Recipe for Adai


Recipe for Adai

Adai/Adai dosa is a south Indian recipe in which rice and different lentils are soaked and ground into a batter. Then they are combined with some spices and herbs. The batter is then spread on a Tawa ( a flat pan) and fried using oil. It is usually accompanied by butter and chutney. It is traditionally eaten for breakfast as it is high in proteins and nutrient dense. This wholesome breakfast keeps you energetic for a long time and ready for the day ahead. 

Recently I found fresh moringa leaves in an Indian store near me. Most of my readers know that I live in Germany. Here, getting access to some of the native vegetables and fruits from India is sometimes hard. So, whenever I find something I long for, I pick it up immediately. On one such visit to the Indian store, when I found fresh moringa leaves, I got reminded of Adai and decided to make it.

Here is a picture of moringa leaves:

Drumstick leaves moringa leaves

Let’s start with the recipe:

Ingredients needed for making Adai:

  1. Parboiled rice: 1 cup
  2. Raw rice: 1/2 cup
  3. Chana Dal ( split Chickpeas): 1/2 cup
  4. Toor Dal( pigeon peas): 1/2 cup
  5. Moong Dal without skin (split green gram without skin): 1/2 cup
  6. Urad Dal without skin ( black gram without skin): 1/2 cup
  7. Dry Red chilies: 3-4
  8. Salt: 2 teaspoons
  9. Curry leaves: About 15-20
  10. Onions: 2 big, chopped
  11. Moringa leaves About 2-3 cups of separated leaves. 
  12. Water: For soaking and grinding
  13. Sesame oil: for frying

Here is a picture of all the grains and lentils that I used in this recipe:

Method for making Adai:

  1. Combine raw rice and parboiled rice in a bowl. Wash thoroughly and soak overnight. Similarly, combine all the lentils in a bowl. Wash thoroughly and soak overnight along with the red chilies.

    Soaked rice for AdaiSoaked lentils for Adai
  2. Grind the rice with water. The resulting dough should not be very smooth. It should be slightly grainy. Transfer the batter to a big mixing bowl.

    Rice batter for adai
  3. Grind the lentils and red chilies with water. Again, the resulting batter should not be smooth. It should be slightly grainy. Transfer the batter to the same mixing bowl.

    Lentil Batter for Adai
  4. Now mix the rice batter and lentil batter.

    Adai Batter
  5. Add salt, chopped curry leaves, onion, and roughly chopped moringa leaves. Rest the batter for about 15 minutes.

    vegetables and spices for AdaiAdai Batter
  6. Now, heat the pan. Take a ladle full of batter and spread it gently on the pan. The Adai should neither be too thick (like a pancake) nor too thin( like a crepe or dosa). Make a small hole in the middle with the help of a spatula. Take a teaspoon of oil and put it along the edges, in the hole, and on the surface. Keep the heat on medium. 

  7. Now turn the Adai and apply some oil on the surface. On medium heat, cook it. Once it is cooked and the surface gets a bit brown, remove it from the pan.

  8. Serve immediately with butter or chutney.


Some additional tips:

  1. The ratio of rice to lentils is 3:4, i,e for every 3 cups of rice, you need to take 4 cups of lentils. You can change the quantity of each lentil according to availability and preference, but keep the overall ratio of rice to lentil as 3:4.
  2. The recipe uses a generous quantity of curry leaves and onions. Both are very important if you want to achieve authentic taste. Traditionally, fresh curry leaves and shallots ( also known as Sambar onions in south India) are used in this recipe. If these are unavailable, replace them with dry curry leaves and purple onions.
  3. If you don’t get moringa leaves, you can make Adai without them. You can replace moringa leaves with finely chopped spinach, fenugreek leaves, dill leaves, or any other herb you choose.
  4. Always cook Adai on medium heat. Since Adai is not thin, it takes time to cook on the pan. If you keep the heat high, it will brown from the outside but remain uncooked inside.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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