Adai Recipe | Adai Dosa
Adai is a healthy, protein-rich and nutrient dense lentil crepe from Tamil Nadu cuisine, India. Also called as Adai Dosa by the non-natives, these are made with spices, rice and various kinds of lentils like Toor dal, chana dal and urad dal. Adai is super flavorful, delicious and makes for a great Breakfast or meal anytime of the day. It is served with a Chutney or avial, a mixed vegetable dish. Making these is quicker and easier than making dosa because adai batter does not need fermentation.
Indian crepes known as dosas are a very popular food from the South Indian cuisine. We make many kinds of dosas using lentils, rice, grains and even with flour. Adai is one such variation and is similar to the Andhra Pesarattu which is made with green moong dal and spices.
Whether you are looking for healthy meal option or trying to include more protein in your diet, these are simply great for you! You will love these adai for everything – for the flavour, texture and for the fact they are nourishing.
About Adai Recipe
My Adai Recipe needs rice, chana dal, toor dal, a small portion of urad dal and moong dal. Rice is used to give the adai dosa a slightly crisp texture and various lentils impart different flavours.
Ginger, red chilies, hing and cumin seeds are the spices used for extra flavour and heat. These spices are very essential and without these your adai will be just bland.
Every Tamil speaking home may have a different recipe with varying proportions of rice & lentils. The proportions I have used go well with my family.
However you can substitute one lentil for the other without affecting the texture but the flavour changes. For more details on substitutions check my pro tips section below.
This family favorite adai recipe uses very little urad dal and we personally prefer a small portion of moong lentils which actually improves the flavour profile.
Adai dosa is usually made slightly thicker than the thin dosas. They turn out crisp and taste delicious!
For similar recipes check
Mixed Dal Dosa
Process of Making Adai Batter
All the lentils, rice and red chilies are soaked for 4 hours and ground to a slightly thick coarse batter. The batter is ready to use instantly. However it can be rested for 2 to 4 hours to enhance the flavors.
I usually soak, blend, rest and then keep the batter in the fridge the previous night to prepare the next morning’s breakfast. Sometimes I also soak them the previous night (for 8 hours), blend them in the morning & use the batter directly without resting.
For more breakfast recipes, you can check
How To Make Adai (Stepwise Photos)
Soak Lentils & Rice
1. Firstly add ¾ cup rice to a large bowl and wash at least 3 times. Add fresh water and soak for at least 3 to 4 hours.
2. Remove the stalks of 4 to 5 red chilies & add them to the rice.
3. Next add all the lentils to another bowl. ¼ cup chana dal, ¼ cup toor dal, 2 tbsps urad dal and 2 tbsps moong dal Wash them well and soak in enough water for at least 3 to 4 hours.
4. Drain water and add rice, red chilies, ¾ to 1 ginger (peeled) and ¾ to 1 teaspoon cumin seeds to a blender jar. Also pour ¼ cup water to make a thick and slightly coarse batter.
5. Make sure all the rice grains are crushed. If your blender jar is not big enough transfer the batter to a large bowl.
6. Drain water from the dal and add it to the blender jar. Then pour little water enough to make a batter. Start with ¼ cup water and add more as required to make a thick batter.
7. Blend to a slightly coarse & thick batter.
8. Transfer adai batter to the batter bowl. Mix well if you have kept the rice batter aside. Cover and rest for 2 to 4 hours. You can also make the adai right away. I feel resting the batter brings a good aroma and taste.
9. When you are ready to make the adai, add 2 tbsps chopped coriander leaves, 1/8 tsp hing, 1 small onion fine chopped and salt. Do not add lot of onions it becomes difficult to spread the adai batter.
10. Mix everything well. You can add water to bring the batter to consistency. To make crisp and thin adai dosa, the consistency must be slightly thin but not very runny. To make thick once you can keep the batter slightly thick.
But traditionally adai is made slightly thick. However it is a personal choice.
Make Adai Dosa
11. Grease a pan with little oil and heat it. The pan must be just hot enough and not very hot otherwise it is difficult to spread the batter.
If you are not using a non stick pan, then grease the tawa well and rub it with a cut onion. This prevents the adai from sticking to the pan. Pour the batter in the center of the pan.
12. Spread the batter quickly to a dosa, thick or thin to suit your liking. Add ghee or oil as desired. When it is cooked, the edges loosen from the pan.
13. Turn it and cook on the other side. Turn again and cook till the adai turns crisp.
Adai is best served hot with chutney. I have served them with this garlic chutney. But coconut chutney or onion chutney makes a great side. You can refrigerate the left over adai batter and use up in the next 2 days.
- Reducing rice will give softer adai. The quantity of rice mentioned in the recipe gives you slightly crisp adai.
- You can substitute toor dal and chana dal one for the other. Substituting toor dal with chana dal makes delicious and super flavorful adai but doing it the other way won’t give you the best flavour.
- Using more urad dal in the recipe gives you a raw flavour of urad dal in the adai because we don’t ferment the batter. You may skip the urad dal or substitute it with any other lentils.
- You can use only masoor dal (red lentils) to substitute all the lentils in the recipe. It turns out delicious but it won’t taste the same as traditional adai.
- The batter can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Bring it to room temperature before using it. If required add little water as the batter turns thick upon resting.
- For best results bring cold refrigerated batter to room temperature before making adai. Trying to cook cold batter often discolors/ browns the adai without cooking it well.
- If you want crisp adai, add some rice flour to the refrigerated batter.
