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.
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.
- 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
- Mix all the ingredients listed above except the oil to make a thick pour batter.
- Heat a heavy skillet or a dosai frying pan. Spread a teaspoon of oil on the pan covering the entire surface area.
- 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.
- Wait for the batter to cook; the surface should become dry.
- Pour a teaspoon of oil around the edge and also a few drops over the surface of the adai.
- Gentle loosen the adai by slipping a fish spoon or a dosai spatula under it (like loosening a pancake).
- Cook for a minute and remove onto a serving plate.
- 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.
- Serve hot with coconut thuvaiyal.
- 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.
- I do not use a non stick pan for frying adai as the texture obtained with the ordinary pan is far superior.
- 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.