Friday, November 10, 2006

More is More - 16 Bean Adai

bag of beans
Bag of 16 kinds of Beans

  • Do you want to add more protein to your diet?
  • Do you want to eat more whole grains?
  • Do you want to increase your fiber intake?
  • Do you want to feed your family traditional dishes that they love eating?
  • Do you want a quick lunch/dinner/brunch option that you don't have to slave over?
  • Do you want to use up that bag of brown rice you bought, but is lying unused in the pantry?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, read on....

Ever since I saw this post in Linda's blog, I was intrigued. I have always had a love-hate relationship with beans. I love beans of all kinds, but tend to over indulge on them. When I am on a bean-loving phase, I make all kinds of bean dishes without respite for days on end - dals, sprouts, salads, koshambir and so on, till I am so full of beans(excuse the pun!) that I cannot look at another bean in the eye. I veer away from beans and stick to vegetables till the enchanting allure of beans draws me to them again.

When I saw Linda's post for a 16 bean soup, I knew that it was a recipe I had to try. If 1 bean is good, 16 beans has got to be better, right? So, a bag of 16 bean soup mix came home with me on my next trip to the grocery store.

I soaked the beans for the soup and then had a sudden change of plans. I thought of the perennial favorite of my husband - Adai. Typically Adai can be made with 3 beans (actually lentils, but who is checking?) but why not with 16? So I soaked 1 cup of brown rice (yes, that bag of brown rice that's been sitting in the pantry for ages) along with the beans and threw in a handful of udad dal to act as a binding agent. This is in case the beans didn't form a homogenous mass. I wasn't sure if the beans would bind together without some binding agent like udad dal.

I flavored the batter with a good dose of fresh ginger, some red and green chillies, a handful of fresh cilantro and was estatic when this batter turned out crisp, crunchy, absolutely delicious Adai!

Who says you can't have it all? With this 16 (umm..17) bean Adai, you can have both taste and nutrition!

According to the packet, the bean soup mix contains the following:
  • Northern
  • Pinto
  • Large Lima
  • Blackeye
  • Garbanzo
  • Baby Lima
  • Green Split Pea
  • Kidney
  • Cranberry Bean
  • Small White
  • Pink Bean
  • Small Red
  • Yellow split pea
  • Lentils
  • Navy
  • White Kidney
  • Pearl Barley
  • Black Bean

Keen readers will notice that there are more than 16 items listed above. My guess is that some are not beans!!

And to leave you similing, here a little poem my son came home singing when he was in 3rd grade:

Beans, Beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So eat some beans with every meal

Yes, 3rd graders are very amused by such jokes :-)

16 bean adai
16 Bean Adai with tomato pickle and Spinach Chutney


1 cup of 16 bean soup mix
1 handful of udad dal
1 cup brown rice (I used organic long grain)
6 dried red chillies (caution: reduce if you prefer the Adai less spicy)
1 green chilli
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root
a handful of cilantro leaves
5-6 curry leaves
scant 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (to reduce the aforementioned "tooting")
salt to taste

  1. Soak the beans and udad dal in 6 cups of water for 2 hours
  2. After 2 hours add the rice and red chillies and soak for another 2 hours
  3. Drain and grind to a coarse paste in the blender with the ginger, green chillies, cilantro. You can add the soaking water to get a pancake batter like consistency.
  4. Add asafoetida and salt to taste.
  5. Tear the curry leaves into 2-3 pieces and add to the batter.
  • Make adais right away or store the batter in a tightly covered container for upto 1 week
  • You can add finely chopped onions to the batter before making the adai
  • Follow the instructions in this post for step-by-step instructions to making the adai


At Fri Nov 10, 10:38:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


First time here.
can't wait to try this. I just love your recipes. Have tried quite a few with great success. The way you present the recipes make them seem so easy to prepare.. you inspire confidence in novices like me. Great going... BTW... Prepared your rava laddoo and Indiraji's sunna undalu for a baby shower tomorrow. Thanks.


At Fri Nov 10, 10:40:00 AM 2006, Blogger Sumitha said...

Is this nutritious or what!!!My God 16 different types of beans in one dosa!Its a wonderful recipe Saffron!

At Fri Nov 10, 10:41:00 AM 2006, Blogger BDSN said...

Hey SH!!!

