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Top 3 South Indian Diet & Healthy Recipes for Expecting, New Moms & Newborns

September 2, 2022
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Traditional foods - The ones consumed for ages which are region specific depending upon the climate & the crop cultivated. The recipes are passed on to generations to keep up the health & cultural heritage. Such recipes promise to contain & impart the best of health & nutrition.

Besides being an excellent source of vitamins & minerals, they are also crucial to improving digestive health, gut flora and building up immunity. Authentic, region-specific dishes usually adhere to a balanced meal concept providing all the nutrients required by the human body.

Many preparations also help control weight gain and fight chronic illness acting like the best medicine.

They also bring along a lot of memories from one’s childhood.

Nutrient-dense food is the utmost priority during various stages of life but holds extra importance during childhood, pre-pregnancy stages, during pregnancy and also during the lactation phase.

Poor maternal nutritional status of women before and during pregnancy due to their own childhood undernutrition, low level of BMI at conception and inadequate gestational weight gain due to poor dietary choices have serious implications on both the mother and baby.

Birth weight, child growth and adolescent growth - all need good nutrition to determine good nutritional status before and during pregnancy.

Most food practices and traditions of India have stemmed from deeply rooted traditions and customs.

South Indian food has earned a lot of fame, particularly for scrumptious dishes like Dosa, Vada, Idli, Uttapam and Sambar. 

South Indian meals comprise cuisines of five South Indian states namely Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, along with several local dishes varying within the state.

Some authentic and popular South Indian dishes that are specific to the south Indian states include Chakra Pongal, Sambar and Vada from Tamil Nadu, Rava Idli, Bisibelebath from Karnataka, Kadala Curry, fish-based delicacies and Appam from Kerala and Kebabs and Biryanis from Andhra Pradesh.

Below are certain specific south Indian dishes for pregnant and lactating women to boost fertility, energy and immune-building food for kids.

Book an appointment with Sneha Sanjay.D for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.


Curry Leaves Garlic Gojju

Benefits - Consuming curry leaves during pregnancy is safe and very much recommended by clinicians. Curry leaves have numerous benefits that provide essential nutrients to the mother-to-be. Eating curry leaves also reduces the risk of anaemia, improves haemoglobin levels and reduces the risk of premature birth. It also helps with bloating & relieves flatulence.

Garlic is a natural blood thinner reducing the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia. As pregnancy has a physical toll on a woman's body by reducing immune function, garlic intake boosts up infection-fighting abilities.

Both the ingredients possess anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups Curry Leaves
  • 12 cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tomato 
  • 150 g Sambar Onion 
  • 3 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp each Chana Dal/Urad Dal
  • ½ tsp Methi Seeds
  • ½ tsp Jeera Powder
  • 1 tsp Daniya Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • ½ cup Tamarind Pulp 
  • A small blob Jaggery (optional)
  • Salt as per taste
  • ½ tsp Pepper

Method -

  • Add ghee to a thick bottom pan.
  • Once it heats up, add methi seeds, chana dal and urad dal and saute well.
  • To this, add sambar onion and tomato and cook until soft.
  • Add 2 cups of curry leaves and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Once it cools, grind it to a fine paste.
  • Into another pan, add ghee and mustard seeds and let it sputter.
  • Add garlic, chopped curry leaves, sambar onion and tomato. Cook until it's done.
  • Add the pureed ingredients and let it cook for 12-15 minutes till the ghee separates from the pan.
  • Start adding the dry powders one by one - Red chilli flakes, coarse ground pepper, daniya powder, jeera powder and salt.
  • Fry it for 3-5 minutes and add tamarind pulp.
  • Let the entire broth cook on low flame for 10-12minutes.
  • Serve hot with south Indian staple food – Rice.

Nutritional information of the recipe






170 kcal

6.7 g

2.8 g

15 g

8 mg

Book an appointment with Greata Sherene Robinson for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.



Benefits - It is a sweet dish mainly made from urad dal in Andhra. Urad dal is native to the Indian subcontinent and mainly grown in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh. It holds a higher protein value than most legumes. It is an excellent source of dietary fibre, isoflavones, vitamin B complex, iron and calcium which offers innumerable healing health benefits and is traditionally also believed to improve lactation.

