Thursday, November 11, 2010

Barley Oat Adai~Dhal Dosa~Savory Indian crepes with Swiss chard

 Adai, a type of spicy savory crepe from south Indian cuisine features frequently in our home, especially when my in laws are visiting because they like it very much too. On one such occasion when my mother in law and I were taking turns at making the traditional adai for the family and discussing different variations of adai,  she mentioned that sometimes muringai leaves (leaves from the drumstick plant ) are added to adai to give it a different flavor and texture. To read more about muringai or moringa leaves as it is called, read this wiki article.

This idea remained with me, but I never got a chance to try it since I have never seen these leaves here at my local grocers.  Actually I think I have never seen muringai/ moringa leaves anywhere, even in India, and have no idea how they taste. When I started using red swiss chard and found it so appealing, I wondered if I would be able to use that in place of muringai leaves in adai. Since there is no better way to find out than to try it, I did.....and loved the taste, texture and color these leaves added to the adai. The best thing is that it makes an already healthy adai, a little more healthier, and that makes this a winner in my book :-)

 Barley Oat Adai ~ Dhal Dosa ~ Savory Indian crepes with swiss chard

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Swiss chard barley oat adai (see notes)
Soak together for 2 to 3 hours
1 cup brown basmati rice (can be substituted with any type of white rice)
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup split or whole black gram lentil (udad dhal/ muzhu ulundhu or ulatham parappu)
1/3 cup split yellow chick pea lentil (chana dhal/ kadalai parappu)
1/2 cup split pigeon peas (tur dhal/ tuvaram parappu)
1/3 cup cracked wheat (dalia/ lapsi)
1/2 cup pearl barley

and grind this with
8 Thai or Indian variety green chilies (or to taste)
6 Dry red chilies (or to taste)

salt to taste
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder (hing/ perungayam)
Red swiss chard leaves + stem cut very very fine as required (see notes)

a little sesame oil to shallow fry the adai....

Soak the grains and lentils together in sufficient water for at least 2 to 3 hours.Grind in batches in a grinder/blender/mixer along with green chilies and red chilies, adding water as required to make a thick batter, not too watery or runny. When in doubt err on the side of thicker batter, which can later be corrected by adding more water.

The grains and lentils do not need to be ground very fine, when you touch it, if it feels like semolina (rava) it is done. Some people let the grains have an even more coarse texture, but I prefer mine to be ground until it reaches semolina consistency for a little more softer adai.

Add salt to taste and asafoetida powder and mix well. You can refrigerate this batter for a few days and use it as required. At the time of making adai, take out the batter and mix it well. Then remove the quantity you think you would use in a separate bowl and add finely cut red swiss chard leaves and stem to it and mix well. I added 1 cup packed leaves + stem for every 3 to 4 cups of batter that I used.

Heat a heavy tawa/ flat pan/ griddle , when hot pour a little batter on the center and quickly spread into an even circle. Pour a few drops of sesame oil around the circumference of the adai and a couple of drops on top of it. Allow it to cook until the lower side is evenly golden, then flip over and cook the other side until it has brownish spots on it.
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Remove and serve hot with molaga podi / chutney of choice / vellam(jaggery) /aviyal:-)

Yield will depend on the size and thickness of each adai.

The reason I added the swiss chard leaves just before making the adai was because I did not want the leaves to lose their crunch, this way there was a slight crunch from the leaves and stems that added a little something extra to the adai :-)

In case you do not find all the ingredients for this adai, you can also make the batter like this more traditional adai, then add swiss chard and proceed as described above.

If you do not find red swiss chard in your area, but you get drumstick leaves (muringa elai ~ moringa leaves) then you can just wash and add those leaves to the batter and proceed as described above. You can read more about drumstick and drumstick leaves in this wiki article
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