Vegetarian Concoctions

March 8, 2007

Pesarattu (Moong dal adai)

Filed under: Ginger, Whole moong dal — Hema @ 12:45 pm

The mere mention of Pesarettu, adai or dosai takes me on a joy ride down memory lane back home in India. Our kitchen springs up in front of my eyes. I see a girl, wearing a white and navy blue school uniform with her long hair oiled and plated up with a red ribbon, sitting on the kitchen counter watching her mother prepare dosais. A little boy comes in looking unkempt and points at his growling stomach. Both kids are instructed to wash their hands, legs and face, change their clothes and then come back with their tiffin plates. They frown and drag themselves into their respective rooms and come out after a while looking pretty much the same.

A plate is hurriedly rinsed and they sit on the kitchen floor with the plate in front of them in great anticipation. A bottle of til oil and a box full of molagai podi (gun powder) are given to them for self-service. Dosais are tossed endlessly into the plate one by one freshly prepared, right out of the tava.They gobble up the thin, white discs in no time and fight for the crisp outer circle. The mother shakes her head disapprovingly and asks them to get another plate, so they will stop fighting over every dosai and they refuse. They just like to eat from one plate…‘is se pyar badhta hai’…they announce, brilliantly quoting Aamir khan’s famous dialogue in Andaaz apna apna. After about 20 minutes of tossing and gobbling, the kids seem satisfied.

‘So, what’s for tomorrow’s tiffin’ asks the little boy.
‘I’m thinking adai’ says the mother
He lets out a happy squeal and sticks his tongue out at his sister.
The girl looks dissapointed.
‘And pesarettu for you’ says the mother looking lovingly at her daughter.
Its the sister’s turn to stick out the tongue at her little brother.

Ah! happy memories:) This is how my amma made pesarattus:


Whole green moong dal – 4 cups

Raw rice – 1 cup

Ginger – a 1 X 1 inch piece

Green Chillies – 4-5 nos

Salt to taste

img_2882.JPG img_2881.JPG                
Soak the dal and rice for 3-4 hours in warm water. Grind with ginger and chillies and little water to make a thick batter. Add salt to taste. I like to grind it course, so there is a crunch when you bite into it. I like to add some mint or cilantro leaves into it. Ladle some batter on the tava and spread it out by patting it with the back of the ladle. Pour a few drops of oil and turn it over after one side is browned and crisp. Serve it with molagai podi, white butter or any pickle of your choice.



  1. Hi Hema, So this one does not require fermentation ? Good nutritious recipe for breakfast:)The colour of the adai is nice greenish becoz of the dal skin.

    Comment by archana — March 8, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  2. Hi Hema, your adai looks great and greenish 🙂 I love adai. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Just for fun — March 8, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

  3. Love the color and the texture of Pesarattu Hema err..little sis!!Never made it though,I will have to cook one day!:))
    If there is no fermentation,it would quick and easy too:)
    Thank you.

    Comment by asha — March 8, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

  4. pesarattu is looking mouth watering!!

    Comment by swapna — March 8, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

  5. Very sweet write up,Hema…it did make me smile 🙂 The name pesarattu b’came familair to me once I started blogging 🙂


    Comment by Mishmash! — March 8, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

  6. Oh I like this! Now I know what pesarattu is!! They look perfect. Liked the write up, really sweet!:)

    Comment by Jyothsna — March 9, 2007 @ 12:39 am

  7. Hi Hema, I haven’t tried these — so many things on my list yet to try! I love moong so I know I’ll love these. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for that little slice of childhood you painted with words 🙂


    Comment by outofthegarden — March 9, 2007 @ 7:38 am

  8. Dear Hema, I loved your Moong dal adai no doubt, but your write-up is amazing. i could actually see two children sit in a kitchen and eat and enjoy. You have written beautifully.

    Comment by Anupama — March 9, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  9. You have depicted such a sweet moment of growing up, and these pesara attu’s looks absolutely delicious! I’m sure these will bring out the child in adults!

    Comment by Monisha — March 9, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

  10. Such nice memories of you and your bro…what nice memories food brings back

    Comment by sandeepa — March 9, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

  11. Love adai,with all it’s trappings.

    Comment by Lera — March 10, 2007 @ 10:21 am

  12. To all:

    Its NOT adai… Its Pesarattu… Other than the very difference in ingredients, I think the names more or less indicate their regions of origin (ad’AI’ vs. pesara’TTU’ ? .. Oh common!)

    And its to be taken with white butter… A sacrilege otherwise!

    Forgive the outpouring, but as you can see… I prefer Adais 😉

    Comment by saapatu raman — March 11, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  13. lovely writeup hema. took me back to my childhood days:) thank you for that:)

    Comment by sia — March 12, 2007 @ 5:55 am

  14. It was after I started to blog I came to knew abt pesarattu.. I was attracted by the one I saw in Sailu’s blog.. tired and Loved it. will post the picture sometime. Enjoyed reading ur writing..

    Comment by prema — March 13, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

  15. Thats sweet write up hema..I make adai frequently as it is my hubby’s fav.even the liltle one loves it alot.Haven’t tried Pesarattu yet..will try now after reading your write up esply.

    Comment by maheswari — March 13, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

  16. @Archana
    Yup, no fermentation at all. quick and easy it is!

    I have made something you havent? An achievment I say!

    @Just for fun, swapna, anupama, monisha, sandeepa, Mishmash, Prema, Maheshwari, Lera, Linda, Anupama, Jyothsna
    Thanks a lot. I love the color too!

    @saapatu raman
    yeah, white butter everytime. So, how much do you weigh now?

    Comment by Hema — March 15, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  17. Dear Hema,
    Your moong dal dosai recipe (Pesarattu) is excellent – one of my favourites too since it is wholesome, nutritious and tasty. As you say, it tastes yum with chutney and / or curd as also with butter, molagai podi or pickle. I also like making this with sprouted green gram.

    Comment by Pritya — March 25, 2007 @ 4:44 am

  18. Hi,
    Lovely write-up and excellent breakfast.

    Comment by sri — October 12, 2008 @ 11:38 pm

  19. Your writeup brought back memories of my mom cooking aloo, gobhi or mooli paranthas and serving to four sisters in the kitchen itself, the eldest one being pushed out after devouring four paranthas with butter and still demanding more. I can still see us sitting on wooden seats (patras. Thanks

    What is raw rice?

    Comment by Shompa — February 10, 2009 @ 1:25 am

  20. You’ve done it once again. Superb post!

    Comment by Carrie Mcdaniel — May 27, 2010 @ 9:52 am

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