Ingredients :

  • 200 g Roasted Urad Dal
  • 120 g Powdered Jaggery
  • 1 tbsp Rice
  • 3 tbsp Ghee

Method -

  • Take a pan and dry roast rice over medium flame until it turns red, then remove from flame.
  • Now to the same pan, add urad dal and roast on low flame until it turns aromatic and turns golden (15-20 mins). Turn off the flame and allow it to cool.
  • Now blend both ingredients together into a fine powder along with powdered jaggery.
  • Once the powder is ready, take a pan, heat it over a medium flame and add ghee.
  •  Once the ghee is hot enough, turn off the flame. Pour the blended mix into a wide tray, then slowly add hot ghee and bind the mixture together.
  • To make the ladoos - rub some ghee into your palm and then roll the mixture to round ladoos.

Nutritional value (per serving)



Urad dhal




Energy  (Kcal)





Protein (g)





Fat (g)





Carbohydrates (g)





Iron (mg)





Calcium (mg)





Must Read -Superfoods for comfortable Delivery

Book an appointment with Mrs. Vyuhitha M R for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.


Omega-3 Ladoos

Benefits - These ladoos are a power pack of all the essential nutrients for children. It is a great snack option for children either in the morning for breakfast along with milk or for school during break time or to have during evening snack instead of consuming unhealthy calories from junk like chips, cream biscuits, sweetened beverages, etc. which lack nutrients that are essential at growing age.

The ladoos are made with jaggery rather than with refined white sugar which is high in calories and zero nutrients. Jaggery is a moderate source of iron which is an essential micronutrient to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. It also boosts energy to keep the children active.

Omega-3 Ladoos contains three major ingredients

  1. Peanuts - The richest source of major nutrients is a protein which is the building block of the body and also contains iron to some moderate extent.
  2. Sesame seeds - Are rich sources of calcium which is essential for the bone & skeletal development of growing children.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) sources (Walnuts, Flax seeds, Chia seeds, etc.) - Superfoods for children’s brain development, eyesight, nervous system function and heart health. It also prevents depression, improves sleep and also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to keep infections at bay like cold, cough, fever, etc. by fighting against the diseases.

Omega-3 ladoos have a good amount of fibre which gives satiety and avoids unhealthy food consumption, thereby preventing childhood obesity which is prevalent among children currently.


Ingredients :

  • ½ cup Peanuts
  • ½ cup Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Watermelon Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Flax Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 Walnuts
  • ½ cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 2 Finely Chopped Dates
  • ¼ tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1½ cup Jaggery
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • ¼ cup Water

Method -


Take a thick bottomed pan and dry roast all the dry ingredients one by one (Peanuts, Sesame seeds, Flax seeds, Sunflower seeds, Watermelon Seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Walnuts and Desiccated coconut) until they turn light brown and keep it aside.


Once all the dry ingredients have been roasted and cooled, they can be grinded one by one and kept aside.


Transfer all the ingredients which had to be grinded into a large mixing bowl and give it a mix by adding finely chopped dates and keep aside.


  • Take a large non-stick kadai, add 1½ cup jaggery along with ¼ cup water, add 1/4 tsp cardamom powder to the boiling jaggery and boil until the jaggery syrup thickens to 1 string consistency. 
  • Now, add in the powdered mixture and mix well. 
  • Once the entire mixture starts to thicken after a minute, turn off the stove.

Making Ladoo

  • Transfer the whole mixture to a steel plate which is greased with ghee to prevent it from sticking and allow it to cool slightly, this helps to hold the shape. 
  • Now, prepare the ladoos of the size of your choice. Ladoos are ready! 
  • Store them in airtight containers and Enjoy!

Nutritional information of the recipe





187 kcal

6 g

9 g 

75 mg

Must Read - FLAX SEEDS - The new Millennium bestie

Written By:

Sneha Sanjay D, Jayanagar

Chaitra, Sahakarnagar

Greata Sherene, T.Nagar, Chennai

Vyuhitha M R, Electronic City

Want to consult the Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in India? Please find the links below.

  1. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Bengaluru
  2. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Chennai
  3. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Mumbai
  4. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Pune
  5. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Chandigarh
  6. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Gurgaon
  7. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Noida

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