Palak/ Spinach Adai

Adai is a healthy tiffin variety from South India. It is made by soaking and grinding some definite proportion of rice, lentils and chillies. Most of the South Indian tiffin varieties have a large proportion of rice that contributes to the bulk of carbs in vegetarian diet. Since adai has a large proportion of lentils, it is a healthier breakfast / dinner option. The best part of this tiffin variety is that it doesn’t require fermentation. Apart from the regular lentils, I have added some white and black kidney beans (karamani ) for better taste, crunchiness & nutrition. The addition of chopped palak /spinach leaves to the batter makes it a wholesome, flavourful, colourful and nutritious meal.


Raw rice1/4th cup
Idli rice3/4 th cup
Toor dhal1/4 th cup
Urad dhal1/4 th cup
channa dhal1/4 th cup
Black and white kidney beans (optional)handful
Red chilli8 to 10
Hing or asafoetida1 tsp
Salt1 1/2 tsp
Spinach/ palak chopped1/2 to 1 cup


  1. Soak the rice, lentils and red chillies in a pot with water for about 6 hours. The dhal and rice should be well immersed in water. You can soak for 3 to 4 hours but soaking for atleast 6 hours helps in digestion.
  2. Drain the water and transfer the contents to a mixie jar. Pour water little by little and grind this to a coarse paste. The batter should not be too nice like idli/dosa batter. The lentils and rice should be grounded well but the batter should be coarse.
  3. To the batter, add salt and hing.
  4. Fermentation of the batter is not required. But resting this batter for at least 1 to 2 hours will enhance its flavours.
  5. The batter is now ready to make plain adai.
  6. To make palak adai, wash and finely chop few spinach/palak leaves.
  7. Take a portion of adai batter, add the finely chopped spinach leaves to the batter. Add water if necessary.
  8. In a dosa pan, sprinkle some oil, once the pan is warm, pour a paddle of batter and spread it like dosa into round shape. Pour 1/2 to 1 tsp oil, Close with a lid. Once the edges change colour, flip it and serve.
  9. Serve with milagai podi, jaggery, butter or chutneys.
  10. The left over batter can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.


  1. Instead of spinach, add finely chopped drumstick leaves.
  2. Add chopped onions to the batter and make adai as given in the instructions.
  3. While grinding, add 5 to 6 tsp shredded coconut and grind it. But if adding coconut, the batter should be used within 2 days.

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