Spinach Vada or Palak / Keera / Cheera Vada
A deep fried snack. Best with Idli / Dosa / Chutney varieties / Sambar / Pongal or serve as a snack with tea / coffee.
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 chopped spinach, pick tender leaves and remove thick stem (or red color spinach / Amaranth leaves (Thambidi bajji in Konkani cuisine)
1 onion, finely sliced
2 green chillies. finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon hing ( asafoetida ) - optional
1 teaspoon peppercorns (not recommending for kids)
1 - inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 spring (6 nos) curry leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
2 -3 tablespoons water ( for grinding )
300 ml oil for frying
Wash and clean spinach leaves. Drain out water completely. Remove thick stem and chop finely.
Chop ginger, green chilli and curry leaves. In a bowl, mix hing ( asafoetida ), peppercorns (optional), chopped ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, chopped spinach, 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 1 tablespoon water during grinding (1 tablespoon for each batch).
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 / frying pan (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.