Adai (Low GI Savoury Pancakes)

Prep Time: 4 hours soaking    | Cook time: 4 mins per Adai    |  Makes: 20 Adais

As you know, if I can’t cook it fast, I don’t cook it! It can stay in a slow cooker for eight hours, but the effort from me must be minimal, because like everything else, while I am time poor, I am a health conscious foodie 🙂  And add to that mix is trying to give these recipes to my kids who are from the “Take away” generation that wants everything “NOW” and have enough money to make it happen! So all my recipes are a touch of Maggi! Fast to cook, good to eat, fills you up, is nutritious, inexpensive, and leaves a lot of room for innovation!

One such dish is the humble Adai! I just love this dish, for its versatility and its dosaikal-14-0281.jpg
wholesomeness! Like a one stop shop for Proteins, Vitamins and everything else the body needs while using the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple and Snappy 😉 ) principle!

So let’s see this really innovative adaption where I have kept the carbs low and proteins high, making it a Low GI food that will keep you full forever!


  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Parboiled rice – ½ cup
  • Quinoa – ½ cup
  • Split chick peas (Channa dal) – ½ cup
  • Green Mung beans (Hara Moong) ½ cup
  • Brown Lentils (Masoor Sabut)- ¼ cup
  • Washed Black gram (Urad dal) ¼ cup
  • Small onions/shallots (Finely chopped) – ¾ cup
  • Drumstick leaves (Murunga yelai) 1 cup
  • Grated Carrot – ½ cup
  • Coriander leaves chopped – 4 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Ginger 1 inch piece
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Red & Green chillies – to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and soak the Quinoa, Rice & lentils.
  • Grind them together in a blender, along with dry red chillies, ginger, Asafoetida, salt and required water. In the last round of grinding add the oats.
  • You can make the batter to thick or thin depending on whether you prefer the adai thin and crispy or thick and soft.
  • To prepare, take a spoonful of the batter and spread it on a pan like a pancake. Pour some oil around the sides and then make a hole in the centre with the spoon and add the oil there too.
  • Cook both sides until golden brown.
  • Leave the Adai little longer on the pan, if you want it crispy.

Voilà… your healthy Adai is ready to serve with jaggery and Avial (recipe to follow)


  • Quinoa can be replaced with Buckwheat and Parboiled rice with plain rice or brown rice.
  • Drumsticks leaves can be replaced with any green leaf you like or have or can be eliminated completely
  • The dry ingredients can be soaked for an hour, a night or a day, whichever is convenient with the best results showing up when soaked for a minimum of four hours.
  • You can replace grated carrots with grated radish, raw papaya, grated cauliflower or grated broccoli. While being healthy it will add a splash of colour. Be careful to stick to 1 cup, to make the pancake spreadable.
  • The Adai is perfect for Breakfast but makes a delicious lunch, dinner or snack item too!
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Smart Cooky


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Almond Coconut Red/Green Chutney

Try this Chutney recipe to add a more filling touch to a light meal. A Low GI chutney, this will keep you fuller longer. You will not compromise on taste and you have the added benefit of a high protein food. Fast to cook, good to eat and great for health!


Fresh grated coconut-1/2 cup
Whole Almonds-6 to 7Almond Chutney
Small onions-4 to 5
Tomato – 1 large
Red chillies (dry) – 3 medium
Tamarind extract-1/4 tsp
Salt-as required


Curry leaves-4 to 5
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Dried red chilli-2
Oil-2 tsp

Dry fry the almonds in a pan for 3 minutes. Peel and chop the small onions. Grind all the ingredients together in a blender to smooth paste along with some water. Pour the chutney in a serving bowl. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds and then add the curry leaves and dried red chilli. Pour the seasoning on top of the chutney.


Eliminate Onions, tomatoes red chilly and garlic adding a bunch of coriander and green chillies for a more “Saatvik” option. green-coconut-chutney

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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky


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Iced Tea

54ead82b99fe3_-_everything-you-need-to-know-about-iced-tea-mdnStudies show that drinking tea regularly may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes and promote healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which are most potent when tea is freshly brewed.

There is no better way to have tea than to brew it yourself. When you make your own iced tea at home instead of using a powdered mix or buying it bottled or from a fast-food restaurant or coffee shop not only do you save money but can also control the calories by limiting how much sweetener you add (or by not adding any at all).

The added benefit of having this crisp and cool beverage is that it cuts down craving for foods rich in sugar! So here’s how you do it


  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3 green tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Juice of half a lime


  1. Pour boiling water in a pitcher filled with mint leaves, tea bag and honey.
  2. Let steep for 5 minutes; remove tea bags.
  3. Refrigerate until chilled.


You may use any flavoured tea bag for example, Peppermint, Chamomile, Apricot, Jasmine as a variation. You may chop fresh fruit and allow to steep with tea for a more natural and fresh flavour.



