Quick Adai (with leftover Dosai batter)

In Thirunelveli (where I hail from) Adai is made traditionally by soaking rice, red gram dhal, and green gram dhal, and grinding these in a wet grinder. Red chillies are soaked in water the previous night and are ground along with the batter. I have always found it tedious to prepare adai for breakfast in this manner. One day I was wondering what to do with a cup of leftover dosai batter. A bulb flashed in my head and I thought why don’t I try to make adai using this batter with bengal gram dhal flour (kadalai maavu/basan) which is readily available in India and skip the time and labour involved in grinding. Apart from the batter, I have strictly followed the ingredients my mother used to use in the preparation of adai, including the oil.

Adai with leftover dosail batter

Adai with leftover dosai batter

The adais were a great success and I make it very often for breakfast as I can quickly dish it up and it is very tasty but not very spicy. It has very good quality vegetable protein because of the combination of cereal (rice) and dhal – mutually supplemented – and a very filling breakfast. Adais are always served hot so it is not suitable for a packed lunch. In some homes adais are served for tea and even for dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 C leftover Dosai batter
  • 1 C Bengal Gram Dhal flour
  • 1 C diced Onion
  • ¼ C chopped Curry Leaves
  • 2 T Coconut scrapings
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • Gingelly/Sesame Oil for shallow frying

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients listed above except the oil to make a thick pour batter.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet or a dosai frying pan. Spread a teaspoon of oil on the pan covering the entire surface area.
  3. Pour a ladle (about ¼ C) full of batter onto the centre of the pan and gentle spread around the pan with the back of the ladle, using a circular motion.
  4. Wait for the batter to cook; the surface should become dry.
  5. Pour a teaspoon of oil around the edge and also a few drops over the surface of the adai.
  6. Gentle loosen the adai by slipping a fish spoon or a dosai spatula under it (like loosening a pancake).
  7. Cook for a minute and remove onto a serving plate.
  8. Repeat the procedure for the rest of the batter, but using only ¼ teaspoon of oil to cover the surface of the skillet/frying pan as it already has oil spread on it.
  9. Serve hot with coconut thuvaiyal.

Notes

  1. I usually use commercially available refrigerated dosai batter which is nowadays available at most stores in Chennai. If you prefer homemade dosai batter: soak 3 C idly rice and one 1 C black gram dhal separately for 3 hours. Grind to make pour batter. Add 2 tsp salt and mix well. Cover the vessel and allow it to stand for a minimum of 10 hours to get optimum results.
  2. I do not use a non stick pan for frying adai as the texture obtained with the ordinary pan is far superior.
  3. Once the first adai is made, use low heat to fry the rest. The Bengal Gram flour in the batter gives an off flavour if fried on high heat.
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