A Crispy, Golden, Delicious Dosa

The traditional Adai Dosa is served with coconut and vegetable stew, called avial, and is one of the classic breakfast combinations in South India.

Talk about South Indian delicacies and one of the first things that comes to mind is dosa. Crispy and healthy Indian pancake is what we call a perfect meal that can be devoured at any time of the day. And those savory sides in sambar and coconut chutneys make the dosas even more desirable.

So on Monday mornings, when you’re feeling a bit blue, a nice crisp Adai Dosa, a kaapi filter glass and a side of chutney will recharge your batteries. Dosas are South Indian-style pancakes made from rice batter and served with different chutneys or bhajis. Adai Dosa is a twist on the traditional dosa. A South Indian savory pancake recipe prepared primarily with a combination of lentils and spices.

It is a healthy and protein-packed dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast in the morning with coconut chutney. Unlike traditional dosa recipes that are thinner and made with rice and urad dal, Adai dosa is thicker and heavier with rice and a combination of spiced lentils. Also, unlike a dosa, adai does not go through the fermentation process. This delicious crepe can be made crispy or soft, depending on your preference.

Noted food historian KT Achaya from Tamil Nadu says in his 2003 book, titled The Story of Our Food, that dosa (like dosai) has been in Tamil culture since the 1st century AD He believes it was part of the ‘territory Old Tamil’ which includes Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep Island, and only parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, as dictated by the Sangam literature, the oldest form of Tamil literature available.

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Here is the Adai Dosa recipe.


To soak:

  • 1 cup sona masuri rice or dosa rice
  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • 2 tablespoons of urad dal
  • 2 tablespoons moong dal
  • ¼ teaspoon methi or fenugreek seeds
  • 5 dried red Kashmir chillies
  • Other ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon leaves (coarsely chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin/jeera
  • pinch of hing/asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • oil for roasting


  • Put all the necessary ingredients to soak in water for 5 hours.
  • Mix to a slightly coarse paste adding water as needed.
  • Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of onion, 2 tablespoons of coriander, 1 tablespoon of leaves and ½ teaspoon of ginger paste.
  • Also add 1 teaspoon of cumin, a pinch of hing, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Mix well making sure everything is well combined.
  • Check that the consistency flows thick, add more water if necessary.
  • Also, pour a ladleful of batter into a hot tawa and gently spread it out.
  • Pour a teaspoon of oil over adai.
  • Let cook over medium-low heat.
  • Now flip the adai over and cook both sides by pressing gently.
  • Finally, fold the adai dosa and serve with green chutney or coconut chutney.

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