About This Recipe
Growing up in Chennai, in South India, the loose canopy of the moringa tree was a familiar sight in my neighborhood. One of them grew right in our backyard. While today moringa is globally hailed as a superfood, in India, this tree has always been a source of familiar, comforting ingredients. The pods or drumsticks impart flavor to South Indian sambar, the flowers are used to make a powder for immunity and gut-health, and moringa leaves are added to stir-fries and lentil stews. I recommend adding the greens to this protein-rich adai for some delicious, wholesome crepes.
- 1 cup (200 g) Ponni or any short-grain raw rice, soaked for 4 hours
- 1 cup (200 g) idli rice or any short- or medium-grain parboiled rice, soaked for 4 hours
- 1 cup (200 g) chana dal (split Bengal gram), soaked for 4 hours
- 1 cup (200 g) toor dal (skinned, split pigeon peas), soaked for 4 hours
- 1 Tbsp (9 g) urad dal (skinned, split black gram), soaked for 4 hours
- 1 Tbsp (10 g) yellow mung dal (skinned, split green gram), soaked for 4 hours
- 3 dry red chiles
- 1 Tbsp (25 g) grated coconut (optional)
- 7 oz (200 ml) water for blending
- 1 cup (50 g) chopped fresh moringa leaves or 2 tsp moringa powder
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 Tbsp (25 g) salt
- Cold-pressed sesame oil or a cold-pressed neutral oil
- 1 medium onion, cut in half to season the pan
Step 1Drain the rice and legumes. In a powerful blender or food processor, blend the rice and lentils with the chiles and grated coconut to a coarse batter. Add water and blend again for about 30 seconds, just enough to dilute the batter, but still retaining a coarse texture. Pour the batter into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2Mix moringa and curry leaves into the batter and add salt. Add a little water, if needed, to adjust the thickness of the batter to a pouring consistency.
Step 3To make the adai: Heat a dosa kal or a flat, cast-iron griddle on medium-high heat for 2 mins until very hot. Sprinkle some water on the surface. If it instantly sizzles and evaporates, your pan is ready. Add a few drops of oil to the pan. Using the flat side of a halved onion, spread the oil to grease the pan evenly.
Step 4Spoon ½ cup batter into the pan. Using the back of a round ladle or a big spoon, spread the batter in concentric circles by gently moving your wrist in a circular motion to create a roughly 8-inch wide, quarter inch, thick adai. With the pointy corner of a spatula, poke a tiny hole in the center. Drizzle a few drops of oil in the center and around the adai. Cook until the bottom browns. Flip to cook the other side. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the adai. Cook for 30 seconds, then remove from the pan. Serve hot.
Step 5To make more adai, sprinkle water on the pan to bring the heat down, season with oil, and pour another ½ cup batter. Repeat until the batter is over or you have enough crepes. Store any leftover batter in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring the batter to room temperature before using.
Try It With: Sambar or chutney