Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chana Dhal Masala Vadai ( Deep Fried Lentil Snack)

 My mother came over and we had a major cooking session yesterday.  We were in the kitchen from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening.  I call that a serious work day.  I posted a recipe for Channa Dhal Masala Vadai in the early days of my blog.  Of course it had some horrible pictures to try to capture these delicious deep fried lentil snacks so I knew I had to re-do the post.   These pictures do some justice to this spicy dish that is popular in India and Sri Lanka.   Once you start eating these delicious savory, spicy fritters, you may not be able to stop.

 2 cups of Channa Dhal soaked overnight
1 medium size onion finely chopped
1 Tbs of dried red chili pieces (or to taste)
1 tsp of red chili powder (or to taste)
20-30 curry leaves torn into pieces
2-4 green chilies (Serranos) chopped finely
2-3 garlic cloves grated (optional)
1 inch of ginger grated (optional)
Salt (to taste)
1-2 Tbs of chickpea flour (besan) to help form the vadai.

Directions:The first step to making your Masala Vadai is to soak your Lentils.  You will want to soak them for 6-8 hour or overnight.  You can see that the dry lentils on the left soften and increase in size as they are soaked.  I soaked 2 cups of lentils for this dish overnight.

Drain your Channa Dhal well. Then in a food processor grind/pulse the lentils into a semi-course  paste.

You want some of it well pulverized yet some pieces still intact so you can see it's dahl.

Mix the lentils with all the other ingredients. You want the mixture to hold together like a meatball so add chickpea flour a tablespoon at a time to get that texture. Taste for salt and seasoning.   Now form the flat patty shapes. 

 Form the Masala Vadai a little smaller than a golf ball size and shaped into a patty.  I placed them on a microwave safe plate because the next step is to pre-cook them in the microwave.  **I got this tip from another recipe and it works great.  You will microwave about a dozen vadai for about 2 minutes (depending on your microwave).  They will become firmer to the touch (but not hard).  This also cuts down on the frying time.

Heat canola oil on med-high heat and when hot start frying vadai a few at a time until fully cooked.  I cooked them for about 2 minutes in the hot oil.  You don't want your oil too hot so not to burn the vadai.  Test out the first batch and adjust the heat of the oil accordingly.  Drain on a paper towel and continue frying.  Eat hot or at room temperature.  This recipe should make about 30 vadai. Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.