Cholam Adai or Jowari Adai

Jowari or Cholam or Sorghum or the white millet is healthy grain, which is widely consumed in Maharashtra in the form of Bhakris, a type of flat bread. I use this healthy millet in preparing South Indian breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa and Adai. Today’s recipe is Cholam Adai or Jowari Adai, which is a protein rich breakfast or dinner dish made with cholam as the star ingredient.

Cholam Adai

I make Adais often at home as they are my family’s favorite. Though I make Idlis and Dosas with Cholam, Cholam Adais is the most preferred one in my family. These Cholam Adais along with the goodness of dal are tasty and very filling. You wouldn’t find any difference in the taste between the one made with rice and the one made with cholam.

The addition of sautéed onions and curry leaves to the ground adai batter make these adai very flavorful. Also, using shallots makes these adais even tastier. Do definitely use sambar onions if they are available easily at your place.

Also, this adai batter does not need any fermentation unlike Idli/Dosa batter. Adais are also a very good and safe alternative to those who love dosas but are advised to avoid fermented batter. If planned in the afternoon, you can soak, grind and relish the Adais either as evening snack or as a dinner dish. Cholam Adais are definitely very nutritious and good for growing kids.


Cholam or Jowari – 150 gms or ¾ cup
Masoor dal, Moong dal, Urad dal, Chana dal, Whole green gram – one handful each
Red rice – 2 handfuls (optional)
Red chillies – 4 or to taste
Saunf (fennel seeds) – 1 ½ tsps
Garlic – 1 whole bulb (optional)
Coconut – ¼ of a coconut (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil as needed for making adais

To temper
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Jeera or cumin seeds or seeragam – 1 tsp
Hing or asafoetida – 1 tsp or a big pinch
Onion – 1 big sized or shallots (sambar onions) – 15-20
Coriander – ¼ of a bunch
Curry leaves – a handful
Green chillies – 2 or to taste (optional)


Prep time – 5 mins
Cook time – 5 mins
Soaking time -3 hrs
Serves 3-4

  1. Wash and soak the cholam and dals together in sufficient water for 2-3 hrs.
  2. Chop onions/sambar onions, coriander, green chillies and curry leaves. Peel garlic. Set everything aside.
  3. Add peeled garlic, sombu, red chillies, coconut to the soaked rice and dal and grind to a coarse batter using a mixer jar or a grinder. Reserve water used for soaking and use it for grinding the batter. Transfer the coarse batter to a bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add jeera, urad dal and hing. Add the onions and green chillies and sauté for a min.
  5. Add the sautéed onions to the prepared batter along with salt to taste. Mix well. Batter is ready for preparing adais.
  6. Heat a tawa and pour one ladle of the adai batter and spread it in a circular motion. Drizzle one tsp of oil around the adai and cook it. Once cooked, flip it to the other side, drizzle oil and cook till crisp and golden brown. Repeat for the rest of the batter.
  7. Remove from tawa and serve hot.

Cholam Adais can be served along with Idly Podi or Coconut Chutney or Avial or Jaggery and Butter. We enjoyed the Cholam Adais with Idly podi or Coconut Chutney.

Cholam Adai


  1. You can even soak the cholam and dals overnight.
  2. I had little red rice left after using it for making Kanji Maavu, hence used it. You can totally skip it and just use only the cholam and the dals. If you would want to add any rice at all, you can use whichever rice (raw rice or boiled rice) available at hand.
  3. Batter consistency should be not too runny or too thick. It should be thicker than that of dosa.
  4. You can add finely grated carrot or cabbage to the adai batter.
  5. You can also make it healthier by adding two handfuls of drumstick leaves to the batter and make adais.
  6. Prepared batter should be refrigerated if not using immediately. On refrigeration, batter stays good for 2 days.
  7. You can skip garlic and coconut totally. I have tried making it skipping both, either ways the adais taste delicious.
  8. Adais are normally made a little thicker. If you want it thinner; dilute it by adding little water.
  9. The prep and cook time excludes the soaking time. You would need 4-5 mins to cook per adai.

2 comments for “Cholam Adai or Jowari Adai

  1. Jan 30, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Wonderful recipe…will surely give a try

    • Deepa
      Jan 30, 2017 at 5:48 am

      Hi Harini. Thanks for your comments.

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