I have heard of a 16 bean soup but this adai is a very nice twist!!! Can brown rice be substituted with regular white long grain rice? BTW Thanks for the wishes!

At Fri Nov 10, 10:43:00 AM 2006, Blogger Meena Kandlakuti said...

great recipe..thanks for sharing

At Fri Nov 10, 11:06:00 AM 2006, Blogger Foodie's Hope said...

Hey, I am all over that 16 bean soup and Adai too. Wonderful looking beans and recipre:))

At Fri Nov 10, 11:09:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, a first time commenter - but been tracking your blog since Diwali time - very cool picture of the beans.
Interesting twist on adai...I might try this..
The soup mix you bought - was it just a mix of dry beans - wondering if I can just use a variety of beans that I already have at home...

At Fri Nov 10, 11:16:00 AM 2006, Blogger Cooking Memoir said...

Cool recipe. I have been thinking off making adai for the weekend, will try this one. Gosh, this is one heck of a healthy adai with brown rice. I am heading to the grocery store and saw this in time to pick up the 16 bean pack.

Great work!


At Fri Nov 10, 11:51:00 AM 2006, Blogger Krithika said...

Lovely idea ! Have never tried adai with brown rice. Thanks for the recipe

At Fri Nov 10, 12:15:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Manisha said...

SH, we have a variation of that rhyme that is not printable but very amusing - rolling on the floor hysterical kind - for 3rd graders! And, yes, it has to do with bodily functions that are induced by eating beans. :D

The multi-bean-dal adai is a great idea! I have half a mind to go to WIld Oats and make my own mix. Will do for a good Sunday breakfast, eh?!

Do you have a recipe for the spinach chutney?

At Fri Nov 10, 12:18:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Monisha said...

I love your creative twist on a bag of 16 bean soup, 16 stars to you :)!!

At Fri Nov 10, 12:35:00 PM 2006, Blogger SUPRIYA said...

when do i add the urad dal to soak...with the beans or the rice

At Fri Nov 10, 12:49:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent recipe. I always make adai the traditional way. Substituting brown rice for white rice is an awesome option. Definitely this is a nutritious recipe for adai. Thanks for posting this one

At Fri Nov 10, 12:54:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Mike said...

In Britain we have the same playground song, but it is somewhat ruder.

Beans, beans, good for the heart.
Beans, beans, they make you...

I guess we just lack subtelty over here.

At Fri Nov 10, 12:58:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great looking recipe, what a wonderful way to sneak some good nutrition,especially for picky kids!! thanks...


At Fri Nov 10, 01:21:00 PM 2006, Blogger Latha said...

Hey Saff,

Wooooooooow this looks cool! We love adai's. I will definitely try this. More the protein the better!

At Fri Nov 10, 02:42:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Priya S&S said...

This is the most BRILLIANT recipe ever for Adai !!!!

At Fri Nov 10, 02:47:00 PM 2006, Blogger Nabeela said...

oh SH, you're making me feel guilty about what I just had for lunch(rich rice pudding for the curious :)
That's an awesome combination of beans btw...kudos to you for feeding your family such healthy food. They're lucky to have you! :)

At Fri Nov 10, 03:54:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Linda said...

oooh SH!! I was so hoping that someone would find something do with those beans besides plain ol' soup -- and look!! Now I'm going to have to try making adai. I just washed and soaked those very beans last night, *and* I even have a bag of brown rice! Thanks so much :)

At Fri Nov 10, 04:00:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Creative ideas , crisp & clear pictures and mouth watering end results ... you are very articulate !!! you make cooking a breeze !!! ... Kudos to you !!!

For a novice like me I need to ask an elementary question : Where did you get this 16 bean mix packet?


At Fri Nov 10, 05:29:00 PM 2006, Blogger Brilynn said...

I've never had adai before, but it looks delicious!

At Fri Nov 10, 06:59:00 PM 2006, Blogger Vani said...

The picture of the variety of beans looks so good! I didn't know the names of many! The adai looks great and makes for a nutritious meal!

At Fri Nov 10, 07:44:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh..Aaahh...16 different beans in one adai! I will look for that beans pack during my next visit to the grocery shop.

At Fri Nov 10, 08:28:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Indira said...

