Kale Adai

I was intrigued by this nutritious green leafy vegetable with multiple benefits – Kale! My challenge was to incorporate it into south Indian traditional cuisine. After much thought I came up with 3 such recipes. This ‘Kale Adai’, a healthy traditional lentil pancake, with addition of Kale becomes even more nutritious.


split pigeon peas – 1/4 cup (tuvar dal)

split yellow peas – 1/4 cup (chana dal)

split dehusked blackgram – 1/4 cup (urad dal)

split dehusked green gram – 1/4 cup (mung dal)

rice – 1/4 cup (I used sona-masoori rice which is what I use for making dosa batter)

dry red chili – 1 (hot variety) (use as per taste, I prefer it mild)

dry Kashmiri red chili – 1 (mild variety)

fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp (methi seeds)

salt to taste


oil to cook the pancakes – 2-3 tbsp

Kale – 4 cups heaped loosely packed


wash all the lentils and rice with water, drain and then soak along with the red chilies and fenugreek seeds, in fresh water for 2 hours

add the kale to boiling water, cover partially and cook for 6-8 minutes. i cooked it for 8 min

drain the kale well and allow to cool

drain the soaked lentils and rice mixture. grind this using a mixer/grinder adding small amounts of water to form a slightly coarse paste. you can use the drained off water for this

now, grind the cooked kale to form a paste using small amount of water in the same mixer/grinder

now, mix this kale paste into the adai batter, mix in salt to taste

heat a skillet moderately

drop a tsp of oil on the skillet and wipe it off using a kitchen paper towel so that it forms a thin film on the skillet yet you can’t see it

simmer the heat then using a rounded ladle drop a ladle full of batter onto the skillet at the center. now using the back of the ladle moving it over the batter in a circular motion spread it uniformly as far out as you can. turn up the heat to medium now

spread a tsp of oil around the edge and a few drops over the spread batter

cook until you see the pancake becoming darker over the top, the edge turning brown and lifting up slightly while the under-side develops brownish specs

now filp, add a tsp of oil along the edge cook until the under-side develops brown specs

flip it over, if you notice any raw/under-cooked areas flip it back and cook for 20 – 30 sec more

transfer to the serving plate

traditionally adai is served with powdered jaggery.

i served it with jaggery and chutney powder (spicy fried lentil powder) adai is also known to be served with another traditional dish called avial

serves 4-6 people

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