South Indian cuisine is no stranger to the miracle of flatbreads. Homemade batters, heavy on proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients, create delicious pancake like creations that soak up delicious curries and fill you up with pure satisfaction. As with all South Indian cuisine, there is usually a spicy twist, and this adai dosa recipe is no exception. Adai dosa is the perfect breakfast; filling, healthy, savory, and delicious. It has earned its place as a king among breakfast recipes in South India.
The most famous flatbread among them all is called ‘Dosa’, but you will be surprised to know that Dosa itself has countless versions of it. Today we are going to make a tasty, healthy, and nutritious Adai Dosa Recipe. The beauty of Adai is that it has two lives. On day one, Adai is a thick and spicy pancake made from rice, dal, spices, and vegetables. On day two, the leftover dosa batter is fermented, thinned out, and transformed into a crispy, crunchy, and savory dosa.
This south Indian recipe is prepared with different types of lentils and rice. South Indians love to eat Adai with different types of chutneys (coconut chutney and tomato chutney, etc.) or sambar. It’s an absolutely comforting meal with a whole pack of nutrition.
So without wasting time let’s move on to our famous and most delicious ‘Adai Dosa Recipe’.
Ingredients for Adai Dosa Recipe
Urad dal, chana dal (Bengal gram), moong dal, tur dal (pigeon pea or tuvar dal).
Idli rice or any short grained parboiled rice
Cumin seeds, dry red chilies, curry leaves, turmeric powder, asafoetida, and fennel seeds.
Green chilli, ginger, coriander leaves.
Water, oil, and salt.
For exact quanitites, look at our recipe card.
Before making our dosa recipe, some necessary preparations are needed.
- Wash off your rice and dals until the water runs fairly clear.
- Soak the rice and dal in 4 cups of water overnight. There should be enough water to soak the dals completely.
- Coriander leaves and green chilies should be finely chopped.
Making our Adai Dosa Batter
I’m mentioning the dosa recipe with step-wise pictures, so you can see the difference between the thickness of adai batter and dosa batter
- Add your soaked lentils and rice into a blender or grinder.
- Add dry red chilis, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, green chilies, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and ginger to the blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until a thick course paste is obtained. It should be slightly thinner than mashed potatoes and still pourable. It should not be as thin as pancake batter.
- Scoop out all the batter into a large bowl.
- Add salt according to your taste preferences and one pinch of asafoetida to the batter. Leave out the asafoetida for a gluten-free version.
- Add chopped small onions and coriander leaves in small amounts only to the portion of the batter that you plan to cook today.
Day One Adai Dosa
Now it’s time to cook our adai dosas, but before that keep in mind that Adai dosas are not cooked at high heat like a paper dosa, they will burn on one side while the other side will not be completely cooked.
- So keep your stove at medium heat and put your pan or Tawa on it.
- Before pouring our batter, we will sprinkle a little water on the hot Tawa to flash cool it a couple of degrees. This allows the pan to rapidly cool enough to spread the batter without it instantly cooking.
- Now pour a big spoon of the batter into the middle of the pan. Put the back of the spoon in the center and start swirling it in a circular motion, pushing the batter from the center to the edges of the pan/tawa. Go nice and slow and flatten it evenly.
- The batter should remain 1/4 inch thick on the pan surface. This is the difference in Adai dosa and paper dosa.
- Now add a teaspoon of oil so that our adai does not stick to the tawa.
- When it turns golden brown on the bottom side try to detach it slowly with the help of a spatula. Flip it and cook the other side to the same level.
Make as many dosas as you want for now. The rest of the batter can be processed for day two in the next step!
- Take the remaining batter (that you did not add onions to), and add 1/4 cup to 1 cup of water, depending on how much batter you have left.
- You want the batter to be slightly thinner than pancake batter. Mix this batter well, add 1 tsp of yogurt, and keep covered it in a warm spot in your kitchen
Magical Day Two of Adai
Day two is the day that Adai really comes to life!
- This batter can then be spread in a very thin layer on a medium hot pain with the same spoon swirling technique we used prior. Drizzle ghee over the top as it cooks.
- As the dosa cooks, you will see golden brown spots on the underside and the dosa edges will begin to lift off the pan. At this point, give it another minute, then fold it over, and serve.
- This crispy flavorful Adai will enchant even the most skeptical of guests.
What if a Tawa pan is not available?
If a traditional tawa pan is not available then a cast iron pan, carbon steel pan, or a non-stick one can also be used. A good seasoned surface is required for any pan that does not have a non-stick surface on it.
Is there a difference between regular dosa batter and adai dosa?
Yes, in Adai dosa we use a combination of dals, rice, and vegetables and create a thick flatbread with a savory filling flavor. On the first day, Adai is not fermented. A regular dosa batter consists of a thin batter of fermented urad dal, rice, and fenugreek seeds.
My Adai are sticking to the pan! Please help?
Either your pan is not seasoned well or it is not hot enough. We rely on a hot surface to caramelize the outer later of the Adai which then naturally separates from the pan. If the pan is not hot enough, this caramelization will not occur and the dosa will stick. But be careful; if the pan is too hot, the Adai will burn before the inside is cooked.
How do I season my pan?
To season your cast iron or carbon steel pan, coat it with a low smoke point oil like flax seed oil or sesame oil and get it smoking. Once it is smoking, cool it off and then wipe it down with a paper towel. Repeat this process 3 times. This polymerizes a not-stick coating of oil on the surface of the pan.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.