Rice Idli, Sambar & Chutney – Calories, Nutrition, Benefits

Last Updated on January 31, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

It is said that the key to a healthy life lies in your stomach. A better and healthier choice of food is what it takes to keep away physical discomforts and ailments.

In today’s world, where there are numerous food choices, we often get confused about choosing. So, we are here to clear your confusion about a few foods and combinations.

Today we are talking about – Rice Idli, Sambar, and Chutney. These items belong to southern Indian cuisine and have gained popularity all over the country and even abroad.

Are you curious about …

Veggie causing Diabetes
  • Are rice idli, sambar, and chutney healthy?
  • What are the calories of this combination?
  • What are its benefits?

We will help you to have a clearer answer to these questions. Let us jump right in!

Rice Idli, Sambar, Chutney – Is it a good combination?

Rice Idli, Sambar, Chutney – Is it a good combination

This combination of south Indian cuisine is an evergreen one. Be it for any mealbreakfast, lunch, or dinner; this south Indian dish is a favorite to many.

The rice idli is a very staple meal item in the south Indian diet. Added with sambar and the common coconut chutney adds flavor and nutrition to the whole meal.

It is considered a whole and balanced meal due to the presence of rice, pulses, and vegetables. It supplies the body with carbohydrates, energy, proteins, fibers, and many vitamins and minerals.


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The methods of making rice idli, sambar, and chutney are also safe and aids in making the meal less calorific and heavy.

And want to know the best part? They are also extremely simple to make at home!

The ingredients used are generally absent or have a very minimal amount of oil. This is what helps to balance the fat content in the served platter.

Moreover, this meal combination is very light and non-spicy. It is said to be easy on the stomach and thus a good choice for any time.

Let us have an in-depth look into the detailed account of this combination.

Is Rice idli, sambar, and chutney a healthy meal?

Is Rice idli, sambar, and chutney a healthy meal

Nutritionists, researchers, and diet experts have appointed this meal combination as very healthy and beneficial.

It is often recommended as a very nutritious breakfast. It provides you with the energy to start your day. In addition to that, it satisfies the appetite and keeps you going for a long day.

A serving of 2 idlis with sambar and coconut chutney is filling, nutritious, and low in calories. It will not contribute to adding any extra pounds, and therefore, it is suitable for health and weight watchers.

They are also a combination meal that is easily digested and, therefore, often given to hospitals.

The white, soft, and fluffy idlis, along with the vegetable-rich sambar and tasty chutney, can also be included as a lunch or dinner meal.

Are you curious about how the idli made from rice can be low in calories? Well, the answer lies in the making process of idli.

The batter for idli is prepared using rice and urad dal. They are soaked in water and then ground into a paste. This paste is left to ferment overnight or even longer.

The combining of urad dal with rice adds proteins to the carbohydrates too. The fermentation of the idli batter helps to breakdown the protein, minerals, and other nutrients. Thus, this makes the rice idli more soluble and easier to digest, as well as light.

When paired with sambar and chutney, you add more vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the entire meal. The health factor of this meal choice is enhanced with each step of preparation.

With the right nutrients, it is also filled with different flavors. They do not overwhelm you but subtly please and satisfy the taste buds.

Can Diabetes patients eat rice, idli, sambar, or chutney?

Can Diabetes patients eat rice, idli, sambar, or chutney

Well, yes, they can. Diabetes is a condition of disorder in the body’s metabolism. The digestive system’s improper functioning, paired with insufficient insulin formation, gives rise to high blood sugar levels that can be harmful to the individual.

It is a necessity for those diagnosed with diabetes to have a low-carb and low-calorie diet. They need to monitor sugar intake in their meals to keep the body glucose levels from rising or falling beyond the normal scales.

If you are a diabetic person, you might have to follow any restrictions on food. But the good part is that these restrictions do not apply to the south Indian meal we are talking about.

Rice idlis can lead to imbalance and increased blood sugar levels. But when taken in a safe and regulated number, they can benefit the diabetic too. A proper diabetic portion will not hamper the blood sugar levels.

