It’s end of September and the Dubai running season has officially started. A few weeks ago, I signed up for all the races that I want to participate in. It adds up to this: from October until April I’ll be doing four 10k races, four Half Marathons and a Full Marathon. I am still considering another 10k race and a 10 mile race. The season opener was a 5k race last week.

In previous years I have been cutting down my running during the summer to almost nothing, due to the heat and lack of motivation as there was no immediate races to train for.  This summer was different. I did a fitness analysis back in July, and asked them what I must do to become faster over any distance from 10k to 42k . They told me to run long and slow for 10-12 weeks and then come back to see how much it has helped (read more about this here). Next week I am going back for a follow-up analysis.

It’s been 10 weeks since the last check, and I am definitely feeling fit. I can run for 90 minutes at any day, no problem. The 5k race last week seemed to show first signs of success of my slow training over the last 2 months. 5k are usually not my favorite distance. I prefer longer runs where I can run a little slower. On a 5k race, there is no time to lose. It’s a flat all-out race from start to finish. But I managed: I felt good and strong and kept a steady pace for about 4,5k. Only the last 500m (which didn’t even have a hill – if anything it went downhill) were a bit of a struggle. I ran a Personal Best, and that was in extreme heat and humidity and a hilly course.

With all the running all the time, I find myself very, very hungry at times. There is days where I constantly raid the fridge for something to eat. It feels like a deficit of energy is adding up over a few days, and then it hits me one day. Hence, I spend the whole day in search of the next thing I can eat.
If I have my breakfast around 8am, I’ll be ready for lunch at 11am. That often even includes a little snack in between.

On those days, a simple veggie salad is usually not enough. I need something more substantial, if I don’t want to spend the whole day by the fridge. How happy was I when my friend Rajani from Eat Write Think posted a Lentil Pancake recipe a few days ago. Lentil and beans, as opposed to grains,  are my first choice when I need something to fill me up. And savory? Even better, so I can have them for lunch or dinner (although Rajani eats this for breakfast). I love the flavor and texture of these pancakes: spiced with cumin and chili they get a full round flavor (something I, as a German, wouldn’t want for breakfast yet :-). The texture is that of a typical pancake – easy to flip in the pan and spongy enough to roll them up. The dip is refreshing and I love to have a big slab of yogurt dip onto the hot pancakes straight from the pan. An absolutely satisfying meal: it keeps you full for longer, is nutritious and tastes just amazing.These pancakes fit the bill in many perspectives. Enjoy!
adapted from Eat Write Think

(Print Recipe)

Lentil Pancakes
1/4 yellow moong dal
1/4 cup split green moong dal

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

olive oil

Coriander Yogurt Dip
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1 cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup Greek or strained yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of chili flakes
salt to taste

Serves 1-2
Lentil Pancakes
Soak the dal for at least 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Drain excess water, and transfer dal to food processor. Blend to a smooth and thick paste with about 1/2 cup of water. Add cumin, chili flakes and salt and pulse a few times to mix. The batter should be thick and spreadable but not runny.

Heat pan over medium heat, and coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Spread a heaped tablespoon of batter into the hot pan. Make sure the spread is not too thin. Cook over medium low heat for 1-2 minutes. When the bottom separates easily from the pan, flip pancake over and cook the other side until slightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter until all is used up.

Coriander Yogurt Dip
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and let stand in the fridge for an hour or so for the flavors to blend.


  1. I have never had lentil pancakes….totally tempted with the idea of using lentils in pancakes.

  2. I love trying new foods – this sounds really unique, I’ll have to give it a try! 🙂

  3. My husband used to be a marathon runner but eventually did his knees in and had operations on both of them. He is not allowed to run any longer and so took up mountain biking, which he does competitively now. I wish I was fit enough to run like you. I know food is a great part in staying in top form. It’s almost like a science in itself.

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