When I started the keto diet I was worried I wouldn’t be able to eat any Indian food. Thankfully there are plenty of options for keto indian food. Indian food is one of the best types of restaurants to eat on a ketogenic diet.
I searched google, but couldn’t find any good tips on ordering low carb at an Indian restaurant.To fix this problem I decided to go ahead and write an Indian Restaurant Keto Guide and post it.
This article will describe in detail the best dishes to order at an Indian restaurant, the best Indian recipes you can make at home, and some Indian options to buy at the grocery store.
If you are looking for Indian recipes, I have an article you can find here. It has Indian breakfast, indian curries, indian naan bread, and more!
Eating out guidelines at an Indian restaurant are
- Avoid Bread- High in carbs and full of gluten, avoid this like the plague.
- Avoid Rice- Rice is very high in carbs and will kick you out of ketosis.
- Avoid Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and peas
- Be skeptical of ALL indian sauces ( yes, even curry)
A menu at an indian restaurant can be broken up into appetizers, soups & salads, desserts, drinks, Entrees, Vegetarian Entrees, and Indian Breads.
Let’s go into depth in each menu item.
Can I eat any of the Indian Appetizers?
I absolutely love indian appetizers. Unfortunately, I have never came across a keto-approved appetizer. Samosas, onion bhaji, aloo tikki, and pakoras are high-carb and will kick you out of ketosis fast.
It’s difficult to resist indian appetizers, but resist and you will thank yourself later. Not only in terms of weight loss, but the confidence you gain by keeping promises to yourself.
Always stay away from rice dishes and appetizers when trying to lose weight. When you have reached your weight loss goal, you can add a small quantity of rice back into your diet.
What about Low Carb Indian Drinks?
The most popular keto friendly Indian drinks consist of the following:
- Massala Chai- This is a delicious black tea with a mixture of indian spices and herbs. It’s absolutely delicious and is keto friendly. You can find it at almost any indian restaurant.
- Chaach – Chaach is created with buttermilk, chillies, coriander leaves, and mint. I personally don’t like it, but if you have a few carbs left go ahead and taste.
- Jal Jeera- This is a summer drink that consists of cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt and the powder. You can drink jal jeera on a low carb diet, and it tastes amazing.
Indian Soups & Salads
Popular keto friendly indian soup and salads include:
- Chicken Soup- A curried chicken broth that is mildly spiced.
- Kachumber Salad – Includes lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives.
- Tandoori Chicken Salad- this low carb salad is marinated in yogurt, and served wtih mushrooms, paneer, lettuce, and tomatoes
Soups and salads will very widely at different indian restaurants. Always ask the waiter what the ingredients are, and customize it to fit your keto lifestyle.
Keto Friendly Indian Entrees
I list curry as Keto friendly Indian Entrees, but remember to always ask your waiter or waitress what they put into the sauce. You can make curry as a low carb sauce, or you can add starch to thicken it up and add texture. This will vary from restaurant to restaurant.
- Curry- Curry is a great dish for the ketogenic diet. You do have to watch the amount of carbs in each dish because the sauce contains fresh ginger and tomato. Make sure to watch the rest of your macros for maximum weight loss.
- Jalafezi- I love spicy food. Jalafezi is spicy curry and is wonderful for those on a low carb diet.
- Tandoor Clay Oven Items. These include lamb, chicken, shrimp
- Karahi- Any kind of meat cooked with onion, green pepper, tomato, ginger, garlic, in a special kadai masala herb.
- Butter Chicken
Popular indian entrees at restaurants that are not keto-approved
- Vindaloo- I put this in the Not Keto-approved list because restaurants often add potatoes. There are other better options on the menu that you don’t have to worry about hidden carbs.
- Korma- Sadly, Korma is high in carbs due to the cashews, raisins, and tomato sauce.
Low-Carb Indian Vegetarian Entrees
Indian food and vegetarian food are like two peas in a pod.
A lot of the indian vegetarian entrees contain high-carb vegetables like potatoes or green peas.
Thankfully, there are a few indian plates that won’t overload you with starchy vegetables.
The keto friendly vegetarian entrees include:
- Vegetable Saag- Always ask what vegetables the saag contains. You can always customize the veggie blend to work on the keto diet.
- Palak Panner- This is my favorite dish by far! It’s indian paneer cubes sauteed with spinach, onion, and ginger.
- Paneer-Bhuna- this is indian cheese cooked with onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
- Makhani- Makhani is a great vegetarian indian keto dish. It is vegetables, tofu, or paneer roasted in tandoor and cooked in butter cream and mild curry.
- Vegetable Curry- Any low-carb veggie cooked in a special curry sauce.
Indian naan Breads
Low Carb Indian bread does not exist. If you are wanting to stay in ketosis, stay away from this part of the menu. If you friends and family order naan bread, politely decline. Always keep in mind why you are following the ketogenic diet.
A good technique to overcome temptation is too imagine what you will look like in 6 months if you don’t cheat and imagine in 6 months how you will look like if you DO cheat.
Choose the image you would rather be 🙂
Keto Indian Food Deserts
Desserts and keto don’t go together. Unfortunately if you want a keto Indian Restaurant you will have to make a recipe at home.
Eating takeout at Indian restaurants Tips
The safest option is to eat the Tandoori Clay Oven Options. The clay oven options are usually meat marinated with seasoning and yogurt. They don’t contain any sauces that contain hidden carbs such as starch .The Tandoori options usually come with green peppers and onions which are great keto vegetables.
Ask for the sauce on the side so it doesn’t add extra carbs.
When you order a dish always ask for NO RICE. The rice if VERY tempting when served with your entree.
Keto Indian food Items to avoid at restaurants
Rice, bread, and fried items such as samosas. I know they are very tempting, and “ one won’t hurt”, but that attitude of mind is detrimental to your success on the ketogenic diet.
If you want to make your own keto indian food at home, I have created a recipe article on the best vegetarian and meat Indian dishes you can make at home.
Commonly Asked Questions About Low Carb Indian food
Is Korma Low Carb?
No, Korma is not low carb. It contains raisins and starch.
What is the Best keto Indian Takeout Dish?
The best keto entree dishes are the Tandoori clay oven recipes because they don’t contain any hidden starches.
What is the best keto vegetarian Indian Dish?
My absolute favorite keto indian takeout dish is is Palak Paneer. It’s low-carb, full of spinach , and high in fat.
Is there a low carb alternative for roti?
Yes! Watch this video on how to make low carb roti bread
Now you know what to eat at an Indian restaurant on keto AND how to order the best dishes. This guide has the best Indian low carb options so you can party it up Indian style and still stay in ketosis! Feel confident eating out on keto with this Indian food guide.
What are your favorite keto friendly Indian options? Have you eaten low carb Indian food before?
If you interested in other helpful articles for the keto diet