Posts Tagged ‘breakfast recipes’

Adai is a distant, thick cousin of the dosa, a south indian pancake made with equal parts of rice and a combination of lentils one fancies. Adai-Avial (mixed vegetables dunked in coconut and yogurt) is a classic combination, a common place tiffin that people in this part of the world love. I am no expert on nutrition, exercise and the like. I can therefore make no claims whatsoever on the healthfulness of Adai. What I can, however, tell you with utter confidence is that this a breakfast combination that will keep you full for what will seem like an eternity. Traditionally Adais were thick pancakes, made by patting fistfuls of batter on the tawa. A pit would be dug (a hole, actually, a minor dent) in the middle of this enormously thick pancake to help with even cooking and to infuse some oil.

Growing up with my vegetable worshiping Appa, I always ate what were most definitely cabbage pancakes doled out as Adai. My Appa’s vegetable love was good in every other way, it elevated ordinary bland tasting fare to unimaginably delicious heights, except in this addition of cabbage to the Adai. The fresh home made butter on the side that was served with the Adai was the only thing I looked forward to. Until last week I had never met an Adai I could eat without feeling choked. My search for a palatable adai ended when I transformed this recipe for deep fried paniyarams handed down by my mother in law. I took the liberty of thinning the batter enough so that the Adai could be not just crisp but also feel less voluminous in the mouth.

Recipe handed down by my mother in law, who in turn got it from her mother in law.


  • Raw Rice – 1 cup
  • Moong Dal – 1/4 cup
  • Urad dal (black gram) – 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal (chick peas)- 1/4 cup
  • Toor dal (pigeon peas)- 1/4 cup
  • Red Chillies – 2 -4 no (crushed)
  • Curry Leaves – 2 twigs (finely chopped)
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece (grated)
  • Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  1. Wash the rice and dals (all four together) and soak overnight in enough water separately.
  2. Drain water from the rice and the dals. Grind the rice to a smooth batter with 1/2 cup of water. Add the dals and grind to a coarse batter with another 1/2 cup of water . Add salt, red chillies, grated coconut, curry leaves and ginger to the batter. Dilute with water (if necessary) to get a batter of pouring consistency.
  3. Heat a flat pan on medium and grease with oil. Pour a ladle of batter and spread in circular motion to make the adai/pancake. When one side turns golden, turn over and cook the other side. Remove from pan. Repeat with rest of the batter.
Serve hot with avial/ eggplant gothsu or any other coconut/roasted eggplant based side dish, milagai podi and fresh butter. Other Adais on The Yum blog:

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Tiffin/Palaharam in Tamil Nadu was once usually served in the evening as snacks.  That snack has been upgraded to breakfast fare, served with atleast one vegetable-lentil/coconut based side dish, thogayal/ chutney and curd. (If like my appa, you subsist on 95% vegetable diet, you will add a salad/soup).  In the not so distant past, people  ate what we eat for lunch as breakfast, a practice that is not uncommon even today. You know you are in Tamil Nadu if you see people waking up at 5am to eat a gigantic lunch at 9am.

Paniyaram with Poricha Kuzhambu, Green Tomato Chutney and Curd

No breakfast is repeated for atleast a month at Amma’s. Yes, she is that rare breed of modern day Tamilian not to have Idli/Dosa Maavu forever in the fridge, because she makes them just once in a month. And she doesn’t even go beyond the South Indian cuisine much as far as breakfast is concerned.  This isn’t surprising considering the agriculture obsessed South Indian culture that not just worships the grains but prepares them using a wide range of techniques. At times the breakfast may just consist of steamed or roasted vegetables served with suitable sides.  Variety needs inspiration, and it is a value to be incorporated from the earlier generation. Even on the standard Iyengar diet that excludes entire food groups including many vegetables, my Patti put together meals that were diverse with  fresh experiences in flavour and texture. Cooking techniques, not just the spices, were used to render different flavours.

