Thavalai Adai | Adai | Lentil Pancakes


Adai is a healthy, protein rich & nutrient rich tiffin ( breakfast, dinner or snack) made of mixed rice, lentils & spices like red chilli and ginger. Adai is popularly paired with aviyal and is a perfect combo but also is served with jaggery, idli powder and chutney. Adai dosa can be made thick or thin, soft or crisp, all to suit your taste. I love this slow cooked thin and crispy version. It’s like biting into a vada but then the soft inside melts in your mouth. Makes me drool just thinking about it 🤤🤤…

I remember amma telling me that Adai as dosai is a more recent thing and it’s traditionally just Adai /Thavalai Adai where adai is patted on the tava and not spread with a ladle. So the batter is made pretty thick but also loose enough so it can be spread with hand by patting. It is usually made thick, almost like pancake thickness. It’s then cooked in low flame with generous amount of oil so it can crisp up on the outside but get cooked and soft on the inside

Once the adais are patted on the tava and few small holes are made on the top and oil is poured in these holes and sides, then the oil gets to work to making crispy, crunchy and soft adais.

Also the original recipe calls for Toor dal, Channa dal and rice. But over time different sprouted, whole and unhusked lentils got included in the batter. Each variation has different taste and texture to it and is unique in its own way. Here, I am sharing the best adais I have made over the years that is my mom approved as well. To top it all, my kids who are die hard thin crispy dosa fans love this specific adai.

I added raw rice, idli rice, channa dal and toor dal primarily and little bit of moong dal, whole urad dal with husk and channa/garbanzo with red chillies and ginger. Coconut can also be added during grinding or later.

Are Pesarettu and Adai the same ?

No Pesarattu and Adai are very different from each other. Even though they both are lentil based dosa variety the ingredients are different. Pesarattu is made with green gram batter, and Adai has mix of dals and rice. Pesarattu is originally from old Andhra Pradesh, India and Adai originates from TN region.

Pesarattu is also popularly searved with upma – called as Pesarattu upma and Adai is best eaten with Aviyal or simple jaggery.

Adai Dosa | Tavala Adai

Popular and nutritious pancake made out of lentil and rice served with sweet Jaggery and butter or popularly with Aviyal.
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword dosa
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
resting time 5 hours
Servings 7
Author ramyaanagu


  • 1.5 cups Idli rice
  • 1/2 cup regular rice
  • 3/4th cup Toor dal
  • 1/2 cup channa dal
  • 1/4 cup urad dal
  • 1/4 cup Moong dal
  • 4 tbs chole/channa
  • ginger small piece
  • red chilies to taste
  • 1 cup butter milk
  • 1/2 tsp pepper corn


  • Wash and Soak rice, all the dals with red chillies and ginger for 3-5 hours.
  • After throughly washing the rice and lentils, add water to almost half way above the rice and lentils.
  • The water is full of nutrition and you don't want to drain the nutritious water after it is soaked.
  • Put the mix in 2 batches in to a blender and Grind to a coarse consistency ( not too soft not too grainy).
  • Add the water the mix soaked in as needed.
  • Add salt and asafoetida and mix well.
  • Traditionally Adai batter is not fermented and can be used right away. So Adai batter is ready for use right away.
  • I do ferment mine because that is how I like it.
  • Add chopped onions, coriander leaves and curry leaves right before making the Adai.

How to make Adai –

  • Heat a tava and apply oil to it. Slowly pour in the batter and shape it as you would make for dosa but thicker. Make a few small holes around the adai and pour oil to it to get it cooked.
  • Cook in low to medium flame to allow for it to cook completely.
  • Once brown turn to the other side.
  • Serve hot with powdered jaggery and butter.


  • Drumstick leaves, methi/fenugreek leaves, onions, carrots are all wonderful topping or can me mixed in to the batter before making the adais.
  • This is different from pesarettu.

If you end up trying this recipe drop a word to let me know how you liked it. You can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes and food photography.

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One thought

  1. Das klingt köstlich, bitte bitte auch in Gramm Angaben!
    Viele Grüße,

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