HomePregnancyTop 5 Nutritional Recipes of West India for Pregnant Women

Top 5 Nutritional Recipes of West India for Pregnant Women


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India is a rich and diverse country, especially in regard to its history, culture, traditions, and food. Every province of India has something unique to offer to our taste buds.

While flavors of curry leaves dominate the Southern parts of India, flavors of coconut, red chilies, ghee, and jaggery are staples in the dishes in western India. Its coastal lines dominate Western India; hence coastal flavors in the diet aren’t too surprising.

But what about during pregnancy? What kinds of meals from west India are better suited to support the well-being of the mother and the developing fetus?

If you are just as confused as many expecting mothers, sit down and take a breath. As you read through this article take a pen and paper and note down every last bit you need to know about the most nutritional recipes of west India for pregnant women.

Which Food Groups from West India are Crucial in a Pregnancy Diet?

When you think about a healthy and balanced pregnancy diet chart, you think about boring food, right? After all, healthy and tasty don’t sound synonymous.

Well, in this case, you are wrong. With the diversity in cuisines and food staples across west India, finding healthy yet delectable food to suffice your pregnancy cravings wouldn’t be as challenging as you think.

That said, these are the top food groups (especially from West India) that are perfect for your pregnancy diet.

1. Grains and Flour

If you consider adding west India-inspired grains and flour to your pregnancy diet, some of the most quintessential ones include unpolished rice, jawar, bajra, ragi, wheat, Dalia, corn, etc.

2. Pulses

Pulses and beans are a staple in the western part of India, especially in the diets of pregnant women who are vegetarian or vegan. Some of the most notable pulses worth trying are moong, lobhi, rajma, chana, matki, etc.

3. Vegetables

Irrespective of whether you are pregnant or not, vegetables should be a huge portion of your daily diet. However, its need during pregnancy extrapolates, especially due to its abundance of vitamins and minerals. If you plan to diversify your palate, include staple west Indian veggies like cluster beans, spinach, methi, radish, cabbage, Colocasia, etc. in your pregnancy diet.

4. Fruits

Similar to vegetables, even fruits deserve an honorary mention. In their natural and dried forms, fruits are a great addition to the pregnancy diet since they make great snack options. You get to satiate your sugar cravings while eating something healthy. Some staple fruits worth adding to your pregnancy diet are pineapple, apples, oranges, watermelons, cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, dates, figs, etc.

5. Dairy products and Healthy Fats

The last food category that deserves mention is dairy and healthy fats. If you aren’t lactose intolerant, dairy products like milk, curd, paneer, and cheese are west Indian staples and great for your pregnancy. Healthy fats like ghee and butter (especially white butter) are quite popular in west India.

Best Recipes to Try from West India for your Pregnancy

Now that you have a basic idea about the food staples to add to your pregnancy diet, let us walk you through the top 5 nutritional recipes of west India for pregnant women.

1. Aliv Che Egg Cake

Maharashtra is hands down one of the leading spots people associate with West India. So, it isn’t surprising that we had to include a recipe from the state in the list first.

Aliv or Garden cress seeds and leaves are extremely popular in Maharashtra. And according to folklore, it has imminent benefits during pregnancy too. Since pregnant women need to maintain their iron levels, this item is believed to help with that.

Not only does it taste great and comes with multiple nutritional benefits, Aliv or Garden cress is also effective in relieving constipation in pregnant women, thanks to its high fiber content. The fiber also regulates blood sugar levels in pregnant mothers, preventing the risks of gestational diabetes.

What do you need?

  • Eggs – 4
  • Onions (chopped) – 3
  • Tomatoes (chopped) – 2
  • Alive seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala – to taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Garlic (crushed) – 1 tbsp
  • Green chilies – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Oil – 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste

How to make it?

