Monday, 14 May 2012

No weighty measures, anything goes adai!

An Adai to die for!

I don’t bake much and then again bake mostly savoury stuff that doesn’t need ingredients  weighed precisely down to the last gram, at a specific temperature and of a specific brand… too much of a hassle. An intuitive cook, I have had my share of failures, but have also learnt to morph dishes – so a batch of failed croquettes can be transformed into a savoury muffins with the addition of an egg or two, only to be hungrily devoured by all! A cabbage soup made enthusiastically for the GM diet and deserted on day one as everyone thinks it’s like ditch water, actually tastes good as a minestrone soup… and to finish the pot full of soup I mentally prepare to make it into savoury pancakes, pasta sauce, risottos… a little cheese will do the trick! 

Mind you, parsimony is not a virtue of mine, but thrift and a never say die attitude certainly are virtues I cherish!  That’s precisely the reason I like this anything goes dish- the Adai,  a simple delicious dosa ( rice and lentil pancake) to die for- why don't they come up with some more exclamation marks?

No excruciating over- how much of what is soaked for how long and ground in which way and fermented for how long at what temperature and where and in which season and served with what and for which meal…..Whhhoooaaa!

A really wholesome dish that can be a whacky snack or whole meal in itself! Okay okay…I will come to how I made them todai!


2 cups rice soaked for 3-4 hours (overnight is better, but not a must)

A fistful each of chana dal, moong dal, masoor dal, tuvar dal, urad dal (you can use any legumes or pulses) soaked for 3-4 hours

1-2 tbsp grated coconut

1 small onion

2-3 large garlic cloves

½ inch piece of ginger

1-2 (or more) dry red chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds (slightly roasted)

A pinch of hing

A pinch of ground black pepper

4-5 curry leaves

Salt to taste

Water for grinding

Oil for cooking Adais


Grind all the ingredients together with water to make a dosa like batter and add salt to taste. Pour and cook the adais like dosas on a non-stick griddle with a little oil. Serve with anything- even ketchup!

I served it with coconut, roasted chana, raw onion (for the first time!) chutney and a coriander, mint and coconut chutney.

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