Vadai brings back fond memories of home when my mom made it look so easy as she whipped up light and crisp medhu vadais every once in a while. Now as I try making them, I see that a lot of technique and work goes into these delicious fritters. I’ve found my way around them and I love how they turn out. Though they are fried, they feel light and fluffy and are easy on the stomach. I always get good feedback from my friends who have tried these which is why I’m sharing the recipe with you. Do try it out and tag us on instagram!
- Urad dal – 1 cup (heaped)
- Onions – ½ cup, finely chopped
- Ginger – 2 tablespoons, minced
- Green chillies – 2, finely chopped
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, torn
- Cilantro/coriander leaves – a handful, chopped
- Salt – as required
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Oil for frying
This is a quick method I follow for crisp and fluffy vadas. However you can make alterations according to your convenience.
- In a large vessel, soak 1 cup of urad dal in hot water for 30-60 minutes. After almost an hour you will see that they have fluffed up nicely. Wash the urad dal well and strain the water.
- Transfer the urad dal into a blender and pulse it a few times without adding any water. Once they break down, add just a few spoonfuls of water and grind until very smooth. Try to keep the quantity of water to a minimum as the batter should be thick yet smooth. So grind in short intervals.
- Transfer the batter to a large vessel and add in chopped onions, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves, enough salt and a pinch of asafoetida. Mix well until evenly combined.
- In a large kadai, add enough oil and heat on medium flame. To check if the oil is hot enough for frying, drop a pea-sized portion of the batter into the oil and check if it bubbles up instantly.
- Wet your hands while shaping the vadais. Take a small ball-sized portion of the batter and, using your thumb, make a hole in the middle. Gently invert and drop it in the oil. (If this doesn’t work out for you, drop a small portion into the oil and, using a spoon, make dents onto the vadais as they’re frying. They will immediately hold shape as they cook.)
- Fry on medium flame on both sides until the vadais turn golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with tissue paper and serve piping hot with sambar and chutney!