Kara Adai

Adai (mixed lentils crepe) is a traditional protein-rich dosa prepared using rice and assorted lentils. Kara adai is a complete meal when served with aviyal as adai is made of assorted lentils & aviyal with medley of vegetables. Hence we can serve adai aviyal frequently to kids & old people to prevent the vitamin & mineral deficiency. 

img_47621 Kara Adai
Kara adai with avial & jaggery

We can prepare adai crispy as liked by children or soft for elders and serve it with coconut chutney, pickle, avial, or mor-kuzhambu for breakfast or dinner.

img_0550 Kara Adai
Adai with mor-kuzhambu

Health benefits of adai:

It is a good idea for the vegetarians/ vegans to take a mixture of various lentils along with rice to get a full spectrum of amino acids equivalent to the animal source of protein. You may refer the site for American Institute for Cancer Research to know more about the benefits of including lentils in our diet. Now the recipe for kara adai or paruppu adai is as below:

Kara adai recipe:

Serves: 30 adai


  1. Idli Rice – 1 cup (200 g)
  2. Green gram (paasi paruppu) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
  3. Red Lentil (Masoor Dal) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
  4. Bengal gram (Kadalai paruppu)- 1/2 cup (100 g)
  5. Black gram (Ulundhu)- 1/2 cup (100 g)
  6. Red chillies – 10 Nos.
  7. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  8. Shallots (chinna vengayam) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
  9. Drumstick leaves (murungai ilai) – a handful
  10. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  11. Salt – 2 tsp
  12. Asafoetida (perungaya thool)- 1/4 tsp
  13. Coldpressed coconut oil for drawing adai

How to prepare adai batter:

  1. Wash rice & lentils and soak them together for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Wash drumstick leaves, chop shallots finely & keep them aside.
  3. First we need to grind ginger & red chillies and then add soaked rice & lentils* into the mixer-grinder to grind into a slightly coarse batter by adding little water.
  4. Add turmeric powder, salt & asafoetida and mix them well.
  5. Add chopped onions & drumstick leaves to the batter.
  6. Pour adequate water to get the right consistency for drawing adai.
  7. Transfer the batter to a canister & refrigerate it for a couple of days.

How to prepare kara adai:

  1. Heat dosa griddle in medium flame.
  2. When it is hot, reduce flame to low and smear the griddle with oil.
  3. Pour batter using a ladle at the center of griddle and spread out in circular motion with the desired thickness.
  4. Sprinkle oil over adai and around the edge.
  5. Increase flame to medium & cook adai until you notice the change of color (or when its bottom turns golden).
  6. Flip adai using dosa spatula and cook the other side also.
  7. Remove adai from griddle and repeat from step#9 to prepare as many adai as required.
  8. Refrigerate remaining batter for later use up to 3 days.
  9. Serve adai with a dollop of butter, jaggery and aviyal.

*I blitzed lentils & rice in 2 batches, first batch with chillies & ginger but you can grind them in one shot if you are using wet grinder.

Adai making tips:

  • To reduce the soaking time, people tend to soak grains or cereals in hot water. But it is not a good practice to soak them in hot water if you are intended to prepare a batter; they shall be soaked in hot water only when you plan to cook them.
  • If lentils are not soaked completely, you are most likely to notice the raw smell of lentils in the adai even when you cook in low flame for long time.
  • You can also add red gram or thuvaram paruppu (half cup or 100 g); I did not include this as I don’t want to increase the quantity.
  • If you are taking drumstick leaves for the first time, it is better to saute them in a teaspoon of oil for improved digestion before adding into batter.
  • If you don’t like the pungent flavour of shallots, you can saute them before adding into batter.
  • As lentils are not easily digestible I have added ginger.
  • You can also add chopped coconut pieces or grated coconut.
  • You may use sesame oil instead of coconut oil.

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