10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try

Indian snacks are incredibly delicious but can deprive us of vital nutrients. Here are 10 healthy Indian snacks to try out.

10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try f

You can easily adapt the recipe to suit your tastebuds

Healthy Indian snacks are often hard to come by.

The traditional snacks of India are famous for their bold flavours and moreish textures. Whether its street-style samosas, homemade pakoras or a handful of bhujia, India is home to some of the tastiest snacks around.

However, these snacks are often deep-fried and full of refined flour, unhealthy fats and high levels of salt and sugar.

Nutritionist Naini Setalvad describes them as “nutrient robbers”, depriving our bodies and minds of essential nourishment.

Just by making a few simple recipe adjustments, it’s easy to turn these foods into healthy Indian snacks with all of the flavour but without any of the health risks.

The global snack industry is worth almost £1 trillion. With people feeling increasingly pressed for time in their busy lifestyles, many enjoy snacking on things like crisps, biscuits and nuts during their breaks.

Many prefer to do this instead of preparing big, hearty meals that last them through the day.

This is why it’s so important to make sure your snacks contain ingredients that will keep you fuelled all day.

When done right, snacking can be a wonderful source of energy, comfort and nutrition.

These 10 healthy Indian snacks are nutritious and filling without compromising on taste.

Murmura Chivda

10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try - murmura

Murmura is a great healthy alternative to Indian snacks like bhujia and namkeen.

Just like your favourite namkeen, it’s light, crunchy and full of flavour. But instead of deep-fried flours, murmura chivda contains a wealth of wholesome grains to boost energy and brain activity.

Its main ingredient, puffed rice, is low in calories and enriched with vitamins and minerals, making it one of the best healthy Indian snacks.

It is also extremely versatile. You can easily adapt the recipe to suit your tastebuds by mixing in your favourite nuts, dried fruits and grains.

Popular variations use roasted peanuts, almonds, chickpeas and lentils to turn this snack into the perfect burst of energy.

Try out this simple recipe for a healthy Indian snack to keep you satisfied.

Ingredients

  • 250g puffed rice
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup roasted chickpeas
  • ¼ cup dried grated coconut
  • 5 dried green chillies
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil

Method

  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Once hot, add in the peanuts and roast on medium heat for under a minute.
  2. Reduce the heat and add in the coconut and chickpeas. Roast until coconut starts to crisp.
  3. Add green chillies and curry leaves and roast until crisp.
  4. Add in the sugar, turmeric, salt and red chilli powder, mixing well.
  5. Finally, add in the puffed rice and roast for up to 10 minutes until it becomes crisp. Let mixture cool and store in an airtight container.

Mixed Sprouts Chaat

10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try - sprouts

Everyone loves the tangy, sweet, spicy indulgence of chaat. But did you know you can achieve all the delectable flavours of chaat while also giving your body something nutritious?

Traditional chaat is often dripping with chutneys that contain hidden sugar, salt and oil.

Try substituting these with fresh, natural ingredients like lemon juice, red chilli, ginger and coriander. Even additions like fresh beetroot or mango can really please the palate.

These intense flavours don’t just provide a kick to your tastebuds, they also kickstart your immune system!

With a little preparation in advance, this recipe for mixed sprouts chaat can be whipped up in no time.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups mixed sprouts
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup pomegranate
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Soak the sprouts overnight. The next morning, pressure cook for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Strain well and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, stirring well. Once fully combined, serve.

Baked Vegetable Pakora

10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try - pakora

Pakoras are one of India’s most popular snacks. Though they are dipped in gram flour which has an impressive range of health benefits, they are traditionally deep-fried.

Frying them in hot oil immediately gets rid of gram flour’s natural nutrients, including a host of vitamins and minerals that are important for your body’s happiness.

The frying process also leads to your pakoras absorbing an excessive amount of oil, adding even more fat and calories to your meal.

Pakoras can easily be made healthy just by paying attention to your ingredients. Instead of making bread pakoras or the ever-popular onion pakoras, opt for vegetables like carrots, potatoes and cauliflower.

Chief nutritionist Lathitha Subramanyam says:

“What we eat should be whole, minimally processed, and nutritious.”

In fact, many dishes can be turned into healthy Indian snacks by simply switching from deep-frying to baking.

