A sensuous and textured breakfast food, adai is the south indian’s pancake. However unlike regular pancakes its made from scratch completely and needs no rising agent. No white flour nor eggs in this nutritous gluten-free pancake either. Just healthful lentils and rice. The main trick in adai is not in the making of the batter, but in the spreading of it. Yes, my dear reader, we’re going there with our hand, to sculpt batter with hand on griddle. Hand becomes ladle. How cool were our ancestors in the absence of a gazillion gadgets!
sea salt to taste
1 cup yellow split peas(also called channa dal)
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped kale
1 dry red chilli(I used 2)
4 curry leaves
2 tbsp dry coconut
2 tbsp curry leaves
1/2 tsp cilantro seeds(optional)
1/2 tsp black pepper pods(optional)
Pots n pans
- Wash yellow split peas and rice thoroughly. Then soak in hot water about 1 hour. Rinse and now its ready to grind
- Grind rice, lentils and spices in food processor with some water till batter is coarse & somewhat grainy.
- Here are my raw ingredients in the food processor just before grinding
- Heat griddle.
- While griddle heats up, chop onions and kale and add to batter.
- Drizzle ½ tsp oil on griddle.Pour ½ the batter onto the griddle.
- Are you ready for hand work? Dip your hand in cold water to prevent batter from sticking to your hands and making a mess. Smear batter onto the griddle. Here’s where you become the artist and choose how thick or thin you want your adai to be. I personally like it medium thick and evenly spread out.(SOS don’t feel that brave to tackle a skillet dough with bare hands, no problem. alternatively use a spatula as Seema recommended in the comments)
- Drizzle ½ tsp oil around the outer edges of adai. Cover with lid and let cook a few minutes.
- Flip adai on griddle, bottom side should have roasted nicely like my top pix. Allow to cook on other side.
- Remove from stove. SOS if you like a crunchier, meatier adai, increase the ratio of yellow split peas to rice, alternatively if you like your pancakes soft, increase the ratio of rice to split peas.
My dad suffered from diabetes for a long time. There were very few foods he could enjoy and relish. This is one of them. As I researched for this tasty post, I understood why. Lentils, which make up a major portion of this dish, are good for everybody, not just for people with diabetes. Rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, and high in dietary fiber-they are digested slowly resulting in a steady and gradual rise in blood sugar levels (low glycemic index). This keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Lentils are also a rich natural source of B vitamins and minerals. It also has cholesterol-lowering properties that helps reduce the risk of heart disease in diabetics.
At first blush, Its possible you might feel this recipe feels vaguely familiar. And you just might be reminded of my last post on Indian pizza since the pix seem kind of similar. But the similarity ends there as you would have already found out how this batter is completely made from scratch unlike the other that used pre-existing cream of wheat flour!
Enjoy served with a dollop of unsalted butter and madras coffee. Remember this is the basic adai, feel free to add other vegs like cabbage to the batter for a veggie fill.This was my sunday breakfast, I’d love to hear how your adai turned out..