Adai or adey dosey are savory crepes made with different types of lentils and rice. The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, and it can be very handy for breakfast, lunch boxes, or quick lunch. Vegan and gluten-free.
Adai dosa is known for its thick and crispy texture, and it is typically thicker than regular dosas. Every household has its own proportions and combination of dal and spices used in this healthy recipe. Here is the version that I learned from my mother.
Adai is very popular in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (where it is popular as Chettinad kara adai). The name kara means spicy, and it comes from the use of red chillies in the batter.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Adai dosa is naturally gluten-free since it is made from lentils and rice.
- Unlike traditional dosa batter, which requires overnight fermentation, adai dosa batter can be prepared without fermentation.
- Adai dosas are thicker than regular dosas, giving them a crisp exterior while remaining soft and slightly porous on the inside.
Lentils: Four varieties of lentils are used in equal quantities to make the batter - toor dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea), moong dal (yellow lentil), urad dal (skinned black gram), and chana dal (channa dal, split yellow peas or Bengal gram).
Rice: I use idli rice or raw rice to make adai dosa.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Soak toor dal, chana dal, urad dal, moong dal, and rice overnight in enough water. Rinse the soaked dal-rice mixture thoroughly using running water. Add coconut, cumin seeds, ginger, and green chili (image 1).
Step 2: Grind into a slightly coarse batter using a little water (image 2) - see tips section. At this stage, the adai batter can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Step 3: To this, add finely chopped onion, cilantro/coriander leaves, and salt. Mix well and the adai dosa batter is ready (images 3 and 4).
Step 4: Heat a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet on high heat. Once it heats, reduce it to medium. Take a ladle full of batter and pour it into the center of the tawa or non-stick pan. Using the ladle or a small bowl, gently spread the batter in a circular motion (image 5).
Step 5: Pour one teaspoon of oil or ghee onto the adai. Cook on medium flame until golden brown (image 6).
Step 6: Flip the adai and cook on both sides (images 7 and 8).
Adai dosa batter is slightly thicker than regular dosa batter, almost like idli batter. Add a little water while grinding to get a thick batter. Adjust the consistency of the batter later only if needed.
Take care not to grind the batter into a smooth paste. It has to be a slightly coarse paste. After grinding, take a little batter between your thumb and finger and rub it. You must be able to feel slight coarseness.
I usually soak the lentils and white rice overnight. At a minimum, soak them for a couple of hours (3-4 hours). After soaking, wash them thoroughly before grinding. Soak the lentils and rice in filtered water where possible. Also, you can soak rice along with the dal and there is no need to soak it separately.
What to serve with adai dosa?
Chutneys: A classic and traditional accompaniment for dosas, coconut coriander chutney is made with freshly grated coconut, cilantro, and spices. Tangy and slightly spicy, tomato chutney is made with tomatoes, onions, red chilies, and spices.
Sambar: Vegetable sambar is a popular lentil-based vegetable stew that is often served with dosas.
Idli Podi: Idli podi, also known as chutney powder or gunpowder, is a coarse spice powder made with roasted lentils, dried red chilies, sesame seeds, and spices.
Avial: Avial is a traditional Kerala dish with a mix of vegetables cooked in a coconut sauce. It is a creamy and mildly tangy accompaniment that goes well with adai dosa.
This adai dosa batter does not require fermentation like the usual dosa batter. However, I have fermented this batter without much fuss, and the adai has turned out delicious. Fermented batter will give you lighter dosa with a crisp texture, making it my favorite adai recipe. If you want to ferment it, grind only the combination of lentils (dal) and rice. Let it ferment for a few hours (this batter ferments pretty quickly when compared to regular dosa batter). Grind coconut, cumin seeds, ginger, and chili separately, and then add to the fermented batter.
The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. It comes in very handy for breakfast or quick meals. However, do not add onions if you plan to store the batter. If you add onions, it is best to use up the rest of the batter within 2-3 days.
More dosa recipes
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- ½ cup toor dal (pigeon pea)
- ½ cup chana dal (Bengal gram)
- ½ cup urad dal (split black gram)
- ½ cup moong dal (petite yellow lentil)
- ½ cup rice
- ½ cup coconut
- 1 inch ginger
- 3-4 green chili or serrano pepper (adjust as per taste)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon asafetida hing
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro (coriander leaves)
- 2 teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
Making the batter:
- Soak toor dal, chana dal, urad dal, moong dal, and rice in water overnight (or 3-4 hours).
- Rinse the soaked dal-rice mixture thoroughly using running water. Drain all the water after rinsing.
- Add coconut, ginger, green chili, hing, and cumin seeds. Grind into a slightly coarse batter using some water (see the tips section).
- Transfer the ground batter into a large bowl and add chopped onion, cilantro, and salt. Mix well.
- Add water to adjust the consistency of batter if needed. The adai batter is sightly thicker than the regular dosa batter.
- Heat a tawa/griddle until it is hot. Turn the heat to medium. Lightly grease the tawa and wipe off excess oil using a paper towel. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the tawa and let it evaporate.
- Take a ladle full of batter and pour it into the center of the tawa. Using the ladle or a small bowl gently spread the batter in a circular motion.
- Pour one teaspoon of oil or ghee onto the adai. You may skip the oil if you are using a non-stick tawa.
- Cook on medium heat until brown
- Flip the adai and cook on both sides.
- Serve hot with the chutney of your choice.