Are you following a low-carb or keto diet and want to include Indian food? Following a low-carb diet does not have to mean you can’t enjoy a variety of foods and cuisines. Enjoy your keto diet in a healthy & delicious way by adding some easy-to-prep, low-carb Indian recipes.
I have been incorporating many low-carb Indian recipes into my regular meals as a way to lose weight. I also shared 25+ Indian recipes for weight loss with sample meal plans.
Let’s see why adopting a low-carb diet, which recommends less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day, can benefit your health.
Table of Contents
Why Follow a Low-Carb Diet?
Here is some information from Healthline. Low-carb means cutting back down on the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. This diet is normally followed to facilitate healthy weight loss and improve blood sugar and blood pressure.
- A low-carb diet controls your blood sugar and minimizes the need for insulin levels. This diet is very beneficial for people who are diabetic or insulin resistant.
- Low-carb foods keep you satisfied for longer and the cravings at bay, making it easier to manage your weight loss regimen.
- They increase the production of good cholesterol and protect the heart from cardiovascular disease.
The ketogenic diet, also called keto, requires one to consume a very low amount of carbohydrates and replace them with fat and protein to help your body burn fat for energy.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. It occurs when you significantly reduce the consumption of carbohydrates.
A keto diet is the best way to enter ketosis. One has to limit carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day. Ideally, at the lower end, close to 20 grams.
Why Indian Food on a Low-Carb Diet?
Many Indian recipes use ingredients that have natural, healthy nutrients in the right amount. Combined with the right spices, Indian recipes can give a flare to your low-carb diet. Many of these recipes are high in protein and low in carbs, which keeps you satisfied for longer.
The Indian restaurant’s favorite Butter Chicken has become a popular keto food. But that is not the only one!
Here is the ultimate list of low-carb Indian chicken, shrimp, egg, paneer, and vegetable recipes. Some recipes below can be easily made in the instant pot and air fryer, so get your gadgets out and enjoy easy keto Indian recipes.
I am including the nutrition for each of the recipes. They all have less than 20 grams of net carbs.
If you are looking for diabetic-friendly recipes, check out my post about 40+ Diabetes Friendly Indian Food Recipes.
Low-Carb Indian Snacks
Paneer Tikka is one of the most popular Indian vegetarian appetizers. Soft and creamy paneer cheese cubes are marinated in a vibrant blend of aromatic spices, tangy yogurt, and a squeeze of lemon juice before being grilled to perfection.
Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 18g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Tandoori Paneer Tikka recipe.
If you like Brussels sprouts, you will love these Indian-inspired Brussels sprouts. They are stir-fried in mustard and cumin seed tempering and tossed with Indian spices.
Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Indian Brussels Sprouts recipe.
Tandoori Cauliflower is a wonderful gluten-free and low-carb appetizer. This Tandoori Gobi Tikka is flavorful, golden, and crispy and tossed with a spiced yogurt marinade and roasted in the oven or air fryer. The whole family will love this easy and healthy cauliflower recipe!
Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 6g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Tandoori Cauliflower recipe.
Chicken Tikka Kebab is a delicious appetizer that is packed with flavor. It starts with chicken pieces marinated in yogurt, lime juice, and aromatic spices, then threaded onto skewers and cooked to create a delicious appetizer. Make it in the air fryer or oven to serve at the gathering, or include it in your meal prep for the week!
Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Chicken Tikka Kebab recipe.
This Roasted Cauliflower seasoned with spices is easy to make and amazingly delicious topped with cilantro yogurt sauce. Enjoy as a wonderful low-carb side dish or appetizer.
Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Indian Roasted Cauliflower recipe.
Low-Carb Indian Vegetarian Recipes
A North Indian favorite with spinach and cottage cheese, Palak Paneer. Make this instant pot palak paneer as a one-pot dish. Super easy and delicious!
Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 20g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Palak Paneer recipe.
Bharwa Bhindi, which means Stuffed Okra, is a popular Indian side dish where the okra is stuffed with spicy & tangy masala filling.
Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Stuffed Okra recipe.
Paneer Jalfrezi is a delicious stir-fry curry with a heavenly combination of paneer and peppers.
Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 10g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Paneer Jalfrezi recipe.
