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North Indian breakfast dishes

17 North Indian Breakfast Dishes | The Delicious Collection

The aroma of freshly baked flatbreads mingles with the gentle sizzle of spices, a symphony of scents that awakens the senses and beckons you to the table. In North India, breakfast is more than just a meal; it’s a vibrant tapestry of flavours and textures, a cultural experience that sets the tone for the day. 

In this article, North Indian Breakfast Dishes unveils the unique flavours and rich tapestry of breakfast dishes from North India.

Key Takeaways on North Indian Breakfast Dishes

  1. Diversity of flavours: North Indian breakfasts offer a wide range of flavours, from savoury parathas to sweet jalebis. There’s something to satisfy every taste bud, whether you crave comfort food or a burst of spice.
  2. Paratha Powerhouse: Parathas are a staple breakfast dish in North India, made with flatbread stuffed with various fillings like potatoes, cauliflower, paneer, or even seasonal vegetables.
  3. Poha for a Light Start: Poha, a dish made with flattened rice flakes, is a popular choice for a quick and flavourful breakfast. It can be enjoyed plain or with vegetables for added protein and texture.
  4. Chole Bhature: A Flavourful Punch: This Punjabi delight features a combination of spicy chickpea curry (chole) with fluffy fried bread (bhature). It’s a perfect choice for those who crave a hearty and flavourful breakfast.
  5. Beyond Flatbreads: North Indian breakfasts extend beyond parathas. Cheelas, savoury pancakes made with chickpea flour, and Upma, a semolina porridge, offer delicious and versatile options.
  6. Sweet Endings: Jalebis, deep-fried orange spirals soaked in syrup, and Halwa, a rich pudding-like dessert in various flavours, are perfect ways to end a North Indian breakfast on a sweet note.
  7. Regional Specialties: Different regions in North India boast their own unique breakfast specialities, showcasing the vast culinary landscape of the area.

Unveiling the Diversity of North Indian Breakfast Dishes

This region, known for its rich culinary heritage, boasts a dazzling array of breakfast options, from savoury delights like parathas overflowing with spiced fillings to the sweet indulgence of jalebis. Whether you crave a comforting bowl of porridge or a delightful explosion of flavours in a chickpea curry, North Indian breakfasts and cuisines have something to tantalize every taste bud.

In North India, breakfast is a symphony of flavours, catering to both savoury and sweet palates. Start your day with a warm, comforting paratha – a flatbread stuffed with spiced potatoes, cauliflower, or paneer (cottage cheese). Craving something lighter? Opt for poha, a fragrant dish of flattened rice flakes tossed with vegetables. 

Exploring North Indian Breakfast Dishes


No exploration of North Indian breakfasts is complete without delving into the world of parathas. These iconic flatbreads are a versatile and delicious way to start your day. 

Made with whole wheat flour (atta), water, and ghee (clarified butter), parathas are layered with a variety of fillings, each offering a unique burst of flavour.

  • Aloo Paratha: The undisputed king of parathas, aloo paratha features a spiced potato filling. Mashed potatoes are seasoned with onions, herbs, and spices, then encased within the flaky dough.
  • Gobi Paratha: This vegetarian delight features a filling of grated cauliflower florets tossed with aromatic spices. Gobi paratha offers a lighter alternative to aloo paratha, but with no compromise on flavour.
  • Paneer Paratha: For a protein punch, paneer paratha is the answer. Cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) are marinated with spices and herbs before being stuffed into the paratha dough.
  • Mooli Paratha: A healthy and slightly tangy option, mooli paratha features grated radish as the primary filling. This paratha is often enjoyed with a dollop of yoghurt or chutney.
  • Matar Paneer Paratha: This vegetarian delight combines the goodness of green peas (matar) with creamy paneer (cottage cheese). Offering a delightful textural contrast and a burst of flavour, it’s a popular breakfast or snack option.
  • Methi Paratha: For a burst of freshness and a nutritional boost, try methi paratha. Chopped fenugreek leaves (methi) are kneaded into the dough, imparting a subtle bitterness and a unique aroma.
  • Pyaz Paratha: This simple yet satisfying paratha features a filling of caramelized onions and spices. The sweetness of the onions balances perfectly with the savoury spices, making it a crowd-pleaser.
  • Laccha Paratha: Moving away from stuffed varieties, lachcha paratha, meaning “flaky layered paratha,” is a visual and textural treat. The dough is stretched and folded multiple times, creating a layered effect that results in a crispy and flaky paratha.
  • Stuffed Paratha Variations: The possibilities for paratha fillings are endless! Explore options like keema paratha (minced meat), egg paratha, or even seasonal vegetables like pumpkin or bottle gourd.
  • Sweet Paratha Variations: North India isn’t shy about incorporating sweetness into breakfast. Try a shakkar paratha, stuffed with a mixture of sugar and cardamom, or a kela paratha, featuring a sweet banana filling.

