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Masala Vada | Paruppu Vadai

There’s nothing else that infuses warmth as tenderly as these mini monsoon comrades and some hot tea on a cold and rainy day. Crispy, brown and scaarrrumptious, masala vadas, otherwise known as paruppu vadais are guaranteed mood lifters too.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup split chickpeas soaked for 3-5 hours in water (they will double in size)
  • 1 tablespoon split black gram
  • 1/2 cup finely cut onions
  • 1/3 cup finely cut dill fronds
  • 1/4 cup finely cut coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped garlic flakes with their skins on
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 cloves coarsely ground
  • 1 ” piece cinnamon coarsely ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups oil or how much ever you see fit, to deep fry the masala vadas
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped

Instructions

  1. You will find that the split chickpeas you soaked earlier have now doubled in volume. Drain the water, and pat dry.
  2. Put that and the split black gram into the blender and blast it for a few seconds at a time, checking each time to see how it looks. This is how it should look: coarse — half of it should’ve ground completely, a quarter coarsely, and a quarter should stay intact.
  3. Put it all into a big bowl. Add to it the onions, dill, coriander leaves, garlic, ginger garlic paste, cloves, cinnamon, and green chillies and mix all of them well. You could use a salad mixer if you want. Don’t add the salt now, as it’ll extract water from the mix.
  4. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small kadai or wok.
  5. While the oil is hot, add the salt to the mixture and give it one last good mix and then quickly start shaping it into 1” thick balls the size of limes.
  6. Keep some newspapers or tissues on a tray nearby to place the hot vadas on, to absorb the excess oil.
  7. When the oil is hot enough, spread some oil on your left palm or a small patch of banana leaf or the leaf of a jamblam tree, or a small patch of parchment paper and place a ball of the vada mixture on it. Pat it down lightly so it looks like a mini patty with thinner edges. They’ll hold together and won’t fall apart.
  8. Now, put it gently into the hot oil. (I suggest you make the mini patties with thin edges in advance, on second thoughts.)
  9. Keep turning them over so both sides are fried well and evenly.
  10. Whether you’re going to put them in one by one (patting them down will take only about 3-5 seconds) or a few of them together at a time, it won’t matter. When you take each one out will matter.
  11. Take them out when they turn a warm golden brown — a shade or two a darker than the golden brown top of a vanilla sponge cake or like honey. Don’t let them turn darker.
  12. When they’re ready: evenly fried, lift them out of the oil gently with a frying skimmer or a slotted spoon.
  13. Place them onto the newspaper or tissue you had kept ready earlier, and cover it with another layer of newspaper or tissue.
  14. Get going with putting a few more into the oil!
  15. They should be ready to eat in about 5 minutes after they’re taken out of the kadai (if you can wait that long).
  16. Serving: Serve hot, dabbing them once more with tissue to absorb any excess oil. You could serve it with coconut chutney if you wish.

Notes

Storage: They tend to lose their crispiness as they sit out longer (even in a container) so finish them off in the same hour. You can store them in the fridge for a day ir two. Heat them before you eat them.