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Mom’s Multigrain Adai Pancakes

Ada Dosa (also known as Adai in Tamil Nadu) is essentially a multigrain pancake containing white rice, urad dal, chana dal and toor dal combined with dried red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. A deliciously healthy and savory snack that is hearty enough to be served at breakfast, Ada Dosa goes famously well with your choice of side. Tangy lime pickle? Yes. Spicy mango relish? Oh yes. Sweet peach jam? Absolutely. Mint-cilantro-coconut chutney? Lovely! Good old tomato ketchup? Nice. Or my personal favorite, a good chunk of jaggery. Oh, a blob of salted butter hits the spot too!

The rice and dals are soaked in water for a few hours beforehand. This softens them and facilitates the grinding process. Red chillies are also soaked along with the dal-rice mixture.

Soaked Dal-Rice-Chillies

I know that looks like a LOT of red chillies (Mummy just threw them in there) but be assured, I took most of them out… 🙂

I asked Mom about the proportions she used for the dals and rice. Now she is an experienced home cook, intuitive and spontaneous (exasperatingly random at times!) in her approach to cooking (and life, in a larger context). Naturally, she didn’t recall the quantities she used. But she thought a little and told me – 1 cup white rice (uncooked), 1 cup combined of toor dal, chana dal, urad dal.

After soaking the rice-dals-chillies for a few hours, I ground them all up in my good old mixer/grinder. Such a sturdy appliance this is… I could’t recommend it enough. Makes me bless the day P and I decided to buy it from the little appliance store in Bombay and lug it back to Atlanta.

Good old Mixer/Grinder

You can see the little steel bowl (top) with red chillies. Those are the ones I took out. Pretty much, most of them, that is… 🙂

This is a naturally coarse batter but make sure that you grind it as fine as your mixer/grinder allows. Add sufficient water so the batter is light and flowing, and of a spreadable consistency but not excessively liquid-ey or watery.

Almost done!

Add the curry leaves towards the end. Add asafoetida and salt to taste.

Bring a cast iron skillet (or a non-stick pan) to heat, pour a ladleful of the batter, spread thinly to make a medium-sized pancake. Add a teaspoon (or less) of oil over the pancake and around it. When the edges begin to brown, use a spatula to flip the pancake over. Let it cook on the other side. When done, take it off the skillet. You can make it thin and crispy (use less batter and spread wide and thin) or thick and chunky.

Serve piping hot with your favorite side of pickle, relish, ketchup… anything!

Ada Dosa and Sweet Mango Relish

Peace within World Peace Cafe

World Peace Cafe sits on a little street, a minute or so away from Roswell Road. The instant you enter the cafe, the quiet envelops you in a loving embrace. There is a quiet hum of cheerful activity that permeates the expansive space with colored lamps and plants and the meditating Buddha who sits quietly between the plants. Colored teapots line the shelves behind the counter and paintings of Oriental women line the tall walls. Sunlight streams in through the multiple windows and you can see the quiet street below.

What did we get?

A pot of Raspberry-Ginger Tea, a plate of vegan Cranberry-Orange Pancakes and a plate of Tofu Scramble.

 

 

The pancakes were fairly good. They had the perfect level of sweetness, and didn’t weigh me down all day long (as most pancakes are wont to do). Syrup and maple syrup were part of the table condiments. The server asked me if I wanted honey. Guess I should have said yes. But the maple syrup went just fine with these pancakes. The orange-cranberry combo lent a faint sourness to the pancakes but all in all, it was a great pick. P’s Tofu Scramble was quite nice. I sampled just a bit off his plate. I am not too fond of potato wedges first thing in the morning (fried!) but I think it went well with the tofu scramble. This dish can be super-Indianized by the addition of cumin, cilantro leaves, slices of tomato, roasted peanuts… Yum.

These were the only two non-egg dishes on the breakfast menu. Every other item on the menu included eggs in some form. Hope that changes in the near future. The tea was wonderful! Mild and warm, it didn’t have excess sharpness (ginger) or sourness (raspberry). Just perfect.

A long time back, we’d visited this place for lunch and ordered their unique burgers. Innovative flavors, attractively presented, delicious sides… Mmm, it is time for a second trip, this time for lunch.

World Peace Cafe
220 Hammond Drive, Suite 302

Sandy Springs, Atlanta GA 30328
404-256-2100