooked glutinous rice (also called bora saul), which are soaked in yoghurt and served with jaggery.

Madakku san

These ‘love letters,’ as they are also called, are a popular breakfast dish in Kerala. The exact reason behind the name isn’t known, but one thing is for sure, they are delicious. The egg-based crepes are stuffed with a mixture of grated coconut, cardamom and sugar.

Are there any traditional breakfasts you would like to talk about?

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