Three Indian Breakfasts That Will (Finally) Get You Out Of Bed

It’s time to give avocados a well-earned break

Photos by Roshan Daryanani, from left to right: Moong Dal Dosa, the beginnings of Anda Bhurji and Batata Poa
Photos by Roshan Daryanani, from left to right: Moong Dal Dosa, the beginnings of Anda Bhurji and Batata Poa

There’s something truly special about a warm, flavourful morning meal that doesn’t include oats, rice milk or kale. These three dishes will take longer to prepare than your everyday fare, but they’re well worth the effort. They’re nutritious, brightly coloured (thanks to generous quantities of turmeric), and best of all, they taste great. Make them on on a relaxed weekend morning so that you can savour them fully.

You should find all the ingredients at an Indian grocery store (most of them should also be available at the supermarket).

Batata Poa

Try this once and you won’t want to go back to plain porridge. It needs to be eaten straight out of the pan, as otherwise the rice flakes dry out. It’s best enjoyed with accompanied by some fresh Indian lassi .


Two tablespoons ghee or cooking oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower)

2 potatoes, steamed or boiled and chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup poha (rice flakes)

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 handfuls of chopped coriander leaves

1/2 of an onion, finely chopped

1 handful of roasted peanuts

Salt to taste

1 handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)

6–8 curry leaves (optional)

1/4 tsp chopped green chillies (optional)


  1. Place the poha (puffed rice) in a sieve and rinse thoroughly with water. Leave the wet poha in the sieve.
  2. Place the oil in a pan on medium heat.
  3. After two minutes, add the chopped onion and curry leaves (optional) and stir fry for 4–5 minutes until soft.
  4. Add the poha into the pan along with the potatoes, curry powder, turmeric powder and salt and stir fry for two to three minutes, until the turmeric is evenly mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Add the coriander leaves and the chillies (optional) and stir fry for one more minute. Be careful not to overcook the poha as it otherwise it will dry out.
  6. Remove from the pan and add the peanuts and pomegranate seeds (optional).
  7. Serve immediately.

Moong Dal Dosa with Potato Filling and Coconut Chutney

This is a healthier alternative to the well-known dosa, since it’s made entirely of green moong dal, which is both nourishing and easy to digest. It’s also surprisingly tasty. Just don’t forget to soak the dal overnight before you prepare the dosa.

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the Moong Dal Dosa:

Two to three teaspoons ghee or cooking oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower) per dosa

1/2 cup green moong dal/lentils — soaked in water overnight

2 tbsp rice flour


1/2 teaspoon salt

For the potato filling:

Two tablespoons ghee or cooking oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower)

2 Potatoes (steamed or boiled until soft)

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

A handful of coriander

For the coconut chutney:

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

2 tsp natural yoghurt

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp grated garlic

Two handfuls of coriander

1 tbsp chana dal (split chickpeas) (optional)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds (optional)

6 curry leaves (optional)

1/2 tsp green chillies (optional)

Salt to taste

Lemon juice to taste


For the dosa mixture

  1. Remove the moong beans from the water in which they have been soaked over night, and add a quarter cup of fresh water to them.
  2. Blend the moong beans and the water thoroughly in a blender (this may take a while!).
  3. Stir the rice flour into the mixture.
  4. Add more water if needed to achieve a consistency similar to this. Once this mixture is ready, keep it aside.

For the potato filling

  1. Add two tablespoons of oil to a pan and heat on medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the potatoes, spices and salt and stir fry for two minutes.
  3. Add the coriander leaves and cook for another minute.

For the coconut chutney

  1. Blend the dessicated coconut, water, yoghurt, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, and salt to form a thick paste. Keep aside.
  2. In the smallest pan you have, heat a tbsp of oil on high heat and add the chana dal (split chickpeas). The chana dal will begin to spatter and change colour after about a minute. At this point, remove it from the stove and cool.Don’t wash the pan you just fried it in, as you will need again later.
  3. Once cooled, add the chana dal to the coconut and yoghurt mix.
  4. If you are using mustard seeds and curry leaves (both are optional), heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan you used earlier. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Heat them for a minute or until they start to crackle. Once this happens remove them from the stove, allow them to cool slightly and add them to the other ingredients.
  5. Add lemon juice and, if required, additional salt to taste.

Final steps and assembly

Dosas are traditionally made on a flat pan called a tava. If you don’t have one of these, use the largest regular frying pan you have instead.

  1. Place the empty frying pan on medium heat for about two minutes. Next add a few drops of water; these should spatter if the pan is hot enough.
  2. Lower the pan to medium heat. Place one ladle worth of the dosa mixture as neatly as you can in the centre of the pan. If you don’t have a ladle, use one ice-cream scoop or three tablespoons.
  3. Immediately begin to gently spread the mixture with the ladle, scoop or spoon into larger circles, as shown in this video at 1:36. Doing this without tearing a hole in the dosa apart takes practice, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come out perfectly. Make sure you leave at least an inch between the edge of the dosa and the edge of your pan.
  4. As soon as this is done, place around two tablespoons of ghee or oil evenly around the edge of your dosa.
  5. Allow the dosa to cook for a minute or two. When it is beginning to brown and the edges can easily be coaxed from the pan, flip it and cook for another minute.
  6. Flip the dosa once more and place two large tablespoons of the potato mix in its centre. Next, roll the the edges of the dosa over to cover the potato mix.
  7. After about 30 seconds, remove the dosa from the pan and serve immediately with coconut chutney.

Anda Bhurji

Spice up your regular scrambled eggs with a few simple ingredients. This dish is best served with warm, freshly buttered toast.

Ingredients (serves 2)

3 eggs

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

1 big handful of coriander leaves

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Chilli flakes (optional)

Salt (to taste)


  1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions and stir-fry for about 4–5 minutes until they are soft and slightly browned.
  3. After a couple of minutes, add the chopped tomato and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, spices, salt and coriander and stir continuously to create the consistency of scrambled eggs.
  5. Once the eggs are fully cooked (they should start to brown very slightly), remove from the pan and serve with buttered toast.

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