south Indian diet plan for diabetes

South Indian Diet Ideas for Diabetics

For many Indians, when we speak of ‘comfort food’ South Indian cuisine and dosa come to mind. The first favorite dish for many young Indians is often dosa. This could be because they are first introduced to this dish after the whole roti-sabzi shenanigans. The spreading of the batter on the pan, watching it go round in perfect circles, the smell of the butter/ghee/oil on the dosa, the light-brown color as you peel itself off the pan, the scene can just unfold in front of the eyes. 

However, South Indian food is often made of white rice. Since rice is very high in starch, it also contains a lot of carbs. Any person with diabetes should stay off foods with high carbs to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels. You would have to find a twist to the process and figure out a South Indian diabetes diet that would not endanger your overall blood sugars.

South Indian Diabetics diet

Diabetes is a condition that is witnessing a steady rise in the country in recent times. Many people are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes which is primarily associated with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Even in South India, there has been a high prevalence of diabetes among people. Being able to come up with South Indian diabetes diet recipes also required a lot of creativity and skill among the chefs and cooks at home. White rice is essential in making the batter for dosa, idli, uttapam, and so many other South Indian dishes. A substitute for white rice that not only is tasty but also nutritious was then curated by the top chefs.

This was important because who would want to give up on South Indian food? So, coming up with an alternative and providing the best South Indian food for diabetes was of utmost importance. Avoiding deep-fried items, high-fat foods, and refined flour was key to achieving a healthy diet.

Ragi Wheat Dosa

Having a dosa but in its healthiest form – what could be better than that. Ragi flour is known to be low glycemic foods for diabetics which makes it a good substitute for rice. You can combine both of these super-flours (ragi and wheat) and mix them to form a batter. These flours are well known for their fiber content and provide the ideal amount of nutrition for a person with diabetes. Among the South Indian diabetes diet recipes, this would be one of the most sought-after ones.

This dosa can be had plain for breakfast or you could also prepare these during your regular meal times. It is super filling and you will not feel hungry fast. Add chutney and sambar or daal and enjoy! Another way of making this dosa could be by preparing it only with whole wheat flour. Finely chop some vegetables like tomatoes, onions, capsicum, etc into the batter and add salt to taste. Sprinkle a bit of coriander on top after the dosa is cooked. 

Ragi Uttapam

Another staple food item that would prove to be healthy in the South Indian diabetes diet chart would be uttapam. You can easily make and indulge in an uttapam made in ragi flour. While we often see this dish is made from ground white rice, ragi flour is surely the healthier alternative here. Apart from the look, the overall taste does not change much. Since ragi also does not affect the blood sugar levels too much, a person with diabetes can enjoy this dish guilt-free

Add several vegetables on top like tomatoes, spring onions, chillies (as per taste), capsicums, onions, etc. Make the dish more fibrous and nutritious than ever! Enjoy it with a bowl of sambar and chutney. If you want to add a little hint of North Indian to the South Indian food, have it with a glass of cold chaas (buttermilk) 

Oats Idli

Looking to make a South Indian diet plan for diabetes and are searching for good Indian breakfast for type 2 diabetes? You will not have to look any further than this amazing oats idli. These turn out to be exactly as light and fluffy as their original, but not-very-healthy version. Idlis can give the perfect kick-start to the mornings and can immediately bring a smile to the face. Have mini-idlis or the regular-sized ones and enjoy the variety.

Since these are made with oats, they contain a lot of fiber. You might not need to add any more vegetables to it. Another twist to the mini-idlis could be that you could cook them further in oil, rai, haldi, and a few kadi-pattas and make a dish of masala idlis. Why put an end to your creativity when you need not be limited as long as you are healthy!

Moong Dal Dosa

Another variation to the healthy dosas could be a whole moong dal dosa. The green moong dal can be soaked in water overnight and can be blended to make a paste. Add water as necessary and form a thin batter as required for a dosa. This healthy friendly South Indian diabetes diet is super easy to make and is light but filling. Where else can you find a combination like that? Since moong daal is known to have a lot of protein, it also gives you your fair share of this nutrient while catering to your hunger pangs. It is also helpful for the overall nutrition of the body. Not only people with diabetes but also anyone can enjoy this amazing dish. 


Popularly eaten for breakfast, add this to the healthy South Indian diet for diabetes. It is one of the easiest recipes to make and the instructions can be followed by anyone at all. This healthy upma is made with a combination of different grains. While rava can also be healthy for a person with diabetes, it does have a certain number of carbs. To reduce the effect of these carbs, a mixture of urad dal and semolina (rava) is used. Of course, you can feel free to add as many vegetables as you would like – low-carb ones – to your upma. People prefer to add beans, tomatoes, coriander, etc. to make it even more healthy and fiber rich foods for diabetes. Why does this recipe make it to the South Indian diabetes diet menu? It is because it is a treasure trove of nutrients like protein and fiber that are allies to a person with diabetes. 


In the southern states of India, curries are a delicacy like no other. You can enjoy your share of curries within the diabetes diet chart South Indian food. There are different types of curries that you can indulge in Kala Chana curry that can be tossed in spices and have this filling dish as a snack or as a meal and Bitter gourd curry that is popular and healthy and known for its high levels of antioxidants along with fatty acids and essential carbohydrates. This vegetable is also a great blood-purifier and can bring down the level of blood sugars and HbA1c.


There is no need to compromise on your beloved South Indian food if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. All you need is a little bit of a twist and creativity to your recipes to make them healthy, nutritional, and tasty for you. Check this article as it gives you a bunch of recipes for a diabetes-friendly South Indian diet that is easy to make and fun to eat.

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Is Dosa good for diabetes?

While dosa made out of white rice may be high in carbs, you can easily indulge in a dosa made out of whole wheat flour, ragi flour, jowar, soya, etc. Add a few vegetables to it, if you would like, and make it even more nutritious.

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