This vada forms an authentic combo along with ven pongal in South Indian breakfasts. It is made on almost all special occasions and festivals. It is made with few simple ingredients. It makes a great appetizer just by itself with coconut chutney or dunk these beauties in sambar, rasam or curd which tastes divine. The difficult process is shaping the vadai with a hole in the middle. Though I have not mastered the technique, just wanted to share the recipe. You can call these Indian Dounuts!
Black gram / Uluttham paruppu / Urad dal- 2 cups
Onion - 1 small sized
Green chillies - 3
Black pepper - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seed - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander leaves – 1 spoon chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying
Wash and soak the dal for an hour. Chop the onions and green chillies. Grind the together along with the urad dal in a blender to a smooth paste. Try to blend without adding water. If necessary add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water.
Stir in the chopped coriander leaves, curry leaves, crushed black pepper and cumin seeds. Add salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth, thick batter.
In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil for frying. Wet your palms with a little water or with a little oil so that the batter doesnt stick to your hand. Instead, you can use a ziplock bag to shape the batter.
Take a spoonful of batter in between your palms, flatten them into a round with a hole in the middle. Carefully drop them into the hot oil and deep fry them in batches of 5 or 6. It needs to get cooked for about a minute or two on each side. Carefully flip them over with a slotted spoon.
Once they turn golden brown, remove them with the slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
Serve hot with coconut chutney. You can use the leftovers if any, to make sambar vadai or rasa vadai or dahi vada.