Breakfast/Tiffin items / Dry curries

Adai Maavu Usli/Mixed Dal Crumble

What do you do when you prepare too much of some batter and are bored of eating the same for breakfast or evening tiffin day after day? It just sits around in your refrigerator for a few days till it turns too sour and you finally dump it in the bin. Or, if you’re my mother-in-law, you’ll create something new and interesting. If you’re me, you’ll co-create along with her ie. if the definition of co-creation is sampling the new fare and giving it a big thumbs up!

So, what happened the Sunday before last was that my MIL prepared a large quantity of adai batter (adai, for those who don’t know is kind of a dosa made with a mixture of soaked dals and rice) as we were expecting some guests. It so happened that they did not turn up at all. Now, those of you who’ve eaten adai before know that it is a heavy dish and not really suitable for breakfast or tiffin for more than a day or two in a row.

And that’s exactly what we did. We had adai for breakfast AND tiffin in the evening for two consecutive days but that was all we could manage. After that, the remainder of the batter kept sat around in the fridge for a week till it was discovered this morning by MIL. The prospect of yet another evening adai was so unnerving even to her that she decided she’d do something innovative.

She steamed the batter in idli rack/mould and crumbled it when cool (the way you would for paruppu usli. See this link: Then she heated a little oil, spluttered mustard seeds, added some asafoetida and a few curry leaves, followed by the adai batter crumble and sautéed it on low heat for 10 mins. That’s all!


Adai Maavu Usli/Mixed Lentil Crumble

Method of eating: You can eat it as it is, or mix it with some cooked veggies like paruppu usli or eat it mixed with rice too. But I suggest you eat it straight to enjoy its rustic effect better.


For the adai batter:

Raw rice – 1 cup

Chana dal/kadala paruppu – ½ cup

Toor dal/thuvaram paruppu – ¼ cup

Urad dal/ulutham paruppu – 2 tbsp

Red chillies – 2-3

Salt to taste

For the usli:

Adai batter – 2 cups

Urad dal/ulutham paruppu – 2 tsp

Oil – 2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

Curry leaves – a few

Salt to taste


Wash rice and dals together in several changes of water

Soak in adequate water along with chillies for 2-3 hours

Drain water and grind to a coarse paste with salt, adding very little water

(You can use this batter to make adai. Prepare it in exactly the same manner as dosa)

Let it ferment for 6-8 hours. It needs to turn somewhat sour

Steam the batter in idli mould/rack for around 10 mins

Crumble fine when cool

 Heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, followed by urad dal, asafoetida and shredded curry leaves

Add crumbled batter and salt as required

Cook for 10-15 mins on low heat, mixing once every 5 mins

If you want it crisp, add another tsp of oil and cook for 10 more mins, mixing each time the portion at the bottom starts to turn brown


One thought on “Adai Maavu Usli/Mixed Dal Crumble

  1. Pingback: Toasted Bread Paruppu Usli | foodiliciousnan

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