3 cups Urad Dal (skinless)
Baking powder (optional)
Oil for frying
Onions (chopped into little pieces)
Soak the Urad Dal in water, overnight. Drain the water and grind the dal with as minimal water as possible. The thicker the batter, the better it is. Add 1 tsp of baking powder and salt. You can make the vada immediately or let it ferment (let it sit overnight in a warm place) if you'd like. I do it both ways depending on the time I have. Fermented batter vadas are probably more crispy and spongy..
Heat oil for deep frying in a wide kadai (more in glossary).
Mix all ingredients except onion. Take a portion of the batter that you will start with and add onions only to it. Add onions to small portions so that the water from onions doesnt make the batter too loose in consistency. The thicker the batter, the easier it will be to make the vada. Meanwhile, use a slippery cover like a Ziploc bag to make the vada. Place the cover/bag on the countertop. Apply some oil. Now take some batter and spread it like a little disc about half an inch thick and about 3-4 inches wide. Make a hole in the center (like in a donut) with the index finger. Slide the vada slowly into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Use a spoon with holes in it (so that the oil drains through it), and pick up the fried vada. Put it on paper towel/tissue paper/newspaper to let the oil be absorbed by the paper. Transfer into the serving container.
Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambhar. If your family is like mine, no amount of vadas will ever be sufficient :) Enjoy !
This recipe goes to WYF - Party Food event hosted by EC @ Simple Indian Food.
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