There are many varieties of crepes (thin pancakes) in Indian cuisine.
“Adai” (pronounced like “UH DAY”) is a pretty healthy lentil crepe from southern India. It’s vegan and gluten free.
As you have probably read, lentils are high in protein and nutrients. They are also known for being heart healthy and reducing cholesterol.
I try to keep some batter in the fridge for an easy weeknight dinner or weekend brunch.
My version uses four different types of lentils, balanced with rice. As I mention in the Pantry section of the blog, these lentils aren’t usually available in a mainstream grocery store so you will have to buy these at your nearest Indian grocery store or order them online.
1 cup rice (white rice is traditional, brown rice works well too)
1/4 cup chana dal
1/4 cup moong dal
1/4 cup toor dal
1/4 cup urad dal (“White/Ivory Lentils”)
1/4 cup grated coconut (dry or fresh, unsweetened)
2 dry red chilies
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon salt
10-12 curry leaves (optional)
1/4 cup (a handful) fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
a few teaspoons of coconut oil
Making the batter
Put the first five ingredients (dals and rice) in a large mixing bowl, add water to cover and soak for about 4 hours.
Rinse and drain the water. Add the dals and rice to a food processor. Add in the coconut, chiles, asafoetida and salt.
As you process, add enough water to get a spreadable batter of pancake like consistency.
Once the batter is almost ready, if using, add in the curry leaves and cilantro and process for a little bit.
Preparing the crepes
Heat a skillet on the stovetop. Once it’s ready (sprinkle a few drops on the skillet, if it sizzles it’s ready) take a ladleful of batter and add to the skillet. Make concentric circles with the back of the ladle until the batter is spread thinly.
Add maybe 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil around the crepe as it cooks.
Once one side is done (kind of a golden color), flip in cook the other side.
There are many possible accompaniments to the crepes. My son loves them with just ketchup on the side. Others, like to roll them up with some sugar and melted butter. There are some more savory traditional accompaniments as well that I will be writing about in future posts. These crepes would also go well with the baby kale with lentils and coconut from my earlier post.