Thayir Paniyaram

Thayir paniyaram is one such inspired recipe, created by altering the method of cooking for an existing dish (no prizes for guessing, but you may try).

tbsp=tablespoon, tsp=teaspoon, cup=standard metric cup measuring 250ml


  • Par Boiled rice – 1 cup
  • Urad dal – 1 tablespoon
  • Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (heaped)
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Red chillies – 2
  • Sour Curd (Yogurt) – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp


  1. Wash and drain the par boiled rice and urad dal. Add to the sour curd(yogurt) and soak overnight for 6-8 hours.
  2. Grind to a smooth batter adding grated coconut, red chillies and salt. Add curry leaves towards the end of grinding the batter.  The batter must be thick but of pouring consistency (similar to cake batter).
  3. Heat the paniyaram pan, add a drop of oil to each of the moulds and pour the batter.
  4. Cover and cook over a medium flame. When the paniyarams start to puff up and  separate from the pan, turn them over and cook the other side. Transfer to serving dish. Repeat for the rest of the batter.

I served it with Green Tomato Chutney and Poricha Kuzhambu.

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Ragi Rotti is another unleavened bread made in Karnataka. For previous ragi recipes from Karnataka refer to Ragi Mudde and Ragi Dosa.

Ragi Rotti
Ragi Rotti with Uchellu Podi


  • Ragi flour – 2 cups
  • Fresh Sabakki Soppu (Dill) or Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Onions – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Water
  • Green chilly – 2 finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil


  1. Mix all ingredients except the Oil and knead into a smooth soft dough. The dough is a softer than Wheat flour Roti dough. Divide the dough into 2 inch diameter balls and set aside.
  2. Spread a plastic sheet/ banana leaf on a smooth surface. Grease with a drop of oil. Take a ball of the dough and pat into a round pancake of 6 inch diameter. Use a little oil to aid in patting the roti.
  3. Transfer to a skillet and cook both sides over a medium flame until the roti turns brown in colour.
  4. Repeat for the remaining dough.

Serve hot with Uchellu Podi, Green Tomato Chutney, Vethal Kozhambu or Gojju.

Asha, Ragi Rotti for RCI Karnataka.

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Long before the Green Revolution supplanted traditional crops with paddy and wheat across India, there was Ragi, Jowar and Bajra. Ragi, Jowar and Bajra were traditionally cooked up in a likes cakes, pancakes or unleavened breads especially in places whose natural constitution made only one crop of a water sucking variety like rice in a year possible. They constituted the much needed dietary fibre content in the Indian spread.

Ragi or Finger Millet is associated with the labour classes – in a typical feudal set up the lady of the master’s house prepared ragi based foods for the farmers who worked on their lands.

As a baby, I was a snob at the other end of the spectrum – I hated canned cereals preferring traditional Kanji or Porridge. No I wouldn’t settle for anything less than Ragi Malt – a concoction of Ragi, Jaggery and Milk that I was fed daily.

Fortunately, a generation after the Green Revolution made ragi “unfashionable”, the grain seems to be picking up pace as a health fad. Elaboration of Ragi’s goodness cannot be missed in modern media – superior in mineral and fibre content as compared to rice, a health grain for the diabetic, food that digests slowly, food that can be grown with environment friendly practices, food that is cooling – ragi is now being heralded as the “wonder grain”.

Kezhvaragu (in Tamil) or Ragi Dosa is a preparation from Kongunadu’s cuisine. Describing Kongunadu is difficult but you can vaguely think of it as the stretch from Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Pollachi to Erode, Salem and Dharmapuri.

Ragi Dosa
These Ragi Dosas are medium sized ones. You could pour batter to make larger dosas.

