Tomato- Methi Adai ( Tomato, Lentil & Rice Pancakes)


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Tomato-Methi Adai

After a brief hiatus, I’m back…….rejuvenated….. hopefully!!! I am a very moody person……ask hubby, sis and mom……they are very well versed with my mood swings!!! One moment I’m on top of the world and the next I’m down in the doldrums …..usually b’coz something didn’t go the way I planned it!!!! Yep, I’m one of those “planners” ….you know the ones who have everything planned, have contingencies for their contingencies!!!!! How I manage to do that with three children ruling my life??? When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

As a family, we are not big breakfast eaters but now that the boys are playing football…..ohh did I mention that my oldest is crazy about football ??? He loves it, spends a lot of time researching positions, studying plays….he has even narrowed down the colleges he wants to play for!!! He has even made a list of camps that he wants to attend so as to further his knowledge and skills. I can only be thankful that he shows the same dedication to studies too!!! I have been told that sometimes I have the attention span of a squirrel….jump around everywhere !!! Back to the topic, now that we spend most of our Saturdays ( read 4 hours!! ) watching our boys play football, breakfast has become more of a necessity!!!!

My aunt gave me this recipe when I moved to this country 15 years ago!!! It’s for TOMATO –METHI ADAI or Tomato and Fenugreek Leaves Pancakes. Before you turn your face up at the combination………as a culture Indians do not eat sweet breakfasts, only savory ones. There are no pancakes or waffles dripping with syrup or doughnuts dusted in confectioner’s sugar, in a traditional Indian household. There is however crisp crepes made with a batter of rice and lentils served with a fragrant spice laden stew, pillowy soft idli served with tangy tomato chutney, soft porridge made from semolina or crisp vadais made from lentils served with nutty coconut chutney. Those are what I grew up on and they still hold a special place in my heart.

I have been incorporating vegetable purees into my dosa batters and dough so the kids are excited by the colors but I don’t have to listen to the litany of…. “I don’t want to eat veggies”.  Adai is a cousin to the ubiquitous dosa found in every Indian restaurant. It is the slightly fatter version, if you may………sort of like a pancake to a crepe. The batter has more lentils than rice and it does require the same amount of fermentation that a dosa batter does. An Adai is basically a savory Indian lentil and rice pancake. I make these when I don’t have time to ferment or when I am bored with the dosa!!!! This one has an added bonus of veggies in the batter so I get the kids to eats veggies without all the drama!!!! Usually I puree the greens too but for this post, I went with the original. It also has whole green gram that is chalk full of protein. I generally prefer to make these in the summer when tomatoes are at their best but if the urge overwhelms me I will make them using canned tomatoes but it doesn’t taste quite the same. You puree soaked rice and green gram lentils with tomatoes and dried red chilies, then you add finely chopped onion and methi leaves. Since V loves coconut, I add a little bit and I love ginger so in it goes as well. Ginger gives it a warmth and heat while tomatoes ( if using fresh ones) provides a sweetness and sourness quite unlike another. If you are using canned tomatoes, depending on the brand you might have to add a little tamarind. Methi adds a bitterness that wakes up the otherwise bland rice and dal. My only note is that this will not crisp up as much as a dosa…it will be slightly softer. The kids ate it without complaints and only I knew how healthy this was !!!!

Tomato -Methi Adai


Makes 12-14 adai


1 ½ cups raw Rice (do not use basmati)

¾ cup whole Mung Beans or Green Gram

1 cup Tomato Puree

¼ cup water, if required

2 tbsp. shredded fresh Coconut

2 tsp. chopped Ginger

2-4 dried Red Chilies

Salt to taste

¼ cup finely chopped Red Onions

½ cup finely chopped Methi/Fenugreek leaves


Soak the rice and green gram in 2-3 cups of water for 2-3 hours.

Drain completely.

Puree in a blender with the tomatoes, ginger, red chilies and coconut. Add only enough water to form a slightly coarse batter.

Add the salt, asafetida, onions and methi leaves. Mix well.

Heat a tava or griddle. To ensure it hot enough, sprinkle a few drops of water over the surface. It should sizzle.

Smear a little oil. I generally use a wedge of onion to do this. Do not smear too much.

Pour a ladle full of batter. Working quickly spread the batter using a continuous spiral motion, spreading outwards.

Using the handle of a teaspoon, make a small hole in the center.

Now, pour abt a tsp. of oil around the edges and the hole in the center.

Cook for abt 2-3 minutes, until the bottom of the adai is cooked and crisp. Turn over and repeat.

Serve with any chutney of your choice or jaggery.

This is off to “Come , join us for Breakfast” at Cooking for all Seasons and “My Legume Love Affair” at The Veggie Indian.



Red and White Quinoa Salad with Spicy Dijon Vinaigrette



Red and White Quinoa Salad

Love-hate relationships…..everyone has them, mine is with food!!!! I love food but the scale hates me when I indulge in that love!!!! I have struggled with my weight all my life and I have found that it has gotten harder the older I get. Over the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that it’s a life style change but its hard to maintain it………temptation lurks around every corner!!! I have found that a small changes like no sugar, reducing your carb intake, eating less for dinner make a huge difference!!! I have taken to eating mostly salads for dinner or soups depending on weather and I have a cheat day when I can indulge, though reasonably. It’s going slow but I’m keeping it off so I’ll take it!!!

Most of the time, my salads are greens tossed with a dressing though I do experiment with the dressings. Once in a while I will make a salad with a grain for variety. I have developed a liking for quinoa, though it’s now so ridiculously expensive that I only make it occasionally!!!! Quinoa is the latest super grain…..cultivated by the Incas in the Andes in South America. It’s high in protein and is gluten free. It is high in iron, manganese, vitamin B2, fiber and lysine, which helps in tissue repair!! I find that when cooked well, it tastes great. There is one thing to remember……it is not a low calorie food, it contains the same amount of calories as brown rice so portions do matter!!!!

This is my simple quinoa salad…nothing fancy just a simple vinaigrette, quinoa and some veggies, that’s it but it packs a flavor punch!!!

Red and White Quinoa Salad

Red and White Quinoa Salad with Spicy Dijon Vinaigrette


½ cup White Quinoa

½ cup Red Quinoa

¼ cup Red Onion, finely chopped

¼ cup frozen Corn, defrosted and drained

¼ cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

¼ cup Cilantro, finely chopped

2 tbsp. reduced sugar Dried Cranberries

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. Sriracha Sauce

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


To cook the quinoa, add 2 cups of water and the quinoa to a saucepan. Cook according to the package instructions.

To make the dressing, place the mustard, honey, sriracha, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a jar. Shake well till emulsified. Set aside.

Toss the quinoa with all the other ingredients and the dressing.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is off toNo Croutons Requiredat Tinned Tomatoes andDish it out – Whole Grainsat Kachuss Delights.



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