Adai or adai dosa is a common breakfast or dinner item popularly prepared in the southern states of India. This crepe or pancake like dish is characterized by a golden brown color, a crispy texture, and aromatic flavor reminiscent of the ingredients used in the adai recipe. This dish, many historians believe, was developed in the kitchens of South India probably in the Neo-Dravidian era as a variation of the more popular rice dosa. Though, adai is a part of south Indian cuisine, similar versions of the dish can be seen in other parts of India. It is also known as yadani in some parts of India.
Ingredients used for preparing Adai Dosa
Adai is traditionally prepared using a mixture of lentils and pulses along with salt and green chilies for taste. Adai recipe may also include other ingredients like rice, fenugreek seeds, asafetida, cumin seeds, garlic, chopped onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc. to add flavor and texture to the adai dosa. Though, traditionally the proportion of lentils used is 1:1:1:1 of black gram dal (urad dal), green gram dal (mung dal), yellow gram dal (tuvar dal), and Bengal gram dal (chana dal), several regional and familial variations exist. One can also find recipes that use other pulses and beans like soya beans and split black eyed peas to prepare adai.
Methods of Preparing Adai Dosa
Adai is basically a type of pancake which is prepared by soaking the mixture of pulses for few hours followed by grinding them into a fine batter of dropping consistency. Other ingredients used in the adai recipe may be added at this stage. Unlike dosa – the other popular form of pancakes from this region, adai dosa batter need not be fermented. The batter is spread on a girdle to form a thin pancake, oil is drizzled over it to add crispiness and also prevent the pancake from sticking to the girdle. Adai is usually cooked on one side till it gets a golden brown color and on the other side to add crispiness. The quality of adai is determined by the fineness of the batter, the temperature of the girdle, and most importantly the proportions of the pulses used in the adai recipe. The batter must have a smooth and dropping consistency and the girdle must be heated enough to cause water droplets to sputter. If the batter is not smooth enough, the adai dosa will get a grainy texture, where if the girdle is not hot enough, the adai will stick to the girdle and break into pieces when flipping it.
Tips for Serving Adai Dosa
Adai is normally served as a breakfast item, though; some families may also have it as a dinner dish. Adai dosa is usually served with an array of accompaniments like ghee (clarified butter), butter, coconut chutney, garlic chutney, etc.
Nutritive Value of Adai Dosa
Adai is considered as one of the most nutritious breakfast items from the south Indian cooking style. Due to the combination of pulses used in the adai recipe, the dosa is a good source of proteins and antioxidant nutrients.