Sunday, 28 March 2010


Adai is one of my favourite breakfast item. It is a traditional, tamilian recipe. My mom used to make it once in a while, especially  when we were bored of the routine breakfast. It is made with a mixture of pulses and rice. Pulses are high in fiber, low in fat, contains high quality proteins and high in nutrients. Studies encourage us to include  a variety of pulses in our diet rather than using a single type of pulse more often. Each pulse has its unique combination of amino acids and if you eat a combination of pulses you will get all the essential amino acids. This is  especially true for vegans since they depend manily on pulses to satisfy their protein requirements.

"Eat breakfast like a king"- sorry friends I have to disagree with this. The above statement held true when our ancestors did lots of manual labour. Most of them worked on agricultural fields. They needed a high calorie breakfast beacuse their work demanded lots of energy expenditure and hence all the calories were utilized efficiently. But now, we are mostly couch potatoes. In such a situation we should never aim to eat like a king at any time of the day. We must eat wisely with calorie consciousness, inorder to escape obesity and it's related disorders. We should always have in mind that diabetic diet is not only good for diabetics but for everyone of us too. I would love to write a seperate topic on this because if I start writing everything here, this topic will never end. But in short you must have a breakfast which contains carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats in a perfect balance. This will prevent rapid insulin spikes and promotes satiety.

So coming back to adai, it is one of the healthiest breakfast available. With its right combination of carbohydrates and high quality proteins it gives a perfect start for the day. Look at the mixture of pulses which I used for making this adai, colourful isn't it?. We need more colours in our diet. We must include different coloured foods, especially the deep, dark ones. More colourful your diet is, more anti-oxidants you obatin. Anti-oxidants are proven to prevent many age related disorders. Now comes the adai recipe :

Ingredients :

Parboiled rice- 11/2 cups
Toor dhal
Channa dhal
Urid dhal
Masoor dhal
Moong dhal
Whole moong dhal
I usually take equal amount of dhal mixture and rice. I take handfuls of all the dhals and mix together. Then take 11/2 cups dhal mixture for 11/2 cups rice. If you like the taste of a particular dhal you can add more of it and decrease the others. But it is healthier to include equal amount of all the dhals.
Dried red chillies- 10 nos
Garlic- 3 pods
Ginger- an inch piece
Onions- 1 nos
Coconut- 1 big piece of its meat
Oil (preferably gingelly oil)

Method :

Soak rice and pulses in water overnight (approx.8 hours). (Why should we soak pulses ?) Then grind them into a smooth batter along with dried red chillies, ginger and garlic. Add enough salt when grinding. Cut onions, curry leaves and coconut into bite sized pieces and mix it with the batter. The batter should be thicker than the dosa batter. You can make adai immediately with this batter or wait for 4 hours before making adai. I would prefer this 4 hours ferementation step because it helps in the digestion process. You can use any oil for frying adai but gingelly oil is preferable. You can use ghee for children. Serve it with a chutney of your choice. I prefer eating adai with coconut chutney.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Try to make the adai healthier by adding a variety of pulses. You can also add vegetables like carrots, cabbage, etc., to the adai batter. Cut vegetables into small pieces and mix it with the batter. Adai should always be on the thicker side. Do not dilute the batter with water and attempt to make a thin pancake. It compromises the native taste greatly. Do not allow it to ferment for more that 4 hours. It gains a sour taste when fermented too long. Sour tasting adais are not so appetizing. Yesterday when my husband complained that it is thick I said to him 'adai should not be like regular dosa'. You should also remember it.  You can serve adai with freshly made butter and palm sugar (vellam or bellam). Children will love it. Adai is a fulfilling breakfast. Yesterday when I had an adai for the breakfast, I didn't feel hungry for the next 5 hours. But that shows how slowly it is digested which is very good from the health point of view. Adai is very good for diabetics and for everyone of us too. Happy cooking friends!!!

I would love to submit this for jihva event hosted by Suma of Veggie platter.


  1. i will try this...

  2. Can I know the name of the person who is going to try this :)

  3. I like the aspect that adais could be made with any combo of pulses we have on hand and love them any day.
    Thanks for the healthy entry.

  4. First thank you Suma for visiting my blog :) It is my pleasure to be a part of the JFI event :)

  5. hmm.......i was lucky 2 eat dat adai of urs :-)

  6. Thank you Jutson :) Koki hope u liked it ;)

  7. nice one Manju....i prefer to have adai with Jaggery as i love that combination.

    The post is very informative :)

  8. Than you Anu :) I too love eating with vellam :)