For us South Indians, different Vadas are part and parcel of our daily life. They graze our daily lives right from the mom’s kitchen, through street stalls to railway stations. We cannot imagine a train journey in the south without imbibing the smell of these delicious snacks. Uzhunnu Vada is a leader among the pack and is a delicious accompaniment to the traditional South Indian breakfasts. They are also an anytime snack and with sambar and coconut chutney….they are just donut shaped pieces of heaven…..
Uzhunnu/Bengal gram/urad dal 1 cup, soaked for ~ 6 hours
Whole black pepper 2 tsp, crushed
Shallots 2 nos, chopped
Curry leaves 2 sprigs, chopped
Asafetida a pinch
Salt as needed
Oil for frying
Wash and soak the uzhunnu/Bengal gram/urad dal for at least 6 hours. After soaking grind it to a coarse paste with little water at a time, if needed. Transfer the batter(thick consistency) to a bowl and using your fingers beat the batter(in zig zag motion) for around 5 -10 minutes until it turns all white. Doing this helps in keeping the vadas crispier for longer time. Now add crushed pepper, shallots, curry leaves asafetida and salt to the batter. Mix well.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Keep aside a bowl of water. When the oil is hot enough, dip your palm in water, take a scoop of batter in your palm and shape into ball, flatten little bit and then make a hole in the middle, like in a doughnut. (Apply water onto your palms occasionally so that the batter will not be sticky). Slowly drop the vada into oil. Fry both sides until golden brown.
Vadas pair so well with thick coconut chutney/Katta chammanthi and here is how I prepare the same..
Grated coconut ½ cup
Shallots 1 small, roughly chopped
Dhania/roasted chana dal 2 tsp
Green chilly 2 nos, roughly chopped
Salt as needed
Add everything onto a blender jar with little water (around 1-2 TBSP), Grind to a smooth paste.