  • Take a Kadai or a non-stick pan and add some oil to it
  • Once the oil heats up, add the crushed or pureed onions and fry until it turns golden brown
  • Follow this up with some cumin seed and wait until it crackles
  • Once it does, add the chopped garlic and fry until the pungent smell wears off
  • Add the soaked aliv seeds to the pan
  • Add the spices and mix everything well
  • Once it’s done cooking for 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and leave it on medium flame to cook for another 5 minutes
  • Once everything is cooked thoroughly, add the beaten eggs to the pan
  • Cover the pan and leave the eggs to cook on medium heat.
  • Remove the lid after 2 minutes, and you can serve it hot.

If you want to be a little fancy, sprinkle coriander leaves and chaat masala on top to amplify the flavors further.

2. Hariyali Dal Tarka

Nothing beats a warm bowl of dal with steaming rice on the side when it comes to a hearty, warm, and filling meal during pregnancy. It’s comforting, satiating, and extremely healthy. Not to mention that the recipe is packed with health benefits.

The recipe typically calls for masoor dal or red split lentils, which have around 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of dal. Pair that with 7.9 grams of fiber and 20 grams of carbohydrates, and you have a fulfilling meal right in front of you.

What makes this simple dal recipe so much better is the addition of green leafy vegetables, especially spinach. Some recipes call for a bunch of methi or fenugreek leaves too. Spinach is great for pregnancy since it’s loaded with iron, which is quintessential during your pregnancy term.

Also, the great thing about this recipe is that it’s great for meal prepping. If you want to batch cook ahead of time instead of being on your feet for too long, this is a recipe you won’t regret indulging in.

What do you need?

  • Masoor or split red lentils – ½ cup
  • Spinach (puree) – ½ cup
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Asafoetida or hing – a pinch
  • Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves – ½ tsp
  • Green chilies (chopped) – 1 tsp
  • Onions (chopped) – ½ cup
  • Ginger garlic (chopped) – ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish
  • Oil or ghee – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

How to make it?

  • Add your masoor dal into a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and let it pressure cook until 2 whistles.
  • Once done, take off the lid and let the steam escape.
  • In a pan, heat some oil and add the cumin seeds and hing
  • Once the cumin seeds crackle, add the dried fenugreek leaves and saute for 2-3 seconds
  • Add the onions, green chilies, garlic, and ginger in the oil and fry everything until it turns golden brown
  • Add your spices and salt
  • Add the spinach puree and cook it on a medium flame for 5-10 minutes until the oil separates
  • Add the boiled masoor dal to the pan and mix everything until combined
  • Cook the dal on a medium flame for another 5 minutes

Top it off with chopped coriander leaves, a sprinkle of garam masala, and a little ghee for extra warmth and flavor.

3. Bajra Raab

While discussing fulfilling meals for pregnant women from west India, we can’t skip out Bajra Raab. This one has been a staple in the diet of people who have grown up in certain parts of west India.

The previous two recipes were each suited for breakfast and lunch, so we knew we had to include a recipe that would be great as a drink.

This is made with Indian pearl millet, otherwise commonly known as Bajra. The drink is sweetened with jaggery, so you aren’t falling prey to refined sugar and its negative health impacts. This dish is popular among pregnant women in west India because of the nutritional benefits of Bajra.

Besides its cooling properties, Bajra is also high in water-soluble fibers, quintessential for regulating blood sugar levels and relieving complaints of constipation, which is very common in pregnant women.

This mildly sweet drink is also great for relieving bloating and digestive complications, which many pregnant women complain about. If you are worried about the nutrients, bajra is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and many vitamins, which support a pregnant mother’s well-being.

What do you need?

  • Bajra flour – ½ cup
  • Ghee – ½ tsp
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp
  • Carom seeds – a pinch
  • Dried ginger – a pinch

How to make it?

  • Take a Kadai and heat it over a medium flame
  • Once it’s evenly heated, add the ghee, followed by the bajra flour, and roast it until a nutty aroma comes from the mixture
  • To that, add 1 cup of water and the jaggery and mix everything until it dissolves
  • Cook this on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes, occasionally whisking so it doesn’t form lumps
  • If you want the drink to have a runnier consistency, add more water
  • Add the carom seeds and dried ginger too
  • Once you are happy with the consistency, take it off the heat and let it cool down slightly.

You can enjoy the drink warm or even let it cool down completely and eat it with a spoon because it will solidify a little once it cools down.

