Mince the shallots (sambar onion), slice the coconut to thin pieces (about 1/2 cm long). Mince the curry leaves.
Heat the tava till its very hot.
Add the minced shallots, coconut and curry leaves to the batter, add salt to taste (keeping in mind the salt already added when grinding) and mix well.
Reduce the heat, add a teaspoon of oil on the tava. Pour a large ladleful of batter on the tava, and quickly spread it out into a circle. Pour a little oil, all around the outside of the edges of the adai.
My Mom used to make a small slit or hole near the circumference of the adai, one in each of the four directions and one in the centre, and sprinkle a few drops of oil in each. I do the same thing, and I think it helps the adai to cook faster and evenly.
After about 1 minute, and using a flat spatula, gently lift the edges and check that they are getting to be an orangey red. Slide the spatula all around the edges and then beneath the centre. If there is no resistance and the adai lifts easily, it is ready to be flipped. The first adai may take a littte more time than the ones following.
Flip carefully with the spatula, ensuring the adai comes to rest on the centre of the skillet.
Add a few drops of oil around the outside of the edges. After about 1.5- 2 minutes, remove from the pan.
Serve hot, with white unsalted butter, jaggery and mulagaipodi (dosa chilly powder/ gun powder) or with avial - vegetables cooked in yogurt and coconut paste.