Sunday, June 12, 2011

Palak Vada / Keerai Vadai (Lentils deep-fried with spinach)

Spinach is not a preferred item on the menu for many of us, especially, kids. But we all know that spinach is rich in iron content and is loaded with folic acid and anti-oxidants. That makes it all the more important to include it in our diet and at the same time, make it very tasty.

Here is an attempt to make the quintessential South-indian Vadai with spinach in it. It turned out really yummy and anyone who loves paruppu vadai is sure to love this one too! :)

What You Need -

Channa Dal (கடலை பருப்பு) - 1 cup
Urad dal  (உளுந்து) - 1/2 cup
Spinach , finely chopped - 1 cup
Onions, finely chopped - 3/4 cup

Green chillies - 3 nos
Black pepper pods - 1 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste

Rice flour - for crispness 
Besan  (கடலை மாவு) - a little, for binding everything together

How To -

  • Soak the dals together for an hour or two. Drain the water completely and grind to a coarse paste along with green chillies, pepper and fennel seeds (சோம்பு) and salt.

  • Mix chopped spinach and onions to the dal paste. 
  • Add a little rice flour and besan. 

  • Take a lemon sized ball in your palm, then flatten it and slid gently into a kadai with hot oil. Fry the vadas until the color turns golden and then flip sides. Keep the flame on Low and allow the vadais to get cooked well. Drain on kitchen tissues.

I served it hot with onion chutney :)

Sweet and Spicy Onion Chutney - Onion Dip Indian Style

This chutney is different because roasted channa dal is ground together with fried onions and it's made sweeter with jaggery. This is another recipe I learnt from my mom-in-law. Simple, quick-to-make and delicious!

Onion Dip - Indian Style

What She Used -

Onions - 3 medium  (You may also use sambar onions/ pearl onions / small onions. Take 10-12 of them. The resulting chutney/dip would be sweeter and that tastes awesome according to me!)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Channa Dal (கடலை பருப்பு) - 1 tsp
Finely chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 3 nos.
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp (or more if you like)
Curry leaves - a few (optional)
Oil - 1 tsp

How My Mom-in-law Makes It -

  • Take a kadai and heat oil.
  • Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds.
  • Add channa dal/bengal gram dal and fry it for a minute. Enjoy the nice aroma as channa dal turns a bit reddish.
  • Add red chillies, hing, chopped ginger and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  • Cube onions (For pearl onions, just fry them whole as you do for Onion sambar) and drop them into the kadai and continue to fry.
  • After the raw smell goes away, switch off the flame and let cool.

  • After 15 minutes, it has cooled enough. Tranfer everything into a mixer jar. 
  • It's at this point that you add jaggery - the star of this recipe! :)
  • Grind them all together to a fine paste or chutney consistency ;)
  • Temper with mustard seeds. 

Sweet and Spicy Onion Chutney

This chutney stays good for atleast 3 days in the fridge. Enjoy with any snack like vadai, samosa, bajji, bonda, cutlet or simply use it as a bread spread! :)

Sending this to "Dip In" event started by Priya Mahadevan of Now Serving


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