Adai was one of the first foods I tasted in my Tamil mom-in-law’s kitchen. It became an instant favorite. Unlike its simpler but yummy counterpart, the plain old dosa, an Adai is a star, hiding complex flavors beneath its lovely, golden skin.It is also, in my opinion, a little more fun to cook because it lets you play around quite a bit with the ingredients so you can make your own special version suited to your own special tastes. To my Golden Delicious Adai, I added ginger, curry leaves, onions and cabbage, and the results were amazing. Spinach or other leafy greens would also work very well here.Now while a traditional Adai tends to be thicker than a dosa, Desi doesn’t really like it that way. He loves everything thin and crispy. So my Golden Delicious Adai tends to be thinner and crispier than usual- a crepe, rather than a pancake. I ground up the cabbage and onions along with the rice and dal, instead of just chopping them and mixing them into the batter at the tail end, to make it easier to spread the adai on the griddle in a super-thin layer.So without further ado, here it is in all its mouthwatering glory, my Golden Delicious Adai. Enjoy!
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: South Indian Tamil
  • 1 cup rice
  • ¼ cup chana dal or bengal gram
  • ¼ cup udad dal or black gram
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage leaves
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • About 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 green chilies
  • A pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
  1. Soak the rice and the dals in water for at least 2 hours. Then grind to a fairly smooth paste in a blender. The consistency should be slightly grainy but not unlike that of a regular pancake batter, thin enough to spread on a hot griddle but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Once the batter has acquired the right consistency, add to the blender the ginger, onion, cabbage, green chillies, curry leaves, chili powder, turmeric, salt. Process for about a minute or so until the cabbage and onion have broken down into small but still discernible bits. Remove the batter to a bowl and add the chopped cilantro.
  3. Heat a griddle (cast-iron or non-stick) until drops of water spashed on it’s face sputter away immediately. Smear evenly with a thin layer of oil.
  4. Take about ½ cup of batter in a rounded ladle. Pour into the center of the hot griddle, then, with a quick, concentric motion, spread the batter into a round as thinly as you can. Don’t worry if it leaves gaps. You can fill them in with drops of batter.
  5. Pour a few drops of oil around the edges which will help crisp up the adai further.
  6. When the underside turns golden-brown, flip the adai and cook the other side for about a minute.

Serve the adais hot with coconut cilantro chutney or just a dollop of vegan spread. Either way, it’s delicious!

I am sending this as my entry to Weekend Breakfast Blogging: Healthy Eats, hosted this month by Suganya of Tasty Palettes. Thanks, Meera, for pointing me to it!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.


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  1. says

    mmmm i love adai too…infact we finished the batter this morning over 3 meals i think!! batter in the fridge is such a life saver on a busy work night…and you can be rest assured that there will be no fussing….though my formula is different, i agree that adai is so much more flavourful than dosa…must try this with the veggies….

  2. says

    We love adais at home.. though I make them thicker. I’m thinking that a thin one must be great too. I add veggies too but usually chop them fine.. Yours looks so golden and perfect.

  3. says

    Arundati- the veggies give it a nutrition boost, so I always add some. Try it- I know you’ll love it.

    Lavanya- never thought of eating it with jaggery, but it sounds fascinating. Will definitely try it your way.

    Laavanya, Happy Cook, TBC, Anke, Uma, Vimmi- thanks!

  4. says

    oh Vaishali, this sounds wonderful! I do wish I’d seen this before I began my cabbage soup. You can be sure I have this recipe bookmarked. lovely picture, by the way :)

  5. says

    That’s really healthy. I too tend to make adai crispier than thick because that’s devoured more in my home too. just FYI – Suganya is holding healthy breakfast series, your entry looks perfect!

  6. says

    hey i just had your golden delicious adai and it was fabulous.. very tasty. i added a few more ingredients like garlic, coriander leaves, jeera etc.. and i eliminated cabbage and onion..

  7. Patrizia says

    Ooooohhh, this is going to become an addiction!! I had never made adai before and I was very curious about the taste… Well, they are divine!

  8. Anonymous says

    A few caveats. Adai should have at least 50% dals. I use 75% to improve nutritional quality. The batter must be a little coarse and adai should be thick, at least double the thickness of a dosai preferably more. As for fermentation, it is unnecessary, but a little will not be amiss!

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