Tea-Time Treats: Healthy Indian snack recipes

Banish that bread pakora that has become your 5 pm tea-time snack; savour these high energy, low calorie treats instead! Try these healthy Indian snack recipes instead.

#1 Ragi Masala Idli

Ragi idli
Ragi idli

Of all cereals and millet, finger millet (or ragi) has the highest amount of calcium (344 mg %) and potassium (408 mg %). Adding millet to your diet is a healthy option, but why have boring kanji? Try this nutrient-packed ragi dish instead.


  • 1½ cup rice
  • ¾ cup urad dal
  • ½ cup ragi flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • ½ tsp baking soda/cooking soda
  • Oil for greasing idli moulds

For Tadka

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
  • 2 red chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely-chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp dhania (coriander) powder
  • 2 handfuls of coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and soak rice and dal separately, in water for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Then grind them separately by adding little water at a time to a smooth paste. Transfer them to a large container.
  3. Now add ragi flour and salt. Mix well. Cover and let it ferment overnight.
  4. The next morning, the batter would be risen. Fold it well, and add baking soda and mix well.
  5. Now grease idli moulds and pour a ladleful of batter into each mould and place it in a steamer. Steam it for 8 to 10 minutes till it is done. Insert a skewer to check.
  6. After the idlis are ready, let them cool and then cut them into four slices. Set aside.
  7. In a pan, heat oil. Add rai, let it splutter; add dry red chilies and saute for a second.
  8. Add curry leaves and onions. Add all chopped vegetables and spices. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes before adding idlis pieces. Don’t stir too hard or you’ll break the idlis. Pack them in lunch box with some mint or tomato chutney.

Nutritional Value

Total calorie count 114 kcal

Protein 3.6 g,

Fat 0.4 g

#2 Sweet Potato Chaat / Shakarkandi ki Chaat

sweet potato chat
sweet potato chat

Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals and a great source of fiber, which keep you staying full for longer. If you’re looking for a tangy and sweet pick-me-up, they go perfect with chaat masala, chillies and lime juice.


  • ½ kg shakarkandi, boiled, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp jeera (cumin) seeds, roasted and powdered
  • 1 tbsp rock salt (sendha namak)
  • Lemon juice-to taste
  • 2-3 green chillies, finely-chopped
  • Cubed cucumber and apples
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish


  • Mix all the ingredients together, adjusting spices according to taste and serve.

Nutritional Value:

Total calorie count 55 kcal

Protein- 0.8 g, Fat 0.5 g

#3 Soya tikki

soya tikki
soya tikki

Soy is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and insoluble fiber and especially beneficial for those on a vegetarian diet. Using soya instead of potato as a base for tikki ensures your snack will be full of flavor and healthy.


  • ½ cup kabuli chana (white chick peas), boiled and drained
  • ½ cup soya granules
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves (pudina), finely-chopped
  • 1 tsp green chillies, finely-chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger (adrak), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak the soya granules in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and squeeze out all the water.
  2. Blend together the kabuli chana, soya nuggets and mint, in a blender to a smooth paste.
  3. Add green chilies, ginger, salt and mix well.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into round, flat tikkis. Cook them on a non-stick pan using a little oil till both sides are golden brown. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

Nutritional Value

Total calorie count 222 kcal

Protein 17 g

Fat 9.4 g

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