A few years ago, on one of our frequent trips to our favorite South Indian restaurant, my husband had commented, “If I have food like this everyday, I can turn vegetarian in a heart beat”. I could understand The Professor’s sentiment – the gigantic spread of utterly delicious, vegetarian food at that Udupi restaurant would make even the most hard core meat lover appreciate vegetarian fare. I don’t think we ever had a dish at that restaurant we didn’t like!
Since my husband loves South Indian food so much, we make a point of going to a restaurant to get our fill of dosas, appams and vadas, every single time we are in India. His love affair with South Indian food started on his very first trip to India – we were in Sikkim(!), at a tiny mountaintop restaurant, sitting outside in the warm winter sun and enjoying the terrific view of the Himalayas stretching out for miles and miles. A little boy served us some steaming hot uttapams and my husband absolutely l-o-v-e-d them. He gave that little boy probably the biggest tip of his life that day!
Since The Professor did turn vegetarian a few months ago, I have been trying to learn more South Indian recipes to cook for him. When I saw this recipe for adai on TV, it looked so unusual from anything I had ever made before, I knew I had to try it! I played around with the recipe a bit and finally came up with something that both of us enjoy a lot.
These adais are very filling and super nutritious – you can tell with every bite that you are having something that is really healthy! I love how the spices mildly flavor the pancakes and how well they mesh with the coconut flavor. The combination of the rice and lentils make these pancakes soft in the middle, but crunchy at the edges (my favorite part!). Since I added some extra vegetables and nuts to the batter, I always feel as if I am having a complete meal, one that doesn’t really need anything else on the side, other than this coconut chutney, of course!
(Sorry about the pic – it has been really difficult to shoot in the weak winter sun without getting obscenely long shadows, but I had to show you the kind of breakfast I am craving these days!).
Here is the recipe –