What’s golden and crunchy, delicious and healthy; filling yet leaves you craving for more. Nutritious and gluten free, to boot!

It’s the Adai. The rustic, less known cousin of the Diva, Dosa.

Adais are really easy to throw together. You just soak the lentils (four different ones if you are a purist) and an equal amount of raw rice, and grind them coarsely. The coarser your batter the more crunchy your adai will be.

Served with a dollop of golden butter and a generous spoonful of chilli jam— my idea of heaven!

You can make as much or as little of the batter as you want.  The general ratio is 1:1 – lentils to rice. In terms of the lentils half the quantity is made up with Channa dal and the other half is a mix of 2 or 3 other lentils. You can choose Moong, Masur and Toor as I do or use a combination of just 2. 

The dals are picked clean of dirt and debris and washed well and soaked for about half an hour. 

Wash the rice and soak it separately. The idea is to barely grind the dals into a coarse mixture, then grind the rice with almost no added water. Mix the two together, add our other ingredients and you are ready to make the adais. 

To gild the lily and make your indulgence guilt free, you can add fresh moringa leaves to the batter.

The humble moringa or drumstick is a tree indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and newly crowned a super food! The moringa probably can’t fathom what the fuss is about — it’s been quietly standing in the shadow of its petite cousin turmeric, that’s taken the western world by storm 🙂 

But if you can find fresh moringa leaves, add them to make this a super healthy meal. 


 Channa dal/ Bengal gram/ Split yellow peas 1 cup

Toor dal/ Split pigeon peas 1/3 cup

Masur dal/  1/3 cup

Moong dal/ Split yellow mung 1/3 cup

Raw rice 2 cups

Turmeric, 1 tsp

Whole dried red chilli,  (optional) 2-3

Garlic, (optional) 1-2 cloves

Onion, (optional) 1, diced fine

Moringa leaves, (optional) 3-4 sprigs.

Curry leaves, (optional), 5-6 leaves

Salt, to taste 

Method :

Tip the lentils into a large plate, then clean them by picking over any dirt or debris.

Wash the lentils in several changes of water, until the water is clear. Then set aside to soak for half an hour.

Do the same with the raw rice. Soak separately for half an hour.

Coarsely grind the lentils in a blender, along with the turmeric, dry chillies and the garlic if using them. The whole dried chilli can be substituted for chilli flakes or chilli powder. 

Tip the batter out into a large dish, then grind the rice coarsely. 

Mix the rice and the lentils and add salt to taste.  

At this point you can add in the chopped moringa leaves and the torn curry leaves to the batter.

When you are ready to make the adais, add the diced onions to the batter and mix in until combined.

Heat a well seasoned griddle or tava until hot, then pour a ladle full of the batter onto it. Flatten evenly into a circle.  Pour a tsp of oil around the adai and cook over low heat, until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until done, adding more oil as required. 

Use the rest of the batter to make more adais.

Enjoy your yummy and healthy adais with butter and some spicy gun powder or chilli jam.