Saturday, January 31, 2009

Masala Vada/Vadai - Channa Dhal fitters

Masala vada 4 Its been a severe winter so far in Canada...For the past two months there is no break from extreme cold temperatures and tons of snow...Of all the years I lived here this has been one heavy, cold and absolutely white winter. Life has also been hectic to the core much like the weather for the past few months...though i catch up with the food blog world now and then...I'm hardly finding time to publish posts...But I somehow wanted this month to appear in my blog pushing myself to post a recipe...

I still have few more pictures in my drafts to go on with my Egg series. But being the first post in new year I decided to post something new.

Well having lived in South India who won't long for a savoury snack like Masala vada. All the more when it is biting chill out there. And being weekend who wants to drive on those snowy roads to Tamil stores to buy them. So hubby and i decided to make them at home for one weekend evening tea.

Though growing up I liked these store bought or home made by my granny, I really tasted the best masala vadai in my life when i came to Chennai newly wed. There was this Nayar Tea kadai (Store) right adjacent to the apartment we lived in...And boy the smell that use to fill the air every morning with freshly made masala vadai was so enticing and hard to resist. In andhra the vadai are small in diameter and more thick and hard unlike those in Tamil nadu where they are flatter and big in diameter. Therefore they are crisp on the outer and soft inside. Taste wise both are good...but different.

I'm giving the Tamil version doubt for the last 10 years I have been transformed into a Tamil girl. But still I'm very much Telugu too. At least I want to keep the best of both.

So lets make our Tamil Masala Vadai here.

Masala vada 1 Ingredients:
Oil for deep frying
400gms or approx 1.1/2 cups Channa Dhal
1 medium Onion
2 long Green Chillies
10 Curry leaves
5 Garlic pods crashed into small pieces skin on
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
Add chilly powder if desire more spicy.
chopped coriander leaves ( My addition)

If you want a fusion of Andhra an Tamil nadu then add 1/8 tsp garam masala powder and 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste. You can omit crashed garlic then

Soak channa dal in enough water for 2 to 3 hours.
Drain the liquid fully and keep 2 tbsp of full dhall aside.
Now grind the remaining strained dal into a thick course paste.
You can add half salt when grinding.
Heat oil in a wok or deep wide kadai/pot
Alternatively add chopped onion, chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, crashed garlic, fennel seeds, baking soda and remaining salt and mix nicely.
Make lemon size balls with this channa mixture and on a wax paper or even on wet palm pat them into small patties keeping the centre thick and tapering towards the end with approximately 2 inch diameter.
Once the oil is heated nicely drop these channa patties into it and deep fry them till orangish brown color is achieved and a savoury smell feels the kitchen.
Once done remove from oil and place on tissue paper to remove excess oil.
Repeat till all the mixture is done.
Serve hot with tea and any desired sweet dish like chakra pongal, kesari bath, gulab jamun to contrast the spice.
These don't need any chutney or sauce to go with, cause they are spicy and flavoured by them self to make them a wholesome snack/savoury.

Masala vada 5