Adai or Rice and lentils pancake


I do not usually blog my breakfast as it is peak hour at home. These days thanks to the cloudy weather and hardly any light I get to photograph only the breakfast as it is cloudier the rest of the day. Time passes slowly and the weather reflects itself in my person by making me sleepy most of the time. I try to brighten the otherwise dull day with vibrant food and great books. It works at least for an hour!

On one such day I made adai. Adai is a traditional South Indian breakfast originating from Tamilnadu. It is a healthy and robust food that peps up your energy levels. Beware, more than two at a time will make you feel exactly the opposite as the lentils will make you lethargic if you give in to your taste buds. Adai is best enjoyed with crushed organic jaggery and homemade molagapodi(spiced powder). South India has a very wide variety of savoury pancakes to offer. Please check the recipe index for many choices.

Unlike most recipes that need to be referred to repeatedly to recall the ingredients and method of preparation, the proportion for adaiis quite easy to recall. Though traditionally only bengalgram, blackgram and pigeon peas are used, I use any lentil available in my pantry. All you need to remember is that the collective proportion of the lentils should be equal to the proportion of raw rice used.

Would you not like to try this tasty, vegan breakfast? I am showing it off at Dil Se…

My son loves this with a generous helping of jaggery:), and my grandfather used to have his with a double helping of thick yogurt. The mood turns happy when the food is adai and so it is just right for FIC-Express your mood through colours. Nithya – here we come.

I am lining this up for MLLA-13, conceived by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted, right here!

Dish:Adai (Rice and Lentil pancakes)
Yield: 10 to 15 approx.

Raw Rice (I use organic brown rice) – 5 fist fulls

Pigeon peas / Tuvar dal – 1 fist full
Red kidney beans / Kashmiri Rajma – 1 fist full
Split bengalgram / Chana dal – 1 fist full
Dehusked split blackgram / Urad dal -1 fist full
Black eyed peas / Small Lobia / Cherupayaru – 1 fist full

Dry red chillies – 1 (Mine are hot)
Green chilli – 1
Asafoetida / Hing – 1/8tsp.
Sesame oil – 1tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil to roast pancakes

Finely chopped onion – 2 tbsp.
Chopped coriander – 1 tbsp.
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp.

Wash the rice and the lentils well till water runs clear.
Soak them together in a big vessel overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Drain the next day or after 4 hours and grind with the spices (not onions, coconut or coriander) to a coarse batter – beach sand texture and thicker than dosa batter.
Mix well with salt and a tsp. of oil and rest for at least 10 minutes.
If you are still left with a lot of enery and enthusiasm chop onions, coriander or grate coconut. I prefer making tea and sipping on it. If somebody else did the rest of the work maybe I would love adding other things to it:).
Energetic people may mix the chopped stuff into the batter and others like me can proceed with the pancakes.
Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan to moderate hot.
Testing: Sprinkle water and the droplets will dance around before evaporating. If they do not, then heat till it answers the dance test.
Crumple a clean paper and with the slightest bit of oil clean the surface of the pan. I do that even if it is non-stick – I am not a believer!
Pour a ladle (About 4tbsps.) of thick batter in the center of the pan and roll out to the centre with the help of the back of the ladle.
Lower the heat and allow the pancake to cook till the colour of the raw batter changes to translucent and the bottom feels crunchy crisp.
Now flip using a pancake turner and cook the other side pouring 1/2 tsp. oil on the sides of the pancake.
Roast till dotted with brown specks all over.
Remove and serve hot with jaggery, plain yogurt or molagapodi.

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Have your say

  1. Adding different lentils to adai is a good idea.

  2. This is a different kind of pancake.It looks very very tasty ? would love to try this sometime..

  3. Looks really nice and yummy.. the pic is really tempting. Nice click too. 🙂

  4. Nice photos…thats a very healthy adai…I love having adais with podis 🙂

  5. Adai is something i still haven't made myself, being lazy & getting treated by a friend:-)I make chilla ever so often, next I should try this.

    Harini, all your posts are getting updated as "FLICKR name".. i know i haven't been visiting or even leaving comments for quite some time now, but this one came as that too.. i was thinking that it is just a picture, u have uploaded in flickr or may be i need to increase my web horizon:-)

  6. Yummy Harini….I prefer this with Jaggery/brown sugar.Perfect breakfast….its very filling too.Thanks for sending it to me:)

  7. I got lobia this time in my grocery … am off to soak the stuff. Wonderful Harini! Perfect for this cold and rainy weather. 🙂 And oh … can I have the recipe for molagapodi ( I assume it is something spicy … which I'll prefer to jaggery ) … thanks. 🙂

  8. Wow so nutritious adai! Awesome!

  9. beautiful pictures! thats a very healthy and nutritious breakfast… great entries!

  10. That'a a lovely breakfast and I'd love to eat it if someone would prepare it for me. As much as I love cooking all day, apart from toast, I hate making breakfast.

  11. Even I add a variety of beans Harini. We get a 16 beans soup mix here, so I soak that while making adais. Actually I have prepared a post on adai for next month's BC theme, but the proportions I use is different. I think that's another advantage with adai right, it's so forgiving unlike idli or dosai.

    Avial and morkuzhambu is also a good combination. So whenever I make morkuzhambu for lunch, I plan to make adai for dinner.

    Reg. whole wheat flour, I don't know if Ashirwad qualifies for whole wheat, because I have not seen it here. Is it 100% whole wheat?

  12. Love the post and love the click,but never been a fan of adais.The climate here is sleepy as well.Well a good breakfast surely lifts the mood

  13. I have never made Adai, only heard about it.I am assuming it tastes close to Dosa.I will try to make it now

  14. That is a really yummy filling breakfast! Thanks for sending it to Show Me Your Breakfast Event!

  15. This one is one of my favorites and I love to have each bite dipped in honey. I know thats different from the jaggery/ molaga podi combination its mostly had with, but try it, it really tastes awesome….you adai looks just perfect !

  16. Congrats Harini..
    I would like to pass on the KReativ Blogger Award to you..
    Please visit

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