Vadai is a savory Indian snack made with soaked or fermented pulses. The Indian fritter is most commonly moulded into a doughnut shape then deep fried, resulting in a crispy exterior and soft interior. This recipe is native to South India, made with urad dal, and is most commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack. Serve with coriander chutney for a refreshing punch between your bites!
This recipe serves 4-6 people.
For the vadai
2 cups white urad dal
1 large red onion, chopped
Salt to taste
For the chutney
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
3 green chilis, chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 medium red onion, chopped
4-5 curry leaves
Salt to taste
1. In a mixing bowl, soak dal in water for 2 to 3 hours.
2. While the dal is soaking, blend coriander, coconut, tamarind and green chillis in a blender with a little water. Add salt to taste and blend until smooth.
3. In a pan, stir-fry mustard seeds, chopped onion and curry leaves until brown and fragrant.
4. Turn off the heat, pour in the coriander paste and stir until completely mixed. Cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to eat.
5. After 2 to 3 hours, drain the dal and grind in a blender with a little water. Make sure to maintain a thick consistency.
6. Cover and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes. This step is optional but highly recommended as it creates a crispier exterior.
7. Right before frying, add in salt to taste and stir in chopped onions.
8. Mould by hand into a doughnut shape and deep fry until golden brown.
9. Serve warm with coriander chutney.
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. Setting the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking ensures a crispier texture when cooked.
2. Adding salt and onion right before cooking prevents the batter from getting too watery.
3. For a creamier and more savory flavor, add 3-4 ground cashews in the coriander chutney.