24 BEST Low Carb Indian Food Recipes

January 13, 2020 (Updated: January 24, 2020) By Aneesha |

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I​f you are following a low-carb diet and love Indian food, choosing the right dishes can get tricky.  Here’s a collection of 20+ healthy and easy-to-make Low Carb Indian food recipes that you can enjoy while watching your carbs. 

A collection of Low carb and Keto Friendly Indian Recipes including Butter Chicken, palak paneer and more.

These 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 few years. Reducing carbohydrates has become an essential way for us to reduce and maintain weight.

To keep us going, we do have a few cheat days when we indulge in dishes we love, like Chole Bhatura, Chicken Biryani, Carrot Halwa and Moong Dal halwa, 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 even harder if you are vegetarian.

In this post, I list 20+ 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?

As per Mayo Clinic, low-carb diets may help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease

But, I will refrain from giving advice about the benefits of a low-carb diet, since each body is different so one size doesn’t fit all here, and I’m definitely not a certified nutritionist. You can find more information on Low-Carb Diet here.

Let us discuss some basic terminology before we get started.

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.

In this post, I consider dishes that are less than 10 grams of carbs to be ketogenic, and those under 15 grams are low carb.

How to Calculate Net Carbs

Net carbs refers to the carbs that are absorbed by the body. When evaluating a dish, it is important to calculate the net carbohydrates. Net carbs is simply total carbs minus the carbs from fiber (and sugar alcohol, if present).

Few things to remember while counting net carbs:

  • 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 Low Carb Indian 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.

A collection of low carb and keto friendly Indian food recipes.

Low-Carb Indian Recipes: Chicken, Meat & Seafood (Under 10 grams Net Carbs per Serving)

Some recipes include a pot-in-pot rice option. Skip the basmati rice and serve these curries with Cauli-rice instead, and enjoy a low-carb meal. See notes and instructions for Cauli-rice at the bottom of this post.

A whole roasted Tandoori Chicken on a grey platter
Instant Pot Tandoori Whole Chicken
Tender, juicy and packed with flavor, here's a fail-proof pressure cooker recipe for Whole Tandoori Chicken, a classic Indian style Roasted Chicken. Enjoy this low-carb, keto-friendly and gluten-free recipe which gives amazing results with very little effort.
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instant pot chicken korma with cumin rice in black bowl with fresh cilantro
Chicken Korma- Instant Pot | Stove
Chicken Korma, a mildly spiced Indian Chicken curry made by simmering chicken with floral Indian spices and creamy coconut milk. It's an easy one-pot meal with cumin rice cooked right alongside, ready in 30-minutes!
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Tandoori Fish Tikka on a black stone plate
Tandoori Fish Tikka – Airfryer/ Oven/Crisplid
Say hello to your new favorite appetizer, Tandoori Fish Tikka! Tender fish marinated in a classic Indian tandoori masala and crisped to perfection in an Airfyer, Crisplid or oven. Enjoy this low-carb dish with a side of cilantro chutney!
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A bowl of chicken Saag curry served with basmati rice
Chicken Saag in Instant Pot (Chicken & Spinach Curry) | Palak Chicken
Here's a one-pot pressure cooker recipe for an Indian favorite, Chicken Saag, also known as Palak Chicken. This creamy and flavorful chicken and spinach curry is tasty, healthy and a breeze to make with this 30-minute recipe.
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Chicken tikka skewered and grilled with peppers
Chicken Tikka Recipe – Airfryer/Oven/Crisplid
Chicken Tikka, is an extremely flavorful appetizer in north Indian cuisine! In this easy Airfryer or oven recipe, chicken chunks are marinated in yogurt and aromatic Indian spices, then grilled to a crisp brown texture!
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Easy Butter Chicken with Saffron Rice
Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice (with Dairy-Free option)
Instant Pot Butter Chicken with Saffron Rice ! Tender and juicy chicken, cooked in a creamy tomato sauce, with pot-in-pot Saffron flavored Basmati Rice! This easy Butter Chicken recipe is a quick & easy ONE-POT meal, ready in 30 minutes. 
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Chicken curry served in a grey bowl with a side of cucumber salad and cumin rice
Chicken Curry Recipe in Instant Pot
Easy and delicious one-pot Indian meal! Here is an Instant Pot recipe for an Indian style Chicken Curry cooked with pot-in-pot cumin flavored basmati rice! 
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Diced cubes of chicken tossed in tikka masala curry, served over cumin rice
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala (No-Cream)
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala! A quick and healthy, one-pot pressure cooker recipe for this extremely popular Indian curry.  And the best part is, you get the same rich and creamy taste without using any heavy cream.
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Tandoori Chicken Recipe, with chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Tandoori Chicken Recipe
An easy Instant Pot & Oven recipe for Tandoori Chicken, a popular Indian spiced roast chicken. Chicken is marinated in yogurt and toasted Indian spices, and grilled till it’s tender and juicy on the inside, and golden and crisp on the outside.  
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Indian spiced goat curry garnished with a cilantro sprig
Instant Pot Mutton Curry | Goat Curry
Easy recipe for Goat Curry or Mutton Masala in Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Tender and juicy meat in a flavorful yogurt based sauce that is seasoned with warm Indian spices and crushed cardamom.  Serve it with basmati rice and raita and enjoy a hearty Indian meal. 
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Lamb korma curry instant pot pressure cooker by Spice Cravings. Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish: Lamb stew meat is braised in a cream based sauce & bold Indian spices and simmered for hours to reach the perfection. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian
Lamb Korma in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or Stovetop
Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish, wherein lamb stew meat is braised in a cream-based sauce & bold Indian spices and simmered for hours to reach perfection.  In this recipe, I shorten the cooking time using the instant pot.
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Top shot of authentic butter chicken
Butter Chicken: Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani in the Instant Pot
Marinated and grilled chicken, simmered in a creamy tomato sauce, seasoned with toasted garam masala, coriander and cumin, and finished with a little heavy cream, this recipe for Authentic Butter Chicken will make your taste buds dance!
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Keema Matar, Indian ground meat simmered with Indian spices and green peas, served in a copper bowl
Keema Matar in Instant Pot |Stove (Ground Meat & Peas)
Keema Matar is an Indian semi-dry curry, in which minced or ground meat (Keema), is cooked with green peas (matar), and seasoned with garam masala.
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Fish Coconut Curry by Spice Cravings is a light fish prepared in a coconut milk broth with aromatics and tons of curry leaves, served over a mountain of steamed white rice. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian 
Instant Pot Fish Coconut Curry
White flaky fish simmered in sweet and creamy coconut milk, seasoned with fragrant Indian spices, that’s all there is to this simple and delicious recipe for Fish Coconut Curry!
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Chili sauce based chicken vindaloo served in a copper bowl
Chicken Vindaloo in Instant Pot
This Chicken Vindaloo recipe is a variation of the popular Indian curry dish from Goa on the west coast of India.  I tweaked the traditional vindaloo recipe to make it a weeknight recipe that can be made in 30 minutes.
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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 High Protein 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 Indian vegetarian food, while maintaining low-carbs.

