Saturday, March 10, 2012

#24 : Medhu Vada ~ Savory Indain doughnuts

"Vadas" are savory Indian doughnuts. They are usually dipped with spicy chutnety / pachadi and are eaten hot and crispy. It takes a lot of practice to learn to make them right. I have been attempting to learn these for years and have failed multiple times.  I first attempted them when I was new to cooking and the out come was disastrous . The next few times were after I got married to Kalyan . As a new bride, I tried various fun cooking experiments and the Vadas were a part of it and I failed yet again. Finally , last year I succeeded in understanding the right logistics to make a perfect batter that will help aid with the vadas's shape and taste . I stood in the kitchen , took diligent notes from my mom in law and attempted them as she supervised . The most difficult part was learning how to transfer the shaped vadas from the plastic sheet / banana leaf into hot oil for frying . My mom-in-law took a special interest in teaching me a few tricks without which my desire to learn to make these Indian doughnuts would have remained a dream . Vadas also called "garelu" in telugu are a popular street food in rural southern India. You will see stalls set up on the road frying these in big Kadais. ( Indian woks )

Two chutneys that go very well with vadas are :

  • 2 heaped cups whole Urad Dhal
  • Salt
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Wash and soak urad dhal in just enough water for 4-5 hours. ( I have soaked them over night and it has worked fine )
  2. Drain all the water away and grind the urad dhal to a smooth batter using salt. I start the grinding process with 1 tsp water and keep adding more as required .The goal to to achieve a batter with a thick-not pourable consistency . Lesser the water better the results. I have achieved best results by using an Indian wet grinder . You could use a food processor or a regular blender as well. Less water to grind is the only mantra 
  3. Once the grinding is done, scoop out the batter into a large vessel . Use a whisk and beat the batter for 5 min to make it light and aerated 
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan / wok . Once it is hot turn the heat / flame down to medium 
  5. To shape the Vadas : Take a thick plastic film or a banana leaf , wet your hands , apply a generous layer of water on the plastic film / leaf , take a small amount of batter and make a ball , flatten it out using the plastic film / leaf and make a large hole in the centre , wet you hands again and carefully transfer the shaped doughnut and drop it into the hot oil . Keep turning the vadas from one side to another and fry until golden brown 
  6. Remove and drain on a paper towel 
  7. Serve with chutney /pachadi  

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