Adai Recipe | Adai Dosa
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¾ cup rice (idly rice or short grain parboiled rice like sona masuri or ponni)
- ¼ cup chana dal (split skinned bengal gram)
- ¼ cup toor dal (split skinned pigeon peas)
- 2 tablespoons moong dal (split skinned green gram)
- 2 tablespoons urad dal (split skinned black gram)
- ¾ to 1 inch ginger
- 4 to 5 red chilies (l use less spicy variety, adjust to taste)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon Hing (asafoetida)
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- Water as required to make batter
- 2 tablespoons Oil or ghee as needed
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves finely chopped
- Add all the lentils – chana, toor, urad and moong dal to a large bowl. Wash them very well a few times.
- Next add red chilies to the rice. Pour enough water and soak them for 2 to 4 hours. You can also leave them overnight for 8 hours.
- Add rice to another large bowl and rinse a few times. You can soak it for 2 to 4 hours to overnight.
Making adai batter
- When you are ready to grind the batter, drain the water and rinse them well.
- Add rice and red chilies to a blender jar along with ¼ cup fresh water. Blend to a slightly coarse paste or thick batter, adding more water as required. Batter has to be thick. Transfer this to a bowl.
- Add dal, cumin and ginger to the jar. Also ¼ cup water and blend to a slightly coarse thick batter, adding more water if required.
- Mix this with the rice batter. The batter has to be thick yet of spreading consistency. Allow to rest for 2 to 4 hours. You can also skip resting.
How to make adai
- Heat a pan. Add few drops of oil and smear it all over the pan with a kitchen tissue. Heat the pan well on a medium heat.
- While the pan heats, add chopped onions, salt, hing, coriander leaves to the batter. Mix everything well. Taste test and adjust salt.
- If you prefer to make thick adai, the consistency of the batter must be thick but of spreading consistency.
- If you prefer thin adai, then add more water as needed. Mix well to bring the consistency to a slightly less thick batter, not runny. The batter must be easily spreadable on the pan.
- Regulate the flame to medium. Make sure the pan is hot.
- Pour one ladle of batter and spread it quickly like a dosa. Spread it to thick or thin adai as per your liking.
- Add ½ tsp oil or ghee across the edges. Cook on a medium heat.
- When it gets cooked on one side, the edges loosen from the pan slightly. Turn it and cook on the other side as well. Make sure it is cooked on both the sides until crisp.
- To make the next adai be sure to heat the pan well. It should be hot but not smoking hot.
- Serve adai dosa with coconut chutney or any other chutney.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Adai recipe first published in September 2017. Updated and republished in July 2021.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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This is the first time I ever tried making Adai. It was a successful and everyone at home loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Glad to know Sheetu. Thank you so much for trying
There was Tamil Brahmin lady next door and she would send these hot for my children. Loved them always and used her recipe for many years. I lost the recipe last year and found this to be similar. I made and my children loved the adai. Thank you.
So happy to know Bhagya. Thank you so much for trying and sharing back
In adai dosai what’s” keel” ingredient
In some place moong dal is written as moongil (bamboo) u can use paasi paruppu or payatham paruppu in bracket
I think you are seeing a auto translated article from google. This adai recipe is in English. Please turn off the google translator.
I love this combination of dal. My Amma made the best adai but that’s a different ratio. I followed the same for many years until I found your recipe. This tastes even more delicious and this goes very well with your Andhra ginger chutney.
So happy to know Priya
I made this today. Turns out great. Served with coconut chutney. 👌 Many thanks for sharing the recipe. 🥰
Glad you liked them. Thank you!
Ur pro tips is very informative
Can I avoid channa dhal
you can substitute chana dal with same amount of yellow moong dal.
It came out awesome???!! Thank you ?
My batter got fermented while resting is it OK to use
Yes it is just fine.
Healthy and great recipe…I have a doubt on the resting of the batter….if we prepare the batter previous night, is it necessary to keep it in fridge or can we leave it on the countertop like we do for dosa batter..?
Thank you! I keep it in the fridge. This batter does not need fermentation like the regular dosa batter. Resting helps in developing the flavors. You can also soak in the night and blend in the morning. Make adai directly.
Thanks for your prompt reply ….
Thanks much Swasthi, I’m a novice but find your recipes – both in terms of the results and the detailed instructions. This is my go to recipe for adai, I soak rice and dals together and grind them together to save effort and dishes ! Also make extra batter, adding onions only to the portion am making currently.During this lockdown time, a filling, healthy and delicious meal. Thanks again.
You are welcome! Glad to know! Yes! delicious and healthy. Thank you.
Thanks for the recipe. Looks great
Can we add hing while soaking lentils? Can adai be given to Toddlers after 1 year or when can we start? Thanks a lot for your recipes.. i have tried many for my family and turns out good.
Thanks for trying the recipes. Yes you can use hing. Since it is a stimulant I use occasionally. Most times I skip it for kids food. You can give adai after 1 year. You can also try this mixed dal dosa. You can give this on alternate days.
I tried your Adai recipe today Swasti.. Delicious it turned out to be!?…
Glad adai turned out good.
Hi Thsnk you for the recipe! Is the caloroe count mentioned for one serving of the dosa or total?
You are welcome. The calorie count is for each adai dosa.
How to prepare donkey manchurian please share the recipe…
Hi Kamalu mami
I guess it was a auto correction of the text. You can check the recipe of gobi manchurian here
Today this was the breakfast at my home too.. I din have toordal.. I managed to use all the other ingredients.. It turned out good.. I was running short if red chilli.. I added two red chilli and Lil kashmiri chili powder for the color… Result was tasty… Thanks a lot… With coconut chutney… Keep going… I m making custard too today… Following the steps… As whenever I try lumps form..Hope today it like come good.. Thanks
custard also turned out good… Except that pomegranates were sour..
Glad to know Vidya,
Tried this one for breakfast today, came out crisp & tasty. Thanks for the recipe!
Glad you like them. Thank you