The preparation process for all these parathas is similar. The dough is kneaded and rested, then rolled out into thin circles. The chosen filling is spread evenly on one half of the circle, and the other half is folded over to create a semi-circle. The paratha is then further rolled out and cooked on a griddle with ghee or oil until golden brown and crispy.

Parathas are a complete breakfast in themselves, often served with a dollop of curd (yoghurt), pickle, or chutney. They can also be enjoyed on their own as a satisfying snack.


If you’re looking for a quick and flavourful breakfast option in North India, look no further than poha. This popular dish features flattened rice flakes (poha) that are transformed into a light and satisfying meal.

The beauty of poha lies in its simplicity. The flakes are rinsed and soaked until softened, then tossed with a medley of spices like turmeric, cumin, and mustard seeds. Chopped onions and green chilies add a touch of heat and texture. This basic recipe, known as kanda poha (kanda meaning onion), is a classic breakfast option.

But the versatility of poha doesn’t stop there. Vegetable poha takes things a step further by incorporating a variety of colourful vegetables like peas, carrots, and bell peppers. Some variations even add chopped nuts or grated coconut for extra richness.

Poha is typically served hot, often with a squeeze of lemon juice and a garnish of fresh coriander leaves. Its light texture and vibrant flavours make it a perfect way to kickstart your day in North India.

Chole Bhature

North Indian breakfasts aren’t just about light and fluffy options. If you crave a powerhouse combination of flavour and texture, then chole bhature is the answer. This Punjabi delight is a symphony of spice and richness, guaranteed to awaken your taste buds.

The star of the show is the chole, a hearty chickpea curry. Chickpeas are simmered in a flavourful broth infused with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala. The result is a thick, tangy curry with a touch of heat.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. Chole is paired with bhature, a fluffy fried bread made with maida flour (refined wheat flour) and yoghurt. The bhature is leavened with yeast, resulting in a light and airy texture that perfectly complements the richness of the chole.

Eating chole bhature is an experience in itself. You scoop up the spicy chole with a piece of the bhature, savouring the contrasting textures and vibrant flavours. Some prefer to tear off pieces of the bhature and dunk them directly into the chole, creating a delightful explosion in every bite.

Chole bhature is often served with chopped onions and a side of chutney or pickle to add a touch of freshness and acidity. This Punjabi breakfast staple is a true celebration of bold flavours and textures, making it a must-try for any adventurous eater.


North Indian breakfasts offer a variety of options beyond the realm of traditional flatbreads. Enter the cheela, a savoury pancake made with gram flour (besan), a naturally gluten-free chickpea flour. This versatile dish provides a protein-packed and flavourful start to your day.

The base of a cheela is a simple batter made with besan, water, and spices like cumin and turmeric. This batter is then poured onto a hot griddle and cooked until crisp on the edges. The beauty of cheela lies in its customizability. You can enjoy it plain or elevate it with a variety of fillings.

Vegetable cheelas are a popular choice, featuring grated vegetables like onions, carrots, or spinach incorporated into the batter. Paneer cheela adds a protein punch by including crumbled paneer (cottage cheese) to the mix. For a touch of spice, some variations might include chopped green chillies or red chilli powder in the batter.

Cheelas are typically cooked with a minimal amount of oil, making them a healthier breakfast option. They are often served hot with a dollop of chutney or yoghurt for added flavour and moisture. This simple yet versatile dish allows you to explore a world of savoury flavours and textures, making it a popular breakfast choice across North India.