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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky


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Flax Seed Molagai Podi

imagesFlax seeds are among the world’s top 127 Health food items. It is the number one source of omega-3 fatty acids while also being rich in Lignans and fiber. The omega-3 essential fatty acids helps combat heart diseases, diabetes and menopause related problems. They are a very good source of dietary fiber,energy-producing vitamin B1 and free radical-scavenging manganese. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of flaxseeds also make them a logical candidate for cancer prevention and migraines.  

Here’s a fast to cook and good to eat recipe for a chutney powder. Eat smothered in gingelly oil with idlis and dosais, or smother on top of pan fried gluten free bread for a healthy breakfast/snack option


Urad dal – 1 1/2 cups
Chana dal – 1/2 cup
Flax seeds – 1/4 cup each
White Sesame seeds – 1/4 cup
Red chilies – 10 to 15
Asafoetida – 1 tsp
Powdered Jaggery – 2 Tbsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste


  1.  Dry roast the flax seeds and sesame seeds in a skillet, on low flame until light golden brown.  Seeds will start popping after 2 minutes.  Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.
  2. In the same skillet, add the oil, urad dal, chana dal and red chillies.  
  3. Roast on a low flame until golden brown.  Make sure to keep stirring while roasting.  This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Switch off the flame and add asafoetida and mix well.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Add required salt and grind the cooled dal, sesame – flax seed mixture and jaggery into a coarse powder.
  7. Mix the powder well.  Let it cool completely before storing in a dry, airtight container.
  8. Serve with Sesame oil (nallennai).


You can add a i1/4 cup of chia seeds for protein. It also helps in filling you up as it is a low GI food. You may eliminate jaggery if you are cutting down on sugar intake. I like to add some curry leaves dry roasted and powdered with the rest of the ingredients. 


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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky


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Pumpkin Kootu

White Pumpkin KootuKootu is generally a lentil or yoghurt based dish with one or more vegetables and is quite popular in the South of India.
This dish is generally an accompaniment to main dishes like Sambhar, Kozhambu and can be eaten with rotis or puris as well. The dals or lentils mentioned in this preparation can be either directly cooked till it softens or can be pressure-cooked . It cooks in minutes directly on the stove if hot boiling water is used to cook the dal. In this recipe I have used the slow cooker to enhance the food value and flavour.
Kootu is highly nutritious because of the combination of lentils and vegetables and is well balanced. To keep it light have it with Brown rice, Quinoa, Buckwheat or Multigrain Chapatis to make a complete meal.


  • 1 ½ Cups White Pumpkin (chopped into small cubes)
  • ¼ Cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • 3 Cups Hot Boiling Water
  • 2 Tsp Sambhar Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Asafoetida Powder
  • A pinch of Turmeric Powder


  • 1-2 Green Chillies 
  • 2 Tbs Freshly Grated Coconut
  • ½ Tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1-2 Tsp. Salt


1 Tsp. Ghee
1 Tsp. Mustard seeds
1 Tsp. Urad dal
1-2 whole red chillies
few Curry leaves


  1. Dry roast the moong dal in a heated pan for about a minute on a low flame
  2. Add the pumpkin, the boiling water, turmeric, sambhar powder and let it boil in slow cooker on high heat for about 3 hours
  3. In a blender, GRIND the grated coconut, cumin seeds, salt and green chillies with a bit of water into a soft mixture.
  4. Add this mixture to the cooked dal and pumpkin mixture
    Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small pan
    Add the mustard seeds, when it crackles, add the urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves.
  6. Pour the seasoning into the prepared Dal.


 This recipe can be followed using any of these vegetables – Chokoes, Beans, Double Beans, Cabbage, Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd, Carrots, 

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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky


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1916866_462289783985_327274_nI’m sitting in a restaurant with friends and everyone is animatedly going through the menu card to order their favourite meal and I just politely say, “I’ll just have what you’re having… only vegetarian!” We all settle in to a happy banter and my phone buzzes. I don’t want to be rude and interrupt my friends by picking up the phone to see who has messaged or who is calling or to check whether it is urgent or just another FB post. So I surreptitiously glance at my phone to see if it’s a call that can wait. Trouble is… I can’t really see it without my reading glasses!!! I just start to make out a four and a two and am trying to figure out whose number that might be, and poof, it’s no longer displayed on the lock screen.

I am on a train and after a whole day’s work, I want to check the FB posts or Twitter world! I need to take out my glasses to view the highly uncustomisable iPhone the font on which can only get that large and no more! I could get my glasses out, but that would be one more thing I will need to stash away carefully before getting down! So I buy a larger phone with bigger font and soon the person next to me on the train is smiling at a private chat I am having with a friend!!! Sigh….

The newest thing in my life is Presbyopia! Well, if you are under 40 you have probably already moved on to the next blog… but if you are anywhere between 40 and 50 you have sat up in your chair worn those reading glasses and read on!

If you are under 40 and still reading, let me enlighten you on this thing called the reading glasses syndrome. Inside our eyes is a lens that makes tiny movements to allow what we’re seeing to focus correctly on the back of our eye so we can, well…. see it. In this way we can look at something far away, then look down at something close and be able to see both equally well. As we age, this lens becomes less flexible and less able to make these tiny adjustments, so that eventually it becomes difficult, and finally impossible for the lens to adjust to see tiny things up close. This begins somewhere around the ages of 40-45. At first our eyes are able to compensate, but eventually most people get to the point, usually somewhere between age 40-45, where they can no longer make that adjustment and need reading glasses.