This Indian pumpkin curry is a delicious and healthy vegetable curry that can be made in less than 30 minutes for a weeknight dinner. Vegan & gluten-free!
Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Indian Pumpkin Curry recipe.
The most popular cabbage recipe in India is this simple Cabbage Stir Fry. Skip the green peas to reduce the carbs even further.
Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6.5g | Fiber: 9.7g
Get the Patta Gobi Matar recipe.
Easy Indian Green Beans Curry prepared with cumin, garlic, and spices in just 15 minutes. Skip the potatoes to make this dish lower in carbs.
Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Green Beans Stir Fry recipe.
Bhindi do Pyaza is a flavorful Indian dish of crunchy okra cooked with lots of onions, garlic, and aromatic spices. Pair it with dal and rice for a simple Indian meal.
Carbohydrates: 26.5g | Protein: 6g | Fiber: 9.5g
Get the Bhindi recipe.
Baby Eggplants stuffed with flavorful and aromatic spices cooked in very little oil in the Air Fryer. A quick and delicious way to enjoy eggplants!
Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fiber: 8g
Get the Stuffed Eggplant recipe.
Paneer Tikka Masala is a flavorful, aromatic curry made with marinated and grilled paneer cubes simmered in rich onion tomato gravy and warm spices.
Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 13g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Paneer Tikka Masala recipe.
A traditional North Indian curry, Lauki or Bottle Gourd Curry prepared in an onion-tomato base with ginger, garlic, and spices.
Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Lauki recipe.
Palak tofu is a delicious and healthy vegan dish made with paneer-like tofu simmered in creamy spinach (palak) sauce. This vegan palak paneer is packed with protein and nutrients from spinach and tofu.
Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 9g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Palak Tofu recipe.
Karela, also called bitter melon, is a popular vegetable in many Asian countries. Here is a delicious North Indian Karela recipe: bitter melon is cooked with onions and spices, along with some jaggery to get a sweet, spicy, and tangy stir fry!
Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fiber: 5g
Get the Karela (Bitter Melon Stir Fry) recipe.
Low-Carb Indian Egg, Chicken & Seafood Recipes
Mom’s authentic Chicken Curry is made in a simple onion-tomato gravy with the aroma of whole spices.
Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 25g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Chicken Curry recipe.
Delicious and easy Coconut Shrimp Curry made in the Pressure Cooker in just 20 minutes. This is a simple Indian shrimp curry made with ginger, garlic, onions, and tomatoes, along with flavorful spices, and finished with coconut milk.
Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 24g | Fiber: 1g
Get the Coconut Shrimp Curry recipe.
Instant Pot Chicken Saag (Chicken & Spinach Curry) is a delicious dish from north India. A step-by-step recipe to prepare this in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.
Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 21g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Chicken Saag (Chicken & Spinach Curry) recipe.
Chicken Karahi is a flavorful and aromatic Pakistani chicken curry dish made with chicken, earthy spices, and fresh ginger. This restaurant-style chicken curry is so good that you’ll want to dig in and relish every last bite!
Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 31g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Chicken Karahi recipe.
Goat Curry or Mutton Masala in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Tender meat cooked in an onion tomato gravy with aromatic whole spices. Enjoy this goat curry with naan or rice.
Carbohydrates: 8.34g | Protein: 24.65g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Goat Curry recipe.
Egg bhurji is the Indian twist to scrambled eggs. Packed with the right amount of flavor and spice, these delicious Indian scrambled eggs are perfect for any meal of the day!
Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fiber: 1g
Get the Egg Bhurji recipe.
Flavorful and aromatic Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is made with marinated tender chicken cooked in a creamy sauce. This restaurant-quality chicken curry is so easy to make in the instant pot. Make it along with rice pot-in-pot for a complete meal.
Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 31g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.
A flavor-packed spicy dish from the Indian subcontinent popular all over the world. Chicken is marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic, spices, and lime juice, then grilled in the air fryer or oven. Low carb and keto friendly.
Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fiber: 1g
Get the Tandoori Chicken recipe.
Keema Matar (Ground Meat Curry) is cooked with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and wonderful whole spices. A quick and delicious dinner for weeknights.
