Crispy Rice and Lentils Pancakes (Adai)

Crispy Rice and Lentils Pancakes (Adai)

This item called ‘Adai’ in South India is really very tasty. It takes a little oil to make it crispy, but still very healthy. The Rice and Lentils along with the spices makes it a wonderful dish.  It is not the easiest recipe, but the more you make these crispy Indian pancakes, the easier it will get to prepare them. Of course, the results will make it worthwhile.

Hover over the highlighted Keywords below for Images and/or Description of some of the Ingredients:  Channa Dahl, Cilantro, Green Chillies, Hing, Red Chillies, Toor Dahl, Urad Dahl, White Rice (Long Grain)

Crispy Rice and Lentils Pancakes (Adai)

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Indian


  • 1 cup White Long Grain Rice
  • 1/2 cup Channa Dahl
  • 1/4 cup Toor Dahl
  • 1/4 cup Urad Dahl
  • 1 - 2 Green or Dried Red Chiilies (Green Chillies are Serrano Peppers)
  • 1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Cooking Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 cups Water


  • 1 teaspoon Hing


Serving Suggestions:
1) Serve hot. If they become warm or cold, reheat on the griddle if you like it crisp; otherwise, you can reheat them in the microwave oven.
2) Serve plain yoghurt, chutneys, jam or Indian pickles as side dishes.
1) You can skip the onion. These are good plain too. In fact, they will be crispier.
2) You can add a little chopped cilantro to the mixture.
3) Increase or reduce chillies and salt as you like.
4) You can use brown rice instead of white rice. However, increase the amount of brown rice, from 1 cup to 1 1/2 or even 2 cups.


Step 1
Soak rice and the three lentils together in cold water (room temperature) for at least 4 hours. Drain.
Step 2
Place 1/2 cup of the soaked ingredients, chillies, hing, salt and 1/8 cup of water in a blender. Pulse/Grind little by little until ingredients are ground. Keep stirring or scraping with a rubber spatula, if the mixture gets stuck. Add a little water at a time, if needed. When it is all done, the mixture should be like thick pancake mix.
Step 3
Transfer the mix from the blender into a medium mixing bowl.
Step 4
Place the rest of the soaked ingredients in the blender. Add 1/8 cup of water. Pulse/Grind a little at a time, stirring once in a while. Add water, if necessary, a little at a time, if the dough gets stuck. This time the dahl's should be just broken into pieces or coarsely ground. Some of the dahl may be half broken, and some may remain unbroken. But it is enough if most of it becomes a coarsely ground mixture. See pictures.
Step 5
Transfer the mix completely from the blender to the mixing bowl.
Step 6
Mix really well with a large spoon. Add the chopped onion to the mixture. Mix thoroughly. If the dough is too thick, add a little water until it becomes like thick pancake mix. Place a flat non-stick griddle or large fry pan on medium heat.
Step 7
If the griddle or pan is overheated, lower the heat, sprinkle a few drops of water, or carefully wipe off with a wet, folded paper towel. Add 1 teaspoon oil and gently spread it on the griddle, as much as possible. When the griddle is warm or slightly hot, using a ladle, add 1 scoop of mixture (the first time) onto the griddle. Once you have a little experience, you can place more mixture each time, if you prefer.
Step 8
Immediately, spread the dough from the middle, outward, little by little until it becomes round like a pancake, as shown in the picture. It may not be a perfect, round pancake. That is fine.
Step 9
Using a spoon, make tiny little holes here and there on the pancake. Add half a teaspoon of oil around the edges of the pancake. Add a drop of oil or two in the holes you made on the pancake.
Step 10
On low or medium heat, cook for about a minute or two, or until the dough looks absorbed on the pancake.
Step 11
When the edges look golden brown and crispy, and the dough looks dry, gently loosen up the edges a little at a time with a flat non-stick spatula.
Step 12
It the dough is sticky, and the pancake does not lift easily, just let it cook a minute more.
Step 13
Place the flat spatula at about the center of the pancake and gently but quickly invert it on the griddle. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Crispy Rice and Lentils Pancakes 7
Step 14
Invert it again and check if it is cooked crisp on the other side.
Step 15
Lower the heat. Remove the pancake and place it on a plate. Serve hot, immediately.
Step 16
Repeat steps 7 to 15 for the rest of the pancakes. If you are comfortable with it, you can add two scoops onto the griddle. But make sure that you will be able to turn it with the spatula.
Step 17
These crispy pancakes will taste good later too. You can also reheat the pancake on the griddle just before eating. But they taste best when are served crisp and hot.
Step 18
You can make a few and refrigerate the rest of the dough, tightly closed. When you want to use it, you can take the amount you want to use in a bowl, add a little warm water to loosen it up, or leave it out of the fridge at room temperature for a while.
Step 19
Please remember, practice makes perfect. In the beginning, these pancakes may not turn out to be perfect. Try to make it as much as possible like the picture. As you prepare more and more of these, it will get easier. But any which way you make them, they will taste great!
Step 20
Cheers! Bon Appetit! Buon Appetito! Buen Provecho!
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