Divya Pramil of You too can cook Indian Food is the brain behind SNC challenge - recipe exchange where two teams challenge each other with their authentic recipes. The teams get a month’s time to prepare the recipe and post on their spaces. This is the 3rd event of the series and December month's challenge is posted by Meena from random ramblings (Northern team) and yours truly ( South team).
Thank u so much for this opportunity my dear. I am proud to be the challenger :-)
Divya's enthusiasm is one to be mentioned here in. The challenge, although called south vs north indian challenge, the members reside all over the world, making it quite an international challenge in its own rights. To bring in and co-ordinate these many girls under one roof is one big task in itself, let alone hosting a google group and facebook group. She is a big help and does a brilliant job with the challenge. Great going girl. Hats off to u.
Now, let me do the honours.
I, sherin, on behalf of all the south team members, challenge the north team members of SNC to prepare, photograph and post uzhunnu vada a.k.a urad dal vada a.k.a methu vada
Preparation time: overnight soak + 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Yield : 8 pieces
Urad dal / Uzhunnu parippu (with no skin) - 1 cup
Green chillies - 1 finely chopped or less according to your fiery threshold.
Curry leaves - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Onion - half of one or Shallots - 10 finely chopped
Pepper - 1 tsp crushed
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - as required
- Soak urad dal over night.
- Drain water completely and then add drop by drop while grinding as required. I used about 1/4 cup.
- Now grind it to a smooth paste adding water every now and then. The batter should be very thick.
- Once the batter is ready, add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a kadai, enough to dunk the vadas.
- Take a square sheet of aluminium foil (milma cover or banans leaf for those fortunate ones) greased with a drop of oil. Wet ur right hand, then make a small ball out of the batter and pat it on the foil. Now make a hole in the middle and carefully transfer it to the kadai.
- Deep fry the vada in medium flame, flip over to the second side once the sides turn light brown. When golden brown on both sides, take them out with a slotted spoon and drain on tissue
- The end result is a delicious uzhunnu vada which is crispy on the outside and soft and spongy in the middle.
Best served with coconut chutney and sambar.
- Chaat style thayir vada / yogurt vada: Dunk your vadas in yogurt and temper with mustard seeds and dried red chilli spluttered in vegetable oil. You can add some boiled chick peas / sev to the yogurt mix too for an added bite. Serve cold with a sprinkling of red chilli powder or chaat masala.
- Sweet urad daal vadas : Make vadas with only the urad daal and serve with sugar, banana cubes and a drizzle of ghee, like a sweet salad.
- If having trouble with shaping your vadas, you can always use a dessert spoon to spoon out balls of batter in to oil. The end result would be small balls of deep fried dough. These are traditionally used to make thayir / yogurt vada.
- You can also add a tsp tiny cubes of ginger and a tsp of crushed cumin seeds for that kick, to the batter.
- If you feel your vadas are not soft enough to your liking, try adding a pinch of baking soda to the batter.
- Soak the urad dal for a good 6 - 7 hours. Overnight soaking is the best.
- Add as much less water as is possible adding very little water only to aid the grinding process. A runny batter will absorb more oil and result in heavy vadas.
- Rice flour or semolina comes to the rescue if ur batter gets too runny. This is a problem especially if using blenders u get in the west, instead of the traditional grinder. Fortunately I didnot have to use any flour this time. I have had to in the past though. :P
- While grinding, add water in batches during the grinding process. This incorporates more air in the batter.
- Keep the batter for 30 min or 45 min at room temperature for a softer vada.
- Wet ur hands every now and then whilst making balls to avoid sticky hands.
On popular demand: How to store and reheat vadas
- Vadas stay fresh at room temperature for about an hour after which they start going soggy (esp in humid parts of the world).
- They keep well in the fridge for up to days.
- Re-heating vadas 1: I place them in batches on a wire rack in the oven ( or convection setting in a combi-microwave oven) at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- Re-heating vadas 2: Although I prefer traditional oven, microwave method is also not that bad. The texture changes ever so slightly, but it would still be yummy.
- Re-heating vadas 3: Never ever steam ur vadas as they turn to a mushy mess. Re-frying in oil is an option, but think about it. Do u want an oil drunk vada injecting fat straight to arteries in ur heart. May be not, rite? :-)
Let me know if u have any more queries dearies.