10 South Indian Foods for Diabetic Patients

Diabetes brings in a lot of challenges in the daily life of ours. The restrictions and limitations that it comes with can be tiring and often difficult to abide by. But with just the perfect balance in everything and proper schedules to assist the body’s functioning, one can combat this ailment in all the right ways.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body’s blood sugar levels can experience extreme falls or spikes, which can be harmful to the bodily systems’ overall functioning.

Due to the inefficient working of the insulin hormone, which regulates and controls the amounts of sugar in the body, the rise, and falls can experience extreme disturbances.

It is necessary to keep the blood sugar counts within the healthy margins to avoid any casualties and health accidents.

To keep the body healthy as a diabetic patient can require a lot of additional research, rules, and effort, but it pays off to keep a watch on the type of diet you have and the daily activities that you engage in to keep your body fit and healthy.

Veggie causing Diabetes

It is recommended to go for regular walks and practice meditation as it helps in overall stress relief. Yoga is an excellent way of keeping the body active, coupled with a diet chart based on your diabetic needs.

The food you decide to consume, the amount of it, the way it is cooked or had as raw, the amount of processing that takes place, etc. can significantly impact the way that food items will affect your diabetic health.

We are here to help you make these decisions wisely when it comes to food and diabetes. Today, we have a list of 10 healthy and safe South Indian food items for patients with diabetes.

List of 10 South Indian foods that are healthy and safe for diabetic patients:


⭐ Check out this Flipbook with 30-Day Diabetic Meal Plan based on Foods from Each Indian State ⭐
(click on the ▶ arrow below to scroll the pages and 🔍 button to enlarge)


A South Indian diet is considered healthy and often includes a balance of all the right things and nutrition. But the increased use of rice in the dishes, and deep frying of various other foods and recipes can be harmful to a diabetic person’s health. Here are ten such South Indian diet recipes that you can include in a well-planned and healthy diabetic diet.

1. Soya Dosa

Soya Dosa

Replacing the traditional rice Dosa with the healthy and nutritious soya Dosa is a good option. It is both a delicious as well as a safe alternative to be included in your diabetic diet. It is a rich source of protein, lower in calories, and carbohydrate content compared to normal rice made Dosa.

Making the Soya Dosa is also no big deal:


–         Wheat flour (3/4 cup)

–         Urad dal flour (1/4 cup)

–         Soya flour (1/4 cup)

–         Salt

–         Oil for frying

–         Chopped onions

–         Chopped green chilies

Mix all the batter ingredients to form a paste for the Dosa, except the cooking oil, and keep it aside for a minimum of two hours.

Use the oil to fry the Dosa in a pan, or you can even choose to roast it, which is a healthier option and avoids the minimal amount of oil.

Serve this healthy Soya Dosa with a side of healthy chutney to pair it well.

2. Chana Sundal

Chana Sundal

The white Chana, also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas, Kabuli Chana, etc. is an excellent legume supplement added to a diabetic diet.

It can be used in many ways and very low in the Glycemic Index, making it one of the best and recommended legumes to be consumed by patients with diabetes. Be sure you only have half a cup of this Chana per day and not more than that.

To make Chana Sundal:


–         Chana soaked overnight in water (1/2 cup)

–         Water (1/2 cup)

–         Mustard (1/2 tsp.)

–         Cumin (1/2 tsp.)

–         Urad Dal (1 tsp.)

–         Fresh curry leaves

–         Green chilies slit from the center (1 or 2)

–         Ginger

–         Turmeric (1/4 tsp.)

–         Oil

–         A pinch of asafetida

–         Salt as per taste

Pressure cook the soaked White Chana in a cooker for 1 to 2 whistles.

For the next step, heat a pan, put in some oil, and add the cumin, Urad dal, and mustard. Let this turn golden and then add the chopped onions, ginger and chilies to the oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and spices.

Add in the boiled white Chana and mix it well with the spice and onion mix. Serve hot and fresh.

3. Ragi Uttapam

Ragi Uttapam

The Uttapam is a very famous and savored South Indian dish. But this can often be a wrong choice of food for South Indians. A good variant that people with diabetes can include in their restrictive food chart is the Ragi Uttapam. It is healthier and does not affect the blood sugar levels too much.


