November 11, 2008

Adai & Aviyal ~ Kerala Special

Adai, a mixed lentil pancake is very popular in Kerala, especially among Palakkad Iyers. Adai, compared to dosa, doesn't preparation much earlier, since it requires around 3 hours of soaking time only. Doesn't take much time to do the grinding and no wait period for fermentation. Even though the ultimate is paper thin crisp dosa, I love crisp adais very much. This is usually served as after-school tiffin at home. Each home has their own proportion for rice and dal used. For Karthigai Deepam festival, this adai is one of the neivadyams. As is the custom, par boiled rice is not used for neivadyams, its totally avoided when making for Karthigai. Whole pepper and tiny bits of coconut is also added to it. Here is the recipe which I follow on ordinary days.

Raw rice - 1 cup

Parboiled rice - 1/2 cup

Chana dal - 1/2 cup

Urad dhal - 1/2 cup (whole urad/split with skin)

Red chillies - 3 nos

Green chilly - 2 nos

Ginger a small wedge

Curry leaves


Hing powder - 1/2 tspn

Wash and soak both rice, chana dal and urad dal for 3 hours. Grind the soaked mix along with green chilly, red chilly, ginger, curry leaves and salt to a coarse batter. The batter should not be smooth. Else you will not get crisp adais. It will taste like dosa. Add hing powder and mix well. No fermentation required.

Heat a cast iron griddle. Sprinkle few drops of oil. Take a ladle of batter and spread into thick dosa/pancake. Make a hole in the center. This will enable to get crisp adai. Drizzle oil on the sides and in the hole made in the centre. When one side is cooked, flip and cook the other side. Cook in medium flame, so that its well cooked , since it is made relatively thicker than ordinary dosa. Traditionally it is served with powdered jaggery or butter or pickle.

I am not sure how the combination of adai and avial became popular. May be its the idea of some hotelier to combine two popular dishes of Kerala and serve as Malabar Adai and Avial. However it has become a huge hit. You are sure to find this combo in any Tamilnadu hotels. So here is the recipe for aviyal. I don't prepare aviyal for adai. Sometimes its just co-incidental.

Aviyal gets the unique taste from the assortment of vegetables that go into this dish. Veggies along with ground coconut and coconut oil used for garnish brings out the unique flavor. The vegetable which is used in large proportion for aviyal is ash gourd/poozhanikkai/kumbhalanga. Next comes pumpkin/mathan. I shall list the veggies that can be used for aviyal in the order of the proportion. There is no specific proportion to be followed. Its up to your intuition to add the veggies.




Raw banana/vazhakka

Snake gourd/podavalangai


Raw mango one small

Carrot,beans are the latest additions.

Chopped veggies - 4 cups (Vegetables are cut in 1' inch long strips like for finger chips.)

Grated coconut - 1 cup

Green chilly - 7 nos

Whipped curd - 1/2 cup



Cook the veggies with turmeric and salt added. Don't over cook the veggies. It should be soft yet firm. Yam can be pressure cooked or cooked separately since it takes longer time to cook.
Grind together coconut and green chillies to a fine paste. Add just enough water to grind.
If you want to serve the aviyal as side, remove the excess water from the cooked veggies. Add the ground paste and stir in the whipped curd. Bring to a boil. Don't let it simmer.
Add a tablespoon of coconut oil and fresh curry leaves.

I am sending Adai to Srivalli's Rice Mela


Shama, Viki and Vidhas has passed the Inspiration Award to me. Thank Shama,Viki and Vidhas for your sweet gesture. It means a lot to me.


  1. An ever winning combo Jaya, great in winter time here (no worry of fermenting)! Btw, I love ur header with Kolam in middle, so classy!

  2. What a delicious combo! both look mouth-watering.

  3. I came to know of this combo only after moving to Tamilnadu. As long as I was in Kerala, we had this with vellam. My adai usually has a little bit of all the pulses in my kitchen to make it more proteinful.

  4. Hey i never had adai before but avial is my fav.. looks yum

  5. Great looking adai Jayasree...thanks for the lovely entry!

  6. I like adai with molagapodi, but then I like anything with molagapodi:). We too make these the same away.

  7. delicious hubby's make it frequently yours looks good..

  8. Havent heard about this combo>.Sounds delicious.

  9. Hey! I love the combo, and I made it just yesterday... Lovely recipe.

  10. nice unusual combination.i make adai but never added coconut bits to it. bet that tastes good.

  11. I usually have adai with vellam too, but with avial is a sure winner!

  12. We love adai, slow cooked to crispness. Yummy.

    We always have it with vellam or vennai. And me. with molagaipodi like Harini. :)

    I keep getting surprised when we go to Madras and get offerred Avial with Adai. Its something we haven't just got used to.

  13. Hello Jayasree! I must admit that this recipe really intrigued me. Maybe it's the picture, I really can't say...

    Anyway, heaven knows we love Indian food so needless to say, we have got to try this one very very soon.

    Thanks a lot!

    Your Drugstore in a Bottle


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