Recipe: Uzhunu Vada (Spiced Lentil Fritters)
I don't think these crispy, mildly spiced snack from down south of India needs any special intro. It's an any time hit with my entire family, but of course it's enormous calorie content prevents me from making it a frequenter a home. But I guess,some sporadic indulgences can be justified ;)
Who can really resist a platter of some hot, crispy vadas served with coconut chutney and sambar......... Not me anyways!!
Though I love home made vadas, I quite as much enjoy the restaurant ones as well. In fact I don't remember a visit to any South Indian vegetarian restaurants that has culminated without munching onto some sambar/chutney dripping chunks of vada or it could be any other variants of the usual vada as well, I am talking about, Thair/dhahi/curd Vada, Sambar Vada etc.
You see, I had made these almost 3 weeks back and now all this talk about vadas has left me yearning for more!!!!!
Urad dal/Uzhunu - 2 cups
Onion - 1 medium chopped finely
Ginger - 1 tsp grated
Chilly - 1 chopped (as per taste)
Curry leaves - a handful chopped
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp (optional )
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Pepper corns - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Salt as per taste
Soak urad dal for 3-4 hrs and grind them into a smooth paste using wet grinder or blender, using as little water as possible, actually just enough to get the grinder/ blender running.
If using wet grinder you wouldn't really need any water at all, just sprinkle some water to get the grinder running.
But if using a blender you might need nearly 1/2 cup water to get a smooth paste without heating up the batter. Yes, Do not get the batter heated..... It would ruin the texture of your vadas.
If you feel your batter is too loose to shape, no worries, just add some rice powder till you get the required consistency and leave to ferment for an hour or slightly more.
Remember, do not ferment your batter for too long as this might get your vadas to soak up too much oil while frying.
Now add all the other ingredients into the batter and mix well using your hand or a spoon.
Heat a wok with enough oil for deep frying. Keep the flame to medium.
Wet your hands and scoop out a heaped tablespoon of batter. Using your hands shape the batter into a doughnut and drop it into the sizzling hot oil. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Fry till the vadas turn a lovely golden brown, scoop out using a slotted spoon and then leave to drain on some kitchen towels.
Do not overcrowd the wok while frying as this would end up with your vadas sticking together.
Serve warm with some coconut chutney or sambar or maybe both :).