Vadai (Lentil Donuts)

Just a few days ago, while we were hurrying up to go to a friend’s place for a pizza party, I glanced at the festival calender I made when the year 2009 started(seems like yesterday but here I am preparing to welcome 2010). It was Hanumath Jayanthi, the birthday of Lord Hanuman and we usually make a vadai mala (garland of donuts) to celebrate the occasion.

Lord Hanuman is the pillar of strength and it is said in the epic Ramayan that he had the courage, determination and the quick thinking ability to find Sita in Sri Lanka where she was kept as a captive by king Ravana. Hanuman not only found Sita, but he managed to speak with her, learning about her real condition in captivity, analyzed the strength of rakshasas(demons) by deliberately inviting the demons for a fight and thereby creating an opportunity to meet the King Ravana. Hanuman was sent to Sri Lanka just to see if Sita was there but he accomplished 3 jobs in one! And that is why students and kids pray to Hanuman to get the buddi(quick thinking ability) to succeed. More about Ramayan and Hanuman can be found here.

I decided to make a couple of vadais and offer them, instead of making dozens of vadais and we headed out to enjoy our pizzas.

Ingredients: ( Makes 11 vadais)

Urad dal- 1 cup

Green chilies- 2 (deseeded)

Curry leaves- a few

Salt – to taste

Canola oil- for deep frying

Method:

Soak the urad dal in water for 15 minutes. Drain all the water from the dal and grind it to a smooth paste. If needed, add a table spoon of chilled water while grinding. Do not add large quantities of water as that runny batter cannot be used for making vadais. Vadai batter has to be thick. If it gets runny by any chance, add a teaspoon of rice flour to thicken it, but its better not to add water to grind. Do not add salt while grinding as that would make the batter runny too. When you are about to pulse the batter for the last time, add salt, chopped green chilies and curry leaves and blend them well.

Vadai-Batter

Heat oil on a medium flame.

Use the palm of your hand or a take a plastic sheet(ziplocs work very well) and scoop a tablespoon amount of the vadai batter onto the sheets. Make a hole in the middle and slightly slide the vadais from the sheet into the oil. Make sure that the oil is not too hot (then the vadais would be raw inside and brownish on the outside) or too low(then the vadais would turn out white in color and they will absorb lots of oil while cooking). Smear the palm or the sheets with little bit of water/oil to prevent the vadais from sticking.

Frying-Vadais

Use a medium flame throughout and wait till the vadais are golden brown on one side and flip them and cook them on the other side. Drain the vadais on a paper towel. Enjoy with your coffee as a evening snack or offer it as a prasam during festivals.

Usually I make sure that the oil is well heated and there is no water in the vadai batter apart from what is used to shape them. But the one in the left end of the picture, with a protruding curry leaf, actually decided to pop out and say hello to me. The curry leaf popped out when it was in the oil, but luckily nothing major happened except a few splashes of oil here and there.

Print Friendly

the attachments to this post:

Frying-Vadais
Frying-Vadais

Vadai-Batter
Vadai-Batter

Vadai
Vadai

Frying-Vadais
Frying-Vadais


No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply