Monday, March 10, 2014

Thinai / Xiaomi / Foxtail Millet Adai

Foxtail millet or Thinai (in Tamil), is not new to anyone around here. It is known as Kangni in Hindi, Navane in Kannada, Thina in Malayalam and Korra in Telugu. It has been staple food for a very very long time and is quoted in many Tamil literature. It dates back to the time period when Lord Muruga met Valli who was guarding the thinai fields. The flour mixed with honey is made as a special neyvedhyam (prasadam) for Lord Muruga. So no need to explain its nutritional values.

I just tried making Adai, (which are usually pancakes made with rice and dhal mixture). I substituted thinai for rice. Thinai adai was extremely tasty. It came out exactly crispy but soft, just like the regular ones. Got a thumbs up from the critics in my home. No words to describe my happiness, when the food made by you is eaten by your loved ones, smiling and asking for extra helpings - simply just great!

In Mandarin, this millet is called Xiaomi and hence I am entering this for the event "Dish name starting with X" hosted by Akilandeswari of


Foxtail millet or Thinai - 1 cup
Channa dhal - 1/2 cup
Toor Dhal - 1/2 cup
Moong dhal - 1 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 7
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Coconut - 2 tbsp (optional)
Cilantro - 2 tsp, chopped
Oil for pan frying

Topping for each adai (optional):

Onion - 2 tsp,chopped fine
Pudina - 1 tsp, chopped
Carrot - 2 tsp, grated
Round zuchini - 2 tsp, grated


Soak the millet and dhal separately for 3-4 hours. Grind the millet with the red chillies. Grind the dhal mixture and add it to millet. The batter should be a little thicker than dosa batter in consistency. Add turmeric, salt, coconut, hing, curry leaves and cilantro. Mix thoroughly. In a heated pan, pour a big spoon of this batter and flatten it similarly to dosa.

If you want top the adai with your favorite toppings. Add a tsp of oil, let it cook, flip and cook for a couple of minutes. Tasty, crispy nutritious adai is ready!

The best accompaniments for adai are butter, jaggery and avial. I love the combination of plain adai with avial  and enjoyed my hearty dinner.

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