Thursday, March 22, 2012

Traditional Lentil Pancakes (Addai)

My husband decided to "practice" for the Hungry for Change fast we are doing with our church by modifying the recipe below to use regular beans instead of lentils. (The fast is: 1 lb rice, 1lb beans, and some oatmeal, per person, for 5 days.)

Modifications for the fast:
  • replace all lentils with beans
  • 2nd soak step = ~8 hours instead of 3 (ie all day or overnight)
They were a little less crispy but still delicious.

This recipe comes from 1,000 Indian Recipes, by Neelam Batra. (Side note: it's also vegan and gluten-free.) If you don't have asafoetida, throw in some cumin or something.

Traditional Lentil Pancakes (Addai)
Makes 12-16 pancakes

  • 2/3 cup long grain rice
  • 3 tbsp each: dried white urad beans (ural dal), dried yellow mung beans (mung dal), dried yellow split peas (channa dal), dried split pigeon peas (toor dal) (Note: any substitution of other lentils is ok, just make it a total of ~2/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cup water, plus more for soaking dals
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 fresh green chile peppers (e.g. serrano), stemmed
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground asafoetida
  • 3-4 tbsp peanut oil
  1. Wash rice and dals in 3-4 changes of water. Then place together in a bowl and soak overnight in water to cover by about 2 inches.
  2. Drain and transfer to a blender (or food processor), add remaining ingredients except oil, and blend until smooth, adding up to 1 3/4 cups water, as needed, to make a thick and smooth batter. Whip with a fork a few seconds to make the batter fluffy. Set aside for 3-4 hours. If the batter is too thick, add more water, as needed, to make a semi-thick batter of pouring consistency.
  3. Heat a cast-iron tava or a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-high heat until a sprinkling of water sizzles immediately. Wipe the tava and put about 1 tsp oil in the center. Then, using a metal soup ladle, pour about 1/2 cup batter onto the hot tava and spread it evenly into a 5- to 6-inch circle by lightly pushing the batter outward in round, circular motions with the back of the ladle.
  4. As the pancake sets and turns lightly golden on the bottom (which happens very quickly), drizzle 1/2 to 1 tsp oil around the edges and a few drops on top and cook until the bottom turns a rich golden hue, about 1 min. Turn over once and cook until the other side takes on a similar color, about 1 min. Transfer to a serving platter, repeat with the remaining batter, and serve hot.
Serve with yogurt and brown sugar, ghee/butter and mulagai podi, and/or tomato or coconut chutney.