Uzhunnu vada is a favorite tea time snack of Malayalies....to be a bit more broader....it is THE most popular deep fried snack of South India.....which is gaining popularity in North too. Most "chayakada" (small roadside tea shop) or "thattukada" boasts of "uzhunnu vada" and "parippuvada".....these two are munched with a cup of tea or coffee.
Traditionally Uzhunnu vada is a deep fried snack; made with soaked and grounded "urad dal" or black lentil with some chopped shallots, curry leaves, minced green chilies etc thrown in......the grounded smooth and thick batter is scooped into your palm and a depression or hole is made in the middle with a finger dipped in water......thus with a hole in the middle, it will look like golden doughnuts, but since I am not an expert in that; I always spoon the batter into oil....resulting in bite sized crunchy vadas....and yes the crunchy effect is got by adding 2 tbsp of rice flour.
I make vadas mostly as an after school snack; just have to soak the "urad dal" in water for about 20 minutes and then ground to a paste with little rice flour.......and spoon into hot hot oil....and that makes it an easy and trendy snack...so very homemade.
Author: Nisa Homey.
Urad dal/Black lentil: 1 cup, soaked in water, drained, and grounded.
Shallots (3 or 4) or onion: 1/4 chopped.
Green chilly: 1 or 2, minced.
Crushed pepper: 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves: Crushed or chopped: 1 sprig.
Rice flour: 2 tbsp, this makes the vadas crispy (though some prefer baking soda about 1/4 tsp).
Salt to taste.
Grind the soaked and cleaned dal with 2 tbsp of rice flour, salt, and little water to a smooth paste. Add the chopped or minced onion, green chilly, pepper, and curry leaves.
Mix the batter....and check the salt.
Heat a pan or kadai with oil. When the oil reaches 360 degree C, spoon in the thick batter (I used a tsp) into the hot oil, simmer the fire to medium or low until it is golden brown and crispy.
And strain into a paper napkin.
And serve hot the crunchy vadas with a cuppa of tea.
Enjoy this tea time snack :)