Cabbage Vada (with urad dal)
Soaking time: 2 - 3 hours
Makes: 9 - 10
200 g / 1 cup (Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity) urad dal
2 1/2 cup water ( for soaking )
½ cup / 100 g, finely shredded cabbage, pick tender cabbage leaves and remove thick nerve (or 1/2 cup mixed vegetable like grated carrot or cabbage or sliced onion or spinach)
1 tablespoon very finely sliced onion
2 green chillies. finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon hing ( asafoetida )
1 teaspoon peppercorns (not recommending for kids)
1 - inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 spring curry leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
2 -3 tablespoons water ( for grinding )
300 ml oil for frying
Chop ginger, green chilli and curry leaves. In a bowl, mix hing ( asafoetida ), peppercorns (optional), chopped ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, shredded cabbage, and onion. Do not add salt now. Before frying vada, please keep all the chopped ingredients ready.
Wash and soak urad dal for 2 - 3 hours. Drain out water completely.
Grind urad dal to a thick and smooth paste in a mixer in 2 batches. Add / sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons water during grinding.
Transfer the vada batter into another flat bowl and mix it with chopped ingredients, peppercorns, hing , and salt to taste (Finally add salt) and prepare vada immediately.
Heat oil in a kadai / frying pan. Reduce heat to medium. Avoid frying on high heat.
Wet your palms and take batter into the palms. Shape it like a doughnut with a hole in the centre. The reason for putting hole is to allow for expansion during frying as well as to obtain uniform cooking through out the cross section.
Alternately one can shape it like a ball / bondas if one find it difficult to shape it like a doughnut.
Release the doughnut shaped batter directly into the medium hot oil.
Care should taken not to splash oil on to your palms.
Repeat this as far as the space permitting in your kadai (4 - 5 vadas at a time).
Also too many vadas at a time may result in uneven cooking of vadas. Normally at first the underside of the vadas turn brown. So turn the vadas over so that the uniform color ( golden color ) is obtained through out the surface. Cook on a medium heat. Avoid high heat.
Drain and place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Serve with coconut chutney / Sambar / Tea / Coffee.
Note: If by any chance you add more water the paste (vada batter) may become loose. But that is not the end of the world. Add a little rice flour (2 teaspoon) into vada batter and mix well to it to make it more firm and then continue as per recipe.