Ulundu (Medu) Vada
It is also made along with jaggery-based paysams as neivedyam (offering) to God on some festivals. You can also use the same recipe for dahi vadas (vadas in curd/yoghurt). If not an offering to God, you can also add chopped onions. My recipe is from my mom.
Black gram skinned and split (Dhuli udad dal): 1 cup
Green chillies: 3
Ginger: a half inch piece
Asafoetida (Hing): a pinch
Curry leaves: 3-4
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
*You can add a finely chopped onion too if you wish. A variation of this vada would be to use 3-4 crushed black pepper corns and half a teaspoon cumin seeds instead of green chillies, ginger, and curry leaves.
- Wash and soak the udad dal for about 3-4 hours in water.
- Finely chop the green chillies, ginger, and curry leaves.
- Drain all the water and grind to a fine paste without adding water (at the most 1-2 teaspoons if required). Not adding water ensures that the batter is not runny and the vadas don’t absorb too much oil.
- In the paste, mix the green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, and salt to taste. Beat well with the ladle to incorporate some air and make fluffy vadas.
- You can make vadas immediately, but if making the batter in advance, refrigerate as soon as the batter is ready – so that the batter does not turn sour or become runny. Refrigerating the batter also helps the vadas hold shape
- For making vadas, use a plastic sheet or the palm of your hand. I prefer using the plastic sheet as we can make multiple vadas on it.
- Wet the sheet with a little water and also your hand.
- Make lemon-sized balls of the batter and flatten on the sheet with your hand. Create a small hole in the center of the vadas.
- Heat oil in a frying pan (kadhai). When the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium and slip the vadas carefully into the oil – about 2-3 at a time.
- Fry till golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain to remove excess oil.
- The vadas are ready to be served and enjoyed – garma-garam! You can have them with coconut chutney.
- For dahi vadas, you can soak the vadas in warm water for about 5-10 minutes and squeeze the water before adding to beaten, spiced curds/yoghurt. Dahi vadas don’t need to have the hole in the center of the vadas.