Quick and Nutritious Adai (Savory Lentil/Bean Pancake)

Adai is a savory pancake made with lentils and rice. It is a filling snack/meal that is rich in nutrition – fibre as well as protein. Each household has its own version. The lentils and rice are soaked in water for a few hours (or overnight) and ground to a paste with spices. This batter does not need to be fermented. You can make pancakes with this batter and enjoy immediately. I make it this traditional way too, but this time I tried making the adai powder – home-made instant mix.  


This one is an entry to the WBB#20-Balanced Breakfast event hosted by Mansi of Fun and Food. This is an event started by Nandita of Saffron Trail. It is also an entry to the Dosa Mela event by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons.

This was a twist I came up with like those readymade instant mixes available. Generally at my place, we don’t like the adai fermented (and it does not need to be). When we prepare the batter in the traditional method, there are no takers for the leftover batter. Moreover, this adai powder is an ideal candidate for a quick healthy meal when you are short on time and/or energy. It takes the pre-planning out of the method 🙂 … You can prep by making this adai powder ahead of time and can make adais in a jiffy. 

Brown rice (raw)*: ½ cup
Boiled/Parboiled rice (raw) or idli rava**: ½ cup
Bengal gram split (Chana dal): ½ cup
Green gram (Mung)^: ½ cup
Rolled oats: ½ cup
Asafoetida: ¼ teaspoon
Dry red chillies: 3-4
Green chillies: 3
Ginger: 1 inch piece
Curry leaves: 4-5
Salt to taste 

*You can use whatever rice you have on hand – the normal cooking rice will do – I used brown rice as I had it in stock and for the fiber content
**You can omit this if not available, however this makes the adai soft.
^I used the yellow mung dal without the skin as that was available. You can use the whole mung beans or the split mung beans with skin as well. You can experiment with any combination of lentils/beans. 


  1. Dry roast the oats in a pan for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Using a coffee/spice grinder or the desi mixer jar, grind the dry ingredients to a fine powder – the rice varieties, lentils/beans, oats, and dry red chillies. Preferably, grind individual ingredients to ensure even consistency.
  3. Assemble them in a large vessel. Add the asafetida and salt. Mix thoroughly to mix spices evenly.
  4. This adai powder can be stored in a dry bottle/jar.
  5. To prepare the adai, mix the required amount of powder gradually with warm/hot water into a smooth batter of dropping consistency – the consistency should be like that of dosa or pancake. Take care to avoid lumps.
  6. Finely chop the green chillies, ginger, and curry leaves. You can grind them to a paste in the chutney jar of the mixer too.
  7. Add this to the batter and mix well.
  8. maavu.jpg

  9. You may add chopped onions or such to the batter.
  10. You can make adais immediately. If possible, set aside for about half hour (For best results, let it soak for 1-2 hours.).
  11. Heat a griddle (tava).
  12. When well heated, grease with a few drops of oil. Turn the heat to medium.
  13. Pour a ladle-full of batter and spread out with the ladle to a circle like a dosa/pancake.
  14. adai1.jpg

  15. Grease the uncooked side and the edges with a few drops of oil.
  16. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes on each side while turning over. The adai is ready when browned on both sides.
  17. adai2.jpg

  18. You can also make these as mini-adais for a bite-sized snack.
  19. Serve them with any of these sides – unsalted butter, jaggery, sugar, honey, sambar, chutney, or dosai-molaga podi – traditional chutney powder for dosas.
  20. adai3.jpg


3 Responses to “Quick and Nutritious Adai (Savory Lentil/Bean Pancake)”

  1. Hi,

    This different twist on Adai goes straight in as a model recipe in my blog 1001 South Indian Breads. Very innovative !

    From skribles: Thanks Ramki. Your blog seems to be good. 🙂

  2. Wonderful idea for quick and instant adai! Generally when I make adai batter, I have to make sure that it is consumed within the next 2 weeks else the batter starts smelling or it gets spoilt(even in the refrigerator), but the instant powder mix is easier to make and store without compromising on the goodness of the traditional ingredient.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe 🙂

    From skribles: Thanks for visiting Archana – and glad to know u liked the recipe. Yes, for the same reason I tried the powder method instead of the batter one. Especially for lesser people and a quick dish, this one works well.

  3. very nice.

    From skribles: Thanks Vicky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s