And what a pain this condition is! Though I’ve never hidden my age, I look younger, and so people tend to forget it. And to be honest the last thing I want to be doing when sitting among youngsters is fumble for those “old people” thing in my bag every time one of them shows me photograph or a funny post on FB! Reading glasses – they’re a blessing and a curse. When you need them, and have them available, they’re great. You can see what you need to see, and put them away, and not be stuck with wearing glasses all the time. But when you have to fish them out in a hurry, or tell people you can’t see that paper they’re waving in front of your face until you get your glasses out, they’re a god damn nuisance.

And to boot, it comes with loss of memory! You forget where you last saw your glasses. You wear it on the head to see far and when you have to read a contract document you look for it everywhere till someone points out that it is on your head! You get to work, leaving your glasses at home and the whole day is wasted trying to squint to read anything! And before you suggest hanging it around a chain around my neck, that just ain’t never happening ‘cos it’s just so…. well…. daggy!!!

Of course there are alternatives – get 6-8 pairs of reading glasses and place them strategically in every corner of your life! Get glasses that are plain on top, and reading on the bottom, and wear them all the time? Yuck. Or, get longer arms, so I can hold things farther away and then I could read them? Uhhhh… maybe not… How about having a personal assistant with you at all times to read things for you? No, that would be pretentious, and expensive. “One moment, please hand that menu to my personal reading assistant.”… sigh…. Naaah alternatives don’t work!

So nuisance or otherwise, this problem is here to stay! And the worst thing is this problem cannot be corrected by vision surgery (at least not yet). It’s only corrected by glasses. We need a vain baby boomer to go through this problem to come up with a permanent solution! Until then…. I will just need to buy a bigger bag to keep that dastardly glasses case and/or own five pairs, one in every corner of my life, or land up on relying on someone else to order my meal from a menu card!!!



Posted by on January 17, 2017 in Higgledy-piggledy



ae-dil-hai-mushkil-2aThat’s a two movie streak for me!!! Bollywood is starting to make some good stuff!!! From the outrageous Happy Bhag Jayegi that i loved to the sublime Ae Dil Hai Mushkil its all good!!! I Loooooved the movie!!!!

Johar once again sets his movie overseas! Nothing says romance like Europe! And Karan exploits the unmistakable charm of England and Paris to give his movie that XFactor!!! And oh! he ditches NY for a splash of posh Vienna! There’s magic in the air!

Once again KJo explores a difficult relationship in the Indian mind set! Can a man and woman be just ‘Friends’! He packs the most sumptuous relationship drama, where characters pair up, leave, and return, all to explore ‘freedom’ in a relationship. Extremely witty in places and a corpus of sighs and tears where you simply want the lovers to fall into each other’s arms because you can’t bear to see them apart anymore, at another, the movie moves seamlessly from one situation to another! I would have loved to see some relationships that got side lined, explored a bit more. A little more real estate to Fawad would have been good too. KJo’s gamble to focus on characters more than the plot paid off!

Ranbir is electrifying and oh! so believable as an intense youngster! The Breakup dance in the Silent Disco was fantastic! Anouska however for me stole the show. Surprising me with her impeccable timing on the humour which was in itself a cut above the rest, her emotional moments were just as believable. Her admission that friendship was her strength and love made her weak was a touch of class! Aish as the cougar, femme fatale and ‘Walking talking Ghalib’ was a waste of space and no amount of make-up can make her look better than she is! (The good thing is, I got some dressing tips on how to hide those thunder thighs 😉 ) Fawad Khan has his moments… but considering he was there only for a few moments that was 100% of the time 🙂 Lisa Haydon does her role of a ditsy girlfriend quite naturally 😉 Shahrukh has lost his charm (if he had any, that is) and was there because according to KJo “We love Shahrukh Khan”!

The music however left a lot to be desired!!! Generally KJo movies leave you humming a song for days after! However Pritam lets him down with his loud cacophony! Actually I wish there was NO background score. The ‘Silence’ they talk about in the film is shattered by the incessant loud instruments and most of the time just shakes you out of your stupor! Even the use of old songs and known ghazals does not resurrect his music venture!

Also, the tenacity and tempo of the first half is lost and the acting rendered useless by lack of script ingenuity in the second half. The narrative, post interval, is sluggish and drags on like an amputated snail. In spite of some humour from Ranbir, you miss the vivacious presence of Anoushka!

But don’t let that discourage you! A nice sense of fun with smart one-liners and jokes and dancing to outrageous songs pile up relentlessly carrying you through the film effortlessly! The ILU of the 80s and 90s is successfully replaced by IFU!!!! I could go on and on, but I would be revealing too much of the film! Enough to say that all-in-all its a great movie! A must watch…

DeeScore: 4/5


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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Lets Talkies


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Women in Bollywood

A journey through heroine-oriented cinema

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