Friday, May 25, 2018

Traditional Iyengar style Thavala Adai-Tanjore/Thanjavur special -Easy and Healthy snack recipe

Traditional Iyengar style Thavala Adai-Tanjore/Thanjavur special -Easy and Healthy snack recipe
Thavala Adai

Thavala Adai is a traditional and protien rich recipe which was forgotten in recent times.

Though publishing Thavala Adai recipe was my long time wish but it somehow kept postponing. This holiday when I visited my chithipatti house she served us with hot hot thavala adais and it was so delicious that I could never say no to the next serving.

I immediately stole the recipe from my chithipaatti and with the help of my mom, I tried at my house. I was so happy that in my very first attempt, I was able to make super crispy thavala adais and to my astonishment, my kiddo loved the snack and finished them immediately.

This Thavala adai recipe varies according to each household in Thanjur with different cooking methods. I have followed my chithipatti version but you can always innovate :). 

The most interesting thing about this recipe is its name "Thavala Adai". In olden days, this adai was made in a bronze vessel named"Thavala" and that is how this name got attached to it. Another such interesting and authentic recipe that is prepared with all the dals to munch on as evening snack is "Kunuku", this snack is very crispy and super delicious.

Try this recipe and punch in your comments:). 


  • 1 cup Raw rice
  • 1/2 cup toor dal/thuvaram paruppu
  • 1/4 cup channa dal/kadalai paruppu
  • A fistful Roasted gram/pottukadalai
  • 1 cup Grated Coconut
  • 2 teaspoon Coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Salt (alter according to your taste)

For Tempering:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • A pinch Hing
  • 1 ladle Oil + Extra oil for shallow fry 


1) Grind raw rice to a medium fine consistency. It needs to be in a rava consistency along with some fine powder. You don't need to sieve it. Just, transfer it to a bowl after grinding. 

2) Measure the dals and transfer to the mixer jar to grind them to a medium-fine powder as shown in the picture. Once done, transfer the ground dals to the rice rava.

3)  Now, add the pottukadalai/roasted gram dal to the mixer and grind to medium-fine powder similar to how you ground the dals. Transfer the ground pottukadalai powder to the dals- rice mixture and mix well. 

4) Measure this mixture and accordingly, take the double measure of water in a separate bowl. I got around 21/2 cups of this mixture and I took 5 cups of water in a bowl.

5) Heat oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds to crackle next add hing. Transfer the ground rice dal mixture to the oil and fry in medium flame till nice aroma arises. It might take around 2 minutes.

6) Pour the measured water, cover and leave it to boil for few minutes with occasional stirring. If you don't stir, the rice mixture might settle down at the bottom of the kadai/pan and might get burnt.

7) Once half cooked, add grated coconut, salt, 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and start stirring continuously.

8) It reaches a consistency where it leaves the sides of the pan as shown in the picture.

9) Once done, leave it to cool down for half an hour.

10) Heat a Dosa tawa and add a generous amount of oil (2 ladles) to it.

11) Grease your hands and take a small amount of dough. Roll it roughly in your palm to make it a ball shape and gently press with the other palm. You can get a shape of a patties/cutlet (refer the picture)

12) Make a hole in the middle so that it gets cooked evenly.

13) Transfer this pressed thavala adai to the tawa and leave it to get cooked. In the meanwhile, quickly, make 2 or 3 more thavala adais and lay them on the tawa (refer picture).

14) Close it with a lid and leave it to cook for few minutes in medium flame.

15) When you open the lid, you might notice the lower side corner portions turned to crispy and golden brown color. At this stage slowly flip the thavalas adai to cook the other side.

16) Sprinkle a generous amount of oil on the sides and leave it to cook. Once done, transfer to the plate and continue with the rest of the dough.

Delicious Thavala adais are ready. Serve hot with coconut chutney, green chutney, tomato chutney or with tomato sauce.


1)  I didn't add green chilies because it was tasting delicious even without them. If you want little spiciness, you can add few finely chopped green chilies while seasoning.

2) You can even add finely chopped ginger, coriander leaves, and curry leaves.

3) You can refrigerate the cooked batter for 2-3 days and make hot thavala adais when needed. Just, sprinkle few hot water and mix well before making the patties.

Traditional Iyengar style Thavala Adai-Tanjore/Thanjavur special -Easy and Healthy snack recipe


  1. Thank you for the great post really it help me.

  2. OMG was searching for this for long. My mom used to make this. My wife doesn't I'll try to make this during the weekend and introduce my children to a traditional item

  3. I am so glad that you are interested in our traditional recipe. Hope it turned out well :)