Cheesy mushrooms garnished with cilantro
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
Crisp mushroom caps filled with a veggie, herb and cheese mix! These mouth watering Stuffed Mushrooms are a perfect vegetarian and keto-friendly appetizer, ready in under 30-minutes using an Airfryer, oven or the new Mealthy Crisplid. Serve a platter of these at your next party or just make them for snack-time!
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Green Beans and Carrot cooked with coconut flakes and mustard seeds
Green Beans and Carrots: Instant Pot or Stir-fry
A quick and flavorful side of green beans and carrots sautéed with coconut flakes, this Green Beans and Carrots recipe is a great accompaniment to many entrées. Stir-fry or cook it in your Instant Pot and enjoy this vegan and gluten-free side dish in less than 30 minutes.
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A clay bowl with palak paneer
Saag Paneer | Palak Paneer in Instant Pot
30-minute Instant Pot recipe for Palak Paneer, or Saag Paneer, a popular Indian curry made with soft paneer cubes simmered in a flavorful spinach gravy.
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Sarson ka Saag, Indian spiced Mustard Greens by Spice Cravings. Sarson ka Saag is a leafy-vegetable preparation from Punjab, in the north of India. Traditionally a winter-time speciality, it is prepared with mustard greens & spinach, seasoned with onions, ginger, garlic, & warm Indian spices. It is usually served with makki ki roti, which is a cornmeal flatbread. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Sarson Ka Saag | Spiced Mustard Greens
Sarson ka Saag is a leafy-vegetable preparation from Punjab, in the north of India. Traditionally a winter-time speciality, it is prepared with mustard greens & spinach, seasoned with onions, ginger, garlic, & warm Indian spices.  It is usually served with makki ki roti, which is a cornmeal flatbread.
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Paneer cubes simmered in a rich tomato and onion gravy, by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian
Paneer Tikka Masala in an Instant Pot
Paneer Tikka Masala is the king of vegetarian dishes in the north-Indian cuisine. This popular Punjabi delicacy is made by simmering paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), in a tomato puree and onion gravy with aromatic garam masala, and is finished by adding heavy cream to give it that velvety smooth texture.
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Stir-fried beets with coconut served in a black bowl.
Beet Coconut Stir Fry (Beetroot Thoran)
Beet Coconut Stir Fry (Beetroot Thoran) is a quick & easy stir-fry of chopped beets with grated coconut. I lightly season it with salt, turmeric, coriander, and finish it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
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A bowl of paneer butter masala, also known as, paneer Makhani, made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
Paneer Butter Masala | Paneer Makhani in Instant Pot
An easy Instant Pot pressure cooker recipe for Paneer Butter Masala, or Paneer Makhani, a popular Indian vegetarian delicacy.  Made with Indian cottage cheese (paneer), simmered in tomato puree, Indian spices, and finished with a touch of heavy cream.
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A bowl of vegetable korma curry with a side of naan
Vegetable Korma in Instant Pot | Stove
Vegetable Korma is a mild and creamy vegetable curry that gets its rich flavor from cashews and cream. It is vegetarian and gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan. In this easy recipe, I put together this Indian delicacy in just 30 minutes using an Instant Pot or stove!
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10-Minute Kadai paneer by Spice Cravings is a delicious & elegant dish made with Paneer, peppers & onions. Seasoned with fragrant Indian spices, this is a real crowd pleaser. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian #SpiceCravings
15-Minute Kadai paneer
15-Minute Kadai paneer is a delicious & elegant dish made with Paneer, peppers & onions. Seasoned with fragrant Indian spices, this is a real crowd pleaser.
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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 do it yourself too. Rinse cauliflower, dry and cut in florets. Add to a food processor and pulse till it breaks down into smaller rice-like bits.

How to Cook Cauliflower Rice

You can follow the microwave instructions listed on the package, or simply saute it on the stove. 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 over cook 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

I have tried 5 different Keto naan recipes and I just cannot develop a taste for them. I know it’s probably me, but that’s not an option I can count on. So, while I experiment and develop my own version of a Low-carb Roti or Naan, I keep looking for store-bought options.

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.

Recently, I came across Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas, and I’be 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.

I hope you enjoy these recipes! If you want to see a particular recipe added to this collection, simply comment on this post and I’ll get to work!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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