'Adai' is a traditional South Indian pancake that is made from a ground batter of rice and a mix of lentils. This adai batter does not require any fermentation . Though the Adai is less popular when compared to it's thinner cousin 'Dosai' , it is more nutritious . It is a common dish prepared for dinner in many Tamil homes . Adai batter is fuzz free and easy to grind . Also, you can add or reduce the quantity of grains you want to soak and their proportions. You can add loads of herbs too.
In our family, adai is one of our favourite dishes. Many of you following me on instagram would know that it was my late father -in - law's favourite tiffin . My mom-in law makes one of the most amazing adai and she always serves it with jaggery and ghee. The adai tastes great with 'avial' a semi-dry coconut based side dish that has plenty of root vegetables. The Adai- Avial combination makes for a wholesome meal.
The uniqueness of adai is it's coarse texture and thickness. In olden days, the adai was made more thicker and a person cannot have more than one adai as it is quite filling. While making the adai, do tear it in the centre and make a tiny hole using a dosa spatula ( dosai thirupi) and pour half a spoon of oil or ghee . It gives an authentic touch to the adai and also helps to cook evenly and quickly. A cooking tip passed on through generations.
Adai | Rice and Lentil Crepes from Tamilnadu :
Preparation time : 4 hours
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4
1 cup = 250 ml
1/2 cup raw rice ( sona masoori/ponni)
1/2 cup par boiled rice (idli rice)
1/4 cup pigeon peas/arhar dal /toor dal
1/4 cup urad dal
1/2 cup bengal gram/channa dal
1/4 cup coconut ( grated or chopped)
5-6 dry red chillies ( adjust according to the heat of the chillies)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder or 1/2 " compound hing ( katti perungayam)
1 sprig curry leaves
2 teaspoons clarified butter/ghee
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt to taste
1. Combine both the varieties of rice in a vessel and wash them twice.
2. Soak them in water for 3-4 hours.
3. Mix the three varieties of dal in another vessel, wash and soak them along with dry red chillies and asafoetida ( if using compound hing ) for 3-4 hours.
4. After the soaking time, remove dal and grind them along with the dry red chillies into a coarse batter using less water.
Chef tip : This is the most important step that will determine the texture of your adai. You can use the soaked water for grinding.
5. Transfer the ground dal batter to a vessel.
6. In the same mixer, drain and add the rice and grated coconut.
7. Grind the rice to a coarse batter using less water.
8. Mix the ground dal and rice batter.
9. Add salt, curry leaves, asafoetida powder( omit if you have used compound)and mix well.
10. Heat tawa over low flame and grease with oil.
11. Pour a ladle of batter on the centre of the tawa and spread it in a circular motion just like dosa.
12. Make a small hole in the centre of the adai and spoon oil/ghee on the sides and the centre.
Chef tip : You can make a mixture of ghee and oil and use it to cook your adai.
13. Allow the adai to cook over low flame.
14. When one side is cooked, flip and cook the other side. My family likes the adai more crispy, so I cook it a little longer.
Your delicious Adai is ready! Serve it with powdered jaggery and ghee or with Avial.
For more tiffin recipes, click here.
Happy Cooking !