Posts Tagged ‘Chickpeas thayir vadai’

Chickpea savory donuts with yogurt sauce(chickpea thayir vadai)

Monday, November 7th, 2011

On a bright and sunny evening this weekend,we wanted to eat something new but also something that we are used to,something that was comforting and reminds us of the good times back home where we sit around the garden table, enjoy a meal and share stories. Given how fast little R is growing up, we often think of the times we spent back home when we were young and remember people, food, movies and places that gave us the spirit and good times to look forward too. Speaking of people and food, we were discussing similarities in world cuisines and how lucky lil R is, to experience a bit of everything given how much both N and I have traveled and the sweet memories we have of those times.

Such talks always leads us to make something that makes you feel good, what warms you inside out!  Quickly I raided the pantry and while I was looking for ingredients, a bag of garbanzo beans caught my eye.N suggested some vadais(lentil donuts), lets call it falafel of India. Vadais are also deep fried and crunchy and some types of vadai are like cousins of falafel :) Using chickpeas to make vadai was new as vadais are normally made out of lentils,not dried beans.

As part of the foodbuzz program, I was invited to post recipes for an extraordinary Greek Getaway with FAGE yogurt, so N and I decided to make a chickpea thayir vadai,instead of plain vadais.

Thayir vadai is savory donut soaked in spiced yogurt and this is served either as an appetizer or as a snack or chat(to go with tea in the evening), sometimes thayir vadias are a meal on its own.

Yogurt is always used in Indian and Greek cooking and,for us living in hot weather conditions,it symbolizes a natural and healthy cool drink during the summer season and we use it all year around. I also make yogurt at home and while I make gravies,I add the yogurt to the gravy to give  some richness and smoothness for a wonderful taste and aroma.

This is how I made the crunchy chickpea vada using falafel as an idea.

Ingredients(Makes 11 vadais of 5 cm diameter each)

Dried chickpeas- 1 cup
Green chilies-2
Ginger- 1/2″ piece
Chopped onions-1/4 cup
Cilantro- a handful-chopped
Unsweetened grated Coconut- 1 tbsp
Rice flour- 2 tbsp
Salt- to taste(less than 1/2 tsp)
Coriander seed powder- 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder-1/4 tsp
Water- around 2 tbsp
Canola oil- to deep fry

For the yogurt sauce:
Any plain yogurt or Fage yogurt(greek yogurt) – 1 cup
Salt- to taste
Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp
Chopped cilantro- 2 tbsp
Mint chutney- 1tbsp
Grated carrots and cucumbers/chopped nuts(optional)- for garnish

Method:

Soak the dry garbanzo beans in hot water for 4 hours and then drain the beans. Take a blender, add the drained beans and pulse until it becomes a coarse powder. Add the chopped ginger, green chilies, cilantro, onions and blend well, also add 2-3 tbsp of water if required, to make it a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and add the rice flour,red chili powder, coriander seed powder,salt and coconut and mix well.(Always add salt at the end as salt sometimes can make the chickpea paste a little watery;the rice flour acts as a binding agent).

Heat the canola oil in a pan.

While the oil is heating up, pat a side of a ziplock bag(I usually use my palm) with water-just to wet the side of the bag. Take a lemon sized ball of the vadai paste,flatten it once and make a hole in the middle like a donut.Invert the bag on your palm immediately so that the donut can be transfered to the palm/tip of your fingers.

When the oil is ready, drop the donut into the oil gently. Let it rise up and turn golden brown on one side then flip it to the other side and let it cook until it turns golden brown.


Once the vadai is golden brown on both sides, remove from the oil and let the oil drain on a paper towel. Similarly, repeat the procedure for the rest of the batter.


Or if you do not want the donut shape, you can even fry it like a falafel using an icecream scoop. Tastes good either way!

Whisk together yogurt, salt, red chili powder, mint chutney and cilantro.

Serving: Arrange 3 donuts on a serving bowl. Pour the yogurt sauce on top. Garnish with cilantro/grated carrots/cucumbers or even chopped toasted nuts and grapes. Serve immediately. Goes great just for a family of three or for a potluck too! Both adults and kids will love this.

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here http://www.fageusa.com/community/fage-greek-getaway.