Keerai Vadai is a crispy and healthy snack prepared with a mixture of lentils and leafy greens. It is a very popular South Indian snack and available in all the tea shops. I rememeber as a kid going to the small shops in my hometown of Tirunelveli looking forward to buying this vadai. The shopkeeper always used to wrap in a newspaper that is a day old. The smell of the hot vadai would almost make it impossible to wait till I got home to eat it. I recreate this memory whenever I can and especially on a rainy day when a hot crispy vadai tastes even better! You can serve this as an evening snack with a cup of coffee/tea or as an appetizer. This dish is a huge favorite for my daughters as well. Try this dish at home and you will become a fan of it as well!
Channa Dal – 1 cup (soaked in water for 1 to 1 ½ hours)
Finely chopped Amaranth (Chowli) or Bhaji (Siru Keerai) – 2 cups
Onion – 1 (Finely chopped)
Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 2 (Finely chopped)
Garlic – 6 pods (Finely chopped)
Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch
Salt – as required
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Oil – for deep frying
Take the chopped Greens, Onion, Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies in a mixing bowl. Add required Salt, Turmeric Powder, Asafoetida and 2 tbsp of soaked Channa Dal. Keep aside.
Grind the remaining soaked Channa Dal coarsely without adding any water. Add this to the contents in the mixing bowl. Mix them well.
Heat the Oil in a frying pan. Take a small ball from the mixture, flatten it in the palm and drop gently into the hot oil. You can drop 4 to 5 such Vadas in a batch.
After a minute or so, reduce the flame to medium low and fry the Vadas – both the sides of the Vadas should become crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Fry the remaining Vadas.
Serve with Coconut Chutney or Tomato Sauce.
If you want the Vadas to be little spicier, grind 2 to 3 spicy Green Chillies together with the soaked Channa Dal while grinding the Dal.