Sunday, February 27, 2011

Masal Vadai (Paruppu Vadai / Aama vadai / Dal vada) - Step-by-Step Recipe

Any festive feast in South India is incomplete without Vadai. It also makes a great evening tiffin with coffee/tea, especially on a chilly, rainy day! Paruppu Vadai, as the name says, is packed with the protein power of dals(lentils) of various types. We transform it into Masal vadai by adding onions and some spice powders. I find it yummier than the traditional ulundu vadai because masal vadai is crispier and at the same time, so filling!


Here is a step-by-step demonstration of how I make Masal Vadais. It is very simple and can be made in 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

Basics for Paruppu Vadai -

Channa Dal (kadala pruppu) - 80 g
Urad dal (ulundu) - 50 g
Toor dal (thuvaram paruppu) - 50 g
Moong dal (pasi paruppu) - 50 g

Green chillies - 4
Curry leaves - a few
Ginger - 1" piece
Salt - to taste
Baking soda - a pinch (optional)
Rice flour - 2 tsp - for crispness
Besan (kadala maavu) - 4 tsp - for binding everything together

Oil - for frying

Add-ons for Masal Vadai

Chopped onions - 1 cup
Jeera - 2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder (Sombu powdered) -1/2 tsp
Pepper powder from 8 corns
Cilantro (for fragrance )- optional

Method:

  • Wash and rinse the dals thrice. Soak them together in water for 30-45 minutes.
  • Drain off the water completely. Keeping a handful aside, grind the rest of them into a semi-coarse (semi-fine) paste, like this. Add salt and ginger while grinding. You can choose to grind the green chillies as well, if you don't want them to be seen.


  • Add chopped onions, curry leaves, baking soda, jeera, cinnamon powder, fennel powder, pepper powder. Don't worry if you're out of stock on any of these spices.


  • Mix everything together and add rice flour and besan at this point.


  • Make patties in your hand. They can be 4 cm in diameter and 1" thickness.

  • Heat oil in a deep pan. Do not go until it smokes. Keep flame on 'Low-Medium'. This allows the lentils to get well-cooked inside. Gently, slip in the patties into the hot oil.

  • Flip sides, once the vadais turn golden-color.
  • Once done on both sides, drain them from oil using a straining laddle (preferably stainless steel) and transfer the hot vadais to a plate lined with kitchen roll (paper towel).

Tip:  You can also add shredded carrots to the mixture and call it "vegetable vadai"  :)

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