North Indian breakfasts extend beyond crispy flatbreads and savoury pancakes. Upma offers a comforting and warm option, perfect for those who crave a porridge-like consistency. This dish features semolina (sooji), a coarse wheat flour, as its base.

The preparation of upma is relatively simple. Roasted semolina is cooked with water or vegetable stock until it reaches a desired consistency, creating a thick and creamy porridge. Upma is then seasoned with a variety of spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves, and turmeric, infusing it with a warm and aromatic flavour profile.

The beauty of upma lies in its versatility. Chopped vegetables like peas, carrots, and onions are often added for a burst of colour and texture. Some variations incorporate shredded coconut for a touch of sweetness, while others might include chopped cashews or peanuts for added richness.

Upma is typically served hot, often with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) for added flavour and a drizzle of lemon juice for a touch of acidity. This simple yet comforting dish is a perfect way to start your day in North India, offering a warm hug in a bowl.

Sweet Treats

  • Jalebi: A visual feast for the eyes, jalebi is a vibrant orange sweet that’s impossible to miss. Made from a fermented batter of urad dal (black gram) flour, jalebi is piped into intricate circular or pretzel shapes before being deep-fried to a golden crisp. The magic happens when the piping hot jalebis are then immersed in a warm sugar syrup, soaking up the sweetness and developing a signature sticky coating. The result is a crunchy exterior with a soft, syrupy interior, offering a burst of sweetness and a delightful textural contrast in every bite.
  • Halwa: For a more decadent indulgence, explore the world of halwa. This rich pudding-like dessert comes in various flavours, each offering a unique taste and texture. Sooji halwa, made with semolina flour, is a classic choice. Ghee, nuts, and raisins are often added to this variation, creating a creamy and flavourful dessert. Moong dal halwa, made with split green gram lentils, offers a nutty and slightly caramelized taste. Gajar ka halwa, featuring grated carrots cooked with milk, sugar, and nuts, is a vibrant and healthy take on this traditional dessert.
  • Lassi: No North Indian breakfast spread is complete without a refreshing beverage. Lassi, a yoghurt-based drink, is a perfect way to cool down your palate and end your meal on a light note. Lassi comes in both sweet and salty variations. Sweet lassi features yoghurt blended with sugar and sometimes seasonal fruits like mango for a delightful and refreshing drink. Salty lassi, on the other hand, is flavoured with cumin, black salt, and sometimes chopped mint leaves, offering a tangy and savoury counterpoint to the sweet elements of your breakfast.

Whether you crave a vibrant jalebi, a decadent halwa, or a refreshing lassi, North Indian breakfasts offer a sweet ending to a delicious culinary adventure. So, don’t shy away from indulging your sweet tooth – these treats are the perfect way to celebrate the start of your day!

Accompaniments and Regional Variations

North Indian breakfasts are not just about the main course – a symphony of flavours often relies on the perfect accompaniments. Chutneys and pickles play a starring role, adding a burst of flavour, texture, and acidity that elevates the entire experience.

Mint chutney and coriander chutney are popular choices, offering a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of parathas or the spice of chole bhature. These chutneys are made by grinding fresh herbs with spices and a touch of yoghurt, creating a vibrant green or light green condiment. Pickles, made with a variety of vegetables and fruits preserved in a tangy and spicy brine, add a delightful crunch and a burst of acidity.

North India’s diverse regions boast their own unique breakfast specialities.

  • In Punjab, for example, naastaa, a pre-breakfast snack, might feature fried snacks like samosas or pakoras.
  • Rajasthan is known for its dal baati churma, a combination of lentil stew, baked wheat balls, and crumbled flatbread, offering a protein-packed and flavourful start.
  • Uttar Pradesh features dishes like bedmi poori, a deep-fried whole wheat bread served with aloo sabzi (potato curry).


From savoury parathas bursting with spiced fillings to the sweet indulgence of jalebis, North Indian breakfast dishes offer a vibrant tapestry of flavours and textures. Whether you crave a comforting bowl of poha or a fiery kick from chole bhature, there’s something to tantalize every taste bud.

So, embark on a culinary adventure and explore the diverse breakfast options North India has to offer. Discover your favourites, savour the unique flavours, and don’t forget to share your experiences – we’d love to hear about your favourite North Indian breakfast dishes and memories or hidden gem recipes.

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