How To Make Adai

How To Make Adai

Adai: Spread on hot griddle

Adai is a savory South Indian crepe closely related to the dosai, but with more dal (lentils) than just urad. Two more dals, to be precise: toor and chana. The end result is a heavier and more nutritious, protein-rich dish that can be eaten with the usual accompaniments of sambar, chutney and/or molahai podi (chili powder mixture).


  • 1 cup Ponni parboiled rice
  • 1/2 cup Urad dal
  • 1/2 cup Toor dal
  • 1/2 cup Chana dal
  • 1 or 2 dried red chilis
  • Curry leaves
  • Heeng (Asafoetida powder)
  • Salt

Rinse and then soak the rice in water in one bin or bowl. Rinse and soak the dals together in another bowl. Soak the dal for around 5 hours and the rice for an hour longer.


Grind the rice separately first until very fine. Next, grind the dal along with the red chili(s) until it’s a coarse paste. Mix the batter with a shake of heeng and salt to taste. Place the mixed batter in a large bin and in a warm place for overnight fermentation. The batter should rise a good inch before it’s ready to go.

[Incidentally, I use an ULTRA Pride+ wet grinder, which is available here. Aaah, technology! My shoulders hurt simply thinking of my grandmother and all the ladies before her grinding rice and dal almost everyday for a family of 20 using a gigantic mortar and pestle made of granite or gabbro. I’d give it a shot for the experience. Once.]


Adai: Batter with salt and heeng added

Mix the risen batter thoroughly and add fresh, washed and coarsely-chopped curry leaves to taste.

Heat a shallow, flat, seasoned and non-stick pan until water sizzles when dripped on its surface. Pour some vegetable or sesame oil in a bowl and have it at the ready along with a teaspoon. Instead of writing out an uncommon task that uses unconventional tools, I made the following video on how a dosai is made. The same technique is used for adai. Observe the consistency of the dosai batter; adai batter can be and is slightly thicker because of the coarseness of the dals.

Following this recipe, you will be able to make between 12 and 16 adais depending on the diameter of your griddle. Make some chutney and sambar or enjoy with a nice molahai podi in sesame oil!

Adai: 12 crepes

Adai with molahai podi

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