Thursday, September 24, 2009

Adai - A south Indian delicacy

Adai is a variety of dosa made using channa dal, toor dal and rice. Adai - Avial is a popular combination in most south Indian restaurants. Adai is more nutritious than dosa as the proportion of rice to dal is 1:1 (more protein and lesser carbs) as opposed to 3:1 to 7:1 in dosa.

We had a potluck with a few friends at my home and I decided to make adai. Adai, like any dosa, tastes great when hot and just out of the skillet. I made them right when we started eating. It went on to the plates directly from the skillet and was delicious. I served the adai with tri-colored chutneys (Cillantro, coconut and tomato) and was big hit.

Channa dal - 1 cup (Can be replaced with kali channa as it is more nutritious)
Toor dal - 1 cup
Moong dal - 2 tbsp
Urad dal - 2 tbsp
Rice - 2 cups
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 4 -6 or to taste
Salt to taste
Center (seed area) of 1 bottle gourd (loki) - optional
Your favorite veggies and/or herbs grated or very finely chopped - to be added at the end - optional again

Soak the dals, rice, fenugreek seeds and red chillies for 2-4 hours (If using kali channa, soak it overnight). Grind the soaked mixture and the bottle gourd center together with water into a slightly coarse batter (thicker than dosa batter). Bottle gourd center makes the adai soft and fluffy. (When I cook bottle gourd, I remove the center portion and save it in the freezer. I thaw it to room temperature before grinding in to the batter. As mentioned before, it is optional and does not affect the taste.) Add salt to taste and mix well. The batter can be used right away or fermented. I prefer to ferment as it gives the subtle sour taste. To ferment, I leave it in the oven with the oven light on overnight (6-8 hrs) and the batter will rise. Once fermented, mix the batter well and it can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Now add your veggies and herbs and mix in. This time, I added onions and cilantro. You can add grated carrot, cabbage, spinach, parsley, mint, green onions, any kind of greens i.e. keerai or mix n match as you wish. Make adai like normal dosa but a little thicker and enjoy.


  1. You should also put in a post on "karacha Dosa" or "Quick Dosa". It would be very useful for ppl in this lightning age - where we have very little time to cook.

  2. That's a good idea. I post about what I make in my kitchen. I'll surely post about "karacha dosa" when I make it.