There are two types of kara adais – vella adai (or sweet) and uppu adai (or salted). For both the key ingredient is roasted rice flour. Although a bit time consuming, the best way to prepare rice flour is to soak the rice grains for 3 hours, dry it well, powder it, and, then roast the flour lightly to off white to light brown, checking for any lumps. Lumps have to be sieved – otherwise they will spoil the consistency of the prepared vadai dough. Once the flour is ready, measure the required quantities for the salt vadai and the sweet vadai and keep them separately. If you don't have the time to soak rice grains and prepare the flour, please use ready made rice flour from shop and roast it lightly.

Vella Adai


  • Rice flour roasted : 1 cup
  • Black eyed peas ("karamani") : 1/4th of a cup
  • Jaggery : 1 cup
  • Cardamom : 4 to 5 powdered
  • Coconut : 1 tbsp cut into thin pieces of 2 cm each
  • Unsalted butter for the side

How to make the vadai:

  • Lightly roast the black eyed peas in a skillet. Cook in a pressure cooker to 2 whistles. Drain the water and keep aside
  • Break the jaggery into small lumps. In a medium-sized sauce pan, boil 2 and half cups water - vella adai needs more water than salt adai because the rice flour in jaggery takes longer to cook. When the water boils, add jaggery. Simmer down and let the jaggery dissolve in the water. Stir once a minute. This will take about 5 minutes
  • After the jaggery completely dissolves, add cooked black eyes peas and coconut.
  • Add rice flour little by little. Keep stirring. Mix the rice flour well with jaggery. Break any lumps that may form
  • Once all the rice flour is mixed in, transfer the contents to a bowl. Let it cool to room temperature so that one can shape the dough with hands.
  • Then add powdered cardamom to the prepared dough and mix it well in the dough. Roll lemon-sized balls of the dough; flatten them to the required thickness and make a hole in the centre of each
  • You can steam these like idli . Grease idli plates slightly with oil or ghee(for vella adai it's tastier with ghee). Place the flattened adais on the idli plate in a heavy bottom vessel; close with a lid and steam for 8-10 min. Vella adai is prepared!

This recipe yields about two dozen adais. This adai is traditionally enjoyed with unsalted butter.

Kara Adai


  • 1 cup rice flour roasted
  • 2 cups of water
  • A handful of dry roasted and cooked black-eye beans (Karamani)
  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced coconut pieces
  • 2 green chillies chopped in to fine pieces
  • 1 small piece of ginger – cut into tiny pieces
  • Curry Leaves
  • Mustard and urud dal 1 teaspoon each for seasoning ; a pinch of hing; salt ¾ level teaspoon (or to taste)

How to make the vadai :

  • In a kadai, add 2-3 spoons of cooking oil and when hot, add mustard. When the mustard splutters, add urud dal ; once it turns golden, add chopped coconut, chopped green chillies, cooked beans and a pinch of hing
  • Allow to saute for a few minutes and then immediately add 2 cups of water and the salt and curry leaves
  • Allow for this to boil, like you would do for upma
  • Now slowly bring the stove to SIM and add the roasted rice flour little by little. Use a whisk to bring it all together. You will see that it becomes a nice cooked ball of rice upma
  • Grease your hands and use the same procedure as you did for vella adai to prepare the balls and place them on a greased idli plate and steam them on high for 2 minutes and then lower the heat and allow to steam for further 6 minutes

Enjoy the vadais with a blob of unsalted butter!!