Adai, Breakfast

No Rice Wholegrain Quinoa Adai Recipe | Gluten Free,Vegan Breakfast | Adai varieties

Adai for a South Indian is a protein packed Crepe (thick dosa it can be called), can be made easily and requires little or no fermentation. I make Adai very often with mixed lentils – and mostly add brown rice in place of the white rice. 

The funny part is no two Adai recipes are identical, its mostly a mix n match of whole lentils and ingredients I have at hand. To that effect, many adai varieties that you can find on the blog are:

– Navadhanya Adai (9 lentils adai)

– Drumstick Leaves Adai (Moringa leaves adai)

– Classic Adai Dosa 

– Quinoa adai (with rice)

–  Sprouts Adai

Brown Rice Adai


Today’s recipe is a no-rice Adai with Tri-coloured Quinoa, whole grains and some spices. Adai by itself needs no accompaniment, although we like it with jaggery and some molgapudi on the side. I had some Kothamalli Thengai Chutney (Coriander Coconut chutney)  from last evening, so that was served here as well. You can also check out 20+ varieties of chutney (dip) that goes with Idli / Dosa/ Pongal here.

Quinoa – an ancient grain – is relatively new to India, but has been lapped up extensively as it can lead to replacing the traditional rice (including in this recipe). 

Although pricey, I do buy it occasionally. For this recipe, I had a pack of tri coloured quinoa that needed to be used up. If you dont have quinoa, you can substitute it with brown rice of equal measure.  

According to the article here, Quinoa has a majestic history among one of the most powerful civilisations on the American continent. It originated with the Incas in the mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru. It’s been at the forefront in these regions for 5,000 years. It was a staple for the Incas and is still a prominent food source for their indigenous descendants, the Quechua and Aymara people. It was a sacred crop to the Incas who called it the mother of all grains or chisaya mama. The legend states that the Incan emperor would ceremoniously plant the first quinoa seeds every year. 

Quinoa has made a comeback to kitchens worldwide, just like millets has in India. For the adai batter, I ferment it for about 90-120 minutes before making the adai, but many prefer to make it immediately too.  

Sending this to this month’s edition of A-Z Challenge where we explore any ingredient of our choice alphabetically  

Let’s get to the recipe now:

Prep time – 5 mins. Soaking time – 6 to 8 hours, Grinding time – 25 to 30 mins (In a stone grinder, might take longer in a mixer grinder), 

Makes – about 20 servings

Left over Adai batter can be refrigerated for upto 2 days and made into delicious paniyarams the next day or the following day. 




1 cup = 200 ml

What you need:

  • Whole Moong dal (green) – 1/2 cup
  • Whole masoor dal – 1/2 cup
  • Channa dal (split Bengal gram) – 1/2 cup
  • Quinoa – 1.25 cups
  • Millet flakes – 1/4 cup ( you can buy it online or in a neighbourhood store) or simply sub with white / brown rice flakes
  • Dry Red chillies – 6 to 8 (adjust spice)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sesame Oil – to make the Adai (approx. 1/2 tsp per dosa)
  • Add-ons (recommended) – turmeric 1/2 tsp, homemade Moringa powder – 2 TBSP, Chopped coriander leaves – 4 TBSP

How to: 

  1. Wash the quinoa thrice over and soak in water along with the dry red chillies for 6 hours . In a separate bowl, wash all dals and soak it too for 6 hours. 
  2. Half an hour before grinding, wash the millet flakes several times and soak it for just 10 mins. 
  3. Grind all 3 components together in batches to a smooth paste. 
  4. Add salt + add ons listed above. Mix well. 
  5. Ferment for about 1-2 hours.
  6. Mix the batter well.
  7. Pour out 1-2 ladle full of batter to a hot skillet. Spread it out evenly like a thick dosa.
  8. Drizzle sesame oil around it generously, turn the flame to medium
  9. Let it turn golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 1/2 min more
  10. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice



  1. Sangeeta sethi

    Fabulous delicious healthy innovative preparation..

  2. Vidya Narayan

    Wholesome, healthy and nutritious breakfast recipe for all age groups. We love Adai at home over Dosas.

  3. Adai with quinoa and dals looks perfect. I like the addition of the millets in this recipe. You have used masoor dal which I have never tried using in any recipe.Nice to have a variation

  4. mildly indian

    The millet flakes along with all the dals and lentils will make such a soft adai. Added protein fro the quinoa and the recipe looks good for brunch.

  5. This post is packed full of information. Thanks for teaching me something new. I look forward to trying this recipe.

  6. Amazing recipe and info, I love to know more about Indian cuisine and not only the most known recipes 🙂 thank you for sharing!

  7. Looks so good and healthy! Looking forward to trying it.

  8. Adai looks so crispy and love the golden color. Very healthy and filling breakfast and I would love to have it anytime

  9. Superduper kitchen

    Such a protein rich adai with quinoa, lentils, millet flakes. I have not made adai with millet flakes. Should try it sometime. Love the platter.

  10. Poonam Bachhav

    Love this no-rice Adai dosa version with quinoa, lentils and millets. Such a wholesome breakfast it is !

  11. Mayuri Patel

    Crispy, healthy and nutritious. A good way to use quinoa with lentils and millet. I would love to enjoy this adai for dinner.

  12. Perfect wholesome breakfast ! we just love afai with the chutney on the side anytime .

  13. I love adai. And this quinoa adai dosa looks absolutely nutritious and delicious. Mixed lentils and millet made it more healthy. Perfect filling and healthy breakfast.

  14. Adai without using rice looks so crispy here !
    Very healthy and filling breakfast option, I am sure that i will enjoy in my breakfast…love the color of the adai

  15. Delicious and definitely a must try recipe that I need to try. Adai is something I rarely make but looking at the ingredients I am tempted.

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