After the famed Idly,dosa and Pongal comes Medu vadai in many avataars. Dahi vadas,Sambar vadas etc .
Vadai as it is called in Tamilnadu or Medu Vada is made of udad dal batter (split black lentils).
Medu means soft,so Medu Vada has to be made to a soft texture which depends on the correct consistency of grinding the batter.
There are many varieties of vadas made from udad dal batter as the basis but for festivals and poojas this is the only type of vada prepared for prasad (Neivediyam). Onions are not added to this type of vada.
- 3 cups of udad dal (split black lentils) cleaned,washed and soaked in water for upto 11/2 to 2 hrs max. ( measure less if you think 3 cups is a large qty…also here you can choose any measuring cup like a steel cup or tumbler will also do
- 4 medium sized green chillies. Decide on the quantity you desire.
- 2 tsp whole pepper corns. You can also add pepper powder if you dont have peppercorns. Powder should be added after the dal is ground to batter.
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp of asafoetida/hing powder
- sprigs of curry leaves. Sufficient oil to fry the vadas.
You can use either banana leaf or a zip loc bag to shape the vadas. If you dont have banana leaf,take a clean ziploc bag and smear oil on one side. Keep a small bowl of water nearby.
Make your hand little wet and take a small ball of the thick batter and place it on the greased ziploc bag surface and flatten it slightly and make a dent in the middle with the finger.
If you fingers are getting sticky with the batter then lightly dip in the water and quickly shape the vadas. At a time shape enough vadas that you will fry immediately. Dont let the raw batter of shaped vadas sit on the counter.
Meanwhile keep a kadai/tawa with oil for deep frying.
As soon as the oil is hot enough , ease out the shaped vadas and gently slide into the oil taking care not to make a splash. Drop all the shaped vadas and deep fry til done.
You can check whether the oil is hot enough by dropping a small bit of the batter. It should come up immediately with a sizzle. Fry the vadas on a medium flame as it takes time to cook inside .Flip carefully on other side.
You need to fry some more till it attains a deep golden colour. You can check one vada if need be.
Drain well in a colander .
Place on a paper napkin to remove excess oil.
Medu vadas are really easy to prepare. You need to keep some small points while preparing.
- As soon as the batter is ground , dont let it ferment or sit on the counter for long.
- The crispiness is achieved by getting the right consistency of batter ground.
- Another way of making vadas ,the procedure which I usually follow doing away with the ziploc bag etc is to wet the hand and take a small ball of batter and with the right hand thumb, make a dent in the center to shape the hole and drop immediately in the hot oil.
- For beginners , shaping the vadas on the greased plastic cover is the easiest.
Usually when we prepare the medu vada for festival and pooja, after the pooja and lunch , we set aside some vadas for making delicious dahi vadas and sambar vadas, the recipe which I will share shortly.