Bottle gourd Adai

It is a common tendency of people here that they pamper their guests whom they respect the most with sumptuous feasts to express their special affinity towards them. So the way food offered to guests is obviously regarded as a scale to measure their closeness. During my childhood days, I often found people getting offended during family functions, particularly weddings, as they felt humiliated at the banquet hall (pandhi) which incidentally became the starting point (place) of most of the family feuds. Nowadays to avoid such unpleasant situations, people hire hosts/ hostesses who give an artificial smile at every guest, treat them all with due respect, and eventually ensure the equality.

kural-virunthu Bottle gourd Adai

Thiruvalluvar, a Tamil sage, wrote about the importance of hospitality 2000 years ago in Thirukkural, the greatest compilation of couplets advocating moral values, which is relevant even today, and I quote one of his couplets as above. He compared the heart of guests with anicham flower (Scarlet Pimpernel) as the guest gets humiliated just like the wildflower closes up in bad weather.

anicham Bottle gourd Adai
Anicham poo

Nevertheless, we all enjoy the pampering at every stage of our life showered by our relatives when we visit them. Women in our family usually overindulge us by saying “innum konjam” (meaning little/few more) while serving us their specialty dishes. Bottle gourd adai (savory pancakes) is one of my aunts’ signature dishes, she never lets us leave her home without indulging in her soft spicy sorakkai adai served with creamy tangy avial.

bga-1 Bottle gourd Adai
Suraikai adai with aviyal & karupatti

Bottle gourd recipes:

Every Siddha/ Ayurveda practitioner praises humble bottle gourds to the skies for their excellent detoxification properties. It is one of the most commonly available vegetables here and may be used for making juice, or added into a bowl of salad, or used for making thayir pachadi, kootu, sabzi, curry, etc.

sorakkai-recipes Bottle gourd Adai
Bottle gourd recipes

Bottle gourd is also added into adai batter for making it soft & spongy. Generally, I blitz all the ingredients in one shot to prepare my batter, but my aunt gradually adds every ingredient into the wet grinder at different stages to get the perfect texture both for crispy adai & also for soft adai. Now I followed my aunt’s recipe to a T, and prepared bottle gourd adai as below:

Bottle gourd Adai Recipe

bga-2 Bottle gourd Adai
Sorakkai adai with butter


Idli rice (parboiled rice)1 cup (approx. 200 grams)
Bengal gram (chickpeas)1/2 cup
Black gram 1/4 cup
Red chillies10
Diced bottle gourdas desired
Shallots (sambar vengayam)200 grams
Chopped coriander leavesas desired
Chopped coconutas desired
Curry leavesa few sprigs
Turmeric powder1 tap
Asafoetida powder1/4 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Coconut oil for cooking adai
adai-ingredients Bottle gourd Adai
Sorakkai adai ingredients

Bottle gourd Adai making:

  • Wash & soak rice & Bengal gram together for 3 hours.
  • Rinse & soak black grams separately for 1 hour.
  • Turn on the wet grinder and add broken red chillies & chopped ginger into it.
  • Add diced bottle gourd and then add soaked rice & Bengal gram little by little enabling to smash the bottle gourd, ginger & red chillies & grind them along with rice.
  • Now add all the remaining rice & Bengal gram and let the grinder run for few minutes (5-7 min).
  • Finally add the soaked black gram into the grinder.
  • Turn off the wet grinder within 3-4 minutes before the batter becomes smooth.
  • Transfer the batter to a canister.
  • Add chopped shallots, coconut, coriander leaves, curry leaves, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder & salt into the batter and mix well.
  • Pour the water used for rinsing drum into the batter to get the desired consistency.
  • Now heat a cast iron griddle in medium flame and prepare adai as shown below.
  • Serve hot sorakkai adai with butter, avial & karuppatti (palm jaggery) or vellam (cane jaggery).
  • Refrigerate the remaining batter immediately after use (avoiding the fermentation to take place) for 24-36 hours.
sorakkai-adai Bottle gourd Adai
Suraikai adai batter


  • If we add large quantity of bottle gourd, adai becomes too soft that it gets stuck to the griddle. I used about one-third of bottle gourd for 200 grams of rice.
bga-4 Bottle gourd Adai
  • When we grind soaked black gram along with rice, it changes the texture of adai, so my aunt adds them only at the end as coarsely ground black gram lends a delicious texture to adai. You can notice small chunky black gram in the adai shown below.
bga-3 Bottle gourd Adai
  • Generally adai goes well with sour avial and mor-kuzhambu, so when we make avial for adai we used to add sour curd lavishly to make it even more tangy.
morklmbu-main-scaled Bottle gourd Adai
Mor-kuzhambu, a delicious side dish for adai

94 comments on “Bottle gourd AdaiAdd yours →

Comments are closed. You can not add new comments.

