When Paji wanted a nice South Indian breakfast and I did not have any freshly ground batter, I quickly made up this recipe. Much to my delight, the adais turned out even better than I had anticipated. Paji absolutely loved the flavor and especially the crunchy, crispy texture of the cornmeal similar to the fresh ground batter! Flavorful adais take just minutes to prepare. The combination of grains (cornmeal) and legumes/beans (urad and besan) provides abundant protein, vitamins and minerals which makes these adais not only good, but good for you also. Enjoy!
Finely chopped onions, green chiles, coriander leaves (cilantro) etc may be added to the batter and made into vegetable adai.
2 cups Coarsely ground Yellow Cornmeal
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Urad Flour
1/2 cup Besan (Chick Pea Flour)
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Red Chile Flakes
1 pinch Asafetida
Oil for cooking
Combine the flours, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl. Stir well to mix.
Add about 3 cups of fresh water and stir well to form a smooth batter; an immersion or stick blender is great for this task.
Set aside for at least 15 minutes to hydrate the flours. Alternately, the batter can be made overnight and stored in the fridge until needed.
Heat a cast iron griddle (tava) or skillet rubbed lightly with a bit of oil. When the griddle sizzles if a tiny drop of water is flicked on it, it is ready.
You might want to closely monitor and adjust the heat throughout cooking to maintain a hot but not burning griddle. Too hot a griddle will not allow sufficient time to cook the adais; it will also ruin the seasoning of the pan.
Make a mini adai to test the griddle and batter; if it cooks to your satisfaction continue with making regular sized adais. If the batter is hard to spread and produces too thick adais, add a little water to thin the batter.
Pour about one or two ladles of batter on the griddle and spread quickly into a moderately thin (adai are not paper thin like dosa) circle almost to the edge of the pan. Make a little hole in the middle with the edge of the spatula.
Drizzle a few drops of oil in the little hole in the middle and around the edges and cook until top is slightly dry and changes color.
Using a thin spatula, loosen the adai and flip over to cook the uncooked side.
Adai should be slightly crispy and golden brown when cooked.
Remove to a plate and continue making more adais as needed.
Serve hot with fresh unsalted butter, Indian brown sugar, pickles, chutneys, jams, etc as desired. Aviyal or Tangy Red Bell Pepper Chutney is a great side for these adais. Or roll up with a favorite filling such as the Potato Curry.
Save any extra batter in the fridge; it will last for about a week.