We will tell you what this safe amount is later in this article.

They can benefit from the fiber in the food, which can help their metabolism and lower blood sugar levels.

Moreover, this meal keeps the stomach full without increasing the overall calories. You would be filled with nutrients too and not have other unhealthy and unnecessary cravings.

What is a healthy Serving Size for Rice Idli, Sambar, and Chutney?

What is a healthy Serving Size for Rice Idli, Sambar, and Chutney

There is always a good limit to everything. It is essential to follow moderation in portion to reap all health benefits.

A healthy and safe daily allowance of the rice idli, sambar, and coconut chutney combination, as denoted by expert dieticians, is as follows:

  • As a breakfast item, one can have 2 large or 3 medium rice idlis. It can be paired with a medium bowl full of sambar and two tablespoons of coconut chutney.
  • When for lunch, you can increase the number of idlis by one, or stick to the same amount.
  • In case, you are a diabetes patient, you might alter these portions to suit your health. It is best to stick to two medium or small-sized rice idlis. Pair it with a medium bowl of light and less spicy sambar and no more than one tablespoon of coconut chutney.
  • If you are suffering from diabetes, you can also substitute the rice idlis with Rava idlis. Rava has lesser carbohydrates than rice and is a better alternative to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
  • In addition to all that, to make your idlis, be it rice or Rava, healthier, is to add in some veggies. You can chop and add pieces of capsicum, carrots, and onions to your idlis. They can add more vitamins and fiber and also nullify the existing carbohydrates present in it.

Make sure to keep in mind these points. They will add more gains to your healthy diet plan. Following these no-brainer tips will also lead and assist you to watch over your weight, calories taken, and even blood sugar levels.

Calories in Rice idli, Sambar, and Chutney


All this while, we kept telling you that this south Indian meal is low in calories. But what is the actual calorie count of this meal? Let us find out.

Sl. No.Item Quantity Calories
2.Sambar1 cup304
3.Coconut chutney2 tablespoons60

This table represents the number of calories available in the items of the meal separately. They are safe calories and do not have extreme effects on the body or health.

We will now move onto an in-depth description of the nutritional profile of this south Indian combination meal.

Nutrients in Rice idli, Sambar, and Chutney



The following tables represent the various nutrients and their amounts available in these items individually.

Sl. No. Nutrients available Amount

–         Dietary fiber

–         Sugar


–         0.5g

–         0.1g

7.Calcium0.8% DV
8.Iron3.3% DV
9.Vitamin C0.2% DV
  1. SAMBAR (1-cup)
Sl. No. Nutrients availableAmount
5.Vitamin A193.8mcg
6.Vitamin C13.9mcg
7.Folic acid28.6mcg


  1. CHUTNEY (2-tbsps.)
Sl. No. Nutrients availableAmount

–         Dietary fiber

–         Sugar


– 1.7g

– 1.9g

6.Iron3.3% DV
7.Calcium0.8% DV
8.Vitamin A4.8% DV
9.Vitamin C81% DV

Benefits of Rice Idli, Sambar, Chutney

We had a look at the calorie and nutritional facts of this South Indian delicacy. Now it is time to know what its benefits are:

  1. It is perfect for weight loss. The greatest reason is that idlis are steamed. They are not fried and thus have low oil and fat.
  1. The fermentation makes the idli easy to digest. Moreover, the process of fermentation leads to a balance of pH in the stomach. Hence, it aids digestion and keeps the gut healthy.
  1. The entire meal combo is low in fat and has zero cholesterol. This is what makes it safe for heart patients. They do not lead to imbalanced cholesterol levels that also keep away many other negative health conditions.
  1. The number of vitamins and minerals present in idli, sambar, and chutney are endless. Moreover, as the idli is fermented, it is richer in the bioavailability of nutrients. They build and strengthen the body.
  1. It also supplies the body with many anti-oxidants, Anti-carcinogenic elements, etc.; all in all, these nutrients help in keeping the body protected from free radicals that lead to diseases and maintain health.


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