Breakfast / Health / Recipes

Muringa Ela Ada – Protein Packed Dosas with Moringa Leaves 

Muringa Ela Ada - Protein Packed Dosas with Moringa Leaves

High protein lentil dosas with the goodness of fresh moringa leaves, these muringa ela adas are crispy, tasty and healthy; the breakfast trifecta! Don’t let the name confuse you, the leaves are called moringa in English and muringa in Malayalam. 

There are numerous benefits of starting your day with a high protein breakfast. Protein keeps you full for longer, reduces cravings and controls your blood sugar levels. Since the body uses more calories to burn protein, it can also help you lose weight. South Indian breakfasts are generally heavier on carbohydrates and while they undoubtedly taste great, they can also get you off to a slower start in the morning. 

Muringa Ela Ada recipes are as common as the Moringa tree itself in Kerala. However, since the traditional recipe doesn’t pack much in terms of nutrients, I thought I’d switch it up a bit. Instead of a dosa recipe made with rice, coconut and moringa leaves, this recipe is closer to the Tamil version of ada. I guess you could call this cheater’s ada, since we actually use leftover dosa batter to make this easy recipe even easier! This little tip is courtesy of my stepmother who has spread it far and wide in the family! Spiced simply with red chillies and asafoetida, this is definitely a recipe to save!


The main portion of this dosa is made with four types of dals – toor, urad, chana and moong. Simply soak them for over an hour and they’ll be ready for the mixer. Blending this can be tricky, which is why I’m glad I had my Wonderchef Sumo Silverado Mixer Grinder with me. I’ve tested the power of the machine several times with dosa batters, smoothies and the likes, never to be disappointed. The 1000W motor grinds the toughest of ingredients pretty easily. However in this recipe, the dal needs to be blended very coarsely and you need a machine you can have complete control over. Even if you don’t have to, holding a mixer down has now become standard for most of us, something that is especially satisfying with the Sumo Silverado thanks to its ergonomic handles. Six pulses in and I was done grinding my dal! 

The other crucial element to this recipe is the dosa tawa. Now, a good cast iron pan like the Forza Cast Iron Pre Seasoned Tawa is always great for any type of dosa. However, I’m actually recommending the entire Granite Set which comes with a free 26cm Dosa Tawa. Traditionalists might disagree, but I challenge you to try it out. I made this for breakfast one day and we used both our cast iron and granite tawa together to bust out adas quickly for the family. The granite tawa certainly held its own, making adas that were just as crispy as the cast iron. This really surprised my family, who were convinced that non-stick pans are useless for dosas! 

Ada dosas do require a bit of oil to make them crispy but it’s totally worth it. Don’t stress if you don’t have access to fresh moringa leaves because you can substitute them with spinach or coriander leaves. You can also just leave it out entirely. If you are adding leaves you might have to add a bit more dosa batter to adjust the consistency. Serve the dosas with thick coconut chutney, pickle or if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, some butter! 

Servings: 6 Adas

Soaking Time: 1 – 2 hours 
Cooking Time: 20 minutes 


  • 2 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 2 tbsp Toor Dal 
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal 
  • 2 tbsp Moong Dal 
  • 1 Dried Red Chilli 
  • ½ tsp Asafoetida 
  • ½ tsp Salt 
  • ½ cup Water 
  • ½ cup Idli or Dosa Batter
  • 1 cup fresh moringa leaves


  1. Wash all dals thoroughly and soak along with the red chilli for a minimum of 1 hour.
  2. Discard the soaked water and transfer the dal and chilli to a mixer along with the asafoetida and salt.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water to the mixer and pulse until you have an extremely coarse mix. Be careful not to over-mix. 
  4. Transfer the ground mix to a bowl and add the idli/dosa batter. 
  5. Add the moringa leaves and mix well
  6. You may have to add a bit more dosa or idli batter depending on the consistency of your ada batter. 
  7. Place a dosa tawa on medium heat. 
  8. Once hot, add a ladle of batter to the centre and gently but quickly spread it out in a circle. 
  9. Make a small hole in the centre with a spoon or the back of the ladle. This helps the dosa cook evenly. 
  10. Add some oil around the dosa and to the centre as well. 
  11. Cook for 3 minutes and then flip and cook the other side for a further 2 minutes or until crispy. 
  12. Serve immediately with your preferred accompaniment. 

Author:  Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.

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