I have always relished the urad dal vadas aka Medu Vada which were usually made during festivals and special occasions in our home. So you can imagine how I eagerly awaited those special days. So whenever it was made I would gobble up to my hearts content.
The base preparation is the similar for any variety of vada – urad dal, green chillis, coriander and curry leaves. Onion or Drumstick leaves or coconut or whole black peppers can be added in different combinations for variety. Some times vadais made of just whole black gram with skin and black pepper are used as prasad specially in temples for ‘Hanuman ji”
Each of these variation has its own unique taste which are all equity good. My kids like the plain variety without any onion or peppers so I make a small batch for them before adding in the onions and more chilis for us.
I call Vadai the Indian doughnuts as vadai and doughnuts have hole in the middle. It started to get my kids interested and willing to try it and now they love all the varieties as along as I hide the peppers.
Ulundhu vadai | Medu vada | Savory Doughnuts
Whole black gram/ Urad dal/Ulutham paraupu – 1.5 cups
Rava(Cream of wheat)/Sooji/Ravai – 3 tbs
Green chilis/ Hari mirch/ Pacha milagi – 3 ( as per taste)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves – 1 starnd
Coriander leaves – 1 tbs
Onion – 1 cup ( optional)
Whole Black peppers – few
Oil for frying
To make vada batter:
- Soak the urad dal in water for about 2 to 3 hrs.
- Drain and keep the water that the dal was soaked in to use later,
- Now add the dal and the green chills to the grinder and start grinding.
- I used my ( ultra) wet grinder to make the batter. If you do not have a grinder you can grind it in the mixe.
- When you start to grind just add very little water. Just enough to start the grinding going. I added the water that the dal was soaked in.
- Add little water now and then and keep checking. Do not add the all the water at once, that will not give the right texture and consistency.
- The final mix should be fluffy and should not stick to hand when picked and rolled.
- To check, wet your hand in some water, now take some batter and roll it. It should roll without sticking to hand.
- Also it should feel like snow ball.
To make vada:
- Now to the basic vadai batter add the salt and the greens ( curry and coriander ) and mix well. At this point you can add the onion if you want.
- Keep the mixture in the fridge for 15-20 mins. This makes the vadas a bit crispier.
- Heat the oil in a wide and deep pan. The oil should be hot enough that if you drop the vadai in to the oil it should quickly float on top.
- Now wet the plam of your left hand.
- Take a small lemon ball sized batter and put it on the wet left palm.
- Pat it to make a small flat circle and make a small hole in the middle.
- Not slide the shaped batter into the right hand and slowly drop them into the hot oil, with your fingers, from the side to avoid splatter.
- Repeat steps 4-7 to make 3 to 4 more for a single batch.
- Cook the vadai in medium flame for the crispy golden brown texture.
- Enjoy it with thengai chutney or the tiffin sambar