Friday, September 19, 2014

Adai - A Basic Version and Kunukku with Left Over Batter

"You do not have a recipe for adai", my daughter told me over a skype chat. "I have, and here is the link", I said in my defense and sent her the link to paruppu adai. "Oh, but this is such a fancy one, I do not know most of those ingredients besides their name, isn't there a simple version, a normal adai?" Now, that was an eye-opener. I used to think it was not of much interest to read something so regular. But, did I even forget that the very idea of writing this blog initially, was to aid her to make her meals with ease and hassle free.
I make adai, as many of us do. I have thrown in ingredients on a whim, I have added every vegetable that would work in the mix and also specially ground extra batter to make the favourite snacks with left over batter. Recently, I even achieved making the ready to make powdered mix for my husband. Yet, I did not think, it was good enough to write a post. I think, now.
Adai is such a versatile dish that it can absorb any grain, millet and legumes you fancy and still turn out good. The simplest version is with rice and fewer legumes, spiced with chillis and if you like it, ginger and made in a thick crepe. Often a blob of butter and a spoon of powdered jaggery will suffice as accompaniments for this. Pair it with avial, you have eaten a heavy meal.
I like them thick and the batter patted by hand on the iron skillet, gingelly oil/ ghee smeared a little generously and cooked until golden on one side and just about turning golden on the other side after flipping. My husband likes his with the watered down batter made into crepes that are not so crisp. Thus the adai can be custom made to suit your preferences.


Makes 15 thick adais (or fewer adais and a left over batter for kunukku)
1&1/2 cup idli rice
1/3 cup urad dhal
1/3 cup thuvar dhal
1/3 cup channa dhal
5 dry red chillis
3 fresh green chillis
1 and 1/2 inches piece ginger (optional)
Salt as required
Oil for cooking the crepes

Wash and rise well the rice and lentils clean. Soak them together in some water for about four hours.
Grind the soaked mix along with the chillis to a coarse and slightly thick batter. Add the salt and mix well.
You may adjust the water to get the desired consistency. If you plan to keep the batter for kunukku later, it is advisable to have a thick batter that has a dropping consistency. Keep aside the required quantity for the kunukku and adjust water to the rest of the batter.
Adai can be made soon after not waiting for the batter to ferment though personally I prefer that a wait for a few hours gives soft adais.
When ready to cook, place a heavy griddle/ skillet on fire. When the skillet is hot, scoop out a handful of batter and drop it on the skillet, pat it out in a thick circular crepe with your hand or spread using a ladle.
Smear a generous amount of oil around the adai. Also make small perforations in few spots using the sharp edge of the flipper and add some oil there. Cook the adai on a medium flame until the bottom side is golden. Flip to the other side and cook for a few minutes.

Serve hot with jaggery and butter or with a vegetable stew like avial.

Kunukku with left over batter:

Serves 2 people sumptuously for an evening snack.

1 cup left over adai batter
2 tablespoons dry and coarsely ground rice (ground to semolina consistency)
Two sprigs curry leaves
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1/3 cups chopped shallots or red onions (optional)
Oil for deep frying

To serve with:
Coriander and mint chutney/ coconut chutney
Tomato sauce

Add the rice powder to the adai batter and mix. Adjust the rice powder to make a dough that can be held with the hand and dropped in the oil.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the above.
Heat oil in a pan and when the oil is hot, take a chunk of batter, pinch out small portions and drop them gently in the oil.
Deep fry in small batches until they are fried until golden and done. Remove them from the oil with a slotted ladle, draining as much oil possible.
Transfer to a dish lined with kitchen tissues to drain anymore excess oil.
Repeat until entire batter is done.
Serve with any chutney and sauce.

Ideally for kunukku, a mix of raw rice and idli rice soaked and ground with the dhals in a 2:1 (rice:dhal) ratio works well.
I keep some stored Kunukku mix in my pantry to make kunukku for an occasional evening snack. Today's kunukku is a softer version of the earlier crisp snack.


  1. I love ada and kunuku looks tooo good. yumm..

  2. Lataji thanks for the recipe. I make pesarattu more often than adai simply because it involves so many ingredients but I guess making a powder ahead of time would make this recipe a quick go to dish. I love the sound of the kunukku, when I do make the adais I'll definitely try it too. Do share your adai powder recipe too. Your daughter sounds like me trying to simply everything, thanks to her we got this recipe :)

  3. We make a small hole in the center and put some oil into it, the logic I was told is that since it is a thicker dosa, this will cook it in the ccenter,as the oil around the sides is not enough


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Lata Raja.