We need a lot many vitamins and minerals for maintaining good health and iron is one of the most important mineral. Any deficiency of this mineral causes anemia. According to WHO, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder around the world. However, women and children are particularly more vulnerable. And pregnant women even more so.
Regular intake of foods rich in iron, helps the body to produce enough red blood cells to prevent anemia and boost metabolism. Fortunately Indian cuisine includes a lot of pulses, which are a rich source of iron. However, the body is unable to absorb much iron from plant based foods. So to help absorption, lentils need to be taken with foods rich in Vitamin C.
Our elders were knowledgeable about this, which is why many dal or lentils dishes get a dash of lemon juice to round them off. Also, it is customary to serve a wedge of lemon along with the food. Also many lentil preparations are flavoured with tamarind, kokum and amchur – all rich sources of Vitamin C.
Having talked about the nutritional benefits of lentils, I am sharing a lentil-based recipe, which is not just healthy but tasty and simple to make too. It is a mixed-lentils dosa – you can call them lentil crepes, lentil pancakes or mixed-dal chilla.
This South Indian dish loaded with proteins and iron, is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. I have made it more interesting by adding some some spices. In this recipe, along with the lentils I have also used rice and poha (beaten rice), which are also good sources of iron.
Ingredients – (14-16 dosas)
(I have used a 175 ml teacup to measure the ingredients)
- Arhar dal (split-red gram dal) – ¼ cup
- Chana dal (split chick peas) – ¼ cup
- Moong dal (split and dehusked green gram) – ¼ cup
- Chilke wali moong dal (split green gram with skin) – ¼ cup
- Urad dal (split black gram) – ½ cup
- Chawal (rice) – ½ cup
- Poha (Beaten rice) – ½ cup
- Curd – ½ cup
- Hing (asafetida) – 1/8 tsp
- Saunf (fennel seeds) – ½ tsp
- Ajwain (carom seeds) – ¼ tsp
- Methi ( fenugreek seeds ) – ½ tsp
- Green chillies – 2
- Ginger – 1″ piece
- Fresh coriander leaves (chopped) – 3-4 tbsp
- Red chilli powder – ¾ tsp
- Garam masala – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Refined oil as needed
- Take all the dals, rice and methi seeds in a bowl, rinse and soak in sufficient water for 3 to 4 hours.
- After soaking, drain the water and put in the grinder along with the rinsed poha.
- Add curd, green chilli, ginger, saunf, ajwain, methi and grind into a smooth paste. Add some water if necessary to adjust the consistency of the batter. (the consistency should be like regular dosa batter)
- Transfer batter to a bowl. Add red chilli powder, garam masala, hing, salt and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix well. Cover and keep it aside for half-an-hour.
Procedure to make mix dal dosa:
- Heat a non-stick tawa on medium flame.
- Take a ladleful of batter and pour on the tawa. Spread it in a circle like for dosa.
- Drizzle some oil around the edge of dosa and let cook on medium flame. When the bottom turns golden brown and crispy, flip the dosa and cook on the other side.
- Crispy mixed-dal dosa is ready to serve piping hot!
- Serve with coconut chutney or coriander chutney. Remember to squeeze some lemon juice for that all-important Vitamin C!
- If the tawa is too hot, sprinkle some water and wipe off with a clean kitchen towel.
- Serve it hot as after cooling, it turns soft and loses its crispiness.