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‘Adai’ (hot, spicy lentil rice pancake)

February 25, 2013

This is a spicy aromatic yummy and nutritious, filling breakfast (some have it for dinner as well) which is a south Indian delicacy.  As the dal content is heavy, it is advisable to serve this dish for breakfast.    A garlic flake can be added to adai batter to reduce gastric related problems but not more than that as otherwise the adai flavour will be altered.  To offset the gastric effects, half a tsp of hing or asafoetida powder is sprinkled in adai batter.  ‘Adai’ is rightly a power breakfast with its high calorie content – packed with carbohydrates from rice and protein from the dal (grams).  Good way to kick-start a working day.


raw rice – 3/4 cups  (pacharisi in tamil)

boiled rice – 1/4 cups  (puzhangal arisi or idli arisi in tamil)

toor dal – 1/4 cups  (split red gram)  (tuvaram paruppu in tamil)

chana dal – 1/2 cup (split bengal gram) (kadalai paruppu in tamil)

moong dal – 1/4 cup (split green gram) (payatham paruppu in tamil)

3-4 dry red chili

curry leaves – a fistful


oil for sauteing

mustard, cumin seeds for sauteing

a garlic flake (optional)

one grated onion (optional)  or scraped coconut (optional)

Asafoetida powder or Hing powder – 1/2 tsp

salt to taste


Mix the boiled rice and raw rice together in a bowl, rinse thoroughly, add water and soak for 3-4 hours.

Mix the 3 dals – toor, moong and chana dals (the 3 grams) in a bowl, rinse in water and add fresh water finally to soak for 3-4 hours.  Leave enough water for the dal/grams to soak and double up in volume.

Take 3-4 dry red chili.

After soaking, drain off excess water and blend the dals and rice together with the red chili in the blender COURSELY.  Add a flake of garlic if desired.  Add salt and add enough matter to make a smooth batter.

Saute in a tsp of hot oil taken in a small pan, the mustard and cumin seeds with curry leaves and asaofoetida or hing powder.  Alternately the hing powder can be directly added to the batter.

Mix everything well.  This is the ‘Adai’ batter and it needs no standing time for ‘raising’ as in case of idli or dosa batter.  Refrigerate right away for use later or the batter is ready for immediate use now.

Take a non-stick tawa or flat pan and grease it.  Add a tbsp of the adai batter and spread evenly like for a paper-thin pancake (like for dosa).  Add chopped onion on top if you desire or scraped coconut 1/4 tsp.

Cook well for 2-3 minutes to golden brown on the tawa side, then turn the turtle and cook the reverse for 1-2 minutes.

Golden crispy super yummy ‘Adai’ is ready to serve with any sidedish including garlic/mango pickles.  Or simply relish adai with a cup of plain yoghurt.  This volume of batter gets around 6-8 adais of medium size.  Best served with the vegetable-curd stew ‘avial’ the traditional south indian subzi/side dish (which i shall post later).  Coconut chutney is another good side dish.


From → Vegetarian

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