In my home, we often make lentil-rice pancakes called adai. These are very popular in the South of India, easy to dish up and a treat to taste. The only time-consuming part of the preparation is the soaking required by the grains. Once that’s done, they’re ready in a jiffy.
Though the perfect adai pancake is soft in the centre and crispy at the edges, you shouldn’t worry too much about the look and texture, as long as your adai is fully cooked. The reason: it’s irresistible anyway!
The lentils in these pancakes are a rich source of protein. The rice in them adds both flavor and essential energy. The addition of ginger makes them easy to digest. Turmeric and black pepper add their power to keep your immune system humming.
The Recipe (Makes 6 pancakes)
Short-grain rice: 1 cup, uncooked
3 to 4 varieties of mixed lentils (raw): 1 cup
A pinch of turmeric
¼ inch piece of fresh ginger
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp fennel seeds (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Wash the rice and lentils thoroughly, then soak them together in 6 cups of clean water for at least four hours, or better still, overnight.
Drain out the water and blend the grains and spices into a fine paste in your food processor, using a little water as required. The resulting paste should be creamy and of thickish pouring consistency.
Cook as you would regular pancakes, using a little olive oil or sesame oil to grease the base of the pan.
Enjoy the adai hot or at room temperature with an onion-tomato relish, your favorite pickle or plain yogurt. Better still, fold them over a few spoonfuls of steamed and lightly spiced veggies to create a healthy, wholesome meal.