This delicious baked pakora recipe allows your pakora batter to retain all of its nutritious qualities.

Ingredients

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small potato
  • 1-inch cube of ginger
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • A sprinkle of black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala
  • A handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 75g gram flour

Method

  1. Peel and grate carrot and potato. Us a fine grater to grate the ginger.
  2. Add all the ingredients except gram flour into a mixing bowl.
  3. Sift the gram flour into the bowl then mix all ingredients together thoroughly with your hands until everything is combined and mixture holds well.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Spoon dessert-sized spoons onto the baking tray and press down slightly.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven (250°C) for 25 minutes and serve.

Moong Dal Chilla

10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try - chilla

Moong Dal chilla is a simple, quick snack that is both healthy and wholesome.

This savoury pancake is a low-calorie, protein-packed snack. It has tons of flavour and can be served in many different ways.

This recipe can be made in a jiffy and is perfect for any time of day!

To make it even healthier, moong dal chilla can even be filled with roasted veggies or a crunchy salad.

Once you’ve tried out this simple recipe, have a go at experimenting by adding in some of your favourite fillings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups split moong dal (without skin)
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Method

  1. Wash the moong dal and soak for 2 hours.
  2. Drain and grind the dal in a food processor and make a fine paste, adding water to achieve the consistency of pancake batter.
  3. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Coat the surface of the pan with oil.
  4. Pour one ladle onto the centre of the pan, spreading it in a circular motion from the centre outwards.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden. Flip and cook the other side.
  6. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Dhokla

10 Healthy Indian Snacks You Must Try - dhokla

Dhokla is one of the tastiest healthy Indian snacks you can eat.

Its ingredients are steamed and not fried, making it a highly nutritious option. Dhokla is low in calories but rich in fibre, protein and healthy fat.

Its light, fluffy texture is extremely satisfying and it is also quick to prepare.

Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora describes how fermented foods like dhokla aid digestion, raise energy levels and help with weight loss.

She adds: “Apart from aiding digestion, the lactic acid bacteria present in fermented foods also alter the PH balance in the intestines, which is associated with a long life and good health.”

Dhokla is a speedy, wholesome solution to your sudden cravings! This recipe is sure to become one of your go-to snacks.

Ingredients

Batter

  • 1 cup gram flour/besan
  • 1 tbsp semolina
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Eno Salt
  • 1 tsp green chilli and ginger paste
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt

Tempering

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 10 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the gram flour, semolina and salt.
  2. Add in oil, lemon juice, chilli-ginger paste and water. Mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the Eno salt and whisk thoroughly until the mixture is frothy and has doubled in size.
  4. Transfer the batter to a greased container.
  5. Fill a large pan with water and place a trivet at the base. Set the container over trivet, cover with a lid and steam batter for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Use a toothpick to check if it is done. Once the toothpick comes out clean, allow the dhokla to cool for 10 minutes. Insert knife around container edges and flip over onto plate. Cut into pieces.
  7. In a pan, heat oil, add green chillies and let it crackle on low heat.
  8. Add in curry leaves, mustard seeds and sesame seeds and cook until crisp.
  9. Add water and sugar, mixing to combine.
  10. Pour the hot mixture over steamed dhokla and enjoy.

Rava Idli

10 You Must Try - idli

Made from semolina and urad dal, rava idli is the perfect guilt-free snack to keep you satisfied throughout the day.

Apart from its great taste, rava idli is rich in fibre, Vitamin B and Vitamin E. Like dhokla, it is steamed, making it ideal for those looking to control their calorie intake.

Unlike rice idli, rava idli does not require any grinding or overnight soaking.

It can be prepared in under an hour, ensuring you have a tasty yet healthy Indian snack on standby.

This recipe for soft, fluffy rava idli is definitely worth adding to your list.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp coriander, minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups semolina
  • 2 cups yoghurt
  • 1-2 green chili peppers
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add in cashews, ginger, curry leaves, coriander and turmeric. Sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the rava. Stir constantly for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in yoghurt and salt. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Add water to the batter until slightly fluid. Add in baking soda and stir.
  4. Grease idli moulds and fill with the batter, leaving space for them to rise.
  5. Pour an inch of water into a pressure cooker or a deep, wide pot. Place the idli moulds inside and steam on high heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat and steam for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and let idlis stand for 5 minutes to cool down.
  8. Using a knife, loosen idlis from the moulds and serve.

