By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of my friend Janani. I’ve mentioned her in a few recipes, especially the Greek Inspired Crepes and Instant Pot Kali Dal. She and I met when we were both about 7 months pregnant with our first child at an Indian store where the owner introduced us. We have been pretty close friends since and shared many recipes during our play dates and this one is inspired by her.
When Aishani was a few months old, I remember Janani came over for a play date with her eldest. She brought over this batter and asked if I had veggies she could use. I was extremely curious as Sanaya was in a picky phase (honestly, I feel both my kids have always been in a picky phase!).
She explained what Adai is and I was instantly fascinated. Basically, it is a batter made out of 4 different lentils and a little bit of rice, soaked, ground, and cooked over the stove with veggies similar to a dosa or crepe fashion. So with one meal, I’m getting protein, fiber, non-dairy calcium, folic acid, and plenty of vitamins and minerals from the veggies. Seriously, major mom win! My kids love it and eat it with yogurt and it’s a family hit.
The basic batter recipe is Janani’s. I’ve never tried to change it because it’s perfect and it works. I did play around with it and turned the Adai crepes into waffles. It’s something fun for the kids; they get a kick out of eating waffles for lunch or dinner and I know it’s one of the healthiest waffles around! The texture keeps well and tastes so soft and fluffy. It’s really delicious.
For the girls, I served this with yogurt as that’s their favorite way of eating Adai. For the hubby and I, we had a topping of masala salsa on top which tasted amazing and completed this dish for us!
From our kitchen to yours, we hope you love these Adai Waffles!
A savory lentil waffle filled with veggies that is healthy and delicious.
1. The ratio of all the lentils and rice is always 1:1. Whether you want to make a lesser amount or more, the ratio before soaking will remain the same.
2. It is important to soak these lentils at least 4 hours. Soaking lentils helps remove the phytic acid which impairs the absorption of nutrients such iron, zinc and calcium.
3. If you make extra, and want to keep it for future use, you can store in the freezer. Just be sure to keep the batter plain without adding any of the ingredients as it will ruin when you thaw it out. Stores well up to 3 months in the freezer. Stores well up to 3 days in the fridge.
4. Parboiled or Idli rice works great for this recipe. If you don’t have it, regular jasmine rice works, but just be aware that when it is ground, you will get a bit of a grainy texture.
5. It is important to shred the veggies to help them and the lentils cook through properly. If the veggies are chopped and chunky, the lentils may not cook through completely (I speak from experience).
6. Use any veggies you have in your fridge. I’ve listed our favorites below.
For the batter:
½ c urad dal
½ c chana dal
½ c red masoor dal
For the Waffles:
1 zucchini, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
½ c broccoli, shredded
1″ ginger knob, shredded
1 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp salt
For the Masala Salsa:
½ c onions, chopped finely
1 tomato, chopped finely
1 serrano pepper, chopped finely (for a less spicy option, take out the seeds and ribs)
¼ c cilantro, chopped finely
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chaat masala
For the Masala Salsa:
1. Mix all of the ingredients tog⁸ether in a bowl and set aside to use for topping.
For the Adai Batter:
1. Soak each of the lentils and rice separately in water at least for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Once they are soaked, add rice (drained of water) and red chilies to a blender with 3 Tbsp water. Blend to a thick batter.
3. Transfer to a bowl and repeat process with the lentils. If you want to combine them and blend them, that works also. Add water a little at a time so the batter is not too thin.
4. Mix this batter with the rice batter.
This batter is your base. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer and use as needed.
For the Waffles:
1. In a bowl, add 1½ c Adai batter, hing and salt. Mix well.
2. Fold in the shredded veggies. If the batter is too thick, add in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, but don’t make the batter too thin and runny.
3. Heat the waffle maker on high and spray both sides with cooking spray.
4. Using a ladle, pour the batter into the waffle maker and spread across. Close the waffle maker and seal or flip and let it cook as a regular waffle.
5. Remove the waffle and repeat the process for the remaining batter.
6. To serve, spoon some of the masala salsa on top of the waffles and serve hot!
Serve with masala salsa, yogurt, mango pickle or all 3!