Adai – Lentil Crepes
Soak Time: 2 hours | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 5 mins / Crepes | Makes: 10 – 15 Crepes | Author: Rohini Ramanathan
Adai is a lentil-based meal popular in Tamil Nadu. It’s a high-protein, nutrient-dense breakfast or dinner. It is made using a variety of lentils, rice, and spices.
This dish is great on its own or with chutney, aviyal, jaggery, raita or even curd rice.
I mentioned in my Quinoa Adai post that I learnt about Adai-Aviyal combo after my marriage. My husband introduced me to this wonderful combo. It is popular at many Indian restaurants. I’ve never ordered Adai in an Indian restaurant since my mother prepares the best adai.
I am delighted to share my mother’s recipe with all of you here today. I love to eat Adai without any side dishes. Let me know what your favorite combo is in the comments below.
Toor Dal, Channa Dal, Moong Dal, Urad Dal, Boiled Rice / Idly Rice, Raw Rice, Asafoetida, and Chillies are all of the ingredients required for this dish.
The original recipe calls for Toor Dal, which I replaced with Masoor Dal as it contains more fiber and protein than Toor Dal.
This is the ingredient list that our family has been using for years. You can, however, change one lentil for the other or use millets instead of rice. However, the texture of the adai may differ from that of the rice-based version. The rice gives the Adai a great crunchy texture, while the lentils offer a delicious taste. Do not skip Asafoetida as it gives a nice aroma and helps with digestion as well.
How to prepare Adai Batter
Rinse the lentils and rice at least three times before soaking all of the ingredients, except the asafoetida powder, for at least two hours or overnight. I normally soak it for about 2 hours.
Drain any remaining water and grind to a little thick coarse batter, adding a little water as needed while grinding. This batter should be thicker than usual dosa batter prepared using only rice and urad dal. Once the batter is ground, mix in asafoetida and salt until completely combined.
The best thing about this batter is that it does not require fermentation and can be prepared and served immediately.
The batter should always be refrigerated and consumed within 3 to 4 days. Bring it to room temperature and dilute using water if the batter becomes too thick to spread.
Other Dosa Recipes
Raw Rice – 1/2 cup
Boiled Rice / Idly Rice – 1/2 cup
Toor Dal or Masoor Dal – 1/2 cup
Channa Dal – 1/2 cup
Moong Dal – 1/4 cup
Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
Green Chilli – 1 or 2 (optional)
Red Chilli – 2 or 4 (as per your taste)
Oil – as needed (for preparing dosa)
Hing / Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
Salt – as needed
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs (finely chopped)
To Prepare Batter
- Wash the rice and lentils three or four times before soaking.
- Soak the lentils, rice, and red chillies for a minimum of 2 hours. You may also soak it overnight.
- Add the soaked mixture to a blender and grind it to a coarse thick batter along with green chillies if using any.
- Once the batter is ready, transfer it to a bowl. Add asafoetida, salt and curry leaves. Mix well until everything is combined. This batter need not be fermented and prepare adai and serve immediately.
To Prepare Adai
- Heat a griddle on the stove top.
- Once hot, pour two ladle of batter and spread it in a circular motion to make crepes.
- Make a small hole in the center of the crepes and drizzle oil all over the Adai.
- Cook for 3 minutes on one side and turn it over and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Likewise, prepare all the adai and serve it with your choice of sides.
- Use red chilles or green chilles or both as per your taste preferences. You can use Kashmiri or Byadgai Chillies; it gives a nice color to the adai.
- I prefer using coconut oil to cook the crepes. It give a wonderful flavor to the crepes.
- You may also use Cilantro or Drumstick Leaves (Moringa Leaves) or any variety of greens.
- You may add finely chopped onion to the batter and make crepes.