Vada / Medu Vada (with Sabudana / Sago) – Delicious & crispy vadas. Basic recipe from Samayal by Viji Varadarajan (Cookery book available @ Landmarkonthenet online store)
Makes – 12 – 14
1 cup / 200 ml / 8 oz urad dal
2 1/2 cup water ( to soak)
3 tablespoon sabudana (sago / chawvari)
2 green chillies. finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hing ( asafoetida )
1 - inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 spring curry leaves or 6 nos, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoon shallots (chuvannulli), thinly sliced (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
3 tablespoons water ( for grinding )
250 ml oil for frying
Soak sabudana in ½ cup of water (half an hour before preparing the vada batter). This recipe step is very important.
Wash and soak urad dal for 3 hours. Drain out water completely.
Grind urad dal to a thick and smooth paste in a mixer in 2 batches. Add / sprinkle 3 tablespoons water when making batter. Batter should be thick in consistency.
Transfer the vada batter into another flat bowl and mix it with chopped green chilli, ginger, curry leaves, shallots (optional), chopped coriander leaves and hing. Now squeeze out water from sabudana completely and mix it with other ingredients. Add salt now (always finally add salt when making vada). Mix all the ingredients with a thick tablespoon.
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. Adding sabaudana helps the vada batter to hold easily. 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. 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 out from oil and place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Serve with coconut chutney / Sambar / Tea / Coffee.