The motherlode of protein. Yay..finally!:)

What a delightful recipe, SH. I like it and thanks for sharing. Thanks also to Linda for 16 bean soup. I missed reading it.

At Sat Nov 11, 01:06:00 AM 2006, Blogger Sigrid said...

This is actually a great idea!
I just happen to have on the shelve a 16bean mix, thought I was going to use it to make some winter soup but I've just changed my mind, I'll give these a try :-)

At Sat Nov 11, 05:46:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anita said...

Adais are favourites are my place too. And that 'bean-bag' is beautiful. What a swell can be a larder-cleaner recipe!

At Sat Nov 11, 10:06:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Savitha said...

I just finished making Adais last week from your other post, and loved every single Adai that came out of the batter. Like your husband, Adai is my favorite thing too, and I just can't wait to try this variation! Thank you!


At Sat Nov 11, 10:58:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Madhavi said...

Wow, never heard of so many beans in a dosa. Its looks very good, deifintely going to try this recipe.

What an awesome picture!


At Sat Nov 11, 12:07:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Sri said...

Hi SH,
I can't wait to sink my teeth into those adai's.Inspired by you and other fellow bloggers i have also started a blog.I have tagged you.


At Sat Nov 11, 02:53:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a terrific idea. I was planning on buying a bag ever since i read Linda's post. I will have to devaide it now between the soup and adai. Thank you for the recipe.

At Sat Nov 11, 07:33:00 PM 2006, Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi SH,
Nice idea of making adai with 16 beans and brown rice. Thanks for sharing a healthy recipe.

At Sat Nov 11, 07:58:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kesar Kuteer :)

Been meaning to write an update since Diwali, just never got to doing it.

Tried the :
Badam halwa - Though it tasted good, the ghee formed a glassy layer(like ice formation in winter) which was harder than the inside. No amount of microwaving helped. It was eventually sold as halwa :)

Besan burfi :
This as well somehow wasnt able to make it into burfi, but I was happy to serve them as besan laddu and was quite a hit.

Kaju Kathli :
This, dear SH, was the piece de resistance. It turned out exactly the way you described and no one believes me that its made of just cashews and sugar. A keeper recipe.

The 16 bean adai has already been tried and tested :), it came right before my weekly grocery trip. Thanks much and here are some links for proof. :)

Many thanks once again and have a good weekend.


At Sun Nov 12, 08:35:00 AM 2006, Blogger Faffer said...

That's such a brilliant idea. I usually throw in whatever dals I have at hand to make adai and last week, I tried it with brown rice, but I have never used beans. I think I finally know what to do with that bag of black beans that take forever to cook. Thanks so much!

At Sun Nov 12, 10:16:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fabulous picture of the beans. The spinach chutney sounds interesting. Can we get the recipe of that too.


At Sun Nov 12, 05:41:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Mythili said...

Yummmyy and sooo healthyy. Awesome idea SH. I am blown away completely.

At Sun Nov 12, 08:04:00 PM 2006, Blogger Jaya said...

I came to notice this 16 bean pack today at the grocery and hooked to the colourful array!!now here on your lovely blog..this type of "dosa"(hope I am write in Asuming this) on my list now..
My first time here and liked this recipe alot ...Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes...

At Sun Nov 12, 10:59:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Madhu said...

Hi saffron hut,

Ever since i saw your blog,i am kind of addicted to it and make sure to visit it religiously morning,noon and night.Your blog is just different...bright,beautiful,well presented,superbly explained and excellently written!!!

Looking forward to more innovative,nutritious yet simple recipes.Thanks

At Mon Nov 13, 07:40:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Writing for first time and a Newbie Blogger...
Ur 16bean adai looks wonderful.....Will definetly try over weekend....
And the pics u take are too good... i wonder with wat camera u take them??

At Mon Nov 13, 01:02:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love beans! And I love Adai! So the best of both worlds! Great experiment though! :)

At Mon Nov 13, 03:38:00 PM 2006, Blogger shammi said...

Oh brill! I have a bag of mixed beans too - not 16 varieties though.

At Mon Nov 13, 04:52:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

16 beans..gosh, is there such a thing as getting high on protein...will I be climbing the walls after this dish....~lol~.

Looks great, a must try recipe


At Tue Nov 14, 09:30:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll not believe I do the same with the bean mix. I use boiled rice and add dhania and saunf instead of green chilli and ginger. I also add lot of onion, coconut,gratted carrot and curry leaves. If you like the masala taste try this version once.