Here’s the recipe:

Preparation Time: 20 minutes (includes soaking), Cooking time: 5 minutes, Yield: 10 – 12 Dosas/ Pancakes


  • Ragi # – 2 cups
  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander – 3 twigs
  • Curry Leaves – 4
  • Green Chilly – 1 no.
  • Jeera/ Cumin – 1tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 4 1/2 cups (approximately, this will vary with how much water the flour soaks)

*cups= 225ml, approximately 8 oz

# Ragi flour doesn’t stand for long – so I suggest buying in fresh small quantities for best results.


  1. Soak Ragi flour (Millet flour) in some warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Grind the Coconut, Green Chilly, Coriander, Curry Leaves, Jeera and Salt in a blender.
  3. Add this to the soaked Ragi flour (Millet Flour) and mix well. Add water to bring to Rava dosa batter consistency. Note: This will be somewhere between butter milk and dosa batter or fresh cream consistency.
  4. Dust a broad skillet or tawa with 1/2 tsp oil and heat it for 30 seconds. On a high flame pour the batter from outside towards inside to form a round. Cook on a high flame. Turn and cook the other side on a high flame. Reduce flame to low and turn and cook for a minute. Take out dosa on to serving plate.
  5. Repeat for remaining batter. Refer to Rava Dosa making technique to get lacy, crispy dosas.

Alternatively, one could make these like soft Uthappams

  • At step 3, mix water enough to bring to to dosa batter or fresh cream consistency.
  • Pour a ladle full in the center of a tawa on a medium flame. Cover and cook for 30 seconds on a medium flame. Repeat for remaining batter.

This recipe was handed down to me by my mother in law, Vasantha Ayyaswami – who makes many other dosas of Kongunadu in varying styles – having lived in Coimbatore for many years. So technically speaking, I have been introduced to this as part of Kongunadu’s cuisine.

But then I don’t see why people on the Karnataka side of the border would not be indulging in this Ragi delicacy. After all when I mixed the batter together, I was greeted by a very prominent almost musty smell of Malnad – if you have ever treated your nostrils to the fresh dew on earth from a mild early morning drizzle, you know what I am talking about. I must warn you that it’s a smell that refuses to go. 🙂

To further the argument, if you look at the ingredients closely, its almost like neer dose or pan pole. I can almost imagine obscure homes in remote bits of Shimoga cooking this up. For the record, google led me to one more person who seems to think of this as Pan Pole – Manjula at Dalitoy!!!

So Asha, do you think this could pass off as Ragi Pan Pole or Ragi Neer Dose?


Coming to think of it, I am sure your “toothless” Thatha must have savoured these besides the standard Mudde. 🙂

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There are two ways of looking at Akki Rotti – you can think of Akki Rotti as unleavened bread made out of rice flour or as spicy pancakes.

Personally, I prefer “Sada” Akki Rotti (plain rice flour bread) to the many different the masala ones which have onions, grated vegetables, cumin and green chilly. Sada or Plain Akki Rotti is a zero oil bread much like the phulka and is super soft and fluffy like the Gujrathi rotlis. It is typically served with uchellu podi and ennegayi or gojju.

While one can find nifty workarounds for getting the masala ones, the sada ones aren’t that amenable to cheat sheets. The masala akki rotti has been a saviour once – when absent mindedly I made naan dough out of rice flour. Amma and I converted it into some kind of masala akki roti – dosa 🙂 – rich in milk and absolutely yummy.

Yet, nothing can beat the divine taste of plain akki rottis which I have been wanting to try for quite sometime. I faithfully followed Aaruni’s (introduced in the earlier post) recipe and method and I am glad to say the results have been fantastic for a beginner like me. I was quite delighted when the rotis puffed up. Yay, yay!!

Akki Rotti
Akki Rottis (Rice Flour Rotis) folded into a quarter

Akki Rotti
A Closer View

These are a wee bit thicker than they are supposed to be and though round, have tapered edges (booo hoo!!!).

Here’s Aaruni’s recipe that I faithfully followed:

Preparation Time: 5 minutes , Cooking Time: 30 minutes , Yield: 6 Rotis (these are slightly bigger than wheat flour rotis)


  • Rice Flour – 2 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 tsp

*cups=225ml or 8 oz measures.


