Vadai, also known as vada, is a popular South Indian snack made from lentils. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it a perfect tea-time snack or appetizer. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making vadai at home.
To make vadai, you will need a few basic ingredients such as urad dal (split black lentils), green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, and a pinch of asafoetida. Start by soaking the urad dal in water for about 2 hours. Once the dal is soaked, drain the water and grind it into a coarse paste using a blender or a grinder. Make sure not to add too much water while grinding, as it can affect the texture of the vadai.
Tip: You can also add a handful of soaked chana dal (split chickpeas) to the urad dal while grinding to enhance the flavor and texture of the vadai.
Next, transfer the ground dal to a mixing bowl and add finely chopped green chillies, grated ginger, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Mix everything together to form a thick and smooth batter. Now, it’s time to shape the vadai. Wet your hands with water to prevent the batter from sticking, take a small portion of the batter, and shape it into a round or flat shape. You can also make a hole in the center of the vadai to ensure even cooking.
Once you have shaped all the vadai, heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai. Carefully drop the vadai into the hot oil and fry them until they turn golden brown and crispy. Make sure to flip them occasionally to ensure even cooking. Once the vadai are cooked, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
|Urad dal||1 cup|
|Ginger||1 inch (grated)|
|Curry leaves||A handful|
|Oil||For deep frying|
Serve the vadai hot with coconut chutney, sambar, or any other dipping sauce of your choice. Enjoy!
What is Vadai and its origins
Vadai originated in the southern part of India and is believed to have been introduced by the ancient Tamils. It has a long history and is considered to be one of the oldest snacks in Indian cuisine. The dish has also gained popularity in other parts of South Asia, including Sri Lanka, where it is known as Vadai or Vade.
Traditionally, Vadai is made from a mixture of soaked and ground lentils or legumes, such as urad dal or chana dal. The batter is flavored with a variety of spices, including cumin, ginger, and curry leaves, and then shaped into small patties or balls before being deep-fried until golden brown and crispy.
There are different variations of Vadai depending on the region and personal preferences. For example, Medu Vadai is a popular type of Vadai made from urad dal and is typically served with coconut chutney and sambar. Masala Vadai, on the other hand, is made with a mixture of lentils and spices and is often enjoyed as a street food snack in South India.
Vadai is loved for its crispy texture and savory flavor. It is best enjoyed when served hot with chutneys or dips, such as coconut chutney, mint chutney, or tomato chutney. Vadai is not only a delicious snack but also a nutritious one, as lentils and legumes are rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
Ingredients and Preparation
- 1 cup urad dal (split black gram)
- 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- A handful of curry leaves, chopped
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash the urad dal under running water and soak it in water for at least 4 hours.
- Drain the water and grind the soaked dal in a blender to make a smooth paste. You can add a little water if needed.
- Transfer the dal paste to a mixing bowl and add green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, asafoetida, onion, and salt. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
- Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai for frying.
- Take a small portion of the mixture and shape it into a flat circular disc. Make a small hole in the center of the disc using your thumb.
- Gently slide the vadai into the hot oil and deep-fry until it turns golden brown and crispy. Fry a few vadai at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Remove the vadai from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
- Serve hot vadai with coconut chutney or sambar.
|Urad Dal||1 cup|
|Green Chilies||2-3, finely chopped|
|Ginger||1 inch, grated|
|Curry Leaves||A handful, chopped|
|Asafoetida (Hing)||A pinch|
|Onion||1 medium-sized, finely chopped|
|Oil||For deep frying|