Adai is one of the closest cousin to dosa. It is made from a batter comprising of equal portion of lentils and rice. The addition of dry red chillies, ginger and garlic makes the dish more delicious and the final tempering with curry leaves, asafoetida and onions takes them to another level. Unlike the dosa/ idly batter, these don't need any fermentation time and the rice-lentils requires good amount of soaking time. If you plan to serve them for dinner, soak them by mid morning and grind them in the evening. The store the left over batter in the refrigerator and they can be used for 2-3 days.
Even in a South Indian household, this dish is not as famous as idly/dosa but my mother makes this almost once in two weeks. The adai tastes best with aviyal (recipe on the next post) and that's the famous combination ever. I love aviyal and most of the time I eat just that. When there is no time to prepare aviyal, my mom serves them with with butter and jaggery or a simple tomato chutney.
The one place other than my home where I enjoy this lovely crispy adai is in the Saravana Bhavan restaurants. After days of travel , I desperately craved for delicious South Indian food and ended up in Saravana Bhavan, Singapore and relished yummy adais. Such is my association with adai and I have a craving for them every now and then.
The recipe is so simple and anyone can fix it. Since it has lentils in it, adai is rich in proteins and the tiny bits of onions and roasted urad dhal makes every bite crunchy and tasty.
All it takes are: Soak, grind, temper, cook and serve! So nothing should hold you back from trying this divine delight.
1 cup parboiled rice
1/2 cup toor dhal
1/2 cup channa dhal
4-5 garlic cloves
1/2 " ginger
2-3 dry red chillies
1/4 cup onions - finely chopped
2 tsp asafeotida
1tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dhal
10-12 curry leaves - finely chopped
Black pepper balls - Partially crushed
Sal tot taste
Water to grind
Soak the rice and dhal in a separate bowl with 750ml water for 4-5 hours. Also soak the dry red chilly is any one of the bowl. Set them aside. Once done, drain the water completely and grind them with ginger and garlic to a coarse paste. Use minimum water. The batter will be thicker than pancake or dosa batter.
Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, urad dhal, asafoetida, curry leaves, onions , black pepper balls and salt. Add them to the batter and mix well.
Pour a ladle full of the thick batter in the center of the heated non-stick tava/ griddle and spread in circular fashion with the back of the ladle to form a circle. Drizzle oil around the edges and let it cook for 3-4 minutes and flip it over for another few minutes. They should be brown and crispy. Always cook them in medium flame to avoid burning them.
Serve with a dollop of butter on top and chutney/ idly podi/ jaggery.
Note:The first one will always take longer time to cook, hence be patient when you start making them
Aviyal recipe on the next post. Keep waiting!