Healthy Dosa Recipe | Protein rich Adai recipe
Hailing from the Southern parts of India, I cannot help but love Dosas. I loved all the varieties there is to a dosa. But my father on the other hand, had a special corner for another kind of thick crepe known as "Adai". These do not require fermentation and can be made in few hours. My mother never added coconut to the adai(s) but I prefer them with coconut. This variety tends to be a little heavier than regular dosas due to its protein content which is marginally more than regular dosas.
Healthy Dosa Recipe | Protein rich Adai recipe
But today, for this post, I am going to elaborate on an even more nutritious and protein rich adais. I started making this on and off about 3 years ago when I first saw this recipe in Saffron Hut's blog. It was (and is) such an ingenious idea - the kind that makes you wonder "Why didn't I think of this before?".  Needless to say, owing to high fiber and protein content, these are extremely filling. I usually start feeling full with just 1 whereas with regular dosas I would have gorged myself to around 3 happily in matter of minutes.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 5 people
  • Yields: Around 7 cups of batter. The batter approximately makes 15 Adais
    For the Batter
  • 1 cup medium Brown Rice
  • 1 cup 15 Bean Mix (see Tips)
  • 1/2 cup Urad Dal, whole, skinned
    Seasoning (can be easily adapted to your tastes)
  • 2-3 dried Red Chilli
  • 1" Ginger, peeled
  • large pinch Asafoetida
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut (frozen works too)
  • 1-2 green chilies (optional)
  • few Curry leaves to taste
  • few Cilantro leaves to taste
  • Salt to taste
1. 15 Bean Mix: My packet contains the following mix of dried beans, peas, and lentils : Northern, Pinto, large Lima, Yellow eye bean, garbanzo, baby Lima, Green Split Pea, Kidney, cranberry bean, small White, Pink bean, small red, yellow split pea, lentil, navy, white kidney, black bean.
1. Soak the beans and lentils(dal) together in a bowl and the brown rice in another bowl, overnight.
2. The next day, drain the water
3. and drop a part of beans mixture to a food processor/mixie.
4. Add the coconut and other seasoning ingredients
5. and grind it to a coarse paste. Grind the rest of the beans mixture too and add all the batter to a bowl
6. Next drain the brown rice and add it to the same processor (no need to clean the processor before adding the rice)
7. Grind to a paste.
8. Add this along with the beans batter.
9. Mix well until combined. The batter is a little thicker than regular Dosa batter or Idli batter - or should I say, a little more coarse in texture. You can add a little more water to bring it a pourable consistency if too thick.
10. At this point you can also add some finely chopped onions to the batter. I set aside some batter for myself to which I added thinly sliced chillies and some additional curry leaves to the batter before making dosas.
11. Heat up a non stick or cast iron skillet. Remember that a cast iron skillet will need more oil for greasing while non stick you can get away with very little.  On low-medium heat, I add few drops of oil and use a half cut onion to grease the skillet.
12. Now drop about 1/4 - 1/2 cup batter in the center.
13. Slowly make a circle with your spatula
14. to make about 8-10" Adai. Usually it tends to be a little thicker than regular dosas but you can make it thin too. The thin ones will be crispier than thicker ones.
15. Increase the heat to med-high, drizzle some oil (I used coconut oil)  on all the sides, and let it cook for about 5-6 minutes or until you find that you can easily lift the dosa using a spatula.
16. When you see that the bottom looks brownish red, its done. Flip to the other side and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Remove and set aside. Repeat with rest of the batter.
17. This one is a little thinner (and spread larger)  than the previous one and is more crispier.
I served this with some hot Avial - a Kerala stew made with mixed vegetables and coconut Healthy Dosa Recipe | Protein rich Adai recipe These are very filling and nutritious. Even 2 dosas feel like you just consumed 5!. Enjoy them hot from the skillet - cos they taste their best then. Healthy Dosa Recipe | Protein rich Adai recipe

Recipe Reference

recipe idea from saffron hut

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By Soni on Feb 13, 2018

This looks so healthy, great for gluten free vegetarians, packed with protien, can't wait to try it out. Where can I get the pack of 15 beans.

