I love vadais. Medhu or otherwise. Yesterday however was probably the first time I had a hand in making them from start to end. Vadais always bring back memories of pandigai at home. No festival is complete without this treat. Vadai and payasam mark the arrival of honored guests at home. So, whenever K and I visit any of my relatives I have noticed vadai and payasam on the menu to honor the maapilai. 🙂 I am not complaining!
On a different note, I think they are called vadais to mark their shape. I am sure vadai is some corruption of the root word vatram or round.
Stuff you will need:
2 cups urad dhal soaked 2-3 hours
Black pepper – 2 tbsp broken
Salt to taste
Curry leaves – cut into bits
Green chillies – 4 cut into bits
Ginger – 1 inch cube – shredded
Asafoetide – 1 pinch
Any refined oil – 2 cups (to deep fry)
Butter paper 5 inch square
How to make it?
Grind soaked urad dhal with salt using little water to a fine thick batter. Mix black pepper, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves.
Heat oil in a wok. Scoop half a handful of batter on to the butter paper. Pat into flat round shape and make a hole in the center. Dipping your hand in water occasionally helps the batter slide off your hand easily. Slide the vadai off the sheet on to you fingers and drop into hot oil. Fry gently till it browns evenly and then remove to a plate lined with paper tissue to drain off excess oil. Serve with chutney.
Excess water in the batter will lead to vadais taking in more oil during the frying process. The idea is to make a thick fluffy batter with as less water as possible. Too little water and the vadais turn out hard.