Vada, Chana or Tuvar Dal Patties from Tamilnadu
Mrs. G G Raj
Tamilnadu, made with either Chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal) or Arhar/tuvar dal (split pigeon peas). The quantities given are approximate. Serves 6-8
2 average sized tea cups of chana dal or tuvar dal (skinless)
1 medium onion (150 gm.), peeled and finely chopped (red onion is nicer)
1-3 fresh green or red chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
A pinch of hing or asafoetida powder
Salt to taste
8-10 curry leaves, roughly torn or chopped (you can use coriander instead)
Vegetable oil to deep fry
Wash and soak chana or tuvar dal for a couple of hours.
Leave in a colander to drain, no water should remain.
Place chana dal, perhaps half at a time and grind coarsely. It should be of �grainy� consistency, not smooth. Soaked dal does not usually require any water and grinds easily, especially if done in small portions. It should be like dough, not batter, so it can be shaped into vadas.
Place in a bowl and add chopped onion, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and salt, mix well.
Heat the oil in a wok or karahi to moderate heat, just under smoking point.
Wet your palms and finger with water and pick about 1 tablespoon full of the mix at a time. Shape into a round balls then flattening slightly, to make into discs or a small burger shape. Shaping is easier, if you place on a piece of oiled plastic.
Slide into hot oil from the side, gently, without splashing the oil. Fry turning over a few times, until golden brown and crisp.