Vada is a fried savory and there are different varieties in it – Medu Vada, Potato Vada etc and then subsequent combination like Sambar Vada, Dahl Vada etc. Vadas are popular snack varieties of South India. And one of the Vadas is the Masala Vada. It is also called as Dal Vada since it is made with Channa Dal as the main ingredients. It is a very tasty crunchy snack which goes well with a coffee or tea. It is also served as a combination with Idli, Dosa etc. It is simple to make. You can avoid Garlic in it even though it gives a good taste to those who do not mind Garlic in a dish. Try this Vada. Follow the tips given as notes at the end. It is important to make a good Masala Vada.
Ingredients for grinding:
Bengal Gram (Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu) – 1 cup (240 Gms)
Fennel Seed (Saunf) – 1 tsp
Cumin Seed – ½ tsp
Cinnamon Stick – 1 piece (or Cinnamon Powder – 2 pinches)
Dried Red Chillies – 4
Onion – 1 (finely chopped)
Green Chillies – 3 (finely chopped)
Curry leaves – from 3 sprigs (finely chopped)
Finely chopped Cilantro – 3 tbsp
Pudhina – 2 tbsp
Garlic Pods – 12 to 15 (washed with the peels & crushed, NOT Garlic Paste)
Salt – to suit taste
Oil – for deep frying
Wash and soak the Channa Dal for 2 hours in water. Transfer the soaked Dal to a colander and drain the water.
Add Fennel Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon Stick, dried Red Chillies and a small quantity of soaked Dal. Blend it well. Ensure that the Cinnamon stick is blended well. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Now, grind the remaining soaked Dal. Grind to a medium coarse texture. The mixture is likely to stick to the sides of the mixer jar since we have not added any water. You may have to wipe them and put back into the mixture and grind for getting an even mixture. You will still find some Dals not ground and remaining as whole. It does not matter. This gives a chunky texture to the Vada. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add finely chopped Onion, Green Chillies, Curry Leaves, Pudhina, crushed Garlic and Salt. Mix them well.
Wash your hands. Divide the mixture into equal portions of desired quantity. Shape each portion into round balls.
Heat the Oil for deep frying in a deep frying pan. When the Oil is medium hot, flatten each ball by pressing it gently between your palms (to give a pattice shape) and slide into the Oil. The flame should be medium flame and the Oil should also be medium hot. Slide 5 to 6 Vadas into the Oil. Do not drop them into Oil since the Oil may splash.
Leave them in the Oil for 2 to 3 minutes without disturbing them. Then, flip the Vadas and fry the other side. Fry the Vadas golden brown on both the sides and crispy. Transfer them to a plate. Fry the other Vadas also in the similar manner.
Serve the Vadas hot with Sambar or Chutney. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Grind the Dal without any water.
- If you fry the Vadas in high flame in hot oil, the Vadas will turn brown immediately, but the inner portion will remain uncooked.
- If the Oil is less hot, the Vadas will suck more Oil and remain Oily.
- The Vada mixture should not be too crumbly while shaping them into balls. If it is crumbly, they will crumble as soon as you drop them in oil. So, if you find the mixture is crumbling while making the balls or start crumbling after dropping them into oil, take 1/3rd of the mixture and grind it to a smooth mixture and add to the remaining mixture and mix well.
- If you find that the mixture is too moist, add 2 to 3 tbsp of Rice Flour and mix well. This will remove the extra moistness.
- Do not add Ginger or Cloves to the Vada mixture. It will spoil the flavor of a good Vada.
- Add crushed Garlic only, not Garlic paste. Crushed Garlic makes the Vada tastier. Garlic paste will spoil the taste.