Masala Paneer Cubes

10 You Must Try - paneer

Paneer is a powerhouse of protein. When eaten raw it has even more health benefits.

From weight loss to healthy bones, India’s favourite cheese has amazing nutritional value. This makes it a perfect choice for when you want a healthy Indian snack to nibble on between meals.

Being served raw means that you can really savour paneer’s rich and creamy texture while nourishing your body with essential proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Add this simple recipe to your list of healthy Indian snacks and reap all of paneer’s amazing health benefits.

Ingredients

  • 5 cubes of raw paneer
  • ¼ tsp chaat masala
  • A sprinkle of salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Heat up the paneer cubes in a microwave for 20 seconds.
  2. Sprinkle over masala, salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Masala Corn

10 You Must Try - corn

Commonly served as street food in India, the simple masala corn is a crowd-pleaser across the nation.

It also has very high fibre content, promoting healthy digestion. Compared to many traditional snacks it contains no saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol.

This recipe is one of the quickest healthy Indian snacks to make and is absolutely bursting with flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweetcorn
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp chaat masala
  • ¼ tsp salt

Method

  1. Boil sweetcorn in water for 5 minutes.
  2. Once done, drain and transfer to pan. Add in butter and roast on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the chilli powder, cumin powder, chaat masala, salt and lemon juice, mixing well. Transfer to a cup and serve immediately.

Protein Laddu

10 You Must Try - laddu

Traditional laddu is undoubtedly delicious. But with its excessive amounts of sugar and saturated fat, many are looking for healthier alternatives.

This protein laddu recipe combines the soft sweetness of dates with the crunch of chopped nuts.

These ingredients pack a whole array of health benefits into one bite, boosting your immunity and energy levels.

It is great for satisfying sweet cravings, and you can happily eat one knowing it’s nourishing your body well.

Have a go at this guilt-free laddu recipe that’s bound to become one of your favourites!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates, seedless
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup coconut powder
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tbsp almonds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

Method

  1. In a blender, mix the dates and raisins until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl, adding the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Mix well then divide into small, equal portions.
  3. Apply ghee to your palms and roll the portions into small balls.
  4. Store in an airtight container and enjoy them when you like.

Date-Coconut Barfi

10 You Must Try - barfi

Loaded with health benefits, dates are one of the best sugar substitutes to turn any mithai into a healthy Indian snack.

As well as being easy to prepare, this date-coconut barfi is an excellent source of energy, sugar and fibre. Not to mention vital minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

While this healthy recipe is a twist on traditional barfi, it is still bound to delight your tastebuds.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup ground almond
  • 15 dates, seedless
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder

Method

  1. Grease a plate or pan with some of the ghee.
  2. Mix the dates and milk in a blender to make a thick puree.
  3. Heat the remaining ghee (medium-high heat) in a saucepan. Once melted, add the date puree and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add ground almond powder and mix well, forming a dry dough. Add in the desiccated coconut, mix well for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add in the cardamom powder.
  5. Pour the barfi mixture onto the greased plate and press with a spoon, spreading evenly.
  6. Cut into shapes as required.
  7. Once completely cool, remove pieces from the plate and serve.

These 10 healthy Indian snacks will change up your weekly meal plans. Instead of craving more, they will leave you feeling satisfied throughout the day.

Their fresh, natural ingredients make sure you get the maximum amount of nutrients to your body.

It’s easy to automatically reach for fried or sugary foods when hunger pangs take over.

But these healthy recipes are very tasty and can even be made beforehand so that when the time comes, you can reach for a pre-prepared energy boost.

The best part is that you can easily adapt all of these recipes to achieve whatever flavours or textures you want.

These healthy Indian snacks turn snacking into a happy, wholesome experience where you can nourish your tastebuds and whole body.

The next time you’re craving a salty snack or a sweet bite to eat, try out one of these step-by-step recipes.

Aayushi is an English Literature graduate and published writer with a penchant for pithy metaphors. She enjoys reading and writing about the small joys in life: poetry, music, family and wellbeing. Her motto is 'Find joy in the ordinary.'