As a stay at home mom, my mom always had tiffin ready for us to eat as soon as we came back home from school. Tiffin can be described as a snack that is not as heavy as a meal. As always there are always exceptions like the Adai which is considered a pretty heavy meal. Lunch at school was at noon and by 5 in the evening I was ready to eat anything edible I could lay my eyes on. Last thing I wanted to hear was we were having Adai for the evening. Apparently adai  is one of those recipes I hated as kid and gradually acquired the taste to appreciate the texture of the partially grind-ed lentils along with onions or sometimes the slight bitter taste of drumstick leaves added when available in the local Indian stores.

Many families follow different measurements for the Adai. This is the proportion my mom uses except I like to match the proportion of the Urad and Idli rice to the other dals. In addition it makes the recipe easier to remember as all the key ingredients to soak are in the same proportion. The rest like in most Indian cooking may be ball parked.


1/2 cup Urad Dal
1/2 cup Idli Rice
1/2 cup Toor Dal
1/2 cup Moong Dal
1/2 cup Channa Dal
1 tsp Asefoetida Powder
3-4 Red Dried Chillies
Salt as needed
Oil as needed

Optional Ingredients
1 minced onions or 1 cup cleaned, drumstick leaves


Soak all the dals together in water for 2 hours you know it is ready when you can break the dals with your nail with out much effort. What we do not want here is too much soaking resulting in a mushy mixture with no texture.

Grind the ingredients (all but oil and the optional ingredients). If you are unsure of the quantity of salt, you could always taste tiny bit of the batter. Also ensure you do not add too much water.The consistency of the batter should be a little thicker than dosa batter. A smooth consistency is not required.

I prefer to leave the batter out overnight for a slight fermentation. But many do not. You can use it right away.

Mix well and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.The batter can be stored up to 5-7 days.

When ready to use it, mix the batter with either minced onions or drumsticks leaves. Use only as much batter as you need. I do not recommend to save the left over batter mixed with onions in the refrigerator.

Heat the dosa gridle until water bubbles up when poured on top of the gridle.

The batter will be thick, so spread the batter with a ladle until you stretch it thin to a circular shape. Do not expect to spread the batter with the back of a flat bottom circular ladle like a dosa.

Add 1/2 tsp of oil on top of the Adai. Wait until you see the browned bottom and turn it around. The adai takes a little longer than the dosa to cook. Give it a minute and a half to cook on the first side and a minute to cook on the other side.

As far as condiments are considered, I love shaved jaggery over avial or other chutney to eat the adai with.


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