Posted on | January 18, 2012 | 24 Comments |
When the weather outside is frightful, deep fried goodies can be delightful!
It is always nice to have an excuse to eat unhealthy stuff, although I hardly ever need one. I don’t even think this is that unhealthy, it has lentils which are highly nutritional and were fried in fresh sunflower oil, which has a high smoke point and low Trans fats. I agree that consuming deep fried food from restaurants on a regular basis is not a good idea, mainly because restaurants are known to reuse frying oils, which means the oil gets heated repeatedly to really high temperatures beyond its smoke point, which can cause some hydrogenation and oxidation and such bad stuff. But making deep fried goodies at home once in a while is definitely not a crime.
Parippu vada (or Masala vada as they call it in Tamil Naadu) is a favorite tea time delight in Kerala. I haven’t had these in a long time and now that we are stuck at home in a snowstorm it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. It is my first time making parippu vada, so I did screw up a bit. I like having a little more bite to my vada, so I kept aside 1/4th of the whole lentils to mix in with the ground lentils. I ground the lentils and mixed it with the whole lentils before I found out that the mixture wasn’t sticky enough to maintain the vada shape. A quick search on the internet told me that it happens when the lentils are too coarsely ground. So I took 3/4th of the mixture and ground it again till it was sticky enough to be shaped into balls. I ultimately ended up with a batter with much less whole lentils than I would’ve liked. So the lesson learned here is to check the consistency of the ground lentils before mixing in the whole lentils.
- 1 cup Split Toor Daal (Pigeon peas) (Or use 1/2 cup toor daal + 1/2 cup chana daal)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
- 6-8 green Thai chilies (depending on how spicy you want the vadas to be)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 2 sprigs of Curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
- Salt to taste
- Sunflower oil/vegetable oil/Canola oil
Wash and soak the daal for at least 2 hours
Place 3/4th of the soaked daal in a food processor, add the onions, curry leaves, ginger, green chilies, asafoetida powder and salt. Process to a coarse paste.
This was too coarse, when I tried to shape this into a vada, it kept falling apart.
So it went back into the food processor, and this consistency was perfect.
Add the whole daal to the mixture and mix well. Shape these into small lime sized balls, press slightly to flatten them.
Heat enough oil to cover the vadas in a frying pan and when the oil is hot enough, but not smoking hot, place the prepared vadas one by one in the oil. (To know when the oil is hot enough, drop a tiny piece of batter in the oil. If it immediately floats to the surface, the oil is ready. ) Don’t overcrowd the pan, the vadas shouldn’t be touching each other.
If the vads are not fully immersed in oil, tilt the pan occasionally to get oil on top of the vadas to ensure even browning. After 3-4 minutes turn the vadas over and brown the other side for 2-3 minutes as well.
Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Serve hot with your hot beverage of choice – coffee/tea.
BTW, Siri of Cooking with Siri has organized a fund drive to collect money for an Orphanage in India for little girls. Please head over to her blog to read a heart-touching account of her visit to the orphanage. There are some pretty cool raffle prizes already and more coming.
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