We get these in all our local grocery (US) --DK

By Aneesha on Jan 27, 2015

Hi, can I omit the coconut as i am eating a low fat diet? Thx

Definitely. --DK

By dina on Apr 25, 2014

It looks so crispy and yummy. i have soaked lentils and brown rice as per your recipe today. hope I'll get the same results.!

By Fatima Pais on Feb 26, 2014

Can we contribute recipes as well?

By Vidhya Iyer on Feb 25, 2014

Love it. So super healthy Dosa. Will try to get atleast few of those bean mix and make this.

By Alka on Jun 15, 2012

:roll: :-D 8) :) :-P Great work love your recipes n tips

By Radha on Jun 14, 2012

why urad dal is always skinned? the whole urad is really black. why skinned urad is used for dosa, adai etc.? is the skin not good for us? or people get put off by the color?

By Radha on Jun 14, 2012

some people put a hole in the middle of adai. is it for even cooking? @sag, really? no indigestion? maybe the place i had it at didn't make it right. or maybe you need to make adai with the correct dal. which dals were commonly used for adai? yes i have heard that you have to throw away soaking water. but my concern is we are also losing vitamins too.

Hole in the middle is for even cooking. Indigestion is dependent from ppl to ppl - I think some ppl do get it from lentils. You can refer my Traditional Adai Recipe post for details on lentils ( I have put a link in this post too for the original version). Yes, you do lose some of the nutrients but its a small price to pay when you are also discarding loads of indigestable sugar, dirt, fertilizers and other dirt which gets removed after such prolonged soaking. If you are worried about minerals so much, simply pick over the beans to remove stones and dirt, then rinse thoroughly - multiple times even - to get as much dirt out as possible. Then do a prolonged cooking method which helps to remove the indigestible sugars - Fill with cold water, put over a low flame, and by the time the water comes to a simmer, the beans will have soaked up enough to prevent later bursting, as long as a slow simmer is maintained. This slow cooking takes around 3 hours.

By sag on Jun 13, 2012

@radha, Even i heard about indigestion ,but no one in my family or me never had it. This a staple in our house This a one of trademark recipes of tamil brahmins , its made with ghee which aid for digestion and good for kids. Next time you make this use ghee.

By Radha on Jun 12, 2012

why adai has a reputation for indigestion? i was eating adai at a restaurant, and my parents told me no don't eat it, adai gives indigestion. i thought whatever it looks good to me. well, they were right, i couldn't digest it and was in pain. so how to prevent this?

I have heard that it causes indigestion for some people - I think may be due to lentils? Hence usually this is best consumed for breakfast or at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. To aid digestion, next time add in some Ginger and methi seeds to the batter - it will help in better digestion --DK

By Radha on Jun 12, 2012

when we drain the soaking water for the beans don't we lose nutrients, or by draining the water we get rid of the things that give gas? or was this water saved and disinfected with some garlic?

Soaking the beans makes them more digestible by way of releasing indigestible sugars (that cause Gas). So this soaking water contains these elements that you would have to drain (which is one of the main reasons you soak them in the first place) --DK

By bergamot on Jun 12, 2012

the adai looks great and really healthy too

By sreelu on Jun 12, 2012

oh god this looks so healthy and delicious, will try it

By sag on Jun 12, 2012

i also prepare same way with small variations.. my recipe

By GoJingalala on Jun 12, 2012

Hi DK, We make them just with idli rice, urad dal, tuvar dal, and bengal dal. Also I add coconut once the batter is ground. But I have to try out with these beans. My husband likes Adai so much. Should surprise him with these beans one day.

By Priya on Jun 11, 2012

Wat a healthy and nutritious adai.

By Divya on Jun 11, 2012

I've been looking for adai recipe since some time now.Will check out the link in this post first.The adais have come out so crisp!