Carbohydrates: 11.86g | Protein: 23.78g | Fiber: 3.3g
Get the Keema Matar recipe.
Egg curry is made by adding boiled eggs to a curry sauce and coconut milk to give a flavorful protein-rich dish.
Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 10g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Egg Curry recipe.
A creamy and delicious Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani made in the Instant Pot. Chicken cooked in mildly spiced tomato gravy with aromatic ginger, garlic, and spices.
Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 17g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Butter Chicken recipe.
Tikka masala combines two iconic Indian dishes: makhani and tandoori. It is essentially tandoori-spiced fish in a makhani sauce.
Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 24g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Salmon Tikka Masala recipe.
Chicken pieces cooked in freshly ground spices to make a flavorful and aromatic Chettinad curry.
Carbohydrates: 14.25g | Protein: 25.72g | Fiber: 3.4g
Get the Chicken Chettinad recipe.
Tasty and tender shrimp masala curry cooked in a rustic Indian sauce made with onions and tomatoes, along with aromatics such as ginger, garlic, and spices.
Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 17g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Shrimp Masala recipe.
Low Carb Indian Sides
For a low-carb Indian meal, switch traditional rice dishes with cauliflower or broccoli rice. And substitute roti and parathas with low-carb bread alternatives.
Some of my favorites are low-carb tortillas, such as the Almond flour tortilla by Siete Foods. You can find these at Costco and Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s also has a carb-savvy tortilla with 3 grams of net carbs.
Another option is Mission Foods; they have a variety of Zero Carb and Carb Balance tortillas. Use these tortillas as wraps or as roti with your meals.
You can also switch out roti with lettuce wraps. It works great for dry curry and stir-fry recipes. Just add the veggie or meat to the lettuce cups and enjoy.
Cauliflower Rice or Broccoli Rice are great substitutes for white and brown rice for Indian meals. They are basically finely shredded cauliflower (or broccoli). You can make cauliflower rice using a food processor at home or buy it at your local grocery store.
I find cauliflower rice easily at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. They are available fresh or frozen.
Low-Carb Indian Salads, Chutneys & Soups
This healthy, satisfying kachumber salad is so easy and refreshing. Made with chopped veggies and seasoned with spices, serve it as a side with any Indian food. It is vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free.
Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Kachumber Salad recipe.
Super easy and flavorful Peanut or Groundnut Chutney. This creamy, nutty Peanut Chutney is a great low-carb accompaniment to South Indian meals.
Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 7g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Peanut Chutney recipe.
Kakdi Koshimbir, also known as Khamang Kakdi, is a simple, easy-to-make, refreshing Indian cucumber salad bursting with crunch and flavor. This hydrating, low-carb recipe can be made in just 15 minutes.
Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Kakdi Koshimbir recipe.
This turmeric cauliflower soup is easy to make, and the result is creamy, satisfying goodness you will not want to stop eating!
Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fiber: 4g
Get the Cauliflower Soup recipe.
A cool, spicy, and tangy green chutney. This no-cook mint cilantro chutney is a must-have low-calorie accompaniment to Indian foods.
Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 2g
Get the Mint Cilantro Chutney recipe.
You must try this Coconut Chutney made with tender grated coconut and topped with an aromatic tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fiber: 3g
Get the Coconut Chutney recipe.
I hope you add these wonderful Indian dishes to your low-carb diet. Let me know what you are most excited to make, and when you make it, don’t forget to tag #pipingpotcurry.
Lentils are part of the legume family and are generally high in carbs. One cup of cooked lentils can contain about 35-40 grams of carbs and 14-16 grams of fiber. This means that net carbs are still over 20 grams. If you are following a strict keto diet, then skip lentils. If you are following a low-carb diet, you might be able to add a small portion of lentils.
Skip the fried foods such as samosas and breads such as naan. Choose grilled dishes such as paneer tikka or chicken tikka kebab for appetizers. Choose paneer or chicken/seafood dishes such as paneer jalfrezi or chicken tikka masala curry for the main dishes. Order a side of vegetable curries such as bhindi masala or cauliflower curry, along with salads and raita.
Check with the restaurant if they have cauliflower rice as an option. Else pass the bread and enjoy the grilled appetizers and curries.