Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hungry Enough To Eat A Horse Gram Pancake?

Recently, some nutritional advice saw me adding to my ever-creaking pantry. I was advised to eat dosas made of sprouted ragi (finger millet) and red rice flours so I have two tins full of those now. As I feared, the 3/4 cup:1 cup proportion of ragi to red rice flour did not work and I was left with a sticky, wet pancake that felt like a cold fish.

Even as I was mulling, well, not mulling, strictly speaking, but stressing out about how to use up the abovementioned flours, I got some further advice on supplementing nutrition with pancakes made with whole grains and millets of various kinds. Well, there is already a millet (ragi) in my pantry, and I wasn't about to buy more till I had lessened the load on those shelves a little bit, so I bought some horse gram and combined it with dals, flax seed and some of the ragi to make an adai of sorts. Adai is something like an unfermented dosa, made of a mixture of dals and rice, and always leaves me feeling like I've eaten something uncooked - it doesn't go down my throat smoothly and has always been a disappointment to me whenever and wherever I've eaten it. I've finished with keeping an open mind about it.

But I digress. This creation was much better than any adai I've come across and I think it's a keeper of a recipe. I already feel full of sunshine, vitamins, trace elements and folic acid. (You know I exaggerate.) Here's how you can get some yourselves.

List 1

Horse gram/Ulavalu: 1/2 cup
Bengal gram/chana dal: 1/4 cup
Whole masoor dal: 1/4 cup
Flax seed: A fistful


Sprouted ragi flour: 1 tbsp


Green chillies, roughly chopped: 2
Ginger: 2-inch piece, peeled, roughly chopped


Coriander & curry leaves: 3 tbsp, washed, chopped


Soak all the items under List 1 in plenty of water overnight or for 8 hours.

Drain the water, wash once or twice and blitz in the mixer with the ginger and green chillies. Add splashes of water only enough to ensure that the mixer's motor runs smoothly.

Once it becomes a fairly fine paste, add the sprouted ragi flour. Mix it really well or operate the mixer on 'pulse'.

Add another splash of water if you need to achieve a 'spreadable' batter. Add the salt. Fold in the chopped coriander and curry leaves.

(Note: In my experience, this doesn't spread as smoothly as dosa batter. I can make perfect dosas, but these, they are 'maps of the world'.)

Take a ladle of batter, put it on an oiled, heated tawa/griddle, and spread it as carefully as you can. At some point or the other, it might threaten to come off along with the ladle you're spreading it with, but just pat it gently, leave it alone and simply go to another portion of it and smooth it there.

With the flame on medium, add some oil around the edges - 1/2 a tsp should do. Once the bottom feels cooked (you should be able to lift it off without bits sticking to the tawa), flip it over and cook all the uncooked parts.

I ate it with ginger pickle.

This goes off to Preeti at W'rite' Food who is hosting Susan's My Legume Love Affair.


  1. Horsegram pancake sure looks packed with protein!

  2. Hi Sra, I have only know horsegram in ulava charu, and thats an all time favourite. Does this dosa remind one of the charu? I am going to tell my mom about this to try out first. I looked at the dosa pic and was thinking, 'i am not alone, even Sra makes irregular looking dosas'. and then you burst my bubble to tell me its just the batter and not you :)

  3. Divya, :) Sure hope so!
    La, yeah, I too knew only about ulava charu before I started blogging. And the part about me making perfect dosas - I can spread them perfectly on the tawa, can't make the batter myself. Heh heh!

  4. Sra,
    I have till known horse gram made like dals/soup..this is new and perhaps healthy..hugs and smiles

  5. Ummm looks yum,perfect for breakfast

  6. So good to know you are full of "trace elements" and "folic acids" and what not. The very sound of it seems so hard to achieve.

  7. Wish I knew what horsegram was... I don't know it in English or Tamil or Hindi or any other language :( I wouldnt recognise it if it came and did a jig in front of me (unless it was singing "I'm a Dancing Horsegram" at the same time).

    I like adai, and I don't think they're meant to be perfect circles like dosas :)

  8. Ragi with coconut or semolina give me good dosas. the ones that can also be spread like rava dosa. I had never met an adai I liked, until last week, that is. Growing up with my vegetale crazy father, I never knew where the adai in the adai was. After years of eating cabbage pancakes in the name of adai, I finally made one last week, with just red chillies and curry leaves. A bulb lit up inside my head instantly. The more unhealthy the food, the more nourished I feel! :D

  9. I make Ragi dosai all the time with plain rice flour added to it and it comes out fine. You may just need to adjust proportions a little, but don't give up on it! The adai seems very flavorful!

  10. These look yummy Sra...thanks for the entry!

  11. this one looks so mouth-watering and easy to prepare...delicious!

  12. they are my all time fav pancake....my mom specially made them during winter months
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  13. This looks pretty amazing. It reminds me of the sprouted wheat bread I made once (no flour, only sprouted wheat)

    I can't decide whether or not if we should look for horsegram when we go to Indiatown to replenish our spices.

    Ginger pickle sounds wonderful! Do you make it?

  14. This reminds me of the sprouted wheat bread I made once (no flour!). Sprouted things need a really good blender with sharp blades, don't they?

    I wonder if we have seen horsegram zillions of times when stocking up on urad dahl, chenna, pickle, spices, etc. etc. at our favourite Indian store.

    (arrived here looking for your dosa recipe)