I cringe when I describe adai as crepes, but there is no good term to describe it - except as a slightly thicker version of crepes. Adai is an easy to make high protein crepe-like pancakes (there I go with more confusing names), that requires just two hours of soaking the rice and the lentils, and no fermentation. I make this when I am out of vegetables, or don't have a lot of time to cook. All I do is soak the rice, and the lentils for a couple of hours, grind, add some cut up onions, and other vegetables and herbs, and it's ready to go! It's a complete meal - has enough carbs, protein, and the addition of onions, cilantro, and any other vegetables makes it balanced. Have it with a cup of yogurt and you're set!
6-8red chiliesreduce for less heat, this would provide medium heat
2 or 3mediumTomatoessome people swear they would never put tomatoes, try it! We love it
1/4cupfresh/frozen coconutoptional; adds wonderful flavor and richness
1 - 1.5tspoil per adaicoconut oil is wonderful; if not, use any mild tasting oil such as avocado or lite-tasting olive oil
Soak rice separately for a couple of hours
Soak the dhals together for a couple of hours
Blend the rice separately to a fine consistency; dhals are typically ground to a coarser texture for a traditional adai, but I always ground it to a smooth paste to make it easier to digest when the kids were younger. The habit has continued, and I actually like it better as I can make them thinner and crispy
Chop the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, mint very fine and add to the batter
Add the coconut, salt, and hing to the batter and mix up everything really good
Heat a dosa pan on medium heat
Spread a ladleful of batter. The crepe (for want of a better name) will not be as thin as a dosa, and will be slightly thicker
Follow with a spoonful of oil around the edges, and in the center;
When the top side looks cooked, gently flip to the other side, and add a half spoon of oil
Remove to a plate when both sides are cooked to a golden red. Serve with your choice of podi, thick yogurt, buttermilk or a spoonful of jaggery
It's totally up to your imagination on what toppings to use. Some people sprinkle grated carrots, cabbage, etc. while cooking the adai. Avoid vegetables like eggplant. Anything crunchy and bland would probably work.