- Nandini.

At Tue Nov 14, 10:19:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made the adai yesterday for dinner and it came out absolutely great. Thanks for posting this recipe.

At Tue Nov 14, 12:14:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

All Thanks so much for the compliments!! They mean a lot to me. I'm impressed that some of you have already tried out the recipe before I even had a chance to respond to the comments!! Next time, I'll try to reply faster :-)

@ BSDN, yes you can definitely substitute white rice for the brown.

@ Shoba, you can find the beans in any grocery store with the other dry goods. It comes with a ham flavor seasoning packet of some kind...I just discarded that.

Spinach chutney recipe coming soon...


At Wed Nov 15, 02:33:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear SH - I have been a silent reader of your blog for a really long time. I tried your 16 bean adai this weekend and it was tasty. I did muck it up a little in the beginning - must have done something wrong with the measurement of ulundu, it was a little on the undercokked side. I then added a couple of spoons of rawa and suddenly the perfect adai came about and it tasted divine. Thanks so much for coming up with such an innovative thought. I experiment through the blogs. I read something and recreate it my way - the same as you do with cookbooks. Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading and seeing those awesome pictures.

At Thu Nov 23, 11:15:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query.I really appreciate it.


At Mon Nov 27, 10:12:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi SH,
Just dropped by to tell you that today for the first time i tried making adai and it came out perfect,yay!!! and you know what even my 19th old daughter loved it she was literally licking the plate. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

At Thu Nov 30, 07:06:00 AM 2006, Anonymous priya said...

My first drop here and love to try this recipe. Where do u get the whole beans mixed?

Will chk' it out soon to make this recipe in few days and let u know.

At Tue Dec 05, 09:53:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello...been following your recipes for awhile now. Your recipes are good and so are the pro' pictures, But mostly, the pleasant friendly 'lilt' in your writing feels like I'm just chatting to an old childhood friend.
Ever thought about publishing a cookbook? I have a cookbook collection craze too and love looking for new recipes. Of the scores of bland books out there, your style would be a breath of fresh air.
If you did, I'd buy one!

At Mon Mar 12, 10:47:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when I read your comment about the bag of Brown Rice in the pantry
(been there,done that!1),I knew I had to try this recipe!
I love Adai, and am looking forward to try out this recipe.

At Tue Mar 13, 09:33:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Priya said...


where do u find the 16 bean soup mix ?? I tried walmart but couldnt find any....

Please let me know


At Fri Mar 23, 05:23:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time here.

Can't wait to try this. The 16 bean adai seems to be tempting to try out as soon as possible. Can you let me know where did you get the 16 bean soup mix. I tried in Walmart, but could not find it.

Please let me know as soon as possible.


At Tue Apr 03, 04:01:00 PM 2007, Blogger Sreelu said...

Hey Saffron,

first time here ,really nice blog,lovely presentation and content.I always loved adai but never made one ,any specific store that sell these 16 beans.

would love to try this ,Also added you to my favorites

At Sat Jan 19, 07:57:00 PM 2008, Anonymous anoo kumar said...


v too was yummy.....

ur presentation is damn good,,,it makes us mouth watering..


At Tue Jul 08, 08:18:00 PM 2008, Blogger Sunshinemom said...

First time here! Loved what I saw and am not surprised someone lifted your photos! They are so good:) The least they could do is credit you!

At Sat Aug 23, 05:37:00 PM 2008, Blogger Nitu said...

Very nice and simple recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

At Mon Nov 17, 06:51:00 AM 2008, Blogger Sour cream said...

oh 16 bean adai-the recipe was amazing and the aroma is still lingering in our house...We loved the dish as a family and wud never mind having it again!!!thanx for such a great recipe saffron...

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At Thu Nov 04, 04:03:00 AM 2010, Blogger sj said...

I tried this adai today for breakfast. I had 10 bean pack n it was in my pantry for long. when i came across this post i decided to try. i used white rice n the 10 beans mixture, didnt use any urad dal still it came out very nice. thank you a lot

At Mon Dec 06, 11:43:00 PM 2010, Blogger Sagar said...

Buy Saffron Online
i love ur recipe its good

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