–         Ragi flour (2 cups)

–         Curd (1/2 cup)

–         Grated ginger (1 tbsp.)

–         Green chilies chopped (2)

–         Cumin seeds (1 tsp.)

–         Salt as per taste

–         Chopped tomatoes (1 cup)

–         Chopped Spring onions

–         Chopped capsicums

Keep aside the chopped capsicum, tomatoes, and spring onions for the garnishing in the ends, and mix all the other ingredients in a container.

Add in some water to make the batter of the Uttapam of perfect consistency.

Heat a pan with oil and pour in the batter, one ladle a time to form a pancake-like shape and fry it even on both sides.

Serve the ready Ragi Uttapams in a plate with fresh green mint and coriander chutney. 

4. Varagu Upma

Varagu Upma

The Varagu upma is one of the fiber-rich recipes that one must include in their diabetic diet. The Varagu is a grain that resembles Ragi but is larger in comparison. It is even healthier than Ragi and low in the Glycemic Index supplement. It is a good source of fiber that can be assisting digestive processes.

Ingredients for Varagu Upma:

–         Cleaned and washed Varagu (1/2 cup)

–         Onions chopped (1/4 cup)

–         Mixed veggies – carrots, beans, capsicum, green peas, etc. (3/4 cup)

–         Urad Dal (1 tsp.)

–         Mustard seeds (1/2 tsp.)

–         Green chilies slit from the center

–         Curry leaves

–         Pinch of asafetida

–         Oil (1 tsp.)

–         Low-fat curd (1/4 cup)

–         Salt as per taste

Start with roasting the Varagu dry, and when golden brown, keep it aside.

Heat a pan and add in the oil and put the Mustard seeds, Urad dal, Slit chilies, and curry leaves. Next, add the onions and a pinch of asafetida, and sauté them until the onions turn soft and brownish.

Pour in the rest of the chopped vegetables and add some water and keep cooking until the vegetables are soft.

After cooking the vegetables, add in the Varagu and pour 2 cups of water and cook for 10 minutes. When the Varagu is cooked, add the curd and mix well. Serve hot.

5. Wheat Dosa

Wheat Dosa

Also known as the Godhuma Dosa, this wheat variant of the Dosa. The wheat Dosa is easy to make and quicker because it does not need too much time to ferment. The Godhuma is also low in the Glycemic index, making it a great addition to a diabetic-safe option.


–         Whole wheat (1 cup)

–         Urad dal (1/4 cup)

–         Salt as per taste

–         Oil (1/2 tsp.)

–         Mustard seeds (1/4 tsp.)

–         Cumin seeds (1/4 tsp.)

–         Curry leaves

–         Oil for frying

–         Chopped green chilies

Pour in the batter’s ingredients – wheat, Urad dal, and the salt, with 1 ¼ cups of water and whisk well to form a paste. Let the batter rest for around 30 minutes.

Heat the mustard, cumin, curry leaves, chopped green chilies, and hot oil. Heat for 30 seconds and pour this sizzling tempering into the batter.

Pour a measure of the Dosa into a frying pan and cook the sides properly. Repeat this process of making the Dosa and serve it hot with healthy sambhar and chutney. 

6. Whole wheat and vegetable Dosa

Whole wheat and vegetable Dosa

Unlike the plain rice flour Dosa, the one with whole wheat has a lot of nutrition and lesser carbohydrates. Adding in some veggies in the Dosa can be very helpful for the body and the overall nutrition.


–         Whole wheat flour (1 ½ cup)

–         Chopped tomatoes (1/4 cup)

–         Onions chopped into small pieces (1/4 cup)

–         Chopped chilies (1/2 tsp.0

–         Grated carrots (1/4 cup)

–         Chopped fresh coriander

–         Oil for frying

Combine the ingredients for the Dosa: flour, salt, and water, and whisk it well to make a good Dosa paste.

Add in the finely chopped tomatoes, onions, and grated carrots to the Dosa batter. Mix all the ingredients and let it set aside for 30 minutes.