  1. Bring salt and water to boil in a heavy bottomed cooking pot on a medium flame.
  2. When the water starts bubbling, reduce flame to low and throw in the flour evenly. Do not stir. Keep on a low flame for a minute.
  3. With the back of the ladle whisk the contents into a smooth paste. Remove from stove and keep aside for cooling.
  4. Knead into a dough. The more you knead, the less you sweat while making the rotis. Divide into 6 parts and shape into balls.
  5. Keep aside a little rice flour for dusting. Wipe a flat board/ roti rolling surface with a clean wet cloth. Wipe your belan/ rolling pin with the wet cloth.
  6. Take one ball of dough and roll in the flour. Flatten the ball into a round. Roll into a round with the belan/ rolling pin (exert very little pressure), continuosly moving the roti in a circular direction. The roti should be rolled out thin. Dust off the flour and wipe the roti with a wet cloth.
  7. Heat a tawa. Slip the roti in the tawa. Cook on a medium flame. When you see about two or more air pockets bloat up, turn and cook the other side. The roti would have started puffing. Turn again and cook for a few seconds.
  8. Repeat for all the other balls of dough. Remember to clean the rolling board and belan/rolling pin and wet them with a cloth for each roti.

One pack of soft fluffy “a wee bit thick” Akki Rottis packed off to Asha for RCI-K.


You might want to check out few other versions of plain Rice flour breads:

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Ragi mudde (Finger Millet Cakes) and Avarekaalina Saaru (Flat Beans) are 100% Karnataka recipes. I know Asha is excited to see these recipes. Do I need to say that I am sending this for RCI karnataka! 🙂


I am surrounded by many interesting and talented people – like this lady who makes and sells sandige(papads etc). She is also a good cook and does catering during monsoon and winter. Her name is Aaruni and she comes to my place to help me with some odd jobs and learn new recipes. She has learnt to make perfect mysoor pak and milk chocolate. When I told her about RCI karnataka, she was very excited and promised to help me in making some Authentic Karnataka recipes. Ragi mudde is one of them.

Aaruni lost her husband quite a while back and is not educated one bit. She brings both her children with the money that her culinary skills bring her. Having a recipe published in her name with pictures in the blog means a whole lot to her. After cooking she always asks “photo thegithiraa?” (Will you take a photo?). Some of my friends and I are helping her to get catering contracts so that she can educate her children. One of her daughter is doing BBA (Bachelors in Business Administration) and the other is doing + 1.

Here goes the recipe for Ragi mudde and Avarekaalina saaru which Aaruni made for my lunch today.


For Avarekaalina saaru


  • Avarekai – 1/2 cup(Tender seeds)
  • Potato – 1 medium size
  • Tomato – 1 small
  • Onion – 1 small
  • Sambhar powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Grated coconut – 1 table spoon
  • Tamarind – 1 inch
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Hing – 1 pinch
  • Oil – 1 table spoon
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut potato into small cubes. Wash avarekai and potato.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the potato and avarekai.
  3. Add hing and turmeric and saute on a medium flame.
  4. Grind all other ingredients together in to a smooth paste. Add to the vegetables.
  5. Add 1/2 cup water and close and cook on a low flame till the vegetables are soft.

Tastes good with all kinds of rotis and chapathis also.


For ragi mudde


  • Ragi flour – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1 pinch


  1. In a heavy bottomed pan boil water on a medium flame. Add salt and 1 teaspoon ragi flour.
  2. Allow to boil for a while and add remaining flour and leave for 1 minute on low flame. Do not stir.
  3. Now stir the contents with the back of a laddle and mix well and let it cook for a while. The mixture will look crumbled.
  4. Put off the flame and Knead to a ball when still hot. Serve hot with Avarekaalina saaru.

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