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Recipe of the Month: Adai with Fresh Cilantro and Mint Chutney

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January 26, 2012

By Sophie Rahman, cooking instructor,

Adais are pancakes made with lentils, rice and spices that can be served with any type of chutney, usually for breakfast or for tea. Adai batter does not require fermentation. Thanks to Sophie Rahman for her wonderful demonstration at our January 26 Vancouver potluck.

Adai ingredients

  • cup urad dal (White Gram Lentil split)
  • cup chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal split)
  • cup toor dal (Pigeon Pea)
  • cup moong dal (Yellow Mung Beans split)
  • 1 cup long-grain rice or basmati
  • 3 red chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • cup ground fresh coconut
  • teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Soak the urad dal, chana dal, toor dal, moong dal and rice with red pepper and cumin in 4 cups of water for 3 hours.
  2. Drain the liquid from the soaked ingredients and keep aside 2 cups of the liquid for later use.
  3. In a food processor, grind the drained soaked lentils and rice along with the whole chili, cumin and fennel seeds to a thick paste. Then gradually add the water, ending with a thick smooth batter.
  4. Then add fresh coconut, asafoetida, turmeric, salt, onion and cilantro to the ground mixture.
  5. Mix all the ingredients well. Now the batter is ready for making adai.
  6. To prepare the griddle, heat the griddle and sprinkle a few drops of water. If it is sizzles, the griddle is ready for use. Spread a very little oil on the griddle. When the oil smokes, lower the heat.
  7. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter and spread quickly using a continuous spiral motion, spreading it outwards, making it as thin as possible until it measures about 6 inches.
  8. Make a hole in the center. Pour a teaspoon of oil in the center and around the edges. Cook till golden brown in color and crunchy.
  9. Turn the other side and fry till golden and crisp.
  10. Serve hot with chutney.
Fresh Cilantro and Mint Chutney
  • 2 cups washed and chopped fresh cilantro (or you can use a combination of cilantro and mint)
  • 1 to 2 Serrano chilies (remove seeds if less heat is desired)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • cup freshly ground coconut
  • 1/3 cup roasted chana dalia* or 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
*Roasted Black Split Chickpea
  1. Place all the above ingredients except salt in a blender.
  2. Add 1 cup of hot water to grind ingredients to a smooth paste.
  3. Add salt to taste and mix well.
Makes 2 cups.

Going Coconuts! Sophie shared lots of good tips on choosing and prepping fresh coconuts during her potluck demo. When buying, she looks for any signs of splitting, for mold on the husk or eyes and shakes the coconut to ensure it has lots of fresh coconut water. For prepping, she punctures the eyes and drains the coconut water from the whole nut, cracks the husk and then bakes it in the oven at 350 F. for 15 minutes. This loosens the husk from the meat, which she then pries out. She uses a peeler to remove the brown skin, shreds the meat in her food processor and stores it in a container in her freezer, taking out only as much as needed for each use.

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