Use a spoon to pour the Dosa mixture on the non-stick frying pans and fry it well. Let the ends turn crispy and flip when necessary. Repeat to make more Dosas.

Serve the Dosa when cooked, with some healthy sambhar and chutney to pair it with.

7. Diabetic Adai

Diabetic Adai


Adai is a very famous South Indian snack and a breakfast item. We have found this diabetic variant of the traditional rice Adai.


–         Broken wheat (Dalia) (1/2 cup)

–         Green Moong dal (1/4 cup)

–         Masoor dal (2 tbsp.)

–         Urad dal (2 tbsp.)

–         Fenugreek seeds (1 tsp.)

–         Chopped onions

–         Asafetida

–         Green-chili paste

–         Turmeric powder (1/4 tsp.0

–         Curry leaves

–         Salt

–         Oil

–         Water

Soak the Dalia, fenugreek seeds, Masoor dal, Urad dal, and Green Moong dal for 2 hours, and then blend them into a paste by adding water.

In the blended paste, add the veggies and spices.

Use this mix as a batter and pour in measures of this mix on the pan and fry the Adai until brown and cooked from both sides. Serve this healthy meal with some healthy chutney.

8. Coconut oats

Coconut oats

Oats are a great source of fiber for the body, adding this in your diabetic diet can have a very healthy impact on the body, and it is a safe alternative for people with diabetes over unhealthy snacks.


–         Oats (1 ½ cup)

–         Grated coconut (1 cup)

–         Oil (1 tbsp.)

–         Mustard (1/4 tsp.)

–         Cumin (1/4 tsp.)

–         Chana dal (1/2 tsp.)

–         Urad dal (1/2 tsp.)

–         Curry leaves

–         Peanuts

–         Grated ginger (1 tsp.)

–         Chopped green chilies (2)

–         Salt

–         Lemon juice (2 tbsps.)

–         Coriander leaves

–         Asafetida

Wash and rinse the oats and then keep aside.

In a pan add in some oil and add the following – mustard, Urad dal, Chana dal, cumin, peanuts, asafetida, ginger paste, green chili, curry leaves, and fry them well.

Pour in some water to soften the dals and salt and turmeric. Cook for a while and then add in the oats. Cook and mix the oats.

When ready, add chopped coriander, lemon juice, and grated coconut, and serve hot.

9. Oats Idli (low-calorie)

Oats Idli (low-calorie)

Idli is a South Indian rice-made dish, let us look at an oats variant of it to add in the goodness of fiber, and suit it according to your diabetic needs.


–         Oats (2 cups)

–         Sour curd (1/2 liter)

–         Mustard seeds (1 tbsp.)

–         Urad dal (1 tbsp.)

–         Oil

–         Chana dal (1/2 tbsp.)

–         Chopped green chili

–         Grated carrots

–         Chopped coriander

–         Salt

–         Fruit salt

–         Turmeric

Dry roast the oats on a hot pan and grind into powder.

Fry the mustard, Urad dal, and Chana dal together, and then add in the chilies, carrots, and coriander. Mix with turmeric and salt and keep frying for a while.

Add this into the powdered oats and mix them well with the curd. Make sure not to add in water.

Steam the oats Idli for 15mins and serve with healthy chutney.

10. Whole Moong Dosa

Whole Moong Dosa

In the list of healthy Dosas that one can have as diabetic patients, the whole Moong Dosa is an unmissable variant. This is a protein-rich supplement and very helpful for the body’s nutrition.


–         Whole green Moong (1 cup)

–         Rice (1/4 cup)

–         Urad dal (1/4 cup)

–         Salt

–         Oil

–         Chopped onions

–         Coriander leaves

–         Chopped green chilies

–         Water

The first step is to soak the batter’s ingredients – Urad dal, Green Moong, and rice in water for over 4 hours. Once soaked well, blend it all into a paste. This paste must be kept to ferment for 5 to 6 hours.

Add in the vegetables, salt, and whisk well.

Fry in a pan with a small amount of oil and flip the Dosa to cook both sides equally. Serve with chutney and sambhar.













Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Leave a Comment