Brisk Breakfast · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Healthy Murungai Ilai Adai/Drumstick Leaf Adai ( A savoury pancake made with brown rice and drumstick leaves)

My earliest love for the Moringa/Drumstick Plant was probably from when I was a little kid. Our home in Chennai had all sorts of plans and flowers – Coconut Trees, Mango Trees, Lemon tree, banana plant, drumstick or Moringa Tree, lovely fragrant roses, hibiscus and jasmine. I sometimes wonder how I left all of them to come to live in apartments in the midst of the whirlpool of city life. My earliest games were always cooking in the backyard, under the cool branches of the mango tree.We would make our “food” and serve them on coconut shells , fashion  mud pies with mud and water, eat on fresh green banana leaf that I would tear off the plant, much to the chagrin of my parents. We would pretend that it was our home, make a little “idol” of our “God” and offer fresh flowers to “Him”…Sometimes if its too hot, Appa would get the gardener to cut off some tender coconuts for us, and we would enjoy our afternoons this way. Lovely lazy summers. I sometimes miss those days of my childhood…

Amma made Muringa Yelai Adai pretty often as I can remember as  her raw materials for this dish were all available all the time! We would all help her in the laborious task of separating the tender leaves from the stem . She always said that Moringa leaves were very good for health and would make Adai or a kootu. My favourite part was having it hot with a dollop of butter,to enjoy portions of adai soaked in melted butter. My sunday was made!!! Moringa Leaves are the most nutritious of the plant itself asa they are loaded with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, ProVitamin A, Beta Carotene, and protien.

Nutrients Common food Moringa Leaves
Vitamin A Carrot 1.8 mg 6.8 mg
Calcium Milk 120 mg 440 mg
Potassium Banana 88 mg 259 mg
Protein Yogurt 3.1 g 6.7 g
Vitamin C Orange 30 mg 220 mg

Its interesting to see that the drumstick leaves have 4-5 times more of these vitamins as compared to the most common source. Which explains, why I seek them out in Indian stores, take out the tender leaves, with the help of my daughter, all the time reliving my childhood stories with her….


1 Cup idli Rice.

1/2 Cup Brown Rice.

1/2 Cup Cracked Wheat.

A handful of urad dhal.

1 Cup Drumstick Leaves packed.

1/4 Cup Fresh Coconut Grated.

Salt to taste.



  • Soak the brown rice and the idli rice along with the urad dhal and cracked wheat for about 3-4 hours.
  • Remove the drumstick leaves from the stalks and dunk them in to a bowl of cold water and give them a good wash. Set aside to drain in a collander.
  • Grind the brown rice, idli rice,cracked wheat  and urad dhal with water to make a slightly gritty batter.
  • Add salt, hing, coconut and give it a quick pulse.
  • Transfer to a shallow bowl and add water to adjust the consistency.
  • Now add the washed drumstick leaves to the batter and mix it all in.
  • Take your cast iron tava and smear it with a little gingely oil.
  • Pour out the batter almost like an adai – not too thin and drizzle a little oil on all sides.
  • Cook the adai on medium heat on both sides and serve HOT with a dollop of butter.
  • Peace Out!!!



Pineapple Kesari – My favourite from Sangeetha Restaurants!

There have been multiple posts from Anubhavati having so many sweet dishes as these days I seem to be having a sweet tooth. This spring summer there has been an abundance of pineapples in the farmers market and I really could not resist making this sweet that I love, that I remember from my banking days! There was this Sangeetha Restaurant opposite my work place and we all loved their quick lunch to-go packs. They would have a little coriander rice, some raitha, a roti, a dry cauliflower subzi and then a little smear of this amazing sweet fragrant pineapple kesari. I would long to have a little more but then it was a quick lunch after all! Somedays our craving would get so much, that me and M would go and enjoy a cup of this kesari in the evenings. I do attribute a couple pounds that I had put on, just because of this sweet, Its really that addictive.  The other sweet that I loved was the Dumrote Halwa from Surya Sweets, but we`ll save that post for another day.


1 Cup Rava.

2  Cups Sugar.

2 1/2 Cups Water.

3/4 Cup Pineapple finely chopped.

1 Tsp Pineapple Essence.

Yellow Food Colouring.

3 Tbsp Ghee.

Handful of broken cashews and raisins.


  1. The very first step in the preparation of pineapple kesari is choosing a ripe fragrant sweet pineapple. Make sure that its ripe by turning over the pineapple and checking the base. More often than not, its a lovely orangish yellow colour and very sweet smelling. Now cut out the skin and the fleshy parts and chop in to pieces. Measure out 3/4 cup of finely chopped pieces, mix this with about 2 tbsp  of sugar and set aside.
  2.  In a clean heavy bottomed vessel, add 2 tsp of ghee and lightly roast the cashews and the raisins. Drain out the fried cashews and raisins .
  3. At this point,  add the one cup of rava and lightly roast it until its well coated with the ghee.
  4. Simultaneously boil 2 1/2  cups of water and slowly add it in to the kadai,making sure to remove all the lumps and stirring continously.
  5. Using a whisk, and considerably bringing down the heat to low, bring the mixture together and cover and cook for a couple minutes say for around 3-4 minutes.
  6. Now when the rava has cooked add the sugar and mix it in well. At the same time add the chopped pineapple pieces without the water content.
  7. The entire mixture in the kadai will get lumpy and watery but keep mixing. Add 2 spoons of ghee, pineapple essence and mix these well.
  8. Cover and cook for another couple minutes say around 4-5 minutes or so. Switch off the stove when you get the soft dripping consistency. I prefer my kesari to be soft and dripping rather than hard.
  9. Garnish with the fried cahsews and raisins and serve HOT!


The most important part of making any kesari is that you have to wait until all of the rava/semolina has been cooked in the water and THEN add the sugar. When you add the sugar before the rava is cooked, the end result is almost uncooked rava and that is not a pleasant tasting. 

Using a whisk for mixing the rava and the sugar has also been helpful in completely blotting out all the clots in the kesari. Keeping the flame on low is also vital as you would require the semolina to slow cook and hence bring out the essence of the dish.