4. Rice Bhardi

Next, let’s talk about a dessert situation for your pregnancy cravings. If you are craving some “kheer” but want a slightly healthier version, Rice Bhardi is a pretty great choice.

This one is a homemade “multigrain” cereal powder with some of the most nutritional benefits. Not just for the mother, consuming rice bhardi during pregnancy is amazing for the developing fetus.

The recipe also calls for various nuts, including almonds, walnuts, etc., which contribute to the overall strength and well-being of the mother. Additionally, this is a very good recipe to explore if you are underweight and need to gain weight during your pregnancy.

What do you need?

  • Rice – 2 tbsp
  • Dates – 2-3
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled) – 2-3
  • Raisins (soaked) – 2-3

How to make it?

  • Start by soaking your rice for 30 minutes in some water.
  • Once it’s soaked and increased in size, drain the excess water and grind it into a fine paste. Grind and puree the soaked dates too.
  • Heat the coconut milk in a pan and add the rice paste.
  • Cook the rice in the coconut milk and use a whisk to mix everything. Stir occasionally to avoid lumps.
  • Add the pureed dates to the mix.
  • Add the soaked almonds and raisins and cook everything together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once done, take the mixture off the stove and serve it in a bowl topped with more dry fruits.

If you want to add some sweetness to the dish, we’d recommend using a little jaggery instead of refined sugar.

5. Dahi Chane ki Sabzi

Last but not least, on the list of best of west India food for pregnant women has to be their Dahi Chane ki Sabzi. This one is another homely yet delectable recipe packed with nutrients and benefits.

This recipe also includes two of the five major food staples – dairy and pulses. You get your calcium, protein, and fiber requirements – all in one meal.

Besides their protein content, the chana and curd in the recipe are also packed with fiber, supporting your well-being. This is a commonly recommended recipe during the second and third trimesters, especially because it instills an immediate energy boost in the pregnant woman.

What do you need?

  • Kala chana or brown chickpeas (soaked) – 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Bay leaf – 2
  • Asafoetida or hing – a pinch
  • Green chili paste – ½ tsp
  • Ginger paste – ¼ tsp
  • Chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Curd – 1 cup
  • Besan – 2-3 tbsp
  • Coriander – 2-3 stalks
  • Oil or ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste

How to make it?

  • Take a pan, or a pressure cooker and add the oil, and heat it over medium flame
  • To that, add all the whole spices and wait until the seeds crackle
  • Once it does, add the soaked Kala chana, followed by the ginger and chili paste, and saute
  • Add the spices and mix everything together with 2 cups of water
  • Pressure cook this for 2-3 whistles and open the lid.
  • In a separate bowl, add the curd and besan and whisk everything to form a smooth paste
  • Bring the Kala chana mixture to a boil and add the curd and besan mixture.
  • Stir constantly to avoid any lumps

Once you are happy with the consistency, take it off the heat and sprinkle some coriander leaves. Sprinkle some garam masala if you feel like it. This one is best consumed hot with some rice.


  • What Indian vegetables are good for pregnancy?

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, and even coriander are considered a staple in most west Indian recipes for pregnant women.

  • Which dry fruit is good for pregnant ladies?

Dry fruits are a great snack option during pregnancy, and the best ones to include in the diet are dates and prunes.

  • Which is the famous nutritious ladoo in west India for pregnant women?

Nachni ladoo is a popular recipe fed to pregnant women in west India. It is a nutritious ragi ladoo made with ghee, dried nuts, cardamom powder, sugar, or jaggery.


Pregnancy is an exhilarating experience and involves a lot of ups and downs, especially when it comes to the meals one consumes. If you are from west India and have been looking for some of the best west Indian food to eat during pregnancy, we hope this article gives you all the insights.

Srujana Mohanty
She is the Managing Editor of Cogito137, one of India’s leading student-run science communication magazines. She's been working in scientific and medical writing and editing since 2018, also associated with the quality assurance team of scientific journal editing. Majored in Chemistry with a minor in Biology at IISER Kolkata, Srujana loves doodling and watching series.


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