If you are following a low-carb diet and love Indian food, choosing the right dishes can get tricky. Here's a collection of 50 healthy and easy-to-make Low Carb Indian food recipes that you can enjoy while watching your carbs.
This collection includes delicious drinks, appetizers, snacks, and a wide variety of curry recipes that are sure to please vegetarians and meat eaters alike!
These low Carb Indian recipes include popular restaurant classics as well as traditional homestyle dishes, made in your pressure cooker, air fryer, or stovetop.
My husband and I have been on a low-carb diet for the last ten years. Reducing carbohydrates has become an essential and effective way for us to reduce and maintain weight. We do have a few cheat days when we indulge in dishes we love, just less frequently, and in moderation.
Indian food spreads tend to have high-carb components like rice, roti, paratha, potatoes (aloo), peas, lentils, and so on. Eating low-carb or Keto Indian food is more challenging on a vegetarian diet.
In this post, I list low-carb Indian food recipes and Keto Indian recipes, including Low Carb Indian Vegetarian Recipes. I will keep adding to this collection, so be sure to bookmark it by clicking on the heart icon ❤️ on your right.
- Why Eat a Low-Carb Diet?
- Keto vs. Low-Carb Diet
- How to Calculate Net Carbs
- Low Carb Indian Drinks & Dessert
- Chicken, Meat & Seafood (Under 10g net carbs per serving)
- Low-Carb Indian Vegetarian Recipes: (Under 10 grams Net Carbs per Serving)
- Low Carb Substitute for Rice
- Low Carb Substitute for Roti
- Common Questions
Why Eat a Low-Carb Diet?
As per Mayo Clinic, low-carb diets may help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. You can find more information on Low-Carb diets on their website.
Keto vs. Low-Carb Diet
Ketogenic diets, referred to as 'keto', require keeping daily carbs under 50 grams and ideally less than 20 grams of carbs. Low-carb diets typically recommend taking in less than 100 grams of carbs a day.
How to Calculate Net Carbs
Net carbs refer to the carbs that are absorbed by the body. When evaluating a dish, it is important to calculate the net carbohydrates. Net carbs are simply total carbs minus the carbs from fiber (and sugar alcohol, if present).
Net Carbs= Total Carbs - Fiber
Few things to remember while counting net carbs for low carb Indian dishes:
- Simple Formula: Total Carbs - Fiber = Net Carbs. The fiber content makes a big difference when calculating net carbs.
- For accurate calculations, find the Total Carbohydrates number listed on a package's Nutrition Info panel. Then, check the 'suggested' serving size and adjust that based on the amount you eat.
- For grains, lentils, and legumes, the default nutritional information is listed for 'uncooked' grains. Adjust that and calculate for cooked quantities that you are consuming.
- Sugar Alcohol content present in processed food items should also be subtracted from total carbs since the body does not absorb it.
Let us check out some of the BEST High Protein Indian Low Carb Recipes!
Please note: Before following any diet plan, I recommend checking with your doctor. The nutrition facts listed in these recipes are estimates based on a nutritional calculator and a standard serving size, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred calculators.
Low Carb Indian Drinks & Dessert
Enjoy these refreshing drinks and a decadent dessert minus the guilt!
Chicken, Meat & Seafood (Under 10g net carbs per serving)
Some recipes include a pot-in-pot rice option. Skip the basmati rice and serve these curries with Cauliflower-rice instead, and enjoy a low-carb meal. See notes and instructions for Cauli-rice at the bottom of this post.
Low-Carb Indian Vegetarian Recipes: (Under 10 grams Net Carbs per Serving)
And here are some Indian Vegetarian options for you. If you're specifically looking for Low carb Indian Vegetarian Recipes, they will be the ones made with Paneer (Indian firm cottage cheese cubes).
Paneer is the king of protein in low-carb Indian vegetarian food. You can find an easy recipe to make Paneer from scratch below:
Here's another Low Carb Collection: Low Carb Cocktails
Low Carb Substitute for Rice
Since Indian curries and stir-fries have a flavorful sauce, you need something to soak up all those flavorful juices, which is why rice is a key component of an Indian meal.
How Many Carbs in Cooked Rice
- 1 cup of cooked white rice has about 44 grams of net carbs, and,
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice has around 42 grams of net carbs.
Since rice is very high-carb, smarter substitutes like Cauliflower rice work great. Cauliflower rice is basically finely shredded cauliflower head. My local grocery stores, including Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Safeway, etc, all carry fresh and frozen 'Riced Cauliflower'.
But it is very easy to make it at home. Follow this easy recipe and make Cauliflower rice from scratch!
How to Cook Cauliflower Rice
You can follow the microwave instructions listed on the package, or simply saute it on the stove. Here's a recipe I make weekly! It goes great with all kinds of Indian dishes and takes less than 10 minutes to put together!
For another really simple recipe, here's what I do:
- Heat a skillet or fry pan on medium-high heat for a few minutes.
- Add olive oil or coconut oil and add the riced cauliflower.
- Sprinkle salt to taste. Keep stirring till the cauliflower rice turns soft and cooks 75% of the way. Takes about 6-8 minutes.
- Don't overcook it as it will turn to mush. If it has a little bite to it, it mimics the texture of 'rice'.
Low Carb Substitute for Roti
Roti: Store-bought Almond Tortillas work as a great low-carb Roti. Recently, I came across Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas, and I've been enjoying them occasionally. I get them from my local grocery store, and they are available on Amazon too. Depending on the size, each tortilla has 2-3 grams of net carbs.
Lettuce Wraps: For dry dishes like Fish Tikka, Tandoori Chicken and Kadai Paneer, I find lettuce cups as the easiest substitute. I turn them into lettuce wraps and enjoy with a drizzle of Cilantro Chutney. You can also use them to make Chicken Kathi rolls or Paneer kathi Rolls.
The short answer to this is 'No'. 1 cup (180 grams) of cooked lentils contains 36 grams of carbs. After subtracting 14 grams of fiber, it still has 22 grams of net carbs. Similarly, 1 cup (160–200 grams) of cooked beans and legumes contains carbs ranging from 44- 49 grams. After deducting fiber, ranging between 9-16 grams, they still average around 30 grams of net carbs per serving. Depending on personal tolerance and dietary restrictions, you may be able to include small amounts on a low-carb diet. (check with your physician)
I see so many recipes mislabel quinoa as a low-carb alternative to rice. Quinoa is a seed that’s packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients. But it is not a low-carb food. A cup of cooked quinoa has more than 39 grams of carbohydrates. That’s more than in the same amount of brown rice and almost as many carbs as in white rice.
I hope you enjoy these recipes! If you're looking for a specific recipe, simply comment on this post and let me know! If you try any of these recipes, do share your pictures on your favorite social media channels by tagging #spicecravings.