  1. That’s a very healthy adai recipe, I make adai with a whole lot of veggies like carrots, cabbage and peas, but have not yet tried with bottle gourd. Will have to try this delicious version! ?

    1. Oh! But I never tried it with those veggies you have mentioned here, I will keep this in my mind when I make adai next time.
      Thank you so much for sharing healthy tips.

  2. It looks delicious! I usually use bottle gourd in soup. Today I learn to use it in such a nice pancake~ Thank you! Can’t wait to try the recipe!

  3. Truely said, no where in the world as we treat them in India with respect and next only to God!! Good way of sneaking lauki in kid’s meals.Very nutritious adai recipe .

    1. Yes, our ancestors had the wisdom to know that it is possible to lead a peaceful life only when we respect the people around us.
      Thanks Swati.

  4. (EN) You added something special this time to something already delicious: a so ancient text . I really appreciate you mentioned the Thirukkural.?
    (IT) Hai aggiunto qualcosa di speciale a qualcosa di già delizioso: un testo così antico. Apprezzo molto che hai menzionato il Thirukkural ?

    1. I’m so glad that you liked this post, and I think you are a hyper polyglot, knowing two languages that are worlds apart. πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much.

  5. I could eat three of these right now. They look so yummy! I had never heard about Bottle gourd before. Now, I am so curious to try this vegetable. Wonder if I can get some here in Quebec? I”ll look for it. Thanks Megala. I love it when you give us information about the ingredients and your culture.

  6. That’s really something interesting adai with bottlegourd, we too make adai (we call it Attu) but never added bottlegourd. This is one of the best way to have bottlegourd in the form of adai??

    1. Ah! I guess it would have taken you to your school days. πŸ™‚ Thanks Subbashini!

  7. Megala, I absolutely loved your aunt’s recipe with the sequence of grinding etc.. will definitely try it!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Oh, family feuds over hospitality, how strange we are eh? I remember happened pretty often in our family too when I was a little girl ?
    These savory pancakes looks so delicious! I’ve never tried bottle gourd but must be really delicious ? ?

    1. Yes, it sounded strange to me when I was young. It is really hard to explain the human emotions even today. πŸ™‚
      Thanks much, Ribana.

  9. One of my neighbors grows these on amazing trellises. I can see them as I take my morning walks. Now I know what delicious recipes they might be making with them.

    1. Yes, they grow on beautiful vines with huge leaves and papery white flowers.
      I used to chew the raw vegetable just like a cucumber during my childhood days. πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!

    1. You are most welcome! I’m so glad to share one of our heirloom recipes here. πŸ™‚

  10. Megala, what a lovely recipe. In Gujarat, we make bottle gourd theplas or grated bottle gourd mixed in the dough with spices and then cooked into a roti, but I must try these pancakes!

    1. I like methi thepla, but I never heard of bottle gourd thepla, and that sounds wonderful.
      Thanks much for the inspiration.

    1. Aw! I’ve used those images of anicham flower from Google. πŸ™‚
      Thanks, Indira, for stopping by.

    1. Yes, our adai is similar to marathi dhirde, and adding bottle gourd makes this dish even more healthy & palatable.
      Thank you.

  11. This looks nice. ? Will try it some day. We make dosa out of snake gourd seeds. It’s usually had in place of appalams. (Not very crispy but tastes good with rice and curd or sambar). ?

    1. Oh! Interesting! πŸ™‚ Never heard of this before, will definitely check this out.
      Thank you so much.

  12. This recipe makes me feel hungry ? it makes me nostalgic for a similar Korean style savory pancake that my mother made during my childhood. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Oh! Thats nice. I’m happy that this post evokes your childhood memories. πŸ™‚
      Thank you!

    1. Yes, it really puts pressure on the hosts to keep their guests satisfied.
      Thanks so much.

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: