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Take urad dal
in a vessel and add water to just cover the dal and keep aside
After about 30 mins. the water
level would have gone down. Now add more water to cover the dal
again. After 30 more minutes the dal will be well soaked and
ready to be ground.
Making the Batter:
In a wet grinder, grind
the dal in small portions without adding water. If the grinder
is unable to grind well, sprinkle some water and grind again
till you get a smooth, thick and fluffy paste.
Note: if you intend to make the vadas using a vada maker,
then the batter has to be the consistency of idly batter. But if
you prefer making the vadas the traditional way - using the palm
of your hand - then the batter has to be as thick as possible.
In case the batter has become less thick, you can add some urad
flour to make the batter thicker.
To this dal
batter, add chopped ginger, green chillies, onion, curry leaves,
whole black pepper corns, a pinch of baking soda (to make the
vadas soft) and salt and mix well. If you like the vadas to have
a crispy exterior and soft interior, add 2 tbsp rice flour to
the batter - I don't. Let the batter sit for 5 to 10 mins.
Heat oil (better to use fresh
oil - not the oil that was previously used to fry other foods)
in a kadai or deep skillet. Let the oil get really hot - you
know if it is hot enough by placing your palm at a safe distance
above the pan - you can feel the hot steam from the oil. Or use
a deep fryer thermometer - temp should be at least 380 deg. F.
shapes with the batter either using the palm of your hand or
using a vada maker as described below.
Making donut shapes using
hands: wet the palm of your hand with water and place a ball of
the vada mix on it . Press it down slightly with the fingers of
your other hand. Now using one finger make a hole in the middle
of it. Drop it slowly and carefully into the hot oil. Wet your
palm each time you make the donut shape - this prevents the
batter from sticking on your hand.
Making donut Shapes using vada
maker: Fill the vada maker with batter. Hold it over the hot oil
(as shown in the picture shown above). Now with your thumb push
down the lever/knob and the hole at the bottom of the vada maker
opens to let the batter out. Keep your thumb pressed down for as
long as you need - this depends on how big you want your vadas.
The longer you hold the lever down, more batter comes out and
vada becomes bigger. Hold the lever down for a short time to
make smaller vadas.
Fry the vadas till golden
brown and lay them out on a tray lined with kitchen tissue to
absorb excess oil.
Serve hot with chutney and/or
samber. YUM YUM ....
Use as little water as possible to make
the batter - this also makes the vadas absorb less oil.
Skip the green chillies and peppercorns